The first full Halloween celebration in two years is taking its toll on the domestic box office, a grey cloud which many saw coming, with many trick-or-treating or attending parties last night. Essentially, whenever the holiday falls on a Sunday, it’s poised to gut the weekend as everyone celebrates on Saturday. On the bright side, Comscore is reporting that October rang up the best month to date during the pandemic with $638M, beating July’s $583.8M.
And, yes, we can blame HBO Max, too, when it comes to Legendary/Warner Bros.’ expected -62% decline for Dune, which looks to be filing $15.5M for the weekend. The Denis Villeneuve-directed reboot of the Frank Herbert novel, which Warners and Legendary have already greenlit a theatrical windowed sequel for, had a solid week of $53.8M. After a $5M Friday, Dune saw a 32% surge on Saturday with $6.6M. The running domestic total is $69.4M through ten days, and global is heading toward $300M WW, currently $292.1M.
Comparing that to Godzilla vs. Kong‘s first ten-day running total, even though that debuted on a Wednesday, Dune is 16% ahead of that Legendary title. Godzilla vs. Kong crossed $100M after 13 weekends. A reminder that these HBO Max theatrical day-and-date titles are on the service for the first 31 days, after which exhibition gets the title exclusively during its second month. Torrent Freak reports that Dune was the most-pirated movie for the week ending Oct. 25.
Of that domestic total, Imax reps $17M, or 24%. Imax screens in North America grossed $4.35M in the second weekend of Dune, or 28%. The global Imax haul of $43.7M is the highest for the large format exhibitor since December 2019. Next weekend, all those Imax screens go to Disney/Marvel’s Eternals, which will reinvigorate the box office again with an expected $80M start.
After Dune, it’s a mishmash of arthouse genre titles, which were never expected to rally, given how they’re largely aimed at upscale crowds who are slowly creeping back, but not in massive numbers. That said, they do have a lot of choices this weekend, and I hear today might be a good day for arthouses overall, as that crowd will head to the theater for matinees. Still, Focus Feature’s Edgar Wright fantasy thriller Last Night in Soho at 3,016 theaters, and Searchlight’s Antlers at 2,800 venues, are having a hard time calling their ranking this morning, both seeing $4.16M each. Seriously?
In regards to Last Night in Soho, it’s quite conceivable that movie is destined for a 17-day theatrical window, which has been the case for most Focus titles during the pandemic. Friday’s $1.9M includes $700K of Thursday night previews that began at 7pm.
Last Night in Soho gets a B+, slightly down from the A- of Wright’s mass-appealing $107.8M domestic grossing Baby Driver, which this genre movie was never expected to emulate. PostTrak was lower at 73% positive, a 56% recommend, and, as expected, an older male crowd in attendance at 57%, 63% over 25 and 64% between 18-34.
Diversity demos were Caucasian 55%, 20% Latino and Hispanic, 10%, Black, and 14% Asian/other. The movie’s strongest markets were the coasts, with six of the top ten-grossing theaters coming from NYC and LA: 1.) AMC Burbank 2.) AMC Lincoln Square NYC 3.) AMC Century City 4.) AMC Empire NYC 5.) Alamo Brooklyn 6.) Chicago Music Box 7.) AMC Disney Orlando 8.) AMC Boston Common 9.)AMC 34th St. 10.) AMC Metreon San Francisco. A handful of PLFs at a 200 count repped driving 26% of the gross through Saturday AM. The Wright movie’s top ten markets were LA, NYC, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Boston, Washington DC, Philly, Denver, and Seattle.
Focus Features truly supported Last Night in Soho, teeing off this film with a Venice Film Festival world premiere, followed by a North American premiere at TIFF and the first Hollywood premiere at the new Academy museum.
Part of the film’s underperformance can be pinned to the funky marketplace. But the film is also a feathered-fish: The movie sets itself up as a 1960s nostalgia fantasy, then takes a left turn two-thirds in down Rosemary’s Baby lane. As a moviegoer, you’re either indulgent and on board with Wright’s style, or you’re not.
Anya Taylor-Joy’s emotional and cinematic performance of Petula Clark’s 1960s pop single “Downtown” is worth the admission price alone. The soundtrack recorded two versions of Taylor-Joy’s cover of the song, one of them being the acapella, slowed-down rendition from the movie. That music video clocked 15M views. There was a limited edition 7″ vinyl double “Downtown” single released.
As part of the film’s promotion, Wright took over the @Twittermovies handle on Thursday, reaching out to their 6.8M followers. There was also an exclusive Snap Lens created for fans on social media.
