‘Bullet Train’ Speeds to $30.1 Million Opening Weekend at the BO!!

Sony is calling Bullet Train at a $30.1M opening. Some rival studios saw it lower. However, knowing the Culver City studio, they like to underestimate, not overestimate, in their box office gross reporting. Worldwide was $62.5M.

Bullet Train made $12.6M on Friday, but that includes $4.6M Thursday previews. That means Friday grossed $8M. Saturday made $9.6M, +20% ahead of Friday, which is a very good sign for business. Some box office prognosticators believe that the David Leitch-directed movie can get to $100M.

The CinemaScore is a B+, which, interestingly enough, is the same as 20th Century Fox’s Kingsman: The Secret Service, one of the comps that was being floated around before Bullet Train‘s opening. That 2014 movie opened to $36.2M. PostTraks for the Brad Pitt actioner aren’t shabby at 82% positive and a 63% recommend. The pic always was going to hit with the over-35 demo, and that’s clear here, at close to 40% of the audience.

The 18-34s are at 58%, who I hear always would be slow to come out to this movie, and the hope was that there could be more of them — this despite the fact that they’re the dominant demo. Guys over 25 are leading at 37% (81% grade), followed by women over 25 (28%, 83% grade), men under 25 (18%, 77% grade) and women under 25 (16%, 89% grade). In regards to the male-female turnout here for Bullet Train it’s very similar to Nope‘s, especially since both received four stars on PostTrak.

However, Nope brought in a very strong Black audience at 33%, as well as 35% Caucasian, 20% Latino and Hispanic and 12% Asian/other. Diversity demos on Bullet Train were 46% Caucasian, 24% Latino and Hispanic, 14% Black, 16% Asian/other.

Thirty-five percent came to Bullet Train because of Pitt, while 35% on PostTrak also cited the genre type of movie, and 33% the cast as a whole. Only 8% came because it was a Leitch film (vs. Nope, which saw 56% come for Peele). In regards to the advertisements that put butts in seats for Bullet Train: 34% came because they were enticed by the trailer, 26% were influenced by the YouTube trailer, 20% said it was the in-theater banners/posters, while 17% cited TV spots.

Why is Bullet Train not a super train? The pic is bit of a feathered fish when it comes to action movies: Pitt in what looks to be a stylized live-action take on an anime cartoon. While the action is relentless, bloody and fun, one of the hang-ups moviegoers have to get past is that the movie never shuts up. It’s too talky, too much backstory — and not good Quentin Tarantino talky and backstory.

Bullet Train also doesn’t take its time to tonally breathe like a Nic Winding Refn genre movie. This was evident in the 20 minutes that Sony showed off to exhibition at CinemaCon. Deadline’s Pete Hammond said Bullet Train “tries too hard to stay on track”. All that snark said, it’s well worth the price of Imax and PDF admission, and a lot of fun (both formats delivering close to 40% of the B.O. through yesterday; Imax accounting for $2.4M). For Joe Shmoe moviegoer, it isn’t exactly like Pitt’s Mr. & Mrs. Smith, which also starred Angelina Jolie and opened to $50.3M. You can’t fault Sony for having the guts to be original here, and as the new slogan goes in a vaccinated pandemic: better for a film to be theatrical with a window and have ancillary legs than to get buried day-and-date on a streaming menu. That’s the only way to have peace of mind here in spending $90M before P&A.

Bullet Train was fast in the West and Southwest, but its top 10 theaters were on the coasts.

RelishMix noticed that there was a mixed positive reaction to Bullet Train materials online before opening:

“Fans are loving The Bee Gees’ ‘Staying Alive’ as the trailer soundtrack, and the fun thriller tone of the film that they say was shot in a tube on a LED virtual stage at Sony during the pandemic. Others credit that the story comes from novel Maria Beetle by Kōtarō Isaka, and there’s call-outs to director Leitch’s credits: John Wick, Atomic Blonde, Deadpool 2, Hobbs & Shaw. Mentions for ‘waiting for streaming’ are few — as the draw of a popcorn thrill ride is clear. Some snarks are on the fence that it looks like Fight Club, but wondering if John Wick will show up.”

RelishMix says that the pic’s social awareness runs 17% above action genre norms, with a core social media universe of 224.6M across Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok. Activity spiked on the movie’s Instagram following Monday’s red carpet premiere in Hollywood, adding 1.1K fans per day, plus a hefty stack of 21 videos on YouTube, including NBA spots, Father’s Day spots, and vertical social mobile spots, which would normally only be seen on Facebook and Instagram.

