By Seth Kelley
LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) - Three films are essentially tied at the top of the weekend box office, as of Sunday morning.
Warner Bros. and New Line's "It" appears to be back on top with $17.3 million from 3,917 locations. But Universal's "American Made" and Fox's "Kingsman: The Golden Circle" are trailing just behind with $17 million each. Since the numbers are so close, some studios are waiting until later in the day to make the official call. Meaning this one likely won't be settled until Monday morning.
What's certain is that Sony's remake of "Flatliners" is coming in below expectations. After getting killed by critics (0% on Rotten Tomatoes) the horror flick is opening to $6.7 million from 2,552 locations.
"American Made" stars Tom Cruise as a commercial airline pilot who's recruited by the CIA to fly reconnaissance missions over South America. A $17 million opening is modest for movie starring Cruise, but the studio is hoping for a long runway based on positive reviews and word of mouth. The movie has been earning money overseas for the past few weekends, giving it $64.7 million in international grosses so far. 55% of the domestic audience is male, and 56% is over the age of 30.
"There were people out there who had us at a little less. It's not a disappointment -- it's an overachievement," said Universal's distribution chief Nick Carpou, who also addressed opening the film against so many others with R MPAA ratings. "I think that the rating of the film is secondary to the content of the film," he said. "To me, it feels like a fall release."
If "It" returns to the top spot after taking second place to "Kingsman" last weekend, it would be a feat. The horror movie smashed records for the month of September when it opened, and went on to become the highest grossing horror movie of all time. After this weekend, "It's" domestic total stands at $291.2 million.
"The Lego Ninjago Movie," from Warner Bros., looks to land in fourth ahead of "Flatliners" with $12 million from 4,047 locations. Fox Searchlight's "Battle of the Sexes" expanded to 1,213 where it's earning $3.4 million. The rest of the top ten is "American Assassin" ($3.3 million, 3,020 locations); "Home Again" ($1.8 million, 2,370); "Til Death Do Us Part" ($1.5 million, 562 locations); and "Mother!" ($1.5 million, 1,840).