Universal’s M. Night Shyamalan movie Knock at the Cabin held up over Paramount’s 80 for Brady, $14.2M to $12.5M, even though the latter had discount matinee ticketing in most theaters coast-to-coast.
While the experimental ticket price drop didn’t exactly mushroom more bucks than Knock at the Cabin, 80 for Brady pulled in more people than Knock at the Cabin, estimated 1.3 million to 1.1 million, according to box office stat corp EntTelligence, which actually counts seats for the industry. The average ticket price for 80 for Brady was $9.79 to Knock on the Cabin‘s $12.30. So, in regards to Paramount and exhibition’s great team-up, something definitely worked here that bears repeating with subsequent films for older demos. In the same breath, more admissions doesn’t always mean more bucks when tickets are discounted.
“The success of exhibition has always been predicated on more people in seats,” explains Paramount domestic distribution chief Chris Aronson, “What 80 for Brady proves is that when you give the audience what they want, they will respond.”
A reminder that 80 for Brady will have this discount ticketing plan in place for the remainder of its run. It’s not just a one-weekend price drop, ala the price gouge that top exhibitors do for superhero movies during their opening weekends. It will be interesting to see the hold for 80 for Brady next weekend over the Super Bowl, especially on Sunday, when men retreat from the cinemas. The Jane Fonda-Diana Keaton-Candice Bergen team-up, Book Club, eased -26% in weekend 2 or $10M while Warner Bros.’ 2017 older skewing Going in Style fell -47% in weekend 2. 80 for Brady‘s opening is just under Book Club’s $13.5M and above Going in Style‘s $11.9M. Paramount acquired the movie from Fifth Season, and financed it for $28M.
Uni gets bragging rights with Knock at the Cabin for being the first movie to open to No. 1 of 2023 and sideline Avatar 2 after its seven-weekends- straight reign at the top of the chart. Knock is also the seventh Shyamalan movie to open to No. 1.
“Knock At The Cabin debuted very well at the domestic box office this weekend,” said domestic distribution boss Jim Orr, “M. Night Shyamalan is a master storyteller who once again had audiences holding their collective breath from this intense thriller. We anticipate a very healthy run in theatres going forward from here.”
The pic came on tracking weeks ago at $20M, and then simmered to its current teen level. The opening for Knock is just under Old‘s $16.8M, even with Dolby and PLF tickets at 750 locations (which repped 27% of the pic’s box office). Yes, we’re far from the Shyamalan boom time of Split and Glass (both $40M+ starts), and Knock isn’t M3GAN ($30M start). However, there’s much to be thankful for: In this Covid-eased time, this pic isn’t theatrical day-and-date on Peacock. As we’ve overwritten, this is what happens with Shyamalan movies: Audiences are either stoked or they’re not, and thus, there’s a direct correlation to business. In terms of how the filmmaker rebounds box office-wise going forward, that’s a conversation between him and the studio. In the meantime, Uni is smart enough to keep these movies cheap, Knock at the Cabin was at $20M before P&A.
As we said, 80 for Brady would dominate matinees, while Knock at the Cabin stood tall in the evenings. EntTelligence shows that the Fonda-Tomlin-Sally Field-Rita Moreno movie’s best day part, admissions-wise, was 1-5 PM yesterday, driving more than 50% of its daily admissions, while Knock‘s was 5 PM-8 PM and post 8 PM, which combined, repped near 62% of that title’s foot traffic. Moe comps on days parts with 80 for Brady vs. Knock at the Cabin: Pre 1PM (12.96% vs. 6.24%), 1PM-5PM (50.5% vs. 31.96%), 5PM-8PM (29.88% vs. 37.46%), and post 8PM Saturday (6.6% vs. 24.3%).
Knock at the Cabin‘s campaign centered around two trailers, the first of which debuted in late September with the second dropping somewhat diabolically as families gathered together on Christmas Day. The second trailer went on to exceed the views of the first, which doesn’t always happen. Together, both trailers amassed more than 230 million global views to date. Heading into the weekend, social media data firm RelishMix reported that social media awareness stats on the Shyamalan film were 187% above genre norms for early year horror tiles — slightly below M3GAN from 4 weeks ago — with a strong balance of user engagement across YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter. Total social media universe was just under 250M. “Fans are making mixed comparisons to the book and how it will be parallel to the movie,” RelishMix commented on the pre-weekend chatter for Knock at the Cabin.
