‘The Super Mario Bros Movie’ Continues Domination as ‘Evil Dead Rise’ Exceeds Expectations at the BO!!

Illumination/Universal’s The Super Mario Bros Movie stayed on course with its third weekend estimate notching an $58.2M, which is the best third weekend for an animated movie ever, beating the $46.4M earned by Pixar/Disney’s The Incredibles 2 during June 29-July 1, 2018 which was a pre-Independence Day weekend.

As we told you, the Nintendo pic crossed the $400 million mark stateside yesterday in its 18th day, the second-fastest animated pic to that point after The Incredibles 2, which hit the four-century mark in 15 days. By EOD Super Mario Bros Movie will be the third highest-grossing Universal title of all time at the domestic box office with $434.3M, behind 2015’s Jurassic World ($653.4M) and the lifetime total of 1982’s E.T. The Extraterrestrial ($437.1M).

Some distribution sources thought Super Mario would take a slightly harder hit due to softer midweek numbers as kids returned to school after spring break. That’s so not the case.

Evil Dead Rise per Warner Bros this morning did $10.3M Friday, another $8.2M yesterday, -21%, for a fantastic $23.5M. That’s up there with recent pandemic genre hit starts, i.e. Cocaine Bear ($23.3M), Smile ($22.6M) and The Black Phone ($23.6M). That’s fantastic, and I’m hearing the negative pick-up cost for the film was $19M. Even if the movie goes down tonight, and the three-day total winds up to be $20M (which right now is not expected), CinemaCon will still be patting the Burbank, CA studio on the back after pivoting this intended HBO Max title to the big screen. Bravo, Warner Bros. CinemaScore is a B — higher than the C+ which the 2013 Evil Dead remake did. PostTrak is at 3 stars, 71% positive and 57% recommend.

“The filmmakers made a scary movie and the Warner Bros marketing team nailed it with evil moms,” beamed the studio’s domestic distribution boss Jeff Goldstein this AM.

On these horror movies, you have to find a hook, and something that resonates and that’s creepy — the masked guy in The Black Phone or wicked smiling people in Smile. Here it’s the evil mom. And that trailer where she’s trapped in the elevator, which was put out on social, I’ve never seen anything like that.


The R-rated franchise title pulled in 58% guys, 66% between 18-34, with the largest demo being 25-34 at 36%. Strong Latino and Hispanic turnout which is standard for horror movies at 35%, with Caucasians at 33%, 16% Black, and 16% Asian/other. The West, but also hearing the South, were the strongest for the movie executive produced by Sam Raimi, with Burbank AMC the best of the bunch with $50,000 so far. PLF screens are driving 16% of Evil Dead Rise’s Friday gross.

Guy Ritchie’s The Covenant from MGM via STX landed an A CinemaScore for what’s was a $2.2M Friday and $6.28M three-day total in third place. PostTrak audiences also liked the Jake Gyllenhaal title at 92% positive, 77% recommend. Guys at 60% showed up, 45% between 18-34 years old, with the largest quad being 25-34 years old at 27%. The mix was 44% Caucasian, 30% Hispanic and Latino, 10% Black and 15% Asian/other. The movie excelled where it was expected: South Central, but also the West was solid with AMC Ontario Mills close to $8K.

All films this weekend are eyeing $123.6M, +32% from a year ago. It’s also +13% from 2019 ($109.1M), which was Easter weekend, when New Line opened The Curse of La Llorona, to $26.3M.

While we know tentpoles can thrive in the post-pandemic marketplace, how are arthouse titles doing? Still wobbly, and again, it boils down to product, and whether that appeals or excites audience. Auteur Ari Aster, who created a fervent following in his genre movies Hereditary and Midsommar, has a more dramatic title in the 3-hour Beau Is Afraid. While its rhymes with the tone of his previous movies, it’s solely about a man’s pain, the deconstruction and redemption of it. If you’re an Aster fan, you’ll likely love it, but for mom and dad, and your older sister, it’s a movie that divides — evident in its 68% Rotten Tomatoes critics score and 71% fresh from audiences.

The movie’s expansion by A24 from four NYC and LA theaters to 965 was all right for a movie of that size, landed a $2.7M second weekend per the distributor or $2,8K per theater. That’s slightly better than the expansion of Searchlight’s The Banshees of Inisherin back in the fall from 58 theaters to 895, the pic at that latter threshold pulling in $2M (after its Oscar momentum, Banshees ended its run at $10.5M). Hence, there’s some hope there at the arthouse. However, if you drill down into Beau‘s numbers, we hear there’s a core group of theaters that are driving the action, but the wider one gets down the list, the grosses peter out. Hopeful is the key word here.

