Will M. Night Shyamalan’s ‘Knock at the Cabin’ Dethrone ‘Avatar 2’ From No. 1 at the Box Office?

After nearly two months of uninterrupted glory, this may be the weekend that “Avatar: The Way of Water” gets bumped from No. 1 on box office charts.

That’s because M. Night Shyamalan’s newest thriller “Knock at the Cabin” is poised to open to $15 million to $20 million, which looks to be enough to claim the top spot from “Avatar 2.”

“The Way of Water,” which has towered above the competition for seven consecutive weeks, is estimated to bring in roughly $11 million during its eighth weekend of release. So far, the blockbuster sequel has generated $620 million in North America and $2.117 billion globally to stand as the fourth-highest grossing movie in history. “Avatar 2” will compete for second place with Paramount’s new comedy “80 For Brady,” which hopes to touch down with $10 million or more from 3,800 locations.

For “Knock at the Cabin,” a debut in the mid-teens ranks on the lower end compared to past Shyamalan films like “The Sixth Sense” and “Unbreakable.” His latest mind-bender was 2021’s “Old,” which opened to $16.8 million as the omicron variant of COVID was surging. After notching the lowest start of the filmmaker’s career, ticket sales for “Old” eventually climbed to $48 million domestically and $90 million globally. However, Shyamalan takes the unusual step of self-financing his movies while keeping budgets low, so they don’t require a ton of coinage to turn a profit. “Knock at the Cabin” cost $20 million to produce.

The R-rated “Knock at the Cabin” stars Dave Bautista, Jonathan Groff and Ben Aldridge and follows a family who is suddenly held hostage by strangers while vacationing at a remote cabin. The captors demand the victims sacrifice one of their own to avert the apocalypse.

Directed by Kyle Marvin, “80 for Brady” stars a quartet of Hollywood icons — Lily Tomlin, Jane Fonda, Rita Moreno and Sally Field — as best friends who travel to the Super Bowl to watch their hero, Tom Brady, toss the pigskin. It’s rated PG-13 for language and “some suggestive references.”

“80 for Brady” cost $28 million. It’s banking on the same audience that propelled “Book Club,” a septuagenarian-led comedy with Diane Keaton, Fonda, Candice Bergen and Mary Steenburgen, to commercial glory with $100 million worldwide. By comparison, “Book Club” launched to $13.5 million in 2018. But “80 for Brady” faces a tougher theatrical landscape, one in which older audiences have been more reluctant to go to the movies.

Variety’s chief film critic Peter Debruge praised the ensemble in “80 for Brady,” describing the funny film as “a pleasant enough reminder that these gals are still game for a good time.”

“Mostly,” he writes, “it’s just a pleasure to watch these legends riff off one another.”

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