Top Domestic Grosser 2021 (U.S only)
Top Global Grosser 2021
|1||Spider-Man: No Way Home||Sony||$1,738,886,280|
|2||The Battle at Lake Changjin||Huaxia Film Distribution||$909,540,914|
|3||Hi, Mom||Lian Ray Pictures||$841,674,419|
|4||No Time to Die||MGM / Universal||$774,153,007|
|6||Detective Chinatown 3||Wanda Pictures||$706,084,069|
|7||Venom: Let There Be Carnage||Sony||$502,050,366|
|8||Godzilla vs. Kong||Warner Bros. / Toho||$468,216,094|
|9||Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings||Disney||$432,233,010|
‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ is Now Sony’s Top-Grossing Movie of All-Time!!
Spider-Man: No Way Home has officially become Sony Pictures‘ highest-grossing film of all time. The film has brought in $516.4 million domestically and $644.9 million internationally for a worldwide total of $1.16 billion.
Spider-Man: No Way Home, directed by Jon Watts and written by Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers, took in $21.3 million on Tuesday domestically from 4,336 locations, which made Peter Parker’s latest adventure the third fastest film of all-time to reach $500 million. Internationally, the film brought in $28.4 million on Tuesday which brings its international gross so far to $644.9 million.
Spider-Man: No Way Home is already the highest-grossing Sony Pictures film in North America, overtaking Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, which made a little over $404 million. Filling out the top 5 domestically is 2002’s Spider-Man with $403 million, 2019’s Spider-Man: Far From Home with $390 million, and 2004’s Spider-Man 2 with $336 million. With worldwide gross, No Way Home overtakes the previous #1: Spider-Man: Far From Home, which made $1.13 billion. The only other Sony film to make over a billion dollars is 2012’s Skyfall, which made $1.10 billion.
Spider-Man: No Way Home film stars Tom Holland as the famous wall-crawler as he tries to balance his life after his identity was ousted to the world. After a spell from Doctor Strange to undo the damage tears a hole in the universe, Peter Parker is forced to fight against many iconic villains from previous Spider-Man films in a story that will affect Parker’s life and the entire Multiverse.
In addition to Holland, Spider-Man: No Way Home also stars Zendaya, Benedict Cumberbatch, Jacob Batalon, Jon Favreau, and Marisa Tomei. Additionally, Alfred Molina, Willem Dafoe, Jamie Foxx, Rhys Ifans, and Thomas Haden Church all reprise their roles as villains from earlier Spider-Man films.
Spider-Man: No Way Home is currently in theaters.
‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ Continues Domination While ‘Matrix 4’ Struggles at the BO!!
For all the headlines about Omicron, in many ways the Christmas box office isn’t unlike others pre-pandemic, where one film is driving the majority of business. With the 3-day for all films estimated to ring up around $154M, Sony/Marvel’s Spider-Man: No Way Home is driving 53% of that figure. It has a 3-day of $81.5M, with only one other event film expected in the long run, that being Illumination/Universal’s Sing 2, which is notching a $41M 5-day start.
All of this is quite similar to Christmas 2015 when Star Wars: Force Awakens was the big star atop the holiday box office, and Paramount’s family film Daddy’s Home the only other movie to make it past $100M in the long run. Global for Spidey is finally at $1.05 billion WW, the first pic to cross that milestone during the Covid era, with domestic being $467.3M of that figure as of EOD today.
Thanks to great film options and safety-first protocols at theaters, moviegoing confidence continues to grow. Attendance is pacing at an increase of 50% since the last 5-day holiday period, Thanksgiving. That means for every two tickets sold over Thanksgiving, three are being sold over the Christmas weekend, according to box office data firm EntTelligence.
They report that Spider-Man: No Way Home has sold 38M tickets since opening, a figure that’s close to the entire population of California. The most-attended films during the five day period Dec. 22-26 were No Way Home (12.6M), Sing 2 (4.1M), The Matrix Resurrections (1.76M) and The King’s Man (920K).
With the third-highest grossing Christmas Day ever at the B.O. with $31.7M, after Force Awakens’ $49.3M and Rise of Skywalker‘s $32.1M, Spider-Man: No Way Home isn’t being slowed by Omicron. If you were expecting bigger numbers on No Way Home, note that Christmas falling on a Saturday also impacts the amount that can be generated: Essentially, a day-and-a-half of ticket sales are impacted (Friday and a majority of yesterday) since business doesn’t fire up until after Christmas dinner on Saturday evening.
It’s arguable for certain older-skewing adult films that omicron is slowing their ticket sales, i.e. West Side Story, Nightmare Alley, A Journal for Jordan, although UAR/MGM’s Licorice Pizza showed signs of life, making a similar amount of money to its predecessors, but in significantly less theaters —$2.33M in 786 locations, for a $3K theater average–66% of its audience being spurred by 18-34 year-olds.
West Side Story in its third weekend did $2.8M (-23%) at 2,810 theaters, Denzel Washington’s drama A Journal for Jordan saw $2.2M at 2,500 theaters, while the second weekend of Searchlight’s Nightmare Alley did $1.3M, -54% at 2,135.
Illumination/Universal’s Sing 2 did $8.42M on Christmas Day, +61% over Christmas Eve, for what looks to be a $23.76M 3-day, $41M 5-day. Universal Domestic Distribution Boss Jim Orr exclaimed, “Audiences have shown us by this fantastic box office result, and our incredible audience reaction scores, that Sing 2 is the perfect movie to see this holiday season. The music, the performances, the fun and energy brought to the screen by Chris Meledandri and Illumination are helping to make the world a bit brighter.”
Geographically, the sequel played evenly across North America, with Mountain, Midwest, and South Central family regions robust. The top ten markets were LA, Dallas, NY, Salt Lake City, Houston, Chicago, Phoenix, San Francisco, Denver, and Atlanta. Per PostTrak, women led at 58%, 56% under 25, and 44% 17 and under. Diverse spread for a family movie with 39% Hispanic and Latino, 35% Caucasian, 15% Black and 7% Asian.
RelishMix says that the voiceover cast of Sing 2 are driving 31% of its 100.1M social media reach across Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, led by Reese Witherspoon at 33.6M, Nick Roll at 2.7M, Matthew McConaughey at 18.5M and a non-activated Halsey at 27.6M. Overall social media universe, including YouTube for the Illumination sequel, stands at 393.1M, 24% above norms for pre-Covid family animation, and higher than recent releases Encanto (272.6M), Addams Family 2 (236.6), Tom & Jerry (159.2M), Sprit Untamed (111.1M) and Croods: A New Age (238.5M). Illumination Studios feeds YouTube owned materials to 3M subscribers and cross-promoted to Universal channels.
Warner Bros./Village Roadshow’s Matrix Resurrections saw $4.65M yesterday, +72% from Friday, for a not-so-good $12M 3-day, $22.5M 5-day for the fourthquel in the 22-year old franchise — far lower than the $40M the studio was expecting over five days. Blame HBO Max, blame lackluster audience reactions, blame Christmas falling on a Saturday, blame everything. The 3-day on Matrix Resurrections is, gulp, lower than the 3-day on Warner Bros.’ Wonder Woman 1984, which opened over that Christmas weekend with $16.7M at 2,151 theaters; also a day-and-date HBO Max release, but in a marketplace where significantly more theaters were closed, including NYC and LA. Yikes. This is the last of theatrical-day-and-date Warner Bros. event titles to hit HBO Max.
It’s not like fans weren’t aware of Matrix Resurrections. The fourthqel counted over 600.6M followers across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube, per RelishMix. HBO Max grew 4X over the last year, up to a near 6M social media universe, next to Warner Bros. Pictures SMU at 57.4M, with a studio YouTube channel now crossing 10M subscribers. “All of these stats run 2X over the norm for the genre as far as awareness and reach,” says RelishMix, which noticed excitement for the sequel heading into the weekend, with fans asking on social “‘What took so long?’ and questions swirling about Neo’s return and the original Morpheus.” We’ll see the Samba TV numbers tomorrow as to whether all that excitement translated into HBO Max viewers.
Matrix played best in the West, with Imax and PLF repping 22% of its business, with most of those screens going back to Spider-Man: No Way Home tomorrow after the Burbank, CA studio had to share ’em with Sony.
Lionsgate and Kingdom Story Company’s American Underdog blitzes its way into 4th place, with $6.2M for its two days of release at 2,813 theaters, which is in the $4M-$7M range the studio was expecting. There’s seriously a wait-and-see on this A+ CinemaScore movie, as it’s apt to play in the red states, where the unvaccinated adult audiences have few fears about omicron (versus the Northeast, scroll down for NRG’s take). The box office was driven by 52% men, with the 25+ moviegoers being 79% over 25. There’s also a faith-based halo working in the movie’s favor as well.
However, the biggest casualty of Christmas is 20th Century Studios/Disney’s Matthew Vaughn-directed/MARV produced prequel The King’s Man, with $6.35M over 3-days and $10M over 5 days at 3,180 theaters. Did anyone know this movie was a prequel to Vaughn’s Kingsmen movies? And did any of the fans care, given how it takes place around WWI? Promos for this movie have been running for the last two years, and the film, because of the pandemic, had several release date changes, moving from Feb. 14, 2020 to Sept. 18, 2020; Feb. 26, 2021; March 12, 2021; Aug. 20, 2021; before landing on Dec. 22.
While there’s a lot of money for movies to make over the year-end holiday, I don’t think the latest release date served this left turn in the 20th Century Studios’/MARV franchise. Previous dates for this movie arguably allowed this prequel to stand on its own, sans the noise of a big guy film like Spider-Man: No Way Home distracting from it. If there was any care to be provided to King’s Man, it was to truly harp on its connection to the previous two contemporary movies, which the trailers didn’t provide loudly enough. Back in December 2019, King’s Man trailers were playing in theaters alongside 1917, providing confusion as to which WWI movie was which. However, the latter ultimately distinguished itself with its Oscar momentum and one-track shot action, while King’s Man became the movie which was delayed.
Of course, the tried and true question is, why didn’t King’s Man go to a streamer, and likely that’s because these 20th Century Studios’ event pics, like Free Guy, were tied to a previous pay one TV window commitment the studio had with HBO. Even with the Armie Hammer scandal hanging over Death on the Nile, that 20th movie is sticking to a theatrical window release of Feb. 11, 2022.
The King’s Man skewed 65% men, 54% between 18-34, and 40% over 35. Advance social media buzz was mixed for this prequel, according to RelishMix, and while a social media universe state of 155.2M was on par for the genre, “re-dates have distracted fans,” says the analytics corp. Further pouring water on any buzz for The King’s Man is that it doesn’t boast a cast with social media handles, the exception being “a well activated Djimon Hounsou with 1.1M fans” says RelishMix.
1.) Spider-Man: No Way Home (Sony) 4,336 theaters, Fri $19.65M (-33%)/Sat $31.7M/Sun $30.1M/3-day $81.5M (-69%)/5-day $138.6M/ Total: $467.3MWk 2
2.) Sing 2 (Uni/Ill) 3,892 theaters, Fri $5.22M/Sat $8.42M/Sun $10.1M/3-day $23.76M/5-day+previews: $41M/Wk 1
3.) Matrix Resurrections (WB) 3,552 theaters, Fri $2.7M/Sat $4.65M/Sun $4.65M/3-day $12M/5-day $22.5M/Wk 1
4.) American Underdog (LG) 2,813 theaters, Sat $4.2M/Sun 2M/2-Day: $6.2M/Wk 1
5.) The King’s Man (20th/Dis) 3,180 theaters Fri $1.2M/Sat $2.6M/Sun $2.55M/3-day $6.1M/5-day $10M/Wk 1
6.) West Side Story (20th/Dis) 2,810 (-10) theaters, Fri $546K (-48%)/Sat $1.2M/Sun $1.05M/3-day $2.8M (-23%)/5-day $4.19M/Total $23.9M/Wk 3
7.) Licorice Pizza (UAR) 786 (+781) theaters, Fri $7K/Sat $1.22M/Sun $1.1M/ 3-day $2.34M (+2622%)/5-day $2.36M/Total $3.6M/Wk 5
8.) A Journal for Jordan (Sony) 2,500 theaters, Sat $1.2M/Sun $1M/2-day: $2.2M/Wk 1
9.) Encanto (Dis) 2,800 (-375) theaters, Fri $496K (-70%)/Sat $727K/Sun $777K/ 3-day $2M (-69%), 5-day $3.86M/Total $88.3M/Wk 5
10.) ‘83 (Reliance) 500 theaters, Fri $716K/Sat $548K/Sun $523K/3-day $1.78M/Wk 1
11.) Nightmare Alley (Sea) 2,135 theaters, Fri $233K (-81%)/Sat $525K/Sun $542K/ 3-day: $1.3M (-54%)/5-day $1.87M/Total $5.5M/Wk 2
12.) Ghostbusters: Afterlife (Sony) 1,728 (-1,567) theaters, Fri $265K (-72%) /Sat $505K/Sun $465K/3-day $1.2M (-65%)/5-day $2M/ Total: $120.5M/Wk 6
13.) House of Gucci (UAR/MGM) 907 (-1,000) theaters, /Fri $157K (-73%)/Sat $392K/Sun $372K/3-day $922K (-54%)/5-day: $1.39MTotal: $47.1M/Wk 5
‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ Stomps With Mighty $253 Million Opening at the BO!!
