Tiffany Haddish and Kevin Hart’s upcoming comedy is studying up for an A+ opening. Haddish and Hart’s Night School is heading for a debut around $25 million in the Sept. 28-30 weekend, early tracking showed Thursday. Warner Bros.’ animated “Smallfoot” is eyeing similar numbers in its opening that same weekend.
Universal’s Night School is the first lead role for Haddish since she broke out in “Girls Trip” last year. She plays a no-nonsense teacher heading adult instruction at a high school with Hart as a particularly hapless student, told at one point that he is “clinically dumb.”
Tracking for Night School ranges from $21 million to $34 million. The film is directed by Malcolm D. Lee, who directed Haddish in “Girls Trip,” which opened to $31.2 million on July 21-23, 2017, its way to $115 million domestically. Hart produces via his Hartbeat Productions banner and Will Packer is producing for his Will Packer Productions. The screenplay was written by Hart, Harry Ratchford, Joey Wells, and Matt Kellard, with additional script work by Nick Stoller.
Tracking for “Smallfoot” ranges from $22 million to $27 million. Channing Tatum voices a young Yeti named Migo who’s shocked to discover a human, which the Yeti community refers to as a “smallfoot” in a reversal of the Bigfoot legend. The “Smallfoot” voice cast includes Zendaya, James Corden, Gina Rodriguez, LeBron James, Common, Danny DeVito, Yara Shahidi, Jimmy Tatro, and Ely Henry.
“Over the Hedge” helmer Karey Kirkpatrick directed the movie from a script by John Ficarra and Glenn Requa, based on a story by Sergio Pablos. Bonnie Radford is the producer.
The same Sept. 28-30 weekend will also see lauches of Lionsgate-CBS Films’ horror film “Hell Fest” and faith-based PureFlix’s updated “Little Women” through its Pinnacle Peak label. “Hell Fest” registered moderate interest with a range of $4 million to $9 million, while “Little Women,” starring Sarah Davenport, Allie Jennings, Lucas Grabeel, Ian Bohen, and Lea Thompson, was in the $3 million-$5 million range at more than 600 locations.