Digital and experiential marketing elements played a key role in the film’s campaign, including an immersive Knock at the Cabin themed experience hosted by Canon at CES that recreated the cabin from the film. Additionally, Dave Bautista debuted across his 15M-followed social channels new, longer-length :60 spots. Word-of-mouth screenings were held across 15 Alamo Drafthouse locations. Media spots ran during the NFC Championship Game, 12 NBA games, which included a :30, and the custom spot featuring Shyamalan and James Harden enjoying a getaway in their own cabin before being interrupted by some knocks at the door from Doc Rivers.
RelishMix reports that the social media universe for 80 for Brady stood at a strong 102.1M, especially for a movie targeted at 45+. “YouTube stats are strongest with Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok views at 37.3M, total views on Paramount channels, and for the movie — plus 12M TikTok hash-tagged views. Activity on the Tom Brady retirement news has obviously contributed,” says RelishMix. Key talent drivers were Brady with 25.7M followers, and Fonda with 3.5M fans.
Before opening, RelishMix pointed out, “Convo on 80 For Brady runs positive, as fans adore the press appearances on talk shows and behind the scenes digital programs — with absolute adoration of Rita Moreno and her energy at 91 years old, plus Sally Field, Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda as the new Fab-Four. Chatter recognizes everything that they represent as revolutionaries, change-makers, trendsetters, and role models. With that, the chemistry mixed with the plot and Tom Brady score extra points, crossing into multiple psychographic-demographic segments.”
Finals demos on 80 for Brady, 82% over 25, 73% over 35, 65% over 45, and a whopping 49% over 55. Diversity demos were 78% Caucasian, 12% Hispanic and Latino, 4% Black and 3% Asian. Women repped 68% of the audience.
Better news for the motion picture industry? The fifth weekend of February for all films grossed $81M. That’s +103% ahead of the same frame in 2019 ($73.4M), even with 2020 ($80.7M) and +36% from last year ($59.7M).
1.) Knock at the Cabin (Uni) 3,643 theaters, Fri $5.42M, Sat $5.47M Sun $3.3M 3-day $14.2M/Wk 1
2.) 80 for Brady (Par) 3,912 theaters, Fri $4.7M, Sat $4.55M, Sun $3.25 3-day $12.5M/Wk 1
3.) Avatar: The Way of Water (Dis) 3,310 theaters (-290), Fri $2.4M (-35%), Sat $5.4M Sun $3M 3-day $10.8M (-32%), Total $636.4M /Wk 8
4.) Puss in Boots: Last Wish (Uni) 3,290 theaters (-162), Fri $1.69M (-31%), Sat $3.7M Sun $2.46M 3-day $7.95M (-24%) , Total $151.2M/Wk 7
5.) BTS: Yet to Come in Cinemas (Tra) 1,125 theaters, Fri $1.68M, Sat $2.7M Sun $1.9M 3-day $6.3M, Total $9.1M/Wk 1
6.) A Man Called Otto (Sony) 3,407 (-550) theaters, Fri $1.1M (-43%), Sat $1.9M Sun $1.1M 3-day $4.1M (-37%) Total $53M/Wk 6
7.) M3GAN (Uni) 2,835 theaters (-581), Fri $950K (-43%), Sat $1.8M Sun $1M 3-day $3.8M (-39%), Total $87.5M/Wk 5
8.) Missing (Sony) 2,565 (-460) theaters, Fri $945K Sat $1.79M Sun $990K 3-day $3.7M (-34%) Total $23M/Wk 3
9.) Chosen Season 3 (Fath) 1,546 theaters, Fri $2.27M, Sat $783K Sun $587K 3-day $3.64M, Total $5.3M/Wk 1
10.) Pathaan (YSR) 700 (+5) theaters, Fri $686K, Sat $1.1M Sun $841K, 3-day $2.7M (-61%), Total $14.2M/Wk 2