It’s a number befitting of such an epic adventure of multiversal proportions: Spider-Man: No Way Home, the hotly-anticipated latest installment of Tom Holland‘s Spidey adventures, has debuted to an awe-inspiring $253 million, from 4,336 theaters across North America. That figures blows any other domestic open during the pandemic out of the water, the erstwhile greatest hit being Venom: Let There Be Carnage, which scored a comparably measily $90 million (but no one tell Venom we said that).
What’s more, it has fared similarly well overseas, even amid concerns of the growing Omicron wave which has resulted in limited restrictions in some European territories – collecting $334.2 million from 60 global markets. This truly astounding number puts it at the third-biggest worldwide opening weekend ever, and again, beats any other Covid-era total by a profound margin.
That the Sony tent pole is achieving such huge figures in the pandemic era is remarkable in itself, but it’s even beating records achieved outside of Covid-times. The last title to see this kind of financial domination was Avengers: Endgame, which took a hitherto unseen, behemoth box office of $357 million; Spidey hasn’t reached this kind of dough, which one would think to be essentially impossible under current market conditions with Omicron on the rise, but it has pipped the likes of Star Wars: The Force Awakens ($247 million) and Jurrasic World ($208 million), which is remarkable in itself.
If your Spidey sense isn’t already tingling – and trust us, it should be – let’s web up some perspective: No Way Home‘s total is higher than its predecessors’ combined, with Spider-Man: Homecoming and Spider-Man: Far From Home raking in $117 and $92 million debuts, respectively. Want some more? Spider-Man, Tobey Maguire‘s first epoch-shifting outing as the red-and-blue webslinger, established a new domestic opening record in its first weekend with $114.8 million – and No Way Home has made almost two-and-a-half times that (not adjusted for inflation).
Suffice to say, such huge numbers cannot be attributed to the rest of the weekend’s titles. The only other debutant, Guillermo del Toro‘s similarly anticipated Nightmare Alley, came in fifth with a sub-projection take of $2.95 million. Rounding off the rest of the chart are another Disney property, Encanto ($6.52 million) at second; West Side Story ($3.41 million) at third; and Ghostbusters: Afterlife ($3.4 million) at fourth. With spoiler-averse fans keen to beat the internet, Marvel flicks tend to be bookended toward their opening weekends. But No Way Home is one of the few MCU titles to receive a coveted A+ via CinemaScore, indicating huge audience acclaim (this, plus a 9.1 user score on Metacritic at the time of writing) suggesting that word of mouth will be strong.
Assuming Omicron doesn’t throw a spanner in the works, expect a Rhino-esque charge into further box office records over the coming weeks.
1.) Spider-Man: No Way Home (Sony) 4,336 theaters, Fri $121.85M/Sat $73.8M/Sun $57.3M/3-day $253M/Wk 1
2.) Encanto (Dis) 3,525 (-225) theaters, Fri $1.65M (-28%)/Sat $2.65M/Sun $2.2M/3-day $6.5M (-34%), Total $81.5M/Wk 4
3.) West Side Story (20th/Dis) 2,820 theaters, Fri $1.06M (-74%)/Sat $1.4M/Sun $956K/3-day $3.416M (-68%)/Total $17.98M/Wk 2
4.) Ghostbusters: Afterlife (Sony) 3,282 (-533) theaters, Fri $945K /Sat $1.4M/Sun $1M/3-day $3.4M (-52%) Total: $117.2M/Wk 5
5.) Nightmare Alley (Sea) 2,145 theaters, Fri $1.19M/Sat $938K/Sun $828K/3-day: $2.958M, Wk 1
6.)House of Gucci (UAR/MGM) 1,907 (-1,500) theaters, /Fri $579K (-54%)/Sat $773K/Sun $502K/3-day $1.85M (-55%)/Total: $44.88M/Wk 4
7.) Eternals (Dis) 1,900 (-1,130) theaters, Fri $337K (-58%)/Sat $473K/Sun $382K/ 3-day $1.19M (-62%)/Total $163.6M/Wk 7
8.) Pushpa: The Rise (Hamsini) 400 theaters, Fri $437,6K/Sat $399K/Sun $292K/3-day $1.13M/Wk 1
9.) Clifford the Big Red Dog (Par) 2,840 (-421) theaters, Fri $105K (-61%)/Sat $165K/Sun $130K/ 3-day $400K (-69%)/Total $48.5M/Wk 6
10.) Resident Evil: Raccoon City (Sony) 719 (-1,853) theaters, Fri $85K (-81%)/Sat $115K/Sun $80K/3-day $280K (-83%) Total $16.7M/Wk 4
11.) Dune (WB) 315 (-633) theaters, Fri $66k/Sat $97K/Sun $72K/3-day: $235K (-73%), Total $106.8M/Wk 9
12.) Venom: Let There Be Carnage (Sony) 450 (-553) theaters, Fri $65K (-66%)/Sat $90K/Sun $65K/3-day: $220K (-71%)/Total $212.4M/Wk 12
‘West Side Story’ Opens to an Underwhelming $10 Million at the BO!!
The opening weekend of Disney/20th Century Studios/Amblin’s West Side Story, the first feature musical from Oscar-winning filmmaker Steven Spielberg, isn’t anything to shout from the rooftops about. It had a $4.1M Friday, including previews, and a weekend that’s an estimated $10.2M.
West Side Story is being released with a theatrical window, and its results are under that of another Broadway Hispanic and Latino feature musical released earlier this year, that being Warner Bros. In the Heights, which fizzled with a $11.5M start off a theatrical and HBO Max day-and-date debut.
Now, it’s par for the course for the mainstream box office media to feasibly write that a Spielberg film with a $100M+ production cost (before P&A) is a bomb. But there’s a few breaths we need to take, and know that even after we poke some holes here, the end game for West Side Story is a marathon, not a sprint. This isn’t necessarily a repeat of Cats, which tanked over the 2019 holiday with a $95M production cost, $6.6M opening, a C+ CinemaScore and disastrous reviews at 19% on Rotten Tomatoes for Andrew Lloyd Weber’s feline uncanny valley.
West Side Story has an A CinemaScore out of the gate, an 88% positive on Comscore/Screen Engine’s PostTrak and a huge 70% definite recommend, along with 93% certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.
If there’s any ‘WTF, why did they do this?’ assessments to be made about West Side Story and its opening weekend, it’s definitely in Disney’s decision to release the movie this weekend. West Side Story is a movie squarely aimed at older females (it pulled in 57% females, 52% over 35) and that demo is just not coming out right now because of the holiday season, and they’re even slower to come out because of the pandemic.
So, yes, Disney, why didn’t you release the movie much closer to Christmas (when audiences truly do come out) like you did with Mary Poppins Returns, which debuted on a Wednesday, earned $15.5M over 5 days, and went on to $172M? This pre-Christmas weekend is best reserved for fanboy or event films, as the younger demos have proven to show up.
One insider close to the film tells me that the reason why Disney executed this distribution strategy was because they looked at the sleeper trajectories of Spielberg’s adult films and figured their plan off that. A rival studio boss remarks that West Side Story will be fine in the long run; that it’s just having two weeks of previews in the run-up to Christmas before it really takes off.
But there are other studio marketing sources who have their doubts about West Side Story. Steven Spielberg’s first stab at a major musical, and that being West Side Story? I get that conceit. I’m there. I’m sitting upfront, and I loved it. But there are some who ask, even by pre-pandemic standards, who is this movie for? Who wants to see a remake of a multi-Oscar winning classic film? Do mainstream moviegoers really care that Spielberg is making it? And why aren’t there any stars in the film? Moviegoers want to see their stars on screen, and these last three feature musicals —West Side Story, In the Heights, and Dear Evan Hansen– didn’t have megawatt stars on screen.
Interestingly enough, the opening day of West Side Story isn’t that far off from that of Mary Poppins Returns ($4.7M, granted it was a Wednesday), In the Heights ($5M), and it’s higher than Greatest Showman‘s $2.45M Wednesday. I keep wanting to comp West Side Story to Greatest Showman, but I’m cautioned: That Hugh Jackman original musical, despite being panned and widely loved by audiences, had a soundtrack with radio play.
West Side Story, despite it’s hummable, classic, show-stopping tunes, doesn’t have any new radio-play tunes; and that’s a big marketing tool that can carry a musical. What’s the difference between West Side Story and Sony’s remake of Annie, which opened in mid December 2015 to $15.5M? Annie had its classic soundtrack tricked up by Jay-Z. By the way that movie had a first Friday of $5.3M, and legged out to just under $86M stateside.
Also, many industry executives were telling me before the start of the weekend that West Side Story would face the same dilemma as In the Heights, and that just because it’s a Latino and Hispanic musical doesn’t mean it appeals to the overall demographic.
West Side Story and In the Heights are, respectively, Puerto Rican immigrant and Dominican Republic and islanders’ stories, tales which don’t necessarily resonate with Mexican Americans. That means that only a portion of the overall Latino and Hispanic demographic will show up. And for West Side Story, Comscore/Screen Engine’s PostTrak shows an audience that was 30% Latino/Hispanic, 52% Caucasian, 6% Black and 12% Asian/other. In the Heights had a 40% turnout for the Latino and Hispanic demographic. In the Heights also leaned heavy female (63%) and older (49% over 35).
Similar to In the Heights, West Side Story is seeing most of its business in the Broadway capital, New York City, with AMC Lincoln Square a top performing location. Box office analytics firm EntTelligence is reporting that NYC has double the occupancy rate of this weekend’s moviegoing national average. Three hundred thousand have bought tickets to West Side Story so far, and 82% of the movie’s ticketholders are watching this two-hour and 36 minute running movie before 8PM.
Others argue that West Side Story is an IP that’s just too old for the 18-34 moviegoing crowd. It’s not like no one is going to the movies: The projections I’m hearing for Spider-Man: No Way Home next weekend are enormous, some comping it to the domestic starts of recent Star Wars movies ($150M+).
But in sizing up these adult movies, we can’t forget: These films were greenlit during a different time, for a different audience, and these films are coming out much later in a marketplace still rattled by a pandemic.
At the end of the day, a streaming release of West Side Story would have been the more prudent financial choice, right? In a war between cinematic aesthetics and economics, uhh, no: West Side Story was meant for the big screen, and you have to see it, to live it; the dance numbers have a visual immersion on par with Avatar.
And on that note, as studios become intoxicated on streaming, it’s clear they’re working off of some business model whereby the value of content and how it’s monetized isn’t necessarily under the old rules of a first-run theatrical window. It’s an algorithm based on catalog size and subscribers.
But before declaring West Side Story a bomb, what’s the loss for Netflix on a $200M gamble like Red Notice? That’s the streamer’s most-watched movie of all-time at 354M hours worldwide. For the time being, we’re in a different era in regards to the slide rule for profit and loss.