There’s some headlines out there that Beau Is Afraid will lose money off its $35M production cost. But so are a number of other auteur driven pics during the pandemic — and even those before that. That just comes with the territory when you’re doing business with an artist, and a distributor has to hope they have something else on the calendar to offset the losses. Who do auteurs make movies for? Not necessarily the greater AMC moviegoing audience. Paul Thomas Anderson’s Licorice Pizza, at a cost of $40M before P&A, and a global box office just north of $33M, also lost money — but it brought a pulse to arthouses during a downbeat time. Furthermore, you’d be surprised what actually makes money after all the waterfalls. I’ve heard through multiple sources that Focus FeaturesRobert Eggers’ viking epic The Northman from last April, which was co-financed with New Regency at $70M, cleaned up on PVOD in the new Universal 17-day theatrical window/Peacock-Amazon Prime downstream model after only making $69.6M WW. I’m told it was only a few single digits millions lost. BTW at $35M, Beau Is Afraid carries a production cost that’s on par with the multi-Oscar winning hit Everything Everywhere All at Once — which netted a $32M profit.

Searchlight’s Chevalier, despite having better reviews at 82% certified fresh and Rotten Tomatoes audience score of 96%, isn’t wowing with a $1.5M start as of Sunday morning in the No. 11 spot from 1,275 theaters. Part of the problem might be is that the pic looks like Bridgerton in its period execution, and well, fans of that aren’t venturing out en masse to see it. However, there are some as the pic’s core audience were 58% women, 51% over 45, with the over-55 set showing up at 34%. Diversity demos were 41% Caucasian, 38% Black, 8% Latino and Hispanic and 13% Asian/other. Halfway decent runs I hear in NYC, L.A., Houston and Austin, but soft ticket sales across the board.

Sunday reported studio numbers below. Jill Goldsmith will have arthouse highlights.

1) Super Mario Bros Movie (Uni) 4,350 theaters (-21), Fri $14M (-38%), Sat $25.9M Sun $18.1M 3-day $58.2M (-37%), Total $434.3M/Wk 3

2) Evil Dead Rise (NL) 3,402 theaters Fri $10.3M, Sat $8.2M Sun $4.9M 3-day $23.5M/Wk 1

3) Guy Ritchie’s Covenant (MGM) 2,611 theaters Fri $2.2M, Sat $2.3M Sun $1.65M 3-day $6.28M/Wk 1

4) John Wick: Chapter 4 (LG) 2,685 (-348) theaters Fri $1.57M (-25%), 3-day $5.75M (-29%), Total $168.8M/Wk 5

5) Air (AMZ) 2,823 theaters (-684) Fri $1.47M (-32%) Sat $2.4M Sun $1.68M 3-day $5.5M (-39%), Total $41.3M/Wk 3

6) Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves (Par) 2,960 (-364) theaters, Fri $1.39M (-29%), Sat $2.4M Sun $1.61M 3-day $5.4M (-30%), Total $82.1M/Wk 4
How is this eOne co-production doing? Again, the hope was that D&D would be the start of another franchise. As we told, it was just another niche cult franchise that got a big polish ala Lionsgate’s Power Rangers in spring 2017, which opened solid at $40.3M off a $100M production, but collapsed thereafter. Right now, D&D is pacing 2% ahead of Power Rangers in its fourth weekend, that latter title finaling at $85.3M. At that level, Power Ranges didn’t spur an immediate feature sequel.

7) Pope’s Exorcist (Sony) 3,178 theaters, Fri $1M (-71%) Sat $1.39M Sun $925K 3-day $3.3M (-63%)/Total $14.9M/Wk 2

8) Renfield (Uni) 3,378 (+3) theaters, Fri $910K (-68%), Sat $1.37M, Sun $820K 3-day $3.1M (-61%), Total $13.6M/Wk 2

9) Beau Is Afraid (A24) 965 (+961)theaters, Fri $1.13M (+701%), Sat $898K Sun $678K 3-day $2.7M (+744%), PTA $2,8K Total $3.1M/Wk 2

10) Suzume (Sony/Crunch) Fri $450K (-79%), Sat $670K Sun $505K 3-day $1.62M (-68%), Total $8.4M/Wk 2

11) Chevalier (Sea) 1,275 theaters, Fri $540K, Sat $570K Sun $390K 3-day $1.5M,/Wk 1

via Deadline

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