After reigning over the weekend box office for the last seven weekends, 20th Century Studios/Disney/Lightstorm’s 4x Oscar nominated Avatar: The Way of Water will cede No. 1 to Universal’s M. Night Shyamalan thriller Knock at the Cabin which is set to do $15M-$17M per tracking sources at 3,600 theaters.

Reviews haven’t hit yet on the feature take of Paul Tremblay’s national bestseller The Cabin at the End of the World, however, we won’t know until we’ll in the thick of the weekend with audience exits whether this pic overindexes or not. The better the surprise in a Shyamalan ending, the better the box office. Helping Knock at the Cabin‘s ticket sales are Uni’s grab of PLF and Dolby auditoriums. The movie follows a girl and her parents who are taken hostage during their vacation by armed strangers who demand that the family make a choice to avert the apocalypse.  Dave Bautista, Tony award and Emmy nominee Jonathan Groff, Ben Aldridge, BAFTA nominee Nikki Amuka-Bird, newcomer Kristen Cui, Abby Quinn and Rupert Grint star.

The pic cost $20M before P&A, just a little bit higher than the cost of Shyamalan’s Old. Showtimes start at 5PM Thursday for the R-rated Knock at the Cabin. A fairly split male-to-female turnout is expected.

The Fifth Season production 80 for Brady which Paramount acquired and financed for $28M also has a shot of overindexing, and with older female moviegoers. A $10M start looks promising, maybe even much more for this movie starring Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Sally Field and Rita Moreno as a group of friend who make it their life-long mission to go to the Super Bowl and meet NFL superstar Tom Brady. Pic is booked at 3,800 locations. Previews start at 3PM on Thursday.

Last Saturday Paramount kicked off a series of advance screenings with throwback pricing in celebration of the film’s exclusive theatrical release, beginning with a “Sneak Preview” screening that saw many sellouts resulting in added auditoriums to accommodate demand. Today, participating theatres nationwide will host a “BFF Night Out” screening at 6PM local time, with a third, “Ladies Night Out” screening tomorrow, Feb. 1 7PM. As part of the advance screenings, fans will also get to see the movie’s music video “Gonna Be You” showcasing clips from the film, and featuring Dolly Parton and Belinda Carlisle, Gloria Estefan, Cyndi Lauper and Debbie Harry. 

Meanwhile, Avatar 2 should also hit double digits in weekend 8, non-Disney box office sources say, after a $15.9M last weekend and a current running total of $622M stateside. The next movie the James Cameron directed sequel will overtake is The Avengers which sits at No. 10 on the all-time grossing pics at the domestic box office list with $623.3M.


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