STX, which successfully divorced itself from the financial mess which is Eros earlier this week, has the Ric Roman Waugh-directed football movie National Champions, which follows a star quarterback who ignites a players strike hours before the biggest game of the year in order to fight for fair compensation, equality, and respect for the student-athletes.
STX is releasing their movies under a different means than they did pre-pandemic, with PVOD and the sale of streaming ancillary windows bailing them out on each pic. National Champions cost $8M before P&A and is released here in 1,197 theaters in what is a tee-up before its PVOD release.
The pic made $120K on Friday, is seeing $320K for the weekend. Theatrically, it’s nothing to brag about, with most of the pic’s money coming from South, South Central, and the West, but it’s all about getting this movie out so its home release is tied with the National Championship game in January, which is the peak of the NFL and the on-demand holiday season.
PostTrak showed a low 63% grade from moviegoers, and 45% recommend from ticket buyers leaning 68% guys, with 47% of the movie’s audience over 45 years old. Diversity demos were 49% Caucasian, 15% Latino and Hispanic, 22% Black, & 14% Asian/other.
Viva Entertainment has the Hindi language love story Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui from filmmaker Abhishek Kapoor booked in 220 locations. The movie made $84K on Friday on its way to $291K opening. Decent runs in Vancouver, Toronto, San Francisco and NYC, but not resonating elsewhere.
A24’s Red Rocket from Sean Baker, about a washed-up porn star who returns to his small Texas hometown, has six runs booked in NYC and LA, with respectable results being an estimated $40K Friday, $114K weekend for a theater average of $19K.
Streamers with theatrical titles that are hiding their grosses in Comscore include Netflix with the Adam McKay directed big star ensemble Don’t Look Up starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence, Meryl Streep, Jonah Hill, etc. at 500 locations including Alamo, Cinemark, and Harkins among the notables with a $260K Friday, $750K opening weekend. Pic hits Netflix on Dec. 24.
Amazon’s Aaron Sorkin directed Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz feature Being the Ricardos which is looking like an estimated $150K on Friday and $450K for the weekend at 400 runs. AMC has close to half of that location count with Cinemark and Harkins also playing the film. The movie debuts on Amazon Prime on Dec. 21.
1.) West Side Story (20th/Dis) 2,820 theaters, Fri $4.1M/3-day $10.2M/Wk 1
2.) Encanto (Dis) 3,750 (-230) theaters, Fri $2.2M (-28%)/ 3-day $9.4M (-28%), Total $71.3M/Wk 3
3.) Ghostbusters: Afterlife (Sony) 3,815 (-244) theaters, Fri $1.7M (-37%)/3-day $6.4M (-38%) Total: $111.3M/Wk 4
4.) House of Gucci (UAR/MGM) 3,407 (-70) theaters, /Fri $1.27M (-42%)/3-day $4.1M (-41%)/Total: $41.1M/Wk 3
5.) Eternals (Dis) 3,030 (-200) theaters, Fri $800K (-27%)/3-day $3M (-27%)/Total $161.1M/Wk 6
6.) Christmas With the Chosen… (Fath) 1,600 (-100) theaters, Fri $478K (-60%)/3-day $1.63M (-62%)/Total $13.8M /Wk 2
7.)Resident Evil: Raccoon City (Sony) 2,572 (-231) theaters, Fri $455K (-40%)/ 3-day $1.55M (-42%) Total $15.7M/Wk 3
8.) Clifford the Big Red Dog (Par) 2,840 (-421) theaters, Fri $265K (-38%)/3-day $1.2M (-36%)/Total $47.6M/Wk 5
9.)Dune (WB/Leg) 948 (-269) theaters, Fri $215K (-59%)/ 3-day $769K (-58%)/ Total $106.1M/Wk 8
10.) Venom: Let There Be Carnage (Sony) 1,003 (-231) theaters, Fri $210K (-16%)/3-day: $760K (-24%)/Total $212M/Wk 11
‘Ghostbusters: Afterlife’ Crosses $100M as ‘Encanto’ Leads Post-Holiday Weekend BO!!
As is typical, the weekend following the Thanksgiving stretch is a downer. And even duly so over omicron headlines, coupled with a Disney animated movie that isn’t as mass-appealing as its predecessors. Read Encanto, which grossed $12.7M estimated second weekend, -53%. That second weekend is lower than the pre-pandemic second weekend takes of some of Disney’s lowest grossing Thanksgiving titles, i.e. The Good Dinosaur ($15.3M) and Tangled ($21.6M), however, it’s a tad higher than the second wide December weekend of The Princess and the Frog which in the lead-up to Christmas did $12.1M in its second frame over Dec. 18-20, 2009. That movie, which posted a wide debut (after a limited run) of $24.2M. That movie made it to $104.4M, and rival analysts believe Encanto will click past $100M stateside. The Colombia-set Latino animated film stands at $116M WW to date. Encanto in its second weekend abroad was #1 film in France, Italy, Colombia, Brazil, Mexico, Singapore, Argentina, Kuwait, Qatar, South Africa and the smaller Latin American territories and #1 non-local film in Korea, Sweden, Turkey and Bahrain. It is also the #2 film in Germany, Spain, UK, Iceland, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, Taiwan and #2 non-local film in Japan.
No, streaming-obsessed Wall Street analysts, just because this weekend sucked at the box office, doesn’t mean it’s an opportunity for you to tap-dance on the future worthiness of theatrical.
This year will have one more huzzah, as reported earlier this week, and that’s Sony/Disney-MCU’s Spider-Man: No Way Home, which broke first-day ticket presales records for the pandemic for both the No. 1 and No. 3 circuits, AMC and Cinemark. More importantly for both exhibitors, No Way Home also repped their second-best day of presales after Avengers: Endgame, which translated into an all-time domestic opening record of $357.1M. Tickets went on sale for No Way Home last Monday.
On Fandango, the first day of Spider-Man: No Way Home beat the initial 24-hour sales of Black Widow, Avengers: Infinity War, Spider-Man: Far From Home, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. While presales aren’t an exact indicator of opening weekend performance, the expectation here is that No Way Home will wind up as one of the top five openings of December when it hits theaters on Dec. 17.
AMC Boss Adam Aron attributed the circuit’s advance ticket sales for the Jon Watts-directed movie to the chain’s sell-out of Spider-Man NFTs.
While Encanto hasn’t spurred throngs of families at the theater, there’s also heavy anticipation with Illumination/Universal’s Sing 2, which, according to industry estimates, not Universal, siphoned around $1.5M from Encanto last Saturday off 5 PM previews. And even though Village Roadshow’s The Matrix Resurrections will be in theaters and on HBO Max on Dec. 22, the last of WarnerMedia’s pandemic titles this year, expect that movie to feasibly rival the $41M of Dune, which, so far, owns the best 2021 domestic debut for the Burbank studio.
Anecdotally in New York here, omicron isn’t curbing holiday tourism, with crowds in town for this past week’s Rockefeller tree lighting. Also, there wasn’t an empty seat at the Shubert theater Thursday night for Aaron Sorkin’s adaptation of To Kill a Mockingbird. People are getting out and enjoying themselves with masks on.
Even though all films are totaling an estimated $52.9M this weekend, -45% from last weekend, the top movies are showing solid holds, i.e. MGM/United Artists Releasing’s House of Gucci is -53% with a second weekend of $6.77M and with a running total of $33.6M, Sony’s Ghostbusters: Afterlife will hit $102.1M today, while Warner Bros./Legendary’s Dune, propped by its return to Imax auditoriums, is dipping 13% in weekend 7 with an estimated $1.81M at 1,217 theaters, the pic’s running total tomorrow at $104.6M. Imax drove $1.6M of Dune‘s global B.O. over the weekend; $1M of that from North America. The large format exhibitor has spurred close to $53M of the sci-fi pic’s global box office which now is $382.2M.
Yet even during a post-holiday down weekend, we’re far off from pre-pandemic norms with this weekend . Two years ago, Frozen 2‘s second weekend led a post-Thanksgiving frame with $35.1M, where all films totaled $90.3M per Box Office Mojo. This weekend’s haul for all movies is off 41% from that total.
Also, Sony had several sold out limited screenings of its upcoming Denzel Washington-directed romantic drama A Journal for Jordan at 225 theaters. The pic stars Michael B. Jordan and Chanté Adams. Jordan plays 1st Sgt. Charles Monroe King, who before he’s killed in action in Baghdad, authors a journal for his son intended to tell him how to live a decent life despite growing up without a father. Pic opens exclusively on Christmas day.
Getting a big shout for the weekend is Fathom Releasing’s faith-based Christmas With the Chosen, in 1,642 theaters and 194 markets, which rivals are raising their eyebrows at. The movie, comprised of new and classic Christmas songs from the set of The Chosen, opened Wednesday and is expected to gross $9M in five days, $4.1M of that Friday-Sunday. The South and the Midwest were big, with top markets being Dallas, Houston, Detroit, Phoenix, Minnesota, Denver, Cleveland, Orlando, Sacramento, and St. Louis.
UAR/MGM’s second weekend of Paul Thomas Anderson’s Licorice Pizza at three theaters in NYC and one at LA’s Regency Village is eyeing $223,3K, -35%, for a running ten-day total of $761K; the movie celebrating a very robust screen average of $55,8K. Anderson and the film were respectively named Best Director and Picture by the National Board of Review.
IFC Films has Paul Verhoeven’s erotic nun movie Benedetta which has 83% certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes and an estimated $145K for the weekend at 202 theaters or $718. The movie which made its world premiere at Cannes, didn’t post very strong numbers. Benedetta was one of the top five films on Thursday from the NBR, and the pic will land on PVOD on Dec. 21.
Focus Features’ Nathalie Biancheri genre movie Wolf is also not faring well in 308 theaters with $80K or $261 per theater. Critics weren’t wowed with the Lily-Rose Depp and George MacKay movie at 42% Rotten about a wolf trapped in a boy’s body. While undergoing therapy with other animal-bound peers, Jacob meets Wildcast (Depp) and falls head over paws, ultimately facing a challenge as to whether he’ll renounce his true self for love. Better grosses for Focus Features’ Oscar contender Belfast which now counts $5.8M.
Weekend’s Top 10, Sunday finals:
1.) Encanto (Dis) 3,980 theaters, Fri $3M (-73%)/Sat $5.79M/Sun $3.9M/ 3-day $12.7M (-53%), Total $57.9M/Wk 2
2.) Ghostbusters: Afterlife (Sony) 4,059 (-256) theaters, Fri $2.7M (-72%)/Sat $4.75M/Sun $2.9M/3-day: $10.35M (-57%)/Total: $102.2M/Wk 3
3.) House of Gucci (UAR/MGM) 3,477 theaters, /Fri $2.18M (-62%)/Sat $2.866M/Sun $1.7M/3-day $6.77M (-53%)/Total: $33.6M/Wk 2
4.) Christmas With the Chosen (FTM) 1,642 theaters Fri $1.2M/Sat $1.5M/Sun $1.4M/3-day $4.1M/Total $9M/Wk 1
5.) Eternals (Dis) 3,165 (-890) theaters, Fri $1M (-65%)/Sat $1.8M/Sun $1M/3-day $3.9M (-51%)/Total $156.5M/Wk 5
6.)Resident Evil: Raccoon City (Sony) 2,803 theaters, Fri $765K /Sat $1.16M/Sun $730K/ 3-day $2.65M (-50%) Total $13.1M/Wk 2
7.)Dune (WB/Leg) 1,217 (-49) theaters, Fri $515K/Sat$785K/Sun$510K/ 3-day $1.81M(-13%)/ Total $104.6M/Wk 7
8.) Clifford the Big Red Dog (Par) 3,261 (-31) theaters, Fri $425K (-78%)/Sat $860K/Sun $515K/ 3-day $1.8M (-64%)/Total $45.7M/Wk 4
9.)King Richard (WB) 2,654 (-648) theaters, /Fri $365K (-73%)/Sat $525K/Sun $315K/ 3-day $1.2M (-63%)/Total $13.4M/Wk 3
10.) Sword Art Online Progressive (FUN) 840 theaters, Fri $471K, 3-day $1.05M/Wk 1
11.) Venom: Let There Be Carnage (Sony) 1,243 (-303) theaters, Fri $250K/Sat $500K/Sun $285K/3-day: $1.035M (-34%)/Total $210.9M/Wk 10
‘Encanto’, ‘Ghostbusters: Afterlife’ Share Families, While ‘House Of Gucci’ Secures Best Drama Opening in Two Years at the BO!!
