Universal/Blumhouse’s Freaky is coming in lower than expected at $3.7M after a $1.4M Saturday that dipped 6% from Friday’s $1.5M. With overseas totaling $1.9M from 20 territories, including Australia, Freaky‘s global start stands at $5.6M. It’s the 14th time that a Blumhouse movie has led the box office in the studio’s history. Blumhouse’s last No. 1 pic was The Invisible Man, with $28.2M before the pandemic threw the box office into the dumpster.
While Wall Street and exhibition stocks got excited about the potential of a COVID-19 vaccine in the near future, with the Pfizer trials at over a 90% effective rate, those good vibes weren’t seeping into the box office this past weekend. Moviegoers continued to be jarred by TV news chatter of increased lockdowns and record spikes across the country.
It’s clear, given the numbers, that the major studios aren’t investing in these movies, given the broken- down marketplace (17% of all U.S. theaters are closed). The No. 1 results for a movie since Columbus Day weekend are in the $3.6M-$4M range. Freaky is another example of this. It will be interesting to see if grosses are higher over Thanksgiving when the studio opens DreamWorks Animation’s The Croods: A New Age, which is part of the NBC Universal symphony marketing program. That pic is primed to get a proper blast across the conglom’s vertical tentacles, i.e. cable, TV networks, etc.
Also slowing business was word-of-mouth, despite Freaky notching an 85% certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, with Cinemascore at B-, and the PostTrak exits standing at 77% positive and a 54% definite recommend.
Freaky was rated R, despite looking like a PG-13 movie in its high school content and young cast, and thus drew 50/50 male-female, with 18-24 showing up at 36%, 25-34 at 27%, and 9% under 18. The 25 and older crowd repped 55% of all ticketholders. Twenty-two percent of Freaky‘s moviegoers came with a date while 20% took a friend, and another 20% went with 2-4 friends. Diversity demos for Freaky showed 44% Caucasian, 26% Hispanic, 20% African American, 5% Asian, and 5% Other. If this was a PG-13 horror film, Freaky would have skewed more toward younger females.
Top markets for Freaky were Los Angeles/Orange DMA, Dallas, surrounding NYC DMA, San Francisco, Houston, Phoenix, Chicago, Philly, Atlanta and Detroit.
101 Studios’ My War With Grandpa now stands at $15.2M in its domestic tally in weekend 6, and has a good chance with Thanksgiving of making it to $20M. Even though the pic lost 203 locations, along with the Sacramento and San Diego cinema shutdowns, the movie only dipped -12%, which exceeded the distributor’s expectations. The Saturday to Saturday dip was only -5%, with $639K. Grandpa was notable in the West, Mountain, Midwest and East, with over-indexing markets being Salt Lake City, Houston, Minneapolis, Cleveland, Detroit, Seattle, Kansas City , Pittsburgh, Des Moines, St. Louis, Indianapolis, Columbus, Milwaukee and Cincinnati.
Imani/Faith Media’s True to the Game 2 saw a 6% uptick in its 3-day grosses after a 34 theater uptick in its weekend 2 count. African American audiences gave this Jamal Hill-directed movie a boost. The movie is still in the top 10.
Remember Relativity Media? Ya know, the once-great-then-distressed Ryan Kavanaugh studio? Well, they were back this weekend under its new Ultra V ownership with the period David Oyelowo-Gugu Mbatha Raw movie Come Away. Ultra V acquired Relativity and the studio’s catalog in 2018 out of bankruptcy, and this was one of the first movies the new admin picked up under new management, plotting a theatrical VOD release.
Mike Polydoros’ PaperAirplane worked with Relativity on the release of the Brenda Chapman-directed feature (she did Pixar’s Brave). Booked at 475 runs in 126 markets, the movie did $108K, for a $227 per site result. Critics panned the PG film, which is a fantasy homage to Peter Pan and Alice in Wonderland at 36% Rotten. Pic follows eight-year-old Alice and her mischievous brother Peter, who journey to London to sell a treasured heirloom. Returning home, Alice seeks temporary refuge in a wondrous rabbit hole, while Peter enters a magical realm as leader of the lost boys.
The Mel Gibson Santa Clause action fantasy movie Fatman did very little business with $108K at 259 sites, and a 41% Rotten Tomatoes score from critics. Pic hits VOD on Nov. 24.
Sony Classics’ The Climb opened to $103.5K at 408 theaters, with a low theater average of $254 for this 91% certified fresh feature about an adult bromance from filmmaker Michael Angelo Covino. The pic made its world premiere at Cannes in 2019. One thing is for certain this coming awards season, and that is that a picture’s fate at the Oscars won’t be pre-determined by its box office results, and this one has a lot of amour.
See-Saw/NEON’s Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan romance Ammonite saw 280 runs in 97 markets gross $85K or $304 per site. The movie arrives on PVOD in December. RT is low at 69% fresh.
Weekend top 10:
- Freaky (Uni) 2,472 theaters, 3-day $3.7M/Wk 1
- Let Him Go (Foc) 2,458 theaters (+4), 3-day: $1.8M (-55%)/Total: $6.9M/Wk 2
- War With Grandpa (101) 2,415 (-203) theaters, 3-day: $1.3M (-12%), Total: $15.2M/Wk 6
- Come Play (Foc) 1,966 (-247) theaters, 3-day: $1.1M (-39%), Total: $7.3M/Wk 3
- Honest Thief (Open) 1,843 (-374) theaters, 3-day: $800K (-30%), Total: $12.4M/Wk 6
- Tenet (WB) 1,223 theaters (-189) 3-day: $735K (-21%), Total: $56.3M/Wk 11
- Guardians of the Galaxy (Dis, re) 1,560 theaters, 3-day: $406K, total: $333.7M/Wk 1 of re-release
- True to the Game 2 (Faith Media) 281 theaters (+34), 3-day: $288K (+6%)/Total: $611K/Wk 2
- Toy Story (Dis) 1,360 theaters (-742), 3-day $222K (-56%), Total: $223.5M/Wk 2 of re-release
- Elf (NL) 288 theaters, 3-day: $170K , Total: $174.8M/Wk 1 of re-release
- The Last Shift (Sony) 135 theaters (+127) 3-day: $164,6K, Total: $804.6K/Wk 8