BOX OFFICE: It’s “Smile” vs. “Lyle,” as “Amsterdam” underwhelms

Kids movies opening during the school year typically don’t do much business on “preview” Thursday nights. So let’s make as much out of the low numbers “Lyle Lyle Crocodile” scored this Thursday.

And Deadline.com, the best source for early box office data, is notorious for underestimating children’s films’ Saturday takes.

So “Lyle” is probably heading towards something like parity with “Smile,” which is earning at a $13-17 million second weekend take. They’re getting their data from Sony, which knows it isn’t Pixar, and may be lowballing it. “Lyle” should very well clear $15, but we’ll see. $11-12 says Deadline, as of Sat. AM.

Parents have been waiting for a good family film to take the kids to, which explains the otherwise inexplicable run of the animated “Super Pets” hit. Reviews haven’t been bad — not dazzling, but not bad. I found “Lyle” endearing, cute and charming.

“Smile” has taken almost all of the superior horror thriller “Barbarian” money, and is closing in on the $50 million mark already, clearing that by the middle of next week.

“Amsterdam” I called “a hot mess.” And I wasn’t alone. Most critics were impressed with the all-star cast and the messaging of this convoluted 1930s mystery built around sinister real-life events that almost overtook America and had their way with much of the rest of the world. But David O. Russell occasionally swings and misses (Remember “Joy?” “I Heart Huckabees?”) and most certainly did here with a cluttered, confusing, info-packed picture that aims for laughs if often doesn’t land.

It’ll manage $7 million, tops, unless word REALLY gets around.

“The Woman King” and “Don’t Worry, Darling” are still battling for third and fourth places, with “King” still destined for a higher overall take when all’s said and done, but narrowly trailing “Darling” because “King” has been in theaters longer.

“Bros” still isn’t doing much business. Billy Eichner blames “some parts of the country” not wanting to see a gay romance, and he could very well be right. But a film with zero star power — he’s not exactly a household name in “flyover country” — and little in the way of warmth as it seeks to show off the first “true” gay rom-com, R-rated to boot, had a lower upside than the studio figured and word of mouth isn’t going to broaden its appeal. It plays for the urban populace it represents and the gay audience it’s about — well, some of those audiences, anyway — and that’s that.

As always, I’ll be updating these figures later Saturday and into Sunday.

About Roger Moore

Movie Critic, formerly with McClatchy-Tribune News Service, Orlando Sentinel, published in Spin Magazine, The World and now published here, Orlando Magazine, Autoweek Magazine
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