Without Paramount’s Top Gun: Maverick in the marketplace, the Thanksgiving box office was much lighter than previous holidays, grossing an estimated $141.3M over 5-days, off 46% from 2019’s pre-pandemic holiday over the same period of time. Two family movies, Disney’s animated Encanto, which banked 52% of its $40.3M 5-day gross from Latino and Hispanic audiences, and Sony’s Ghostbusters: Afterlife which delivered $35.3M in its second weekend over Wednesday-Sunday, were the top destinations for families. Worldwide, Encanto hit its global studio projection with a $70M start.
If Disney CEO Bob Chapek is wondering whether families went to the movie theaters or not, the answer is yes, they did. It’s just that there was another family movie on the marquee doing business. Box office analytics company EntTelligence clocked that over five days, 3.7M moviegoers saw Encanto while 3.25M bought tickets to Ghostbusters: Afterlife. Over three days, Encanto did $27M to Ghostbusters: Afterlife’s $24.5M. Rival studio estimates show both movies being even closer than that, so we’ll see where they settle tomorrow. Also, 51% of Encanto‘s business came from families, largely driven by females at 62%. More evidence that families came out over the holiday: Universal sneaked Illumination’s Sing 2 yesterday at 1,000 theaters at 5PM, and we hear the gross was great and will be rolled into its opening cume; that movie opening on Dec. 22.
Unfortunately, it stands to be argued that with Encanto launching over the Thanksgiving frame, general moviegoers might have felt it was Disney/Pixar’s Coco all over again from the marketing, which is a prime reason why we’re seeing one of the lowest openings in recent years for one of the studio’s animated films over the holiday. Perhaps launching Encanto during a different season of the year would have distinguished it more. Imax contributed $2.3M toward Ghostbusters: Afterlife‘s second weekend taking the large format exhibitor’s running total on the Jason Reitman film to $7.5M.
As we previously mentioned, while we’re still in the midst of a pandemic, it’s product that makes for great box office (clearly evident in the massive $638M tentpole month we had in October with No Time to Die, Dune, Venom: Let There Be Carnage and Halloween Kills), and despite Disney’s push for Encanto, the movie didn’t have as wide appeal as previous Thanksgiving animated movies such as Coco, Moana, Tangled, etc. Encanto‘s five-day is even under Pixar’s Thanksgiving 2015 title The Good Dinosaur, which was considered a bomb at the time, opening to $39.1M over three-days, $55.4M over five days. Encanto, like Good Dinosaur, also had an A CinemaScore; and the hope by the studio is that the movie has a better leg-out than that Pixar title which did 2.2x its 5-day opening for $123M.
Meanwhile, despite headlines about the Omicron virus, adults finally found their way to the cinema with United Artists Releasing-MGM’s House of Gucci building the best opening for a drama in the last two years at the box office with $14.2M over 3-days and $21.8M over 5, the last being Sony’s Little Women over Christmas 2019 ($16.7M 3-day, $29.2M 5-day). Women showed up at 59%. The takeaway from House of Gucci for the industry: We need more tentpole films like this for women, and for older adults.
UAR/MGM had a second home run in Paul Thomas Anderson’s 1970s teen comedy Licorice Pizza which posted the best opening screen average (as opposed to theater average) ever with $83,8Kfrom four screens: LA’s Regency Village and NYC’s Lincoln Square, Village East, & Alamo Brooklyn — all 70MM prints. Pic’s opening weekend of $335K even beats the openings of Anderson’s previous specialty debuts: 2014’s Inherent Vice ($328K, 5 theaters), 2017’s Phantom Thread ($216K, 4 theaters), 2007’s There Will Be Blood ($190,7K, 2 theaters). Licorice Pizza‘s debut ranks behind the openings of the 8x Oscar nominee’s The Master ($736K, 5 theaters) and 2002’s Punch Drunk Love ($367K, 5 theaters). It’s important to note the potency of Licorice Pizza‘s opening: Not only did the movie post the best gross at LA’s Regency Village in 25 years, one needs to also realize that with a film such as The Master, that movie had more screens per theater. Essentially, what I’m saying here is that in the rankings of the best opening theater averages, many of them are comprised of multiple screens, while Licorice Pizza is raking in cash only from four. That’s remarkable. Great exits at 87% positive and 73% definite recommend. The 18-34 bunch came out at 72%, leaning toward guys 66%, with 70% Caucasian, 19% Hispanic and Latino, 3% Black and 8% Asian. Close to 70% of the audience were college graduates.
“Originality still counts in the marketplace and people want to see original stories,” beamed UAR Distribution Boss Erik Lomis this morning.
House of Gucci‘s marketing campaign delivered on two fronts, both with young and old moviegoers as the pic’s attendance showed 45% between 18-34 years old & 34% over 45+.
RelishMix reports that House of Gucci had a powerful social media pull of 415.4M across Twitter, Instagram, YouTube views and Facebook with the cast pulling in over 234M on their own social media accounts. Lady Gaga counts 188.7M followers (across Twitter, Instagram and Facebook) with Salma Hayek at 22.7M and Jared Leto at 21.2M. “The cast totally worked it,” said Lomis about how Gaga, Leto, Hayek, Al Pacino and Adam Driver all came through in tubthumping the movie across several talk show and screening appearances.
Overall, the digital campaign delivered 1.2 billion-plus impressions and 407M video views targeted to moviegoers, fans of Gaga and the cast, fashion, true crime, and LGBTQ audiences. There were 30+ high impact takeovers in the last week across TV, radio and digital audio, social, and ticketing partners, including two National Snapchat Lenses, a TikTok One Day Max (in addition to the TikTok Top View the last two weeks out), and Twitter Trend and Spotlight. The two custom Snapchat AR experiences included one single person experience where one tries on accessories from the film, and another multi-person experience with full 3D body mapping where one tries on on full outfits from the Ridley Scott directed movie. There was the official launch of Lady Gaga’s TikTok with the London premiere transformation video which went viral and has amassed north of 12M views.
This post on Gaga’s Instagram grabbed 1.4M views.
UAR launched the first trailer for House of Gucci during the Summer Olympics followed by a 60-second spot in NFL Thursday Night Football. The trailer would go on to air during NFL matchups, World Series games, high-profile prime finales and new season premieres, with a high frequency push on cable and local TV.
Outdoor included NY, LA, Chicago and San Francisco with a big digital blast at both LAX and JFK to take advantage of increased holiday travel.
Strong audio campaign in the top 22x markets targeting multiple formats both pre-tracking & during Week of Release. Targeted streaming audio + music video surrounds to target younger consumers, and healthy podcast support across NYT The Daily (including a 50% SOV Takeover WOR) and top true crime podcasts to own the genre.
On digital, to tease the film’s first trailer, five character posters debuted across talent and film socials noting simply ‘Stasera’.
There was a global premiere tour with House of Gucci debuting in London, Milan, New York and Los Angeles, including custom Snapchat stories from London and NY. There were several tastemaker screenings and receptions, reaching a potential fashion and lifestyle social audience of 11.3M, including a House of Gucci exhibitions experience, in partnership with De La Revolución, held in Los Angeles at FIDM and New York at Fotografiska. There were Twitch Creators screenings in LA, followed by a livestream hosted by Twitch streamer Negaoryx.
There were also radio promoted screenings across the country in the top 25 markets as well as LGBTQ+ nightlife promotions in the top 11 Markets. UAR teamed with notable houses in the NYC ballroom community to a special hosted screening including The Gorgeous House Of Gucci ,The Royal House Of Labeija, House Of Xclusive Lanvin, The Iconic House Of Ninja, The House of Garcon, The Iconic House Of St Laurent and the House Of Xtravaganza. There was also a tastemaker screening in LA hosted by Patrick Starr.
In theaters, trailers ran on Respect, Dear Evan Hansen, Venom 2, No Time to Die, Halloween Kills, The Last Duel and Eternals.
Promo partners for House of Gucci included Tanqueray and Airbnb which offered Villa Balbiano (the film’s location for Aldo Gucci’s home) as a special one-night rental.
While Sony came up high on Ghostbusters: Afterlife, the studio came up low on their R-rated genre Capcom videogame adaptation Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City which made $5.3M over 3-days, $8.8M over five.
1.) Encanto (Dis) 3,980 theaters, Wed $7.5M/Thurs $5.8M/Fri $11M/Sat $9.7M/Sun $6.3M/ 3-day $27M, 5-day $40.3M/Wk 1
2.) Ghostbusters: Afterlife (Sony) 4,315 theaters, Wed $5.4M (+16% from Tuesday)/Thurs $5.3M/Fri $9.75M/Sat $9.36M/Sun $5.8M/3-day: $24.5M (-44%)/5-day $35.25M/Total: $87.8M/Wk 2
3.) House of Gucci (UAR/MGM) 3,441 theaters, Wed. $4.2M/Thurs $3.39M/Fri $5.7M/Sat $5.3M/Sun $3.1M/3-day $14.2M, 5-day $21.8M/Wk 1
4.) Eternals (Dis) 3,165 (-890) theaters, Wed $1.9M (+12%)/Thurs $1.6M/Fri $3.1M/Sat $3.1M/Sun $1.7M/ 3-day $7.9M (-30%), 5-day $11.4M/Total $150.6M/Wk 4
5.)Resident Evil: Raccoon City (Sony) 2,803 theaters, Wed. $2.5M/Thurs $1M/Fri $2M/Sat $2.1M/Sun $1.16M/3-day $5.275M, 5-day $8.8M/Wk 1
6.) Clifford the Big Red Dog (Par) 3,331 (-297) theaters, Wed $1.3M (0%)/Thurs $725K/Fri $1.96M/Sat $1.875M/Sun $1M/ 3-day $4.875M (-40%)/5-day $6.9M/Total $42.8M/Wk 3
7.)King Richard (WB) 3,302 theaters, Wed $639K (-7%)/Thurs $805K/Fri $1.3M/3-day $3.3M (-33%)/5-day $4.8M/Total $11.45M/Wk 2–updating
8.) Dune (WB/Leg) 1,312 (-1,155) theaters, Wed $493K (+3%)/Thurs $400K/Fri $800K/3-day $2.165M (-32%), 5-day $3M/ Total $102.2M/Wk 6–updating
9.) No Time to Die (UAR) 1,342 (-1,065) theaters, Wed $366K (-13%)/Thurs $427K/Fri $708K/Sat $653K/Sun $392K/ 3-day $1.75M (-37%), 5-day: $2.546M/Total $158.1M/Wk 8
10.) Venom: Let There Be Carnage (Sony) 1,537 (-693) theaters, Wed $335K (+2%), Thurs $285K/Fri $615K/Sat $645K/Sun $305K/ 3-day $1.57M (-46%), 5-day: $2.2M/ Total $209.5M/Wk 9
11.) Belfast (Foc) 1,128 (+544) theaters, Wed $170K (+36%),Thurs $150K/ Fri $380K/Sat $350K/Sun $240k/3-day $970K (+3%), 5-day: $1.3M/Total $4.99M/Wk 3
Licorice Pizza (UAR) 4 screens, Fri $142K/Sat $105K/Sun $89K/ 3-day $335K/Wk 1
‘Ghostbusters: Afterlife’ Scares Up $44M Opening at the BO!!
Sony’s Ghostbusters: Afterlife turned in a $16.1M Saturday, which is very close to the amount of cash that Paul Feig’s 2016 Ghostbusters grossed on its second day of release, all of this amounting to a $44M opening weekend. That’s great, and the sequel blew up in the heartland, which is a great indicator of families coming out in the holiday week ahead, especially with its dynamite audience exits.
