MGM watch: Respect looks for some

Respect, a movie about the life of singer Aretha Franklin, got off to a show start at the U.S. box office.

The film, made by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and released by United Artists Releasing, is estimated to produce $8.8 million in its opening weekend, according to Exhibitor Relations Co., which tracks box office data.

Respect originally was scheduled to be released in 2020. MGM looked to the film to generate Academy Award nominations. But Respect was pushed back to this month because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Respect is being shown only in theaters and is on more than 3,000 screens. The same applies to Free Guy and Don’t Breathe 2, which also debuted this weekend. Respect was No. 4 this weekend, according to Exhibitor Relations.

MGM and United Artists Releasing (MGM’s joint venture with Annapurna Pictures) have the same theater-only opening strategy for No Time to Die. The 25th James Bond film is scheduled to come out Oct. 8 in the U.S.

Here’s how Exhibitor Relations summarized Respect’s opening weekend box office.

UPDATE (Aug. 29): Respect already is available on pay-per-view. Apparently the movie didn’t get much respect in the theater.