‘Demon Slayer’ Overtakes #1 Position from ‘Mortal Kombat’ at the BO!!

What’s upsetting about this weekend is how these two movies, Mortal Kombat and Demon Slayer, which had very notable openings and further revived the domestic B.O. last weekend, dropped precipitously this weekend, respectively at -73% and -70%.

Funimation/Aniplex is calling Demon Slayer‘s weekend 2 at $6.4M for No. 1, with a running total of $32.2M, and New Line’s Mortal Kombat is at No. 2 with a weekend 2 of $6.2M and a $34M 10-day total. No one was expecting this type of tumble. What does this say as the US has close to 70% of 40,7K screens reopened, and there’s talk of Los Angeles and San Francisco moving to the yellow tier, which could get theaters at 75% capacity? (It’s not as easy as that reads, more on that in a bit).

Essentially, what’s going on here is that there were two movies catering to niche audiences that overperformed last weekend. However, they had limited wide appeal. Both overindexed last weekend because of pent-up demand, as people sought to get out of the house after 13 months of largely lockdown, with both pics’ core audiences seeing them, hence the second weekend drops.

In regards to Mortal Kombat, movies based on hardcore videogames (not Sonic), have a tendency to plummet in weekend 2, i.e. Doom (-73%), 2001’s Tomb Raider (-59%). By comparison, New Line’s 1995 version of Mortal Kombat, which was rated PG-13, declined 56% in its second weekend, with $10.3M at 2,628 theaters. Mortal Kombat came in ahead of estimates last Sunday. It’s not out of the question for that to occur again.

We always knew Funimation/Aniplex’s Demon Slayer as an anime feature would be front-loaded, which is the B.O. nature of those pics. The distrib’s Dragon Ball Super: Broly in the second weekend following its MLK opening fell 69%. After a $22.3M 6-day opening, that movie stopped its domestic gross at $30.7M. Short runway there.

This weekend marks the anniversary of when 2019’s Avengers: Endgame ($357.1M) and 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War ($257.7M) respectively notched the top 1 and 2 openings of all-time. With no new tentpole in the marketplace over the last three days, that depletes the demand of moviegoing. Couple that with great weather across the nation, and President Biden’s new order that vaccinated folks can go outside without a mask. People decided to do other outdoor activities rather than head to the movies, per distribution sources.

As far as Mortal Kombat goes, I do believe that the whole simultaneous HBO Max of it all is a leg-killer for their titles at the box office. Why see the movie a second time in the theater when you can see it at home for free? It’s going to be really interesting to see how the Disney Premier of it all impacts Marvel’s Black Widow grosses. Will fans see Black Widow in theaters first and buy it on Disney Premier when they get home? Exhibition should be keenly aware of this, that money will be lost on their end and reaped by Disney.

Mortal Kombat‘s drop here at -73%, the steepest we’ve seen for a Warner Bros/HBO Max title during the pandemic since Wonder Woman 1984‘s second weekend drop of -68%, is not a case of the tide rising all boats, as AT&T Boss John Stankey would say. And even though Godzilla vs. Kong is off the studio’s streaming service right now after a 31-day play, the Legendary title, which counts a domestic cume of $90.3M, would have had a faster path to $100M if it wasn’t on HBO Max. Again, the whole theatrical-HBO Max day and date release plan is only in effect for this year, not next.

Exhibition-wise, we’re still not in a perfect state: Canada is only 18% open. No. 2 chain Regal is only 15% open, and this new California state health guideline of insisting that moviegoers show proof of vaccinations before theaters move to 75% next week is truly punishing to exhibition and impossible to enforce. California Governor Gavin Newsom sure isn’t policing a similar policy at LAX, where throngs are fearless about traveling.

On the upside, circuits AMC is 99% open, Cinemark 93%, Marcus 82%, and Harkins 97%. In certain areas of the country, these chains are operating at 75% to 80% capacity where local ordinances permit. The Chinese 6 in Hollywood is now open, along with the main Chinese Theatre, which reopened in time for GvK. 

Open Road’s horror movie Separation posted $1.8M after a $680K Saturday at 1,751 locations which was up 1% over Friday’s $675K. Sunday looks to be $476K. Open Road targeted older horror fans, ages 35-44, with limited buys on such shows as Fear the Walking Dead, WWE Smackdown, and NBA Basketball on TNT. Open Road also paid for targeted social and digital ads, specifically on Fandango. The film’s producers hosted a Tik Tok influencer screening in Los Angeles last week with the cast and director William Brent Bell.

Social media chatter on Separation was light, according to RelishMix, with YouTube views at 9.7M and a low viral rate of 3:1. “Pages connected to the film and distributor have scattered posts since the campaign began on March 25. Another ten videos are posting on Facebook at 4.1M and a lightly activated cast at 600k adds to the SMU of 14.3M which is on the low end for the genre,” says RelishMix.

We will update you when Comscore sends their report, but the total B.O. for all pics at the domestic B.O. this weekend is looking like an estimated $24.2M, -57% from last weekend’s pandemic record of $56.3M.

The top 10 chart for April 30-May 2, Warners didn’t break out daily B.O. figures

1.) Demon Slayer (Fun/Ani) 1,870 theaters (+281)/Fri $1.81M/Sat $2.66M/Sun $1.9M/3-day $6.4M (-70%)/Total: $32.2M/ Wk 2

2.) Mortal Kombat (New Line/WB), 3,114 theaters (+41) /Fri, $1.85M, 3-day $6.2M (-73%)/Total: $34M/Wk 2

3.) Godzilla vs. Kong (WB/Leg) 2,573 theaters (-103),/ 3-day: $2.74M (-36%)/Total: $90.3M/Wk 5

4.) Separation (OR)  1,751 theaters, Fri $675K, Sat $680K, Sun $476K, 3-day $1.8M/Wk 1

5.) Raya and the Last Dragon (Dis) 1,810 theaters (-9), Fri $350K/Sat $605K/Sun $380k/ 3-day: $1.33M (-22%), Total: $41.5M/Wk 9

6.) Nobody (Uni) 2,056 theaters (-196) Fri $360K/Sat $560K/Sun $340K/3-day: $1.26M (-28%)/Total $23.3M/Wk 6

7.) The Unholy (Sony) 1,538 theaters (-297) /Fri $305K/Sat $465K/Sun $295K/$1.06M (-27%)/Total: $13.1M/Wk 5

8.) Scott Pilgrim vs. The World (re) (Uni) 152 theaters, Fri $340K/Sat $230K/Sun $150K/$720K /Total: $32.4M/Wk 560

9.) Tom & Jerry (WB) 1,209 theaters (-334), 3-day: $515K (-29%)/Total: $44.2M/Wk 10

10.) Together Together  (BST) 659 theaters (-6), Fri $95K, Sat $132,7K, Sun $85K, 3-day: $313K (-41%) Total: $1.02M/Wk 2/


via Deadline

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