Comscore reports that 41% K-12 schools are off tomorrow and 16% colleges. That grows to 80% K-12 and 61% college on break by Wednesday, before both are 100% off Thursday and Friday. While the debut for the Jason Reitman edition is slightly lighter than Feig’s, which saw a domestic start of $46M; that’s really nothing to wince about
.Meanwhile, the second wide release of the weekend, Warner Bros.’ Will Smith movie King Richard, was far from a grand slam with $5.7M. More on that HBO Max day-and-date theatrical release further down. Box office firm EntTelligence clocked 3.5M people who watched Ghostbusters: Afterlife this weekend to date, while King Richard had under 500K moviegoers. Ghostbusters: Afterlife saw 33% of its audience arrive before 4PM on Saturday, another solid indicators of family business (Mr. Bob Chapek, please note, there’s no reason to continue a hybrid release strategy at Disney). Again, as we mentioned further down, there were 3.5x more programmed seats for Ghostbusters: Afterlife than King Richard, which is due to more showtimes and larger auditoriums being given to the Sony movie.
Ghostbusters: Afterlife played best in the West, Midwest and Southwest. This opposed to King Richard, which only played on the coasts, and not in between, which isn’t surprising. Nine of the top ten for Afterlife were in the West and heartland, the latter which overindexed greatly. Salt Lake City, St. Louis, and Kansas City markets overindexed. Get a load of the top-ten grossing movie theaters 1.) AMC Burbank, 2.) AMC Dine-IN Disney Springs, Lake Buena Vista, Fl, 3.) Harkins Estrella Falls in Goodyear, AZ, 4.) Harkins Mountain Grove 16 in Redlands, CA; 5.) Santikos Casa Blanca in San Antonio, TX; 6.) AMC Citywalk at Universal City, 7.) The Regal Warren 14 in Moore, OK, 8.) Cinemark 16 in Harlingen, TX, 9) Santikos Palladium in San Antonio and 10.) AMC Orange in CA. B&B Theatres’ Liberty, MO theater in the Kansas City DMA ranked No. 20.
Imax and PLF screens drove 33% of the weekend box office. $3.7M at 403 auditoriums was earned by Imax in U.S. and Canada.
In addition to the CinemaCon and New York Comic-Con previews, Sony rolled out a bespoke marketing campaign that spoke to both young and old Ghostbuster fans, in order to lure them out. There was a TikTok Duets video with influencers worldwide singing the movie’s Ray Parker Jr. classic song.
There was a special sports spot with the pic’s star Paul Rudd and Travis Kelce where the former traded a proton pack for a football from Kansas City Chiefs tight end and has to try and get it back.
In New York and LA, there were Ecto-1 car parades through high-traffic Halloween spots, including rooftop holograms.
Sony took over Randy’s Donuts in Los Angeles, with the iconic donut-shaped sign transformed into the “no ghosts” Ghostbusters logo and free Ghostbusters donuts given out and delivered to press and influencers.
The studio tapped into the crypto sphere with “12 Days of Afterlife” Ghostbusters Mini-Puft NFTs. Conceived by Jason Reitman, scribe Gil Kenan, and artists Quentin Chaillet and Vochelle Yum, fans received access to high-quality and authentic Ghostbusters NFT collectibles. There were ten unique vignettes dropped over ten days from Nov. 8, and 10,5K additional collectible Mini-Pufts dropped on Nov. 18.
For the sequel, there were all-new licensing collaborations across apparel, publishing, toys, and collectibles, home goods, seasonal, gaming, interactive games and more, culminating in the brand’s biggest consumer program of all-time around the world.
Hasbro, the original toy partner of the film from 1986-1991, touted a toy lineup that included the Ghostbusters Proton Blaster M.O.D., Ghostbusters Kenner Classics Ecto-1 and Ghostbusters Plasma Series 6-Inch Figures. Hasbro also introduced its first Ghostbusters HasLab project, which gave fans the opportunity to get their hands on a Ghostbusters Plasma Series Spengler’s Proton Pack.
Imprezario Entertainment has the AR Ghostbusters: Afterlife ScARe game which dropped on Friday. Epic Games launched a Ghostbusters: Afterlife Fortnite in-game integration, where fans completed a series of movie-themed quests in order to unlock a free Ghostbusters back bling.
Lego provided wider distribution of its ECTO-1 toy (it’s been out there for some time). Reebok even had a line of footwear.
Among the film’s promo partners were family quick service restaurant Zaxby’s which sold Mini Pufts and Ghostbusters-themed Cherry-Grape Blaster drink. Coca-Cola dropped an exclusive commemorative bottle of the iconic Hi-C juice Ecto Cooler, which was released in 1989. Hi-C Ecto Cooler didn’t hit store shelves, but was received by a select number of influencers.
The Ad Council, as part of their Ready.gov emergency preparedness campaign, featured Ghostbusters: Afterlife in a promotion to help consumers prepare for unexpected weather and other emergency events. Messaging was seen in a 30-second national PSA spot and outdoor advertising.
Popcorn brand Pop Secret launched a digital and social campaign with limited edition film-themed packaging. In addition to an on-shelf presence at Target and Kroger, Pop Secret placed Ghostbusters-themed end aisle displays in all North American Walmart locations throughout the month of October.
As far as King Richard, and any concern of its box office curtailing its awards season prospects, here’s a sober assessment: the pic has great audience exits, and word of mouth, and for those awards season voters at home who have HBO Max, they’re getting the film delivered to them directly. Perhaps those who didn’t want to venture out to cinemas due to Covid will have the patience to watch this two-hour, 24 minute drama at home. Even without the pandemic and the HBO Max of it all, King Richard, like Smith’s previous sports drama Concussion, would have faced challenges: The movie plays best on the coasts and not in the heartland.
Also, King Richard is a tennis film — not exactly the type of sport that creates a stampede at the box office. Searchlight’s 2017 Battle of the Sexes starring Emma Stone and Steve Carell ended its domestic run at $12.6M; hopefully King Richard can beat that score. Warners was smart here in launching this critically acclaimed and audience pleasing movie during the holiday moviegoing week.
Sony pulled off a similar plan with Concussion, opening that film on Christmas Day 2015, which resulted in a $10.5M opening stateside and a final domestic of $34.5M. While Smith has promoted the film to his 176M-plus fans across Twitter, Instagram and his YouTube channel per RelishMix, some awards marketing sources have critiqued they’d like to see him out there pushing the film a bit more; the actor currently pushing his new book Will.
King Richard‘s audience was 59% female on PostTrak, 81% over 25, 41% over 45 with African Americans repping 40% of ticket buyers, Caucasians 36%, Hispanic and Latino 15% and Asian/other at 9%. Those under 25 gave it an A+ on CinemaScore (20% of the audience), while it received As throughout.
Bright spots at the arthouse: the old plan of launching movies in NY and LA actually worked this past weekend, with A24’s Mike Mills-directed Joaquin Phoenix black and white drama C’mon C’mon, which posted $134K at five locations for a great $26,8K theater average, the best limited launch since February 2020. A24 had the movie booked at New York’s Angelika and Lincoln Square and LA’s AMC The Grove, Landmark on Pico and AMC Burbank. The movie, which follows a radio journalist who embarks on a cross-country trip with his young nephew, is 92% certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.
Bleecker Street’s India Sweets and Spices debuted in 343 runs in 91 markets and we hear the movie didn’t do so well with $172,5K and a per screen of $503. The pic is 78% fresh on RT. The Geeta Malik-directed movie follows college freshman Alia, who returns home for the summer and discovers secrets and lies in her parents’ past that make her question everything she thought she knew about her family.
Pre-Thanksgiving chart for Nov. 19-21, according to studio numbers:
1.) Ghostbusters: Afterlife (Sony) 4,315 theaters, Fri $16.5M/Sat $16.1M/Sun $11.3M/3-day: $44M/Wk 1
2.) Eternals (Dis) 4,055 theaters (-35), Fri $3.07M (-61%)/Sat $4.85M/Sun $2.9M/3-day $10.8M (-60%), Total $135.8M/Wk 3
3.) Clifford the Big Red Dog (Par) 3,628 (-72) theaters, Fri $2M (-53%)/Sat $3.6M/Sun $2.5M/3-day $8.1M (51%), Total $33.5M/Wk 2
4.) King Richard (WB) 3,302 theaters, Fri $1.9M, Sat $2.1M, Sun $1.6M/ 3-day $5.7M/Wk 1
5.) Dune (WB/Leg) 2,467 (-815) theaters, Fri $885K (-46%)/Sat $2.1M/Sun $1.6M/3-day $3M (-45%) Total $98.2M/Wk 5
6.) Venom: Let There Be Carnage (Sony) 2,230 (-308) theaters, Fri $755K, Sat $1.28M, Sun $765K, 3-day $2.8M (-29%), Total $206.5M/Wk 8
7.) No Time to Die (UAR) 2,407 (-460) theaters, Fri $791K (-43%), Sat $1.19M, Sun $718K, 3-day $2.7M (-40%), Total $154.7M/Wk 7
8.) The French Dispatch (Sea) 805 (-420) theaters, Fri $294K (-46%), Sat $422K, Sun $254K, 3-day $970K (-45%), Total $13.3M/Wk 5
9.) Belfast (Foc) 584 (+2) theaters, Fri $280K (-57%), Sat $400K, Sun $260K, 3-day $940K (-47%), Total $3.4M/Wk 2
10.) Ron’s Gone Wrong (20th/Dis) 1,520 (-910) Fri $210K (-62%), Sat $432K, Sun $246K, 3-day $888K (-59%), Total $22.1M/Wk 5
11.) Spencer (NEON) Fri $211K, Sat $290K, Sun $188,7K, 3-day $690K (-54%), Total $6.1M/Wk 3
‘No Time to Die’ Becomes Highest-Grossing Pandemic Movie at the International BO!!
Ever since movie theaters have opened back up, the box office has seen it’s fair share of mild victories, surprising successes, and under performing efforts. One of the films that is chugging along and seemingly does not want to die, even though it has been in theaters for more than a month in most markets, is the 25th James Bond adventure No Time to Die. This past weekend the film has achieved two major feats. First off, the Cary Joji Fukunaga directed and Daniel Craig starring film surpassed F9’s $558.2 million internationally to become the highest grossing Hollywood film at the international box office in the pandemic era.
Grossing $558.2 million as of Sunday, the film has also managed to cross $700 million at the worldwide box office. This is coming off previously announced accomplishments like No Time to Die surpassing Skyfall’s lifetime gross in 18 markets and Spectre’s lifetime gross in 22 markets. The film has also gone on to become Universal’s top earner of all time in the U.K., Ireland, Netherlands, and Switzerland all the while becoming the fifth highest grossing film of all time in the U.K. passing big blockbuster epics like Avengers: Endgame.
Bond fans in the United States might be surprised by this kind of continued success due to the film’s lukewarm $56 million opening weekend, but it has been in the international markets where Craig’s last outing as Bond has really shined. After all, more so than most franchise properties, James Bond is an internationally beloved character. The film opened in Australia this past weekend, its last major market, where it made a staggering $8.2 million. This is hands down the best performance a film in this market has seen in the pandemic era.
When you combine the film’s international gross with the $150 million it has made in North America up to this point, that comes out to around $708.6 million worldwide. This is all despite the film hitting premium VOD last week and while F9 is still king of the pandemic worldwide box office at $721 million, that appears to be 007’s next target. It is very possible that No Time to Die will hit and surpass that number within days. It is only a matter of time and this action spy thriller that has captured both the hearts of fans and Critics alike shows no signs of stopping.
There has been so much debate about whether the future of the film industry is at home or on the big screen. While that debate rages on, it is big blockbuster films like No Time to Die and F9 that remind us that people are still clamoring for their favorite franchise films to be on the biggest screen possible. Especially given that this was Craig’s last time as Bond and that this epic narrative wrapped up his 007’s five film emotional arc, something Bond fans had not seen before Craig’s era, this film has been a proven must watch experience in theaters. For all the latest box office news and the inevitable next record No Time to Die will break, stick with Collider.
‘Eternals’ Stays at Top While ‘Clifford’ Barks Loud with $22M 5-Day Opening at the BO!!
