The expected summer slowdown is taking its expected course with Warner Bros. animated film DC League of Super-Pets grossing a $9.3M Friday, for a $23M+ opening at 4,314, which is a solid result for a piece of original animation in the marketplace right now, not that far from Universal/DreamWorks Animation’s The Bad Guys which did $23.95M and is at $96.6M off an A CinemaScore. Abroad, Super-Pets brought in $18.4M for a $41.4M global start in 64 markets.
Warners has really stepped up its game in making a DC animated movie a notable choice in a crowded summer market; July alone cleared $1 billion through Thursday with another near $100M this weekend per ComScore. Consider the fact that 2018’s Teen Titans GO! To the Movies, which opened to $10.4M and finaled at $29.7M didn’t really reach a big audience. Super-Pets received more oomph from the Burbank lot, not only because it’s a Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart movie, but also because DC means a significant amount to Warner Discovery Boss David Zaslav.
For those who saw Super-Pets, they gave it an A- CinemaScore and 3 1/2 Stars on Comscore/Screen Engine’s PostTrak for general audiences, but 4 stars from Parents and 4 1/2 stars from kids under 12.
Understand, we were originally suppose to get Warner Bros./DC’s Johnson movie The Black Adam this weekend, which would have rained a significant amount of cash on the box office. But that pic was pushed to late October because of the backlog of VFX tentpoles at post-production houses. The plus for Warners with that movie is that they were able to give it a big blast at Comic-Con last weekend with Johnson, which only helps excitement for that pic in the long run. The most previous release date for Super Pets was May 20 before it landed here. Why another animated movie in the summer space? Kids are still off from school, and why waste that opportunity when you have a wide release?
Again, in this environment of whether movies are prime for streaming or the big screen, an $89M production with the loud speaker promotional wattage of Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart and this kind of production cost, is meant for a global theatrical audience. With these types of facets, a theatrical release raises a movie’s patina, which will carry it through its subsequent windows and make it more of a driver on a streaming service like HBO Max vs. merely going day-and-date.
This is the new philosophy over at the Zaslav-run Warner Discovery, and it’s a business axiom which, believe or not, is shared increasingly among the motion picture studios, as theatrical bounces back during the pandemic. Some studios with streaming services, such as Warners, find that the production of $100M+ movies for the streaming service just doesn’t make solid business sense. People can subscribe to the service, and then cancel it after they watch a movie; vs. the appeal of a series like House of the Dragon which can keep current subs content and attract more subs. This despite all the rah-rah for WarnerMedia spiking HBO Max subs off the 2021 theatrical day and date pandemic plan, which cost the conglom crazily in regards to talent relationships and the massive outlay of bucks. An insane plan, which I hear will never be attempted again in the history of the company.
Yes, streamers believe making a $100M+ movie is essential to keep current subscribers happy with new content. But seriously, at that cost? What’s the reasoning if it’s not on the big screen? There’s arguably no lucrative ancillary window with a straight to streaming $100M+ pic. It’s simply a vanity spend.
Super-Pets drew 51% men, with 73% under 35 and 44% under 25; the largest demo being 25-34 at 29%. Diversity demos were 41% Caucasian, a hearty 26% Latino and Hispanic, 14% Asian, and 11% Black. The pic played best in between the coasts,with the South Central the strongest. No Imax auditoriums here, but PLFs are accounting for 14% of weekend ticket sales to date.
Top ten theaters in the nation for Super-Pets were 1. Harkins Estrella Falls Phoenix, 2. AMC Burbank, 3. Santikos 3. Casa Blanca San Antonio, 4. Wellfleet Drive‐In (Cape Cod), 5. AMC Century City Los Angeles, 6. AMC Disney Springs Orlando, 7. Cinemark Tinseltown El Paso, 8. AMC Porter Ranch (posh suburb 30 minutes north of LA) 9. AMC Thoroughbred Nashville, and 10. Cinemark 18 Houston.
More deep dive demos from PostTrak: Women over 25 repped 29% of the audience, guys over 25 drew 27%, men under 25 were 24% while women under 25 were 20%. On CinemaScore, 36% of the under 18 demo gave Super Pets an A, while 47% of of the under 25 gave it an A, and 58% of the under 35 also graded the Warner Bros title an A.
Focus Features’ has BJ Novack’s Blumhouse murder mystery dramedy Vengeance at 998 theaters for a $1.75M opening in 10th place. While not super, again, the way to look at any movie at the box office is: Thank, God, it received a theatrical release, it’s what the filmmaker wanted, and it only makes the title more attractive and stand-out in a streaming and PVOD menu. This title will hit PVOD in 17 days.
