Shane Black's The Predator is projected to win the box office this weekend. The film is the latest installment in the Predator franchise, which launched back in 1987. That original movie starring Arnold Schwarzenegger is now considered a classic of its genre, but 20th Century Fox has struggled with the various followups. Predator 2 grossed just $30.6 million total domestically, the two Alien vs. Predator films were critical duds, and 2010's Predators wasn't successful enough to get a direct sequel. The studio turned to Black (who starred in Predator) to try to bring it back.
The Predator had a fairly challenging path to the big screen, with Black reshooting the entire third act after deciding the original finale didn't work. The film also generated controversy recently when it was revealed a scene featuring a sex offender was removed from the final product. Despite all that (plus mixed reviews from critics), it looks like The Predator is still going to lead the pack at the multiplex.
According to Box Office Pro, Black's latest is estimated to earn around $29 million in its first three days. That would be the highest debut for an individual Predator movie and trail only the first Alien vs. Predator ($38.2 million) in the context of the overall franchise. The outlet notes The Predator's haul could end up being as high as $35 million depending on how things play out.