Despite the worst reviews ever for a Marvel movie, and a B CinemaScore, the second weekend of Disney/Marvel’s Eternals didn’t implode, hitting $27.5M for the weekend, very close to where we saw it yesterday morning. That’s a -61% decline from its opening weekend, which is at the higher end of projections. The pic made $7.8M Friday, -75%. Through ten days, the Chloe Zhao-directed movie will stand at an estimated $118.8M. Worldwide is $284.1M.
Paramount/eOne’s Clifford the Big Red Dog, is much higher than studio ($15M-$17M) and industry projections, despite its availability on Paramount+ with $22M in five days and $16.3M. The movie is on an exclusive theatrical window in Canada, which repped 6% of the weekend’s ticket sales and unlike Paramount’s release of Paw Patrol, has No. 2 circuit Regal as part of its 3,700 theater count.
I call B.S. on that one. It’s OK for the theme parks to be open during COVID (which doubled revenue to $5.45 billion in Q4), but families are hesitant to come to the movie theater? You still have to go indoors at a crowded theme park and touch guard rails, etc. I don’t buy Chapek’s reasoning. The box office numbers are proof that there’s an audience out there for family features, and Clifford is clearing overindexing. How much more could it have done without Paramount+.
More proof that families are heading to the box office: Analytics corp EntTelligence reports that Clifford on Veteran’s Day saw close to half of its audience before 3 PM, and close to 40% of admissions on Saturday before 3PM, on par with UAR/MGM’s Addams Family 2. Two million have seen Clifford to date vs. Eternals‘ weekend 2 admissions of 2.2M. Why so close? Average ticket price on Saturday was $10.61 for Clifford and $12.23 for Eternals.
Even Disney/20th Century Studios’ Ron’s Gone Wrong, which was a clunker in its opening weekend with $7.3M, is seeing solid holds: after a 4.6% decline last weekend in weekend 3, with the movie easing -37% in its current weekend 4 with $2.2M, taking its total to $20.8M; and that’s a niche family movie. The Biden administration announced earlier this week that close to 1M kids 5 to 11 have already received their first Covid shot within its first week of eligibility, with another 700K appointments booked for those to receive their first dose. The figures are based off of 20K pharmacies and clinics. All of this bodes well for Thanksgiving and the year-end holiday box office.
What I need to emphasize here is that November after Eternals, and following a huge $638M October stateside during the pandemic that was beefed up with summer-event films, isn’t going to really dazzle at the box office. Not until Sony/Marvel/Disney’s Spider-Man: No Way Home next month, and that’s all because of product. I know it sounds like I’m repeating myself, but it’s something worth bearing, as whenever there is a misfire, or lackluster gross, the fear is that studios (or Disney) will use that as an excuse to go hybrid. Disney has Encanto coming up for Thanksgiving, and what’s important to remember is that original animated movies are a challenge to launch. Encanto is currently expected to do $37M-$40M over five days, but will likely leg out. But just because it’s lesser IP, it’s no reason to go collapse the window. The riches are in the long run through windows, not in the mere collapsing of marketing costs.
Furthermore, film finance sources inform me that of all the genres, hybrid releases for family movies are the worst. If a family audience sees the movie in a theater, they’ll see it again and again in future ancillaries. Collapsing windows only robs the studio of money. Why is Paramount doing this with Clifford? Because with a limited amount of Viacom brands, especially intriguing product on their streaming service, they’re starving for subscribers, which stands at 46.3M WW across all of its streaming services. The conglom is hoping for 65M-75M by the year 2024, a figure that greatly trails Disney+’s current worldwide muscle of 118.1M. While it’s not ideal for exhibition to compete with a streaming service at home, they, too, are so desperate for a rebound that they’d agree to play a day-and-date release. That is, until they can’t put their foot down and squarely refuse such fare from the studios.
“While Covid will be in the rearview mirror, God willing, I think change in consumer behavior will be more permanent,” added Chapek earlier this week, I don’t exactly agree with that; I think it’s more about Disney missing their subscriber numbers, which sent their stock tumbling 10% from $176.87 at the close of Monday to $159.63 by Friday close, and that’s due to the backlog of their production series line. Disney in Lucasfilm, Marvel, Pixar, etc. has brands that are the envy of the entire town. Disney needs to be careful not to dilute that. If you’re making a film available in both homes and theaters simultaneously, then what’s the premium value of that? Did Black Widow trigger more sign-ups than the availability of Labor Day theatrical release Shang-Chi this weekend on Disney+? Or is the better question to ask: Will binge Marvel series Hawkeye and Lucasfilm’s The Book of Boba Fett which are exclusively on Disney+ this holiday season, and not in theaters, spur more subscriptions? Exclusivity, whether it’s theatrical or simply Disney+ are the respective drivers to either medium. Disney will get their stock back up. I don’t think it’s down on account of keeping their movies on a theatrical window, they just need more new product on Disney+, and that will flood will certainly come. But in the meantime, don’t burn the Mouse House down to keep warm.
Clifford overindexed in the Midwest, south central, and southern US, was slightly above norm in the Northeast, under-indexed in the west, while slightly under-indexing in the mountain region. Overperforming markets were Detroit, Cleveland, Kansas City, Charlotte, Indianapolis, Raleigh-Durham, Cincinnati, Hartford/New Haven, and Grand Rapids/Kalamazoo. Top markets that under-indexed include LA, San Francisco, Phoenix, Seattle, Orlando, Toronto, San Diego, Las Vegas, and Austin. 57% female and 43% male. Under 25 folks were 61% with 42% 12 and under. Parents were 35% and kids under 12, 43% kid while the general audience was 23%. Diversity demos were 32% Caucasian, 45% Hispanic and Latino, 14% African American, 5% Asian and 4% Native American and other. PostTrak audiences gave it 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Focus Features’ black and white Kenneth Branagh-directed movie Belfast is also better than expected, posting solid numbers in arthouses with $1.8M at 580 theaters in 126 markets. Friday earned $640K, which is higher than the opening day for Focus’ The Card Counter, which posted a $422K Friday and $1M opening weekend at 580 sites. Good numbers here in NYC, LA, Toronto Vancouver, Montreal, Philly, Denver and San Francisco. AMC Lincoln Square in NYC is far and away the best gross in the nation, with 2 days grosses of $12,8K. Angelika did over $10K, and Cinemas 123 in NYC over $9K. Demos were 52% females, 47% males. 35+ age 73%, while those under repped 27% of all ticket buyers.
Similar to last year’s awards season films, their prestige will be judged purely on their cinematic merit, not pre-determined by box office with older audiences still crawling back. Among the holdovers: Searchlight’s The French Dispatch in 1,225 theaters with a weekend 4 of $1.84M, -29% with a running total of $11.6M and NEON’s Spencer, also in the top 10 with a second weekend of $1.53M, -24% due to a 269 theater expansion to 1,265, for a 10-day total of $4.7M.
1.) Eternals (Dis) 4,090 theaters, Fri $7.8M (-75%/Sat $11.8M/Sun $7.85M/3-day $27.5M (-61%)/Total: $118.8M/Wk 2
2.) Clifford the Big Red Dog (Par/eOne) 3,700 theater, Fri $4.2M/Sat $7.38M/Sun $4.8M/3-day $16.4M/Total $22M/Wk 1
3.) Dune (WB) 3,282 (-264) theaters, Fri $1.63M /Sat $2.4M/Sun $1.45M3-day $5.5M (-29%)/Total $93.1M/Wk 4
4.) No Time to Die (UAR) 2,867 (-140) theaters, Fri $1.4M (-23%)/Sat $2M/Sun $1.2M/3-day $4.6M (-23%), Total: $150.5M/Wk 6
5.) Venom: Let There Be Carnage (Sony) 2,538 (-102) theaters, Fri $1M (-14%)/Sat $1.85M/Sun $1.1M/3-day $4M (-10%)/Total $202.7M/Wk 7
6.) Ron’s Gone Wrong (Dis/20th) 2,430 (-220) theaters, Fri $533K (-36%)/Sat $990K/Sun $677K/ 3-day $2.2M (-37%)/Total $20.8M/Wk 4
7.) The French Dispatch (Sea) 1,225 (+20) theaters Fri $538K (-35%)/Sat $739K/Sun $563K/ 3-day $1.84M (-29%)/Total $11.6M/Wk 4
8.) Belfast (Uni) 580 theaters Fri $650K/Sat $680K/Sun $470K/3-day $1.8M/Wk 1
9.) Spencer (NEON) 1,265 (+269) theaters, Fri $487K/Sat $621K/Sun $422K/3-day $1.53M (-27%)/Total: $4.7M/Wk 2
10.) Antlers (Sea) 1,825 (-975) theaters, Fri $337K (-45%)/Sat $510K/Sun $353K/ 3-day $1.2M (-39%), Total $9.6M/Wk 3
Despite Poor Reviews ‘Eternals’ Opens with $71 Million at the BO!!
Disney was able to keep Eternals intact throughout the weekend hitting a $71M opening amid mediocre audience exits, and the worst reviews of all-time for an MCU title. But know that when this film first landed on tracking four weeks ago, many had it in the $80M-$85M three-day range. Of those attending in the U.S., 46% told Screen Engine/Comscore’s PostTrak that they went to Eternals because it’s part of a franchise they love, while 44% said the genre/type of movie, 32% the storyline and 28% because of the ensemble cast.
All in worldwide, Eternals counts $161.7M. That’s the 2nd best opening for a Hollywood movie during 2021 behind F9‘s $163M, which saw $136M from China (Eternals won’t have China). The global start for the MCU title is also the best during the pandemic for an original, new piece of IP, 26% ahead of Shang-Chi ($128M) and 8% ahead of Black Widow‘s $150M in like-for-like markets. Of Eternals’ WW total, $13.6M of that came from Imax, while in the states the large format exhibitor saw $7.6M from 403 auditoriums.
Eternals global start is just under that of the worldwide opening of Guardians of the Galaxy ($164M) and Antman and The Wasp ($167M).
Realize that even though an event movie may put up some business, that internally studios digest all the poor critical and fan reactions, especially coming off of a superhero, possible franchise property. There’s certain to be some Monday morning quarterbacking here at Disney with Eternals, but as one film finance source told me yesterday, it’s not the end of the world here for MCU. It stands to reason that eventually after a great streak, the studio would churn out a bad picture. One in 26 isn’t a horrible record. If it was one in five pictures, then there would be reason to be concerned about Marvel, and as far as their competitor DC goes, they’re still trying to get their house together in the wake of Zack Snyder’s Batman v. Superman (that said, they did see their first $1 billion grossing DC movie with Aquaman).
The upside for Disney here with Eternals is that the film remains largely unopposed until Disney’s own animated film Encanto arrives for Thanksgiving. There’s a great warm buzz for Sony’s Ghostbusters: Afterlife but distribute sources believe the movie will be a slow burn. Even if Disney gets Eternals on Disney+ by Christmas, having both Eternals and Sony/Disney/Marvel’s Spider-Man: No Way Home in the marketplace on Dec. 17 will deliver lagniappe at the box office for the former, similar to when Captain Marvel received carryover business when Avengers: Endgame was in release at the same time at the end of April 2019. Of those who saw Eternals this weekend, 26% of them told PostTrak they’d see it again in a theater, while 16% will watch it for free on BitTorrent or a piracy site, while 11% will buy it on Blu-Ray.
You can’t blame Disney’s marketing for the tepid performance here on Eternals. Sorry, but the trailers at least provided an understanding of Eternals, good; Deviants; bad; before anyone tried to figure out this complex superhero gods story. The first trailer dropped at the end of May scored the most global views in a 24 hour period for a Marvel movie trailer during the pandemic at 77M. On PostTrak, those moviegoers who saw Eternals said the most effective advertising was the pic’s YouTube trailer (22%), in theater trailer (14%), and online trailers (13%). Advance ticket presales were the biggest for AMC of the year, and also bested that of Shang-Chi and Black Widow. The studio first introduced the actors and their characters at Disney 2019 D23. Disney had enough confidence in Eternals to fearlessly world premiere it and screen it to the press at least three weeks ahead of release.
In the wake of this, RelishMix noticed that before Eternals’ opening, “conversation ran mixed with MCU die-hards…with low critical reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, some fans were vexed and others certain that Eternals would be a masterpiece.”
