LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) - Sony's sci-fier "Chappie" is marching toward a soft debut at the U.S. box office while Vince Vaughn is having the worst opening weekend of his career.
Vaughn's R-rated comedy "Unfinished Business," distributed by 20th Century Fox, is projected to see a dismal $5 million opening from 2,777 locations. The actor's previous career-low was earned by 2013's "Delivery Man," which opened to $7 million domestically.
In the No. 1 position, "Chappie" will finish the weekend with an estimated $15 million, ahead of Fox Searchlight's "The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" and Warner Bros.' second weekend of Will Smith's "Focus," which will battle for second with about $10 million each.
The two-week slump in the U.S. box office came after a 10 percent surge in moviegoing this year, with the industry hoping that Disney's "Cinderella" can reignite business next weekend.
Neill Blomkamp's "Chappie," his third film, was made modestly for $49 million and shot in South Africa, much as the filmmaker did for his low-budget smash "District 9." The dystopian thriller could see significantly better performances overseas as it opens simultaneously in 53 markets including the U.K., Germany, France and Russia.
"Chappie" stars Hugh Jackman, Dev Patel and Sigourney Weaver along with Sharlto Copley's titular robot. It carries an R rating and was financed partly by MRC and LStar Capital.
The "Marigold Hotel" sequel -- a first for Searchlight -- appears to be over-performing in the wake of being pegged for a $7 million opening at 1,573 locations. The ensemble comedy has already opened overseas with $5.8 million in the U.K. and $3.2 million in Australia.
The original "Marigold Hotel" generated a surprisingly strong $46 million domestically in 2012 along with $90 million in international markets.
"Unfinished Business," made for $35 million and financed by New Regency, is the latest in a string of downbeat results for Vaughn following "The Dilemma," "The Watch," "The Internship" and "Delivery Man." He had five comedies top $100 million between 2004 and 2009 with "Dodgeball," "Wedding Crashers," "The Break-Up," "Four Christmases" and "Couples Retreat."
Directed by Ken Scott, the movie co-stars Dave Franco and tells the story of a business trip to Europe that goes disastrously awry.
Correction: An earlier version of this story said that "Delivery Man" opened in 2009 instead of 2013.