Kenneth Branagh’s latest flick, A Haunting in Venice, is shaping up to outperform initial forecasts with an estimated $14 million opening weekend. It raked in $5.3 million on Friday, including previews, beating Branagh’s previous Hercule Poirot adaptation, Death on the Nile, which opened at $12.8 million. However, it’s far behind the $28.6 million opening of 2017’s Murder on the Orient Express.
Social media buzz around the film is modest, according to analytics firm RelishMix, lagging 59% behind the typical horror genre and Branagh’s previous Poirot films. The online sentiment is a mixed bag; fans are intrigued by the blend of horror and mystery but have expressed varying views on Branagh’s consistent Poirot portrayal transitioning into horror.
The film has an edge this weekend, potentially outdoing New Line’s The Nun 2, which is expecting a 61% decline in its second weekend, pulling in an estimated $12.8 million.
Meanwhile, Sony’s The Equalizer 3 holds steady in its third weekend with an estimated $7.3 million, bringing its total to around $73.7 million. My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3 is looking at a $4 million second weekend, while Warner Bros.’ Barbie continues to hold its own with an expected $3.6 million in its ninth weekend.
In terms of audience reviews, A Haunting in Venice scores the highest among Branagh’s Poirot films with a 77% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, despite lacking the star-studded cast seen in Murder on the Orient Express.
The film, which cost around $60 million to make, is playing in 3,305 theaters and benefits from premium ticket pricing, including Imax screenings. So, as the weekend unfolds, it remains to be seen if A Haunting in Venice can truly captivate audiences and hold its own at the box office.