As is typical, the weekend following the Thanksgiving stretch is a downer. And even duly so over omicron headlines, coupled with a Disney animated movie that isn’t as mass-appealing as its predecessors. Read Encanto, which grossed $12.7M estimated second weekend, -53%. That second weekend is lower than the pre-pandemic second weekend takes of some of Disney’s lowest grossing Thanksgiving titles, i.e. The Good Dinosaur ($15.3M) and Tangled ($21.6M), however, it’s a tad higher than the second wide December weekend of The Princess and the Frog which in the lead-up to Christmas did $12.1M in its second frame over Dec. 18-20, 2009. That movie, which posted a wide debut (after a limited run) of $24.2M. That movie made it to $104.4M, and rival analysts believe Encanto will click past $100M stateside. The Colombia-set Latino animated film stands at $116M WW to date. Encanto in its second weekend abroad was #1 film in France, Italy, Colombia, Brazil, Mexico, Singapore, Argentina, Kuwait, Qatar, South Africa and the smaller Latin American territories and #1 non-local film in Korea, Sweden, Turkey and Bahrain. It is also the #2 film in Germany, Spain, UK, Iceland, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, Taiwan and #2 non-local film in Japan.
No, streaming-obsessed Wall Street analysts, just because this weekend sucked at the box office, doesn’t mean it’s an opportunity for you to tap-dance on the future worthiness of theatrical.
This year will have one more huzzah, as reported earlier this week, and that’s Sony/Disney-MCU’s Spider-Man: No Way Home, which broke first-day ticket presales records for the pandemic for both the No. 1 and No. 3 circuits, AMC and Cinemark. More importantly for both exhibitors, No Way Home also repped their second-best day of presales after Avengers: Endgame, which translated into an all-time domestic opening record of $357.1M. Tickets went on sale for No Way Home last Monday.
On Fandango, the first day of Spider-Man: No Way Home beat the initial 24-hour sales of Black Widow, Avengers: Infinity War, Spider-Man: Far From Home, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. While presales aren’t an exact indicator of opening weekend performance, the expectation here is that No Way Home will wind up as one of the top five openings of December when it hits theaters on Dec. 17.
AMC Boss Adam Aron attributed the circuit’s advance ticket sales for the Jon Watts-directed movie to the chain’s sell-out of Spider-Man NFTs.
While Encanto hasn’t spurred throngs of families at the theater, there’s also heavy anticipation with Illumination/Universal’s Sing 2, which, according to industry estimates, not Universal, siphoned around $1.5M from Encanto last Saturday off 5 PM previews. And even though Village Roadshow’s The Matrix Resurrections will be in theaters and on HBO Max on Dec. 22, the last of WarnerMedia’s pandemic titles this year, expect that movie to feasibly rival the $41M of Dune, which, so far, owns the best 2021 domestic debut for the Burbank studio.
Anecdotally in New York here, omicron isn’t curbing holiday tourism, with crowds in town for this past week’s Rockefeller tree lighting. Also, there wasn’t an empty seat at the Shubert theater Thursday night for Aaron Sorkin’s adaptation of To Kill a Mockingbird. People are getting out and enjoying themselves with masks on.
Even though all films are totaling an estimated $52.9M this weekend, -45% from last weekend, the top movies are showing solid holds, i.e. MGM/United Artists Releasing’s House of Gucci is -53% with a second weekend of $6.77M and with a running total of $33.6M, Sony’s Ghostbusters: Afterlife will hit $102.1M today, while Warner Bros./Legendary’s Dune, propped by its return to Imax auditoriums, is dipping 13% in weekend 7 with an estimated $1.81M at 1,217 theaters, the pic’s running total tomorrow at $104.6M. Imax drove $1.6M of Dune‘s global B.O. over the weekend; $1M of that from North America. The large format exhibitor has spurred close to $53M of the sci-fi pic’s global box office which now is $382.2M.
Yet even during a post-holiday down weekend, we’re far off from pre-pandemic norms with this weekend . Two years ago, Frozen 2‘s second weekend led a post-Thanksgiving frame with $35.1M, where all films totaled $90.3M per Box Office Mojo. This weekend’s haul for all movies is off 41% from that total.