Overall social media reach, according to RelishMix, for Last Night in Soho across YouTube views, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook was 55.4M, with Taylor-Joy driving 8.1M via her fan portals.
Antlers, directed by Scott Cooper and produced by Guillermo del Toro, is another movie held by Searchlight during the pandemic. Heck, it even had a virtual panel at San Diego Comic-Con 2020, which tells you how long it’s been teased. At the end of the day, it’s a C+ from CinemaScore audiences, a 62% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, which doesn’t scream ‘must-see’, with even lower PostTrak exits of 59% and a 42% recommend.
Audience was 61% guys, 65% over 25 and 60% between 18-34. Audience make-up was 48% Caucasian, 27% Latino and Hispanic, 14% Black and 11% Asian/other. Friday’s $1.7M includes $370K previews that began at 6PM.
RelishMix says the social outreach on Antlers was moderate, with del Toro the most prominent promoter online toward his 3.2M fans. Despite fans who expressed their interest in wanting to see the movie before opening weekend, they were “also unclear of the storyline,” reports RelishMix.
Searchlight also expanded their Wes Anderson film The French Dispatch by 736 theaters to 788; and with $2.75M second weekend, +105%, we hear that it pulled in some solid ticket sales in its core runs in New York and Los Angeles, with new markets Sacramento, San Diego, and Montreal notable.
And there’s also Funimation’s My Hero Academia: World Heroes’ Mission, booked at 1,602 theaters this weekend, which is also grabbing some of the fanboys away from Dune and Last Night in Soho, settling in fourth place with $6.4M.
There weren’t any previews on Thursday for My Hero Academia, but the pic was booked at 4DX, Dbox, and some PLFs, posting a $2.88M Friday with 1,577 locations reporting. The film is available subtitled in Japanese or dubbed in English.
This is the third film in the My Hero Academia franchise, after My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising last year, and My Hero Academia: Two Heroes in 2018. Movie is produced by Toho Co. Ltd., Shueisha, and Studio BONES. Funimation has seven of top 20 highest-grossing anime box office releases at the domestic B.O., including My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising ($13.3M) and My Hero Academia: Two Heroes ($5.8M domestic).
Universal/Blumhouse/Miramax’s Halloween Kills takes second with $8.5M in weekend 3, -41% for a running cume by EOD today of $85.6M. The movie is also available in homes on the paid subscriber tier of Peacock streaming service.
United Artist Releasing’s The Addams Family 2, which is on PVOD, is looking to pass the $50M this weekend, $52.8M by end of today, after a $3.2M fifth weekend at 2,757 theaters, -27%.
Top 10 weekend estimates. Chart is updating with Sunday AM figures:
1.) Dune (WB) 4,125 theaters Fri $5M (-71%)/Sat $6.6M/Sun $3.9M/3-day $15.5M (-62%)/Total $69.4M/Wk 2
2.) Halloween Kills (Uni) 3,616 (-111) theaters Fri $2.5M (-44%)/Sat $3.5M/Sun $2.46M/3-day $8.5M (-41%)/Total $85.6M/Wk 3
3.) No Time to Die(UAR) 3,507 (-300) theaters Fri $2.39M (-33%)/Sat $3.39M/Sun $2M/3-day $7.8M (-36%)/Total $133.3M/Wk 4
4.) My Hero Academia: World Heroes’ Mission (Fun) 1,602 theaters, Fri $2.88M/Sat $2.1M/Sun $1.42M/3-day $6.4M/Wk 1
5.) Venom: Let There Be Carnage (Sony) 3,278 (-235) theaters Fri $1.6M (-35%)/Sat $2.59M/Sun $1.5M/3-day $5.75M (-38%)/Total $190.4M/Wk 5
6.) Last Night in Soho (Foc) 3,016 theaters Fri $1.9M/Sat $1.32M/Sun $920K/3-day $4.16M/Wk 1
7.) Antlers (Sea) 2,800 theaters Fri $1.7M/Sat $1.46M/Sun $999K/3-day $4.16M/Wk 1
8.) Ron’s Gone Wrong (20th/Dis) 3,560 theaters, Fri $1.1M (-52%)/Sat $1.8M/Sun $842K/3-day $3.8M (-48%)/Total $12.6M/Wk 2
9.) Addams Family 2 (UAR) 2,757 (-150) theaters Fri $846K (-26%)/Sat $1.47M/Sun $957K/ 3-day $3.2M (-27%)/Total $52.8M/Wk 5
10.) The French Dispatch (Sea) 788 (+736) theaters Fri $1.09M (+96%)/Sat $924k/Sun $745K/3-day $2.75M (+105%)/Total $4.6M/ Wk 2