Vengeance received a B+ CinemaScore and lower PostTrak exits at 76% in the top boxes and a 57% recommend. Guys decided to buy tickets at 57% with 54% between 18-34 and the largest demo being 34% for those 25-34. Diversity demos were 66% Caucasian, 16% Latino and Hispanic, 10% Asian/other and 8% Black. Best markets for Vengeance were West and South Central, with seven of the top ten theatres coming from California and Texas, the latter where the Novack pic takes place. In the end it will be easy to algorithm this title on the Peacock streaming service to those soaking up The Office.
Universal’s Nopeis having a better than expected second weekend hold of -58% at $18.55M taking its 10-day total through today of $80.6M.
Total weekend box office (weekend 30) looks to clear $98.99M from all titles, which is 42% ahead of the same period a year ago, but 39% below the same weekend in 2019, which was when we had the second frame of Disney’s remake of The Lion King.
The CDC currently counts a 7-day rolling average – 0.9% this week to 126.72k new cases/day. Hospitalizations were +1.7% to 6.340 new admissions/day last week. Daily death rate was down to 364 a day last week. The total number of Americans who have died from Covid is at 1.02M. Those fully vaccinated are at 67.2% of the population with 48.3% eligible to have at least one booster shot and 30.9% eligible for a second shot.
On the indie side, Utopia opened Lena Dunham’s Sundance premiere from this year, Sharp Stick to $18K with $9K a piece from NY and LA. Dunham, Luka Sabbat, Janicza Bravo, DP Ashley Connor and Jerry Saltz drove a sold out at NYC’s Quad Cinema. The pic also played LA’s newly renovated NuArt. An expansion is in the works for next Friday.
Bleecker Street’s A Love Song also opened to $18,7K from four runs in NY and LA at the Angelika, Lincoln Square, the Grove and Century City. Angelika did the best of the four we hear. The Max Walker-Silverman directed film follows a woman at a campground in the rural West who waits alone for an old flame from her past to arrive, uncertain of his intentions while bashful about her own. Pic is 95% certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes from critics.
There was also Rhythm Boyz Entertainment’s Chhalla Mud Ke Nahi Aaya which was booked in 65 runs in 33 markets (Punjabi) with solid figures in Canada from Toronto, Winnipeg and Vancouver which did $665K.
Well Go USA had Hansan: Rising Dragon in 32 runs and 19 markets. Largely OK runs in Chicago, NYC and San Francisco for an estimated $151K opening or $4,7K per theater.
Detective vs. Sleuths from Ka-Fai Wai was booked at 54 runs in 32 markets with halfway decent figures in Toronto, Winnipeg and Boston and will wind up on $112k.
Sarigama Cinemas‘s VR/Vikant Rona booked at 115 runs in 59 markets (Hindi, Telugu, Kannada) had blasé runs in San Francisco and wound up with a $106K opening.
IFC Films and Shudder had Resurrection, another pic that premiered at Sundance earlier this year, booked in 97 locations and grossing $93K. The psychological thriller starring Rebecca hall and Tim Roth will hit PVOD on Friday and continue to play in theaters.
Weekend studio reported estimates final as of Sunday:
1.) DC League of Super-Pets 4,314 theaters, Fri $9.3M, Sat $7.7M, Sun $5.8M, 3-day $23M/Wk 1
2. ) Nope (Uni) 3,807 (+22) theaters, Fri $5.8M (-70%)/3-day $18.55M (-58%)/Total $80.6M/Wk 2
3.) Thor: Love and Thunder (Disney) 3,650 (-720) theaters, Fri. $3.75M (-41%), Sat $5.1M, Sun $4.1M, 3-day $13.1M (-41%)/Total $301.5M /Wk 4
4.) Minions: Rise of Gru (Uni) 3,579 theaters (-237), Fri $3.3M (-37%), Sat. $4.1M, Sun $3.3M, 3-day $10.88M (-40%), Total: $320.4M/Wk 5
5.) Top Gun: Maverick (Par) 3,008 (-152) theaters, Fri $2.4M (-11%), Sat $3.3M, Sun $2.5M, 3-day $8.2M (-20%), Total $650.1M/Wk 10
6.) Where the Crawdads Sings (Sony) 3,526 theaters (-124), Fri $2.3M (-26%), Sat $2.8M, Sun $2.3M, 3-day $7.5M (-27%)/Total $53.5M/Wk 3
7.) Elvis (WB) 2,901 (-204) theaters, Fri $1.7M (-7%), Sat $2.2M, Sun $1.88M, 3-day $5.8M (-11%) Total $129M/Wk 6
8.) The Black Phone (Uni) 1,638 (-417) theaters, Fri $770K (-30%), Sat $990K, Sun $740K, 3-day $2.5M (-29%)/Total $83.1M/Wk 6
9.) Jurassic World Dominion (Uni) 1,747 (-420) theaters, Fri $610K (-30%), Sat $840K, Sun $630K, 3-day $2.08M (-33%), Total $369.4M/Wk 7
10.) Vengeance (Foc) 998 theatres, Fri $660K, Sat $630K, Sun $460K, 3-day $1.75M/Wk 1