Well, there was always a chance that New Line’s Don’t Worry Darling could dip below $20M, and it looks to be at $19.2M after a less-than-expected Saturday of $5.85M, repping a -39% drop from Friday+previews updated $9.55M. As we said in the previous update, this is the nature of young female skewing films where they come out in packs on Thursday and Friday — but then there wasn’t the anticipated momentum because they weren’t over the top about the Olivia Wilde-directed pic.
Still Warner Bros. is seeing victory in the opening here for Don’t Worry Darling: The Florence Pugh-Harry Styles-Chris Pine genre movie came in ahead of where they were eyeballing it at $17M, and next to the film’s production cost of $35M, $19M is a respectable opening, especially after the industry celebrated that number last weekend on a $50M production, that being TriStar’s The Woman King. More for Warner Bros. to brag about is that Don’t Worry Darling posted a $30M global opening. Don’t Worry Darling made $600K in Imax auditoriums which includes money from that Monday fan event.
“We’re continuing to bring non-traditional audiences back to theatres with a predominantly female-skewing film, proving that audiences of all kinds are willing to return to theatres given the appeal,” said Warner Bros Domestic Distribution Boss Jeff Goldstein this morning.
At the end of the day, Wilde made an arthouse film, which didn’t bring out the arthouse crowds in droves stateside, and didn’t overexcite the young female fans who showed up. Still, good on the studio for casting Styles and drawing the female crowd that they did. The demographic hasn’t had a lot of choices at the multiplex. Interesting comp at the end of the day, in regards to its opening and the type of film: Don’t Worry Darling‘s start here is very similar to the Will Smith-Margot Robbie Warner Bros noir movie, Focus, which debuted at $18.6M. That skewed female at 53% (not as large as Don’t Worry Darling‘s 71%), but the point is Focus, like Don’t Worry Darling, was a highbrow genre pic that had a B CinemaScore and didn’t overindex with adults. However, Focus was a bit more expensive with a $50M production budget before P&A. Studio accounting departments are smart about the financial bandwidth of these original, riskier films, and at the end of the day, Warner Bros. was responsible with Don’t Worry Darling.
Los Angeles was the best market for Don’t Worry Darling with around 10% of the weekend’s marketshare followed by NYC with around 8%. with solid results out of Dallas, San Francisco, Chicago, Boston, Washington DC, Philadelphia, Phoenix, and Toronto. The top 5 locations to date this weekend are 1. AMC Century City $80,267, 2. AMC Burbank $65,749, 3. AMC Lincoln Square New York $65,639, 4. AMC Boston Common $64,278, and 5. AMC Grove Los Angeles $52,066.
Also, let’s have the continued come-to-Jesus that the fall marketplace isn’t at its pre-pandemic prime, all pics coming in this weekend at an estimated $61.8M. This same weekend back in 2019 saw all titles grossing $123.4M off the $31M opening of Downton Abbey. The point is that there’s only so much box office dollars to be made in the current marketplace which is greatly lacking a tentpole like autumns past, i.e. It, The Nun. Moviegoing begets moviegoing. If there’s not a lot of people entering the multiplex, there won’t be any spillover into other films. Also, it’s interesting to note that The Woman King came in higher than expected (from yesterday’s estimates) with an $11.1M second weekend, as did Disney’s re-issue of 20th Century’s Avatar at $10M. Choices were made by moviegoers, and those dollars spent by adults, which were expected for Don’t Worry Darling, went to other titles.
In regards to Avatar, Disney reports 56% guys led, with 54% between 18-34 attending. Of those buying tickets, 93% chose to do so in 3D. Broken down that’s 39% Traditional 3D, 27% Imax 3D (which grossed $2.9, repping 29% of the pic’s weekend B.O.), 21% PLF 3D, and 6% motion 3D. The whole exercise of this re-release is to get audiences excited about 3D again, which James Cameron did back in 2009; although the format has waned as a primary choice for current-day blockbusters. Avatar: The Weight of Water is expected to re-energize interest again. At $2.88 billion, Avatar continues to be the highest grossing movie of all-time worldwide, with Avengers: Endgame ranking second with $2.79 billion.
Box office analytics corp EntTelligence reports that the average ticket price for Don’t Worry Darling was $11.67 to that of The Woman King at $11.13 and Avatar at $15.51M, the latter because it was relegated to 3D and premium formats. Don’t Worry Darling brought in 1.4M admissions, while Woman King saw 900K and Avatar 600k.
Weekend box office Sept. 23-25, Sunday studio-reported estimates:
1.) Don’t Worry Darling (NL/WB), 4,113 theaters, Fri $9.55M, Sat $5.8M, Sun $3.8M, 3-day $19.2M/Wk 1
2.) The Woman King (Sony) 3,765 theaters Fri $2.975M (-56%), Sat $4.7M, Sun $3.4M, 3-day $11.1M (-41%)/Total $36.2M/Wk 2
3.) Avatar (re) (20th/Dis) 1,860 theaters, Fri $3.3M, Sat $4.1M, Sun $2.757M, 3-day $10M, Total $770.5M/Wk 1 of re-issue
4.) Barbarian (20th/Dis) 2,890 theaters (+550), Fri $1.4M (-29%), Sat $2M, Sun $1.29M, 3-day $4.8M (-26%)/Total $28.4M/Wk 3
5.) Pearl (A24) 2,982 (+47) theaters, Fri $585,5K (-55%), Sat $742,5K, Sun $590,5K, 3-day $1.918M (-39%)/Total $6.65M/Wk 2
6.) See How They Run(Sea) 2,404 theaters, Fri $570K (-47%)/Sat $796K, Sun $534K 3-day $1.9M (-37%)/Total: $6.1M/ Wk 2
7.) Bullet Train (Sony) 1,907 (-695) theaters, Fri $500K (-31%), Sat $810K, Sun $505K 3-day $1.81M (-29%)/, Total $99.2M/Wk 8
8.) DC League of Super-Pets (WB) 2,351 (-405) theaters, Fri $370K (-14%), Sat $820K, Sun $575K 3-day $1.76M (-19%)/Total $90M Wk 9
9.) Top Gun: Maverick (Par) 2,025 (-579) theaters, Fri $460K (-27%), Sat $725K, Sun $375K 3-day $1.56M (-30%), Total $711.5M/Wk 18
10.) Minions: Rise of Gru (Uni) 1,642 theaters (-328), Fri $210K (-22%), Sat $500K, Sun $330K, 3-day $1.04M (-25%), Total: $365.5M/Wk 13
Moonage Daydream (NEON) 733 (+563) theaters, Fri $320K, Sat $315K Sun $287K /PTA $1,2K/3-day $922K (-25%)/Total $2.6M/Wk 2