EntTelligence box office analytics clocked 5.5M people taking in the Chloe Zhao directed movie this past weekend with 21.75% of those having seen the film in premium large format. Compared to the first days of Venom: Let There Be Carnage, that movie had an average of 25% seeing the pic in large format. Venom 2 had more showtimes per location in PLF next to Eternals. As we told you previously, Eternals‘ Thursday night for PLF only allowed two showings per location vs. Venom 2 which had four showings per location due to its shorter run time. Nonetheless, attendance for Eternals was consistent throughout the day with 50% of those attending arriving before 6PM. Eternals’ strongest play was in the West and South with big cities pulling in the money. Top five markets were LA, NYC, San Francisco, Dallas and Chicago. Imax, PLF, 3D through Saturday were driving 37% of ticket sales.
Other stats on Eternals: updated demos through Saturday were 61% males, 39% females, 55% between 18-34 and 53% under 25. General audience diversity make-up per PostTrak was 51% Caucasian, 23% Hispanic and Latino, 13% African American and 9% Asian. General audience made up 85% of the pic’s business while parents and kids under 12 combined were 15%. Overall 3 1/2 stars and 78% positive, with a 60% definite recommend — not Marvel’s finest moment. Kids under 12 liked it better at 86% and four stars. Men under 25 made up 31% of the crowd (76% grade), Men over 25 30% (78%), Women under 25 were 22% (80%) and women over 25 at 17% (who liked it the most at 81%).
Sixty-one percent of those seeing the movie bought their ticket day of, 12% the day before, while 26% bought it either in the last week or earlier.
A nice sign for the resurge of moviegoing during the pandemic: Per PostTrak of those who watched Eternals, in the last two months, 30% have seen at least 2 movies, 23% saw 3 movies, 20% saw 1 movie while 11% have watched four movies. Comscore calculates the total weekend B.O. was $110.5M, +71% from last weekend. Total 2021 domestic box office for Jan. 1-Nov. 7 is at $3.2 billion, 51% ahead of last year.
Among some of the marketing stunts for Eternals, there was an augmented reality experience with star Lia McHugh that was created utilizing the score created by Ramin Djawadi where the film VFX Supervisors helped craft the experience along with ILM’s involvement.
Over 20 pieces of original content were created in the global push, i.e. “Introducing the Eternals” (Oct. 20) whereby the cast explains each of their character’s powers and role to help contextualize the film and the Eternals’ role in the MCU. “Visionary” (Oct. 21) in which Marvel Boss Kevin Feige explains how the next chapter of the MCU needed to include filmmaker Zhao. She elaborates her vision and Brian Tyree Henry, Lauren Ridloff, Angelina Jolie, Kumail Nanjiani and Gemma Chan discussing the film. “In Kingo’s Words” (Oct 25) where Nanjiani humorously explained the storyline focusing on Kingo’s perspective, which is challenged by other cast members. Additional content included talent greetings for special screenings for the Gold House #OneOpen Screening in NYC, 25 National Fan Event Screenings, exclusive content for NCM and exhibitor partners, a “Stare-Off” Content with Jolie and more.
As we told you, there was a $100M promotional partner campaign with Lexus, McDonald’s, Geico and more.
Eternals had synergy support with ESPN custom content, an ABC Primetime stunt, Freeform, Hulu social, opening weekend stunt on FX with Marvel movies and 22 minutes from the Zhao movie, as well as National Geographic and Nat Geo Wild special looks and custom social content, pre-game show stunts with Chicago Bears @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Disney Channel/Disney XD. Disney Parks launched character encounters with Sersi, Phastos, Kingo in Avengers Campus, sneak peeks. There was a Nanjiani Avengers campus visit in August, a Disney Springs takeover and fan screening, as well as Eternals signage in Disney Resort hotel rooms and staterooms. A full range of products were launched on ShopDisney along with a Nov. 4 Marvel Mania campaign launch.
A great breakthrough for Eternals in regards to cinemagoing: it was the first ever open caption film release created for deaf and hard of hearing communities. The movie stars deaf actress Lauren Ridloff who plays Makkari. The movie had expanded open caption show times along with marketing and social support from exhibition partners. All social and audio visual marketing creative was captioned for a fully accessible experience. Disney held open caption publicity screenings across key markets with influencers and an introduction to the film by Ridloff. There was content creation with Black American Sign Language influencers nationwide, and there was an open caption screening for Gallaudet’s Center Of Black and Deaf Studies (Washington DC) with taped Q & A with Ridloff and students.
What of Netflix’s Red Notice? While rival distributors can’t see ticket sales for the film in Comscore, there are other ways and means of figuring out what this Dwayne Johnson-Gal Gadot-Ryan Reynolds $200M action film grossed at 750 locations. We’re hearing the movie had a great Saturday night (for a Netflix movie) and is approaching $1.25M in monitored theaters. Other sources have floated a $1.5M three-day to me, which is possible, but the lower number is more reasonable. While Netflix doesn’t report their box office numbers, here’s one nice thing exhibition can say about them: They provide excellent rental terms. In doing that, Netflix leaves it to exhibition to sing for their supper, and promote the movie at their venues to drive business. Some dine-in chains are elated with the bucks they can pump out of a Netflix movie. Still, as we said, the bigger circuits would have starved for this event film release in the next few weeks. I hear the reason why the pic is on a one week theatrical window (versus the standard three week window for Netflix awards bait titles) is because it was finished late, and pick-up shots were needed.
NEON is reporting $2.1M at 996 theaters for its Kristen Stewart Princess Diana pic Spencerwhich posted $783K Friday, $780K Saturday and is expected to ring in $585K today. Despite the solid hold here by Searchlight’s The French Dispatch being even in its third weekend with its previous session thanks to an additional 417 theaters (with a current count of 1,205), I hear business is largely being driven for the Wes Anderson movie by 150 core runs. Essentially, despite the flood of arthouse product, the sector is still waiting to fully awaken during the pandemic. Perhaps, down the road, when we finally don’t have to wear masks in public.
1.) Eternals (Dis) 4,090 theaters, Fri $30.7M, Sat $24.1M/Sun $16.2M/3-day $71M/Wk 1
2.) Dune (WB) 3,546 (-579) theaters, Fri $2.25M/Sat $3.3M/Sun $2M/ 3-day $7.6M (-51%)/Total $83.9M/Wk 3
3.) No Time to Die (UAR) 3,007 (-500) theaters, Fri $1.8M/Sat $2.6M/Sun $1.7M/ 3-day $6.1M (-20%), Total: $143.1M/Wk 5
4.) Venom: Let There Be Carnage (Sony) 2,640 (-638) theaters, Fri $1.18M/Sat $2M/Sun $1.27M/3-day $4.4M (-23%)/Total $197M/Wk 6
5.) Ron’s Gone Wrong (Dis/20th) 2,650 (-910) theaters, Fri $830K, Sat $1.66M/Sun $1.1M/ 3-day $3.6M (-3%)/Total $17.6M/Wk 3
6.) The French Dispatch (Sea) 1,205 (+417) theaters Fri $820K/Sat $1M/Sun $732K/ 3-day $2.6M (even)/Total $8.4M/Wk 3
7.) Halloween Kills (Uni) 3,098 (-518) theaters Fri $700K/Sat $1M/Sun $620K/ 3-day $2.35M (-73%)/Total $89.7M/wk 4
8.) Spencer (NEON) 996 theaters, Fri $783K, Sat $780K/Sun $585K/3-day $2.1M/Wk 1
9.) Antlers (Sea) 2,800 theaters, Fri $608K,Sat $725K/Sun $567K 3-day $2M (-53%), Total $7.6M/Wk 2
10.) Last Night in Soho (Foc) 3,016 theaters, Fri $580K,Sat $740K/Sun $480K/ 3-day $1.8M (-57%), Total $7.6M/Wk 2
11.) My Hero Academia (Fun) 1,445 theaters (-136) Fri $428K/Sat $709K/Sun$450K/3-day $1.6M (-75%)/Total $9.7M/Wk 2
Sooryavanshi (Reliance) 491 locations, Fri $362K/Sat $525K/Sun $452K/3-day $1.33M/Wk 1
Red Notice (Netflix) 750 theaters, 3-day $1.25M-$1.5M/Wk 1
Annaatthe (Qube) 398 theaters, Fri $683K, Sat $147K/Sun $110k/3-day $940K/Wk 1 [industry estimates were way off on this one]
‘Dune’ Retains Top Spot with $15M+ while ‘Last Night In Soho’ and ‘Antlers’ Disappoint with $4M at the BO!!
The first full Halloween celebration in two years is taking its toll on the domestic box office, a grey cloud which many saw coming, with many trick-or-treating or attending parties last night. Essentially, whenever the holiday falls on a Sunday, it’s poised to gut the weekend as everyone celebrates on Saturday. On the bright side, Comscore is reporting that October rang up the best month to date during the pandemic with $638M, beating July’s $583.8M.
And, yes, we can blame HBO Max, too, when it comes to Legendary/Warner Bros.’ expected -62% decline for Dune, which looks to be filing $15.5M for the weekend. The Denis Villeneuve-directed reboot of the Frank Herbert novel, which Warners and Legendary have already greenlit a theatrical windowed sequel for, had a solid week of $53.8M. After a $5M Friday, Dune saw a 32% surge on Saturday with $6.6M. The running domestic total is $69.4M through ten days, and global is heading toward $300M WW, currently $292.1M.
Comparing that to Godzilla vs. Kong‘s first ten-day running total, even though that debuted on a Wednesday, Dune is 16% ahead of that Legendary title. Godzilla vs. Kong crossed $100M after 13 weekends. A reminder that these HBO Max theatrical day-and-date titles are on the service for the first 31 days, after which exhibition gets the title exclusively during its second month. Torrent Freak reports that Dune was the most-pirated movie for the week ending Oct. 25.
Of that domestic total, Imax reps $17M, or 24%. Imax screens in North America grossed $4.35M in the second weekend of Dune, or 28%. The global Imax haul of $43.7M is the highest for the large format exhibitor since December 2019. Next weekend, all those Imax screens go to Disney/Marvel’s Eternals, which will reinvigorate the box office again with an expected $80M start.
After Dune, it’s a mishmash of arthouse genre titles, which were never expected to rally, given how they’re largely aimed at upscale crowds who are slowly creeping back, but not in massive numbers. That said, they do have a lot of choices this weekend, and I hear today might be a good day for arthouses overall, as that crowd will head to the theater for matinees. Still, Focus Feature’s Edgar Wright fantasy thriller Last Night in Soho at 3,016 theaters, and Searchlight’s Antlers at 2,800 venues, are having a hard time calling their ranking this morning, both seeing $4.16M each. Seriously?
In regards to Last Night in Soho, it’s quite conceivable that movie is destined for a 17-day theatrical window, which has been the case for most Focus titles during the pandemic. Friday’s $1.9M includes $700K of Thursday night previews that began at 7pm.
Last Night in Soho gets a B+, slightly down from the A- of Wright’s mass-appealing $107.8M domestic grossing Baby Driver, which this genre movie was never expected to emulate. PostTrak was lower at 73% positive, a 56% recommend, and, as expected, an older male crowd in attendance at 57%, 63% over 25 and 64% between 18-34.
Diversity demos were Caucasian 55%, 20% Latino and Hispanic, 10%, Black, and 14% Asian/other. The movie’s strongest markets were the coasts, with six of the top ten-grossing theaters coming from NYC and LA: 1.) AMC Burbank 2.) AMC Lincoln Square NYC 3.) AMC Century City 4.) AMC Empire NYC 5.) Alamo Brooklyn 6.) Chicago Music Box 7.) AMC Disney Orlando 8.) AMC Boston Common 9.)AMC 34th St. 10.) AMC Metreon San Francisco. A handful of PLFs at a 200 count repped driving 26% of the gross through Saturday AM. The Wright movie’s top ten markets were LA, NYC, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Boston, Washington DC, Philly, Denver, and Seattle.
