Paramount/eOne’s Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves is settling at $38.5M, after a -15% decline on Saturday of $13.1M. Though north of $30M tracking, it’s below that nice round high point of $40M. Global is better than we expected at $71.5M (we pegged $65M) with offshore territories delivering $33M from 58 markets.
Does this opening rep the start of a franchise? Stateside, D&D outperformed its tracking over the past month, and still did not gross ‘enough’. However, the pic’s hold will be critical going forward.
“With great exits score and a $71M global start, the story on Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves isn’t going to be finished until well into its run,” Paramount Domestic Distribution Boss Chris Aronson told us this morning. The Melrose Ave. lot has been continually confident about this film.
In addition, as we mentioned before, this is a tough spot before Super Mario Bros. The good news, at least for Paramount, is that Illumination/Universal movie isn’t doing any Tuesday sneaks. For a lucrative property such as Super Mario Bros, no need to do previews on bargain Tuesdays. D&D, with a third of kids off from school tomorrow, could see a nice hold on Monday and Tuesday.
However, walking away from the energy of the Super Mario Bros world premiere last night in downtown Los Angeles, you can feel a huge tidal wave is coming in. This is par for the course: Before the weekend of a truly big mammoth movie, moviegoers curb their spending. Right now, the 5-day on Super Mario Bros is $125M, but there are crazy numbers out there, and Universal is trying to wrangle expectations.
Illumination/Universal’s Minions: Rise of Gru posted the best opening for an animated movie during the Covid era, with $107M 3-day, $123M 4-day. The biggest opening ever for an animated movie belongs to Disney/Pixar’s Incredibles 2 with $182.6M. Still, does the Easter holiday pull in more casual moviegoers who’ll spread their cash over the whole theatrical marketplace and not just Mario?
Look, two movies have controlled the marketplace before, and that’s poised to be Super Mario Bros and D&D for the month of April. Super Mario Bros skews younger, so there’s potentially room here for D&D to find an older audience.
However, there were further headwinds for D&D this past weekend in the weather: Tornados impacted the pic’s Southeast region traffic, and the Northeast saw harsh rain. Those two areas underdelivered for D&D, so there’s opportunity for growth. Further proof in the soft marketplace can be seen in the second weekend of John Wick: Chapter 4, which declined -62% or $28.2M. Going into the weekend, analysts had John Wick 4 down 55% to 60%.
Major markets that over-indexed for D&D include Seattle, Salt Lake City, Denver, Portland, Minneapolis, Austin, and Kansas City, while major markets that under-indexed include New York, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, and Miami. Top theaters came from LA, NY, Orlando, San Diego, Seattle, SLC, Boston, Denver, Wash DC, Colorado Springs, Baltimore, Phoenix, Montreal, Minneapolis, Sacramento, and Montreal.
EntTelligence, which tracks admissions, says that 3M people saw D&D this past weekend, which is “similar foot traffic to Dune, which earned a tad more on opening weekend at $41M.” Note Dune, which is getting a sequel, saw its box office overall watered down by its day-and-date availability on HBO Max. The movie finaled at $108.3M domestic, $402M WW.
“The difference in box office can be attributed to format and ticket pricing,” says EntTelligence, “Not including early access activity, 74% of consumers have elected to see D&D in standard auditoriums, as opposed to a premium experience (which repped 58% of Dune).” Gross-wise, 22% of D&D‘s box office came from PLF screens, 10% came from Imax screens, and 3% came from other premium formats, all totaling 35% of box office from premium screen formats or $13.4M.
While there was a lot of late night play for John Wick: Chapter 4 last weekend, D&D saw the bulk of its foot traffic between 1pm-8pm, that being 67% of admissions.
Despite the great exits the movie has landed, if you’re wondering where the lack of rush is when it comes to this film, RelishMix observed a mixed take on social media, reporting, “Fans do love the entertaining, fun vibe of the trailer that reminds them of Mummy and Marvel movies. Many D&D enthusiasts have noted the relatable nature of the trailer, which they feel accurately depicts the essence of a typical role-playing session. One potential moviegoer said, ‘It’s giving me the Mummy vibes, I dig it — reminds me of Narnia and Harry Potter.’ Some materials have been criticized for its cheesy-ish and stereotypical humor — while critical of how this feels reminiscent of Marvel style filmmaking, with threads about CGI fatigue.”
The whole D&D of it all brings to mind another fan-fave repolished IP which launched in a crowded spring marketplace, that being Lionsgate’s Power Rangers in late March 2017. Made for $100M, the movie opened to $40.3M, which was considered very good at the time in the face of the second weekend of Disney’s live-action giant Beauty in the Beast. Power Rangers even got an A CinemaScore, but the pic’s legs buckled, only doing $85.3M stateside and $142.3M WW. A sequel was never made. Essentially, all the fans for Power Rangers came out on opening weekend. Will that happen with D&D? We will see. The only difference between the two is that Power Ranger is a brand whose reputation has been sopped up by TV and the home ancillary market: Why go to the theater when it’s an IP you can watch at home?
1.) Dungeons & Dragons (Par) 3,855 theaters, Fri $15.4M, $13.1M, Sun $10M, 3-day $38.5M/Wk 1
2.) John Wick Chapter 4 (LG) 3,855 theaters, Fri $7.85M (-73%), Sat $12.3M Sun $8M 3-day $28.2M (-62%), Total $122.8M/Wk 2
3.) Scream VI (Par) 3,106 theaters (-339), Fri $1.55M (-37%), Sat $2.3M, Sun $1.4M 3-day $5.3M (-36%), Total $98.2M/Wk 4
4. ) His Only Son (Angel) 1,920 theaters, Fri $2.1M, Sat $1.7M Sun $1.5M 3-day $5.3M/Wk 1
5.) Creed III (MGM) 2,827 (-380) theaters, Fri $1.4M (-35%), Sat $2.2M Sun $1.3M 3-day $5M (-39%), Total $148.5M/Wk 5
6.) Shazam: Fury of the Gods (WB) 3,451 (-620) theaters, Fri $1.2M (-49%), Sat $2.1M Sun $1.3M 3 day $4.7M (-49%), Total $53.5M/Wk 3
7.) A Thousand and One (Foc) 926 theaters, Fri $700K, Sat $650K Sun $450K 3-day $1.8M/Wk 1
8.) 65 (Sony) 2,113 (-673) theaters, Fri $440K (-49%), Sat $695K Sun $445K 3-day $1.58M (-51%), Total $30.5M/Wk 4
9.) Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (Dis) 1,440 (-475) theaters, Fri $338K (-44%) Sat $550K Sun $342K 3-day $1.23M (-49%), Total $212M/Wk 7
10.) Jesus Revolution (LG) 1,415 (-549), Fri $291K Sat $413K Sun $296K , 3-day $1M (-47%) Total $50.9M/Wk 6