Also, Sony had several sold out limited screenings of its upcoming Denzel Washington-directed romantic drama A Journal for Jordan at 225 theaters. The pic stars Michael B. Jordan and Chanté Adams. Jordan plays 1st Sgt. Charles Monroe King, who before he’s killed in action in Baghdad, authors a journal for his son intended to tell him how to live a decent life despite growing up without a father. Pic opens exclusively on Christmas day.
Getting a big shout for the weekend is Fathom Releasing’s faith-based Christmas With the Chosen, in 1,642 theaters and 194 markets, which rivals are raising their eyebrows at. The movie, comprised of new and classic Christmas songs from the set of The Chosen, opened Wednesday and is expected to gross $9M in five days, $4.1M of that Friday-Sunday. The South and the Midwest were big, with top markets being Dallas, Houston, Detroit, Phoenix, Minnesota, Denver, Cleveland, Orlando, Sacramento, and St. Louis.
UAR/MGM’s second weekend of Paul Thomas Anderson’s Licorice Pizza at three theaters in NYC and one at LA’s Regency Village is eyeing $223,3K, -35%, for a running ten-day total of $761K; the movie celebrating a very robust screen average of $55,8K. Anderson and the film were respectively named Best Director and Picture by the National Board of Review.
IFC Films has Paul Verhoeven’s erotic nun movie Benedetta which has 83% certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes and an estimated $145K for the weekend at 202 theaters or $718. The movie which made its world premiere at Cannes, didn’t post very strong numbers. Benedetta was one of the top five films on Thursday from the NBR, and the pic will land on PVOD on Dec. 21.
Focus Features’ Nathalie Biancheri genre movie Wolf is also not faring well in 308 theaters with $80K or $261 per theater. Critics weren’t wowed with the Lily-Rose Depp and George MacKay movie at 42% Rotten about a wolf trapped in a boy’s body. While undergoing therapy with other animal-bound peers, Jacob meets Wildcast (Depp) and falls head over paws, ultimately facing a challenge as to whether he’ll renounce his true self for love. Better grosses for Focus Features’ Oscar contender Belfast which now counts $5.8M.
Weekend’s Top 10, Sunday finals:
1.) Encanto (Dis) 3,980 theaters, Fri $3M (-73%)/Sat $5.79M/Sun $3.9M/ 3-day $12.7M (-53%), Total $57.9M/Wk 2
2.) Ghostbusters: Afterlife (Sony) 4,059 (-256) theaters, Fri $2.7M (-72%)/Sat $4.75M/Sun $2.9M/3-day: $10.35M (-57%)/Total: $102.2M/Wk 3
3.) House of Gucci (UAR/MGM) 3,477 theaters, /Fri $2.18M (-62%)/Sat $2.866M/Sun $1.7M/3-day $6.77M (-53%)/Total: $33.6M/Wk 2
4.) Christmas With the Chosen (FTM) 1,642 theaters Fri $1.2M/Sat $1.5M/Sun $1.4M/3-day $4.1M/Total $9M/Wk 1
5.) Eternals (Dis) 3,165 (-890) theaters, Fri $1M (-65%)/Sat $1.8M/Sun $1M/3-day $3.9M (-51%)/Total $156.5M/Wk 5
6.)Resident Evil: Raccoon City (Sony) 2,803 theaters, Fri $765K /Sat $1.16M/Sun $730K/ 3-day $2.65M (-50%) Total $13.1M/Wk 2
7.)Dune (WB/Leg) 1,217 (-49) theaters, Fri $515K/Sat$785K/Sun$510K/ 3-day $1.81M(-13%)/ Total $104.6M/Wk 7
8.) Clifford the Big Red Dog (Par) 3,261 (-31) theaters, Fri $425K (-78%)/Sat $860K/Sun $515K/ 3-day $1.8M (-64%)/Total $45.7M/Wk 4
9.)King Richard (WB) 2,654 (-648) theaters, /Fri $365K (-73%)/Sat $525K/Sun $315K/ 3-day $1.2M (-63%)/Total $13.4M/Wk 3
10.) Sword Art Online Progressive (FUN) 840 theaters, Fri $471K, 3-day $1.05M/Wk 1
11.) Venom: Let There Be Carnage (Sony) 1,243 (-303) theaters, Fri $250K/Sat $500K/Sun $285K/3-day: $1.035M (-34%)/Total $210.9M/Wk 10