The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard is coming in higher over five days with $17M and a 3-day of $11.7M at 3,331 locations. It’s an OK result, and better than expected, but it’s not a result that has the town skipping about the return of the summer box office as the pandemic winds down, especially over what is typically a lucrative Father’s Day weekend.
Speaking of Father’s Day, wouldn’t it be nice to have a Pixar film in the marketplace instead of for free on Disney+? With NYC and LA permitting cinema capacities to rise to 100% this weekend, Luca, no matter how unknown the IP is, would have truly rained some cash on exhibition. Disney can’t act clueless here and claim they didn’t know capacity limitations would be this high. It was clear with Covid cases coming down and vaccinations increasing that LA and NYC would lift restrictions heading toward the Independence Day holiday. While it’s not ideal for exhibition that a Disney movie like Cruella is available on Disney+ Premier and in theaters, circuits will take whatever available cash is out there, and the Emma Stone movie has at least delivered a running total north of $64M (not great, but it’s money).
Let’s get something straight about this dull moment in the box office right now: Don’t forget it’s all about product, as A Quiet Place Part II is showing as the tentpole of the season with $125.2M. NRG polls have consistently been showing that increasingly more people are comfortable with returning to the movies as the pandemic eases, and if you look around, people are everywhere — at restaurants, the beach, baseball games, etc. People wanna get out. So if audiences aren’t showing some sort of surge around a title at the box office, they unfortunately do not want to spend their disposable income and time to see that movie.
It’s that simple.
This weekend, there wasn’t a crowd thirsting to see a sequel to a 2017 late August action comedy that didn’t cross $100M domestic. I have to think Ryan Reynolds’ Free Guy in its novelty of a guy whose inside a videogame will do better at the B.O. with a bulk of Disney P&A behind it.
August ISpot, which tracks studios’ TV spot spending, showed last weekend that Warner Bros. shelled out $22.5M on In The Heights. The movie didn’t open to Crazy Rich Asians results, nor did it get eyeballs on Warner’s streaming service HBO Max. Again, it’s whether the title possess product-driven power or not. Get it? It’s not about cinemas being dead, or people falling out-of-love with the movies.
Total weekend B.O. is expected to gross around $47M for all movies, which is a plus next to last year, but off 18% from last weekend’s $57.2M Comscore reported weekend total.
Already, people are packing into cinemas here in Los Angeles: A Thursday night screening of F9 at the Burbank AMC was the most I’ve seen in a theater auditorium since February 2020’s Birds of Prey. However, it’s all about the share price and subscribers for Disney, not box office at the moment, and the entertainment conglom missed on 2Q Disney+ subs, brining in 103M subs to Wall Street’s estimate of 109M. That’s why we’re still seeing big product like Black Widow and Jungle Cruise hit the service day-and-date with theaters (and, yes, yes, overseas markets are still in a sling, which prevents the meaty tentpole profits we’re use to seeing).
Lionsgate is covering around a third of the $70M production cost on Hitman’s 2, and the P&A spend I hear is between $25M-$30M. The sequel’s weekend ticket sales are finding close to a third of its business from Imax and PLF screens. The Ryan Reynolds-Samuel L. Jackson movie’s strongest markets were in the South and the West with some OK numbers in NYC, Philly, Chicago, DC and Detroit. Los Angeles, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Seattle and Phoenix were better.
Sony Pictures Classics expanded their Martin Sheen-Luke Wilson sports drama 12 Mighty Orphans to 1,047 (+915) in weekend 2 in 174 markets, making $870K. Pic isn’t beloved by critics at 59% Rotten, but audiences liked it better with close to 80% positive in Comscore/Screen Engine PostTrak exits and a 75% definite recommend. Guys showed up, of course, at 53% and 80% over 25 with an older crowd actually coming out with 49% over 55+ (wow). Diversity demos were Caucasian 78%, Latinx 6%, 9% Black, and 7% Asian/other. Best markets were Mid and Southwest.