Universal/DreamWorksJo Koy comedy Easter Sunday is arriving where the studio was expecting it, in the mid-single digits, that being $5.25M. The movie made $2M on Friday (which includes Thursday’s $500K) and $1.8M on Saturday. Audiences aren’t exactly falling out of their seats with laughter, giving the movie a B+. PostTraks were lower at 71% positive and a 49% recommend. Who came out? Women at 55%, with 52% between 25-44 and 29% over 45. Diversity demos were a great 37% Asian, 31% Caucasian, 15% Latino and Hispanic, and 11% Black.

RelishMix says that for a diverse comedy, Easter Sunday was tracking under genre norms on social media with 83.5M across Facebook, TikTok, Instagram and Twitter, with activity on materials running at moderate levels comparatively. That said, Koy’s 5M fans are activated on social, with Jimmy O. Yang at 843K and Tia Carrera at 580K. Tiffany Haddish pushed the trailer on Instagram 13 weeks ago to her 7.4M followers, which rep 54% of her 13.7M social media fans.

A24 has the horror comedy Bodies Bodies Bodies at six locations in NYC and LA, which rang up $226,5K. That translates into a $37,75K per-theater average, which is the second-best limited screen average debut YTD, after the $50K opening weekend theater average posted by A24’s Everything Everywhere All at Once. Friday was $94,7K for the Pete Davidson starring comedy. Very solid numbers, we hear, at NYC’s Lincoln Square, Union Square, Alamo Drafthouse Brooklyn, and LA’s AMC Century City, Grove and Burbank. The pic expands to 1,200 locations next weekend.

Weekend chart with Sunday numbers:

1.) Bullet Train 4,357 theaters, Fri $12.6M, Sat $9.6M, Sun $7.85M 3-day $30.1M/Wk 1

2.) DC League of Super-Pets 4,332 (+18) theaters, Fri $3.36M (-64%), Sat $4.4M Sun $3.4M  3-day $11.2M (-51%)/Total $45.1M Wk 2

3. ) Nope (Uni) 3,016 (-791) theaters, Fri $2.52M (-57%)/3-day $8.05M (-57%)/Total $97.5M/Wk 3

4.) Thor: Love and Thunder (Disney) 3,400 (-250) theaters, Fri. $2.2M (-41%), Sat $3.1M, Sun $2.2M, 3-day $7.6M (-42%)/Total $316M /Wk 5
The fourthquel is on the verge of crossing $700M. Thor: Ragnarok finaled at $853.9M.

5.) Minions: Rise of Gru (Uni) 3,188 theaters (-391), Fri $2.09M (-38%), Sat $2.79M, Sun $2.2M, 3-day $7.11M (-35%), Total: $334.57M/Wk 6
The movie will soon overtake Minions‘ $336M domestic gross and it’s pacing 1% behind Despicable Me 2 in its sixth session which ended its U.S./Canada run at $368M.

6.) Top Gun: Maverick (Par) 2,760 (-248) theaters, Fri $1.9M (-21%), Sat $2.8M, Sun $2.3M,  3-day $7M (-16%), Total $662.5M/Wk 11

7.) Where the Crawdads Sings (Sony) 3,164 theaters (-362), Fri $1.68M (-27%),Sat $2.2M,  $1.76M, 3-day $5.65M (-25%)/Total $64.6M/Wk 4

8.) Easter Sunday (Uni/DW) 3,175 theaters, Fri $2M, Sat $1.8M, Sun $1.4M, 3-day $5.25M/Wk 1

9.) Elvis (WB) 2,411 (-490) theaters, Fri $1.13M (-35%), Sat $1.55M, Sun $1.32M  3-day $4M (-30%) Total $136.5M/Wk 7

10.) The Black Phone (Uni/Blum) 1,197 (-441) theaters, Fri $450K (-42%), Sat $600K, Sun $410K, 3-day $1.46M (-42%)/Total $85.8M/Wk 7

NOTABLES:

Vengeance (Foc/Blum) 1,003 (+5) theaters, Fri $200K (-69%), Sat $300K, Sun $210K, 3-day $710K (-60%), Total $3.2M/Wk 2

Bodies Bodies Bodies (A24) 6 theaters, Fri $94,7K, Sat $71,2K, Sun  $60,5K, 3-day $226,5K/Wk 1

 

via Deadline

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