Other highlights this weekend: Focus Features provided arthouses something to feast on and that’s the Edgar Wright directed MRC documentary The Sparks Brothers which made $110K on Friday,$87K on Saturday, and a projected $68K today in 534 theaters for a 3-day of $265K or $497 per theater. The docu, which is on a 30-day theatrical window, saw some notable results at the Alamo Brooklyn, Alamo Downtown LA, Alamo South Lamar Austin, AMC Burbank, East Hampton Cinema NY, AMC Century City. Sparks Brothers made its world premiere at Sundance.
Roadside Attractions has on a 17-day window the Sundance docu Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go for It, which is booked at 227 theaters. The pic made $24,4K on Friday, $29,2K yesterday and a projected $22K today for a 3-day estimated debut of $75,7K or $334 per location.
According to box office sources in regards to improvement to the exhibition marketplace: Forty-three states are now allowing theatres to operate without capacity restrictions. Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Michigan, New Mexico, Oregon, Washington, and Puerto Rico are still enforcing auditorium limitations or social distancing guidelines. Number 1 movie circuit AMC is increasing their auditorium capacity cap to 100% in those areas of the U.S. where they allowed, and 75% where social distancing is still being enforced. Over 77% of 5,8K cinemas in U.S./Canada remain open. That translates into 85% of 44K domestic screens in operation.
In Canada, cinemas in Ontario remain closed until late July, including B.O. capital Toronto. On the other hand, Edmonton and Calgary Theaters can reopen to north of a third capacity. British Columbia threw up their doors last Tuesday for 50% capacity. Many movies are feeling the lack of the Great White North in their domestic grosses, which can generate 7%-10% on average. Good news on Canada: 95% of Quebec cinemas are open, along with 73% in Alberta and British Columbia. Saskatchewan also has close to 70% of all movie theaters with the lights back on.
Studio reported figures:
- Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard (LG) 3,331 theaters, $3.05M Fri/$4.1M Sat/$4.4M Sun/ 3-day $11.67M/Total $17M/Wk 1
- A Quiet Place 2 (Par) 3,392 (-123) theaters, $2.76M Fri (-27%)/$3.56M Sat/$3.05M Sun/3-day $9.4M (-22%)/Total $125.2M/Wk 4
- Peter Rabbit 2 (Sony) 3,346 theaters $1.9M (-53%) Fri/ $2.3M Sat/$1.86M Sun/3-day $6.1M /Total $20.3M/Wk 2
- Conjuring 3 (NL) 3,280 (+43) theaters $1.675M Fri/$1.98M Sat/$1.49M Sun/3-day est. $5.15M (-50%)/Total $53.6M/Wk 3
- Cruella (Dis) 3,110 (-197) theaters $1.5M (-29%) Fri/$1.9M Sat/$1.7M Sun/3-day est. $5.1M/Total $64.7M/Wk 4
- In the Heights (WB) 3,509 (+53) theaters $1.365M Fri/$1.62M Sat/$1.22M Sun/3-day est. $4.2M (-63%)/Total: $19.66M/Wk 2
- Spirit Untamed (Uni) 2,967 (-427) theaters $480K Fri/$620K Sat/$500K Sun/3-day: $1.6M (-38%)/Total: $13.8M/Wk 3
- 12 Mighty Orphans (SPC) 1,047 (+915) theaters $236,6K Fri/$317,4K Sat/$316K Sun/3-day $870K (+246%)/Total: $1.25M/Wk 2
- House Next Door (Hidden Empire Film Group) 530 theaters (+110) $156,5K Fri/$217K Sat/$212K Sun/3-day $585,5K (-42%)/Total $1.99M/Wk 2
- Wrath of Man (UAR) 707 (-500) theaters/$113K Fri/$171K Sat/$163K Sun/3-day $448K (-33%)/Total $26.8M/Wk 7