Focus Features truly supported Last Night in Soho, teeing off this film with a Venice Film Festival world premiere, followed by a North American premiere at TIFF and the first Hollywood premiere at the new Academy museum.
Part of the film’s underperformance can be pinned to the funky marketplace. But the film is also a feathered-fish: The movie sets itself up as a 1960s nostalgia fantasy, then takes a left turn two-thirds in down Rosemary’s Baby lane. As a moviegoer, you’re either indulgent and on board with Wright’s style, or you’re not.
Anya Taylor-Joy’s emotional and cinematic performance of Petula Clark’s 1960s pop single “Downtown” is worth the admission price alone. The soundtrack recorded two versions of Taylor-Joy’s cover of the song, one of them being the acapella, slowed-down rendition from the movie. That music video clocked 15M views. There was a limited edition 7″ vinyl double “Downtown” single released.
As part of the film’s promotion, Wright took over the @Twittermovies handle on Thursday, reaching out to their 6.8M followers. There was also an exclusive Snap Lens created for fans on social media.
Overall social media reach, according to RelishMix, for Last Night in Soho across YouTube views, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook was 55.4M, with Taylor-Joy driving 8.1M via her fan portals.
Antlers, directed by Scott Cooper and produced by Guillermo del Toro, is another movie held by Searchlight during the pandemic. Heck, it even had a virtual panel at San Diego Comic-Con 2020, which tells you how long it’s been teased. At the end of the day, it’s a C+ from CinemaScore audiences, a 62% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, which doesn’t scream ‘must-see’, with even lower PostTrak exits of 59% and a 42% recommend.
Audience was 61% guys, 65% over 25 and 60% between 18-34. Audience make-up was 48% Caucasian, 27% Latino and Hispanic, 14% Black and 11% Asian/other. Friday’s $1.7M includes $370K previews that began at 6PM.
RelishMix says the social outreach on Antlers was moderate, with del Toro the most prominent promoter online toward his 3.2M fans. Despite fans who expressed their interest in wanting to see the movie before opening weekend, they were “also unclear of the storyline,” reports RelishMix.
Searchlight also expanded their Wes Anderson film The French Dispatch by 736 theaters to 788; and with $2.75M second weekend, +105%, we hear that it pulled in some solid ticket sales in its core runs in New York and Los Angeles, with new markets Sacramento, San Diego, and Montreal notable.
And there’s also Funimation’s My Hero Academia: World Heroes’ Mission, booked at 1,602 theaters this weekend, which is also grabbing some of the fanboys away from Dune and Last Night in Soho, settling in fourth place with $6.4M.
There weren’t any previews on Thursday for My Hero Academia, but the pic was booked at 4DX, Dbox, and some PLFs, posting a $2.88M Friday with 1,577 locations reporting. The film is available subtitled in Japanese or dubbed in English.
This is the third film in the My Hero Academia franchise, after My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising last year, and My Hero Academia: Two Heroes in 2018. Movie is produced by Toho Co. Ltd., Shueisha, and Studio BONES. Funimation has seven of top 20 highest-grossing anime box office releases at the domestic B.O., including My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising ($13.3M) and My Hero Academia: Two Heroes ($5.8M domestic).
Universal/Blumhouse/Miramax’s Halloween Kills takes second with $8.5M in weekend 3, -41% for a running cume by EOD today of $85.6M. The movie is also available in homes on the paid subscriber tier of Peacock streaming service.
United Artist Releasing’s The Addams Family 2, which is on PVOD, is looking to pass the $50M this weekend, $52.8M by end of today, after a $3.2M fifth weekend at 2,757 theaters, -27%.
Top 10 weekend estimates. Chart is updating with Sunday AM figures:
1.) Dune (WB) 4,125 theaters Fri $5M (-71%)/Sat $6.6M/Sun $3.9M/3-day $15.5M (-62%)/Total $69.4M/Wk 2
2.) Halloween Kills (Uni) 3,616 (-111) theaters Fri $2.5M (-44%)/Sat $3.5M/Sun $2.46M/3-day $8.5M (-41%)/Total $85.6M/Wk 3
3.) No Time to Die(UAR) 3,507 (-300) theaters Fri $2.39M (-33%)/Sat $3.39M/Sun $2M/3-day $7.8M (-36%)/Total $133.3M/Wk 4
4.) My Hero Academia: World Heroes’ Mission (Fun) 1,602 theaters, Fri $2.88M/Sat $2.1M/Sun $1.42M/3-day $6.4M/Wk 1
5.) Venom: Let There Be Carnage (Sony) 3,278 (-235) theaters Fri $1.6M (-35%)/Sat $2.59M/Sun $1.5M/3-day $5.75M (-38%)/Total $190.4M/Wk 5
6.) Last Night in Soho (Foc) 3,016 theaters Fri $1.9M/Sat $1.32M/Sun $920K/3-day $4.16M/Wk 1
7.) Antlers (Sea) 2,800 theaters Fri $1.7M/Sat $1.46M/Sun $999K/3-day $4.16M/Wk 1
8.) Ron’s Gone Wrong (20th/Dis) 3,560 theaters, Fri $1.1M (-52%)/Sat $1.8M/Sun $842K/3-day $3.8M (-48%)/Total $12.6M/Wk 2
9.) Addams Family 2 (UAR) 2,757 (-150) theaters Fri $846K (-26%)/Sat $1.47M/Sun $957K/ 3-day $3.2M (-27%)/Total $52.8M/Wk 5
10.) The French Dispatch (Sea) 788 (+736) theaters Fri $1.09M (+96%)/Sat $924k/Sun $745K/3-day $2.75M (+105%)/Total $4.6M/ Wk 2
‘Dune’ Sets Best HBO Max Day/Date Title Opening with $40.1M Opening at the BO!!
Dune has easily become Denis Villeneuve’s biggest domestic opening at the box office, and the best start for Warner Bros. and an HBO Max day-and-date title with $40.1M. Business was actually better than many had anticipated for Saturday, -22% from Friday with $13.7M, sending the Frank Herbert feature adaptation ahead of tracking’s opening forecast of $30M-$35M.
This is also the 8th film from Warners to open at No. 1 this year. The pic overindexed in Villeneuve’s Canadian homeland, driving 11% of the gross where Dune resides on a theatrical window, sans HBO Max, since the OTT service isn’t available there yet.
Worldwide weekend on Dune was $87.5M, ahead of the $70M we were spotting sending the pic’s total global running cume to $220.7M.
“Denis made an extraordinary movie and fans are enthusiastically appreciating it and spreading excellent word of mouth,” beamed Warner Bros. Theatrical Domestic Distribution Jeff Goldstein.
There are some cynical executives out there who want to gripe and say that this isn’t a great start stateside for a male-geared movie which is carrying $300M in estimated production and distribution costs.
Again, very few of these movies, which have been sitting on the shelf collecting interest costs during the pandemic, are apt to make their money back in the short term. In addition, there’s the whole hybrid release of Dune, which is certainly shaving off dollars. Legendary funded 75% of Dune, Warners 25%, but I understand the former and its cast and filmmaker were compensated by the studio in regards to profiting off of downstreams as though Dune performed like a mega-blockbuster. Such are the terms for these event movies which are sent to HBO Max.
And yes, the result here for Dune, and the vibrant pre-sales we heard about going into the weekend (the best to date), beg the question as to how much money is being left on the table with the HBO Max release, especially at a time when younger audiences are driving the box office recovery.
If Dune clocks a similar US household viewership draw in Samba TV terrestrial homes as the first weekend of New Line/HBO Max Mortal Kombat (3.8M), and we use the average price for Dune tickets from box office firm Market EntTelligence ($14.41), back-of-the-napkin calculations could indicate that some $55M was left on the table at the domestic B.O. with Dune (meaning a possible domestic opening of $95M).
However, the only questions with that calculation is a) how many people who watched Dune at home were going to skip seeing it in theater, and b) that calculation is based on one person per household watching this all-star ensemble of Zendaya, Oscar Isaac, Jason Momoa, Rebecca Ferguson, Timothee Chalamet.
Understand that these day-and-date decisions to go hybrid are made well in advance, as contracts drag on in compensating talent. Even as the domestic box office made a turnaround with Shang-Chi over Labor Day weekend, Warners couldn’t just put Dune back on a pure theatrical window path. The studio sold subscriptions off of Dune being part of the HBO Max 2021 lineup, and to put the title squarely back in theaters would have resulted in consumer backlash and a potential legal conundrum.
Don’t worry, WarnerMedia isn’t going to get drunk on this distribution model: They’ve already committed to a 45-day theatrical window next year. Understand this is a great result for the current marketplace; no one in exhibition is complaining, as Dune caps off a robust month, and it shows that when people want to get out of the house and make time for the cinema, they do — even if it’s on HBO Max.
Sure, yes, the drops on Warner/HBO Max films are steep in weekend 2. If Warner Bros. can pull a rabbit out their hat and get Dune to $100M in the US and Canada, like they did with Godzilla vs. Kong, I’m sure they’ll think it’s a job well done in addition to what they pull in overseas.
Dune‘s success will be spelled over the long road: Dune is a film, like George Miller’s Mad Max: Fury Road (which was also a very expensive movie at $185M net before P&A, and topped out at $375.7M WW) which is poised to be in the running this awards season. Fury Road notched six Oscars, including nominations for Best Director and Best Picture, and a spin-off is set to shoot and become the biggest production Australia has ever seen next year, with Furiosa. Not to mention, WarnerMedia executives have talked up a Dune 2.
Warner Bros. knew they had a great epic on their hands with Dune, and began screening this film immediately at the end of August to awards voting members and press. They world- premiered the movie at Venice, and then at TIFF. Heck, they were even dropping trailers for the movie back during the earlier part of the pandemic, just after Tenet debuted in theaters in August 2020. According to iSpot, Warners spent $13.3M in US TV spots from mid-Sept. 2020 to late July 2021, then another break, and re-started the campaign from August until now.
That TV spend is more than the $9.9M which Uni shelled out on Halloween Kills before opening, more than the $10.4M Sony spent on Venom: Let There Be Carnage, but under MGM’s TV ad spend of No Time to Die with $18.2M. The Dune TV campaign, according to iSpot, drew 813.6M impressions. Top networks airing Dune spots were NBC (31.3%), FOX (10.5%), ESPN (8.4%), CBS (6.2%). ABC (4.5%) across such shows as NFL (20.1%), Tokyo Olympics (17.8%), MLB (3.9%), The Voice (3.2%), Saturday Night Live (1.7%).
RelishMix says that Dune‘s social media across YouTube views, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram stood at 474.1M before opening, “2X the genre norm, fueled by re-starts of campaign — plus the effect of the well-activated cast at 41% of the reach.”
On Facebook, Warners took an organic approach to video engagement by posting 41 trailers and clips for 2.5M views, which began on Sept. 8, 2020, pausing and then rebooting 13 weeks ago. Over on YouTube, the eight videos have clocked a healthy 206.7M views and a viral rate twice the norm, too, at 40:1.
Added to the triangulation of WB Pictures at 57.8M and HBO Max at 4.1M is the robust Legendary studios’ social media universe of 2.4M, which saw strong activity with trailers in the wake of Godzilla vs. Kong and strong international engagement with an added set of five YouTube videos. Not only were the cast posting Dune materials, but below the line folks as well, i.e. composer Hans Zimmer with a #DuneMovieDuet challenge on TikTok. In the mix across YouTube are 21 Zimmer soundtrack components which were dropped 4 weeks ago on the Warner Bros’ WaterTower channel. DP Greig Fraser shot loads of stills seen on his Instagram to 68K fans mixed in with The Batman.
“Casting impact scores solid points at 199.2M, with 41% of the social media awareness with both Zendaya at 147.3M and Timothee Chalamet at 15.4M, who are off-the-charts in terms of fan engagement on their carefully timed posts of trailers, posters, and red carpet moments in the range of 2-7M likes per post,” says RelishMix.
“Impressively for Zendaya, while she has significant fashion deals, she still supports her film projects across her social network. Dune reunites Villeneuve with Dave Bautista at 15.1M after their journey in Blade Runner 2049. Also activated are Jason Momoa at 16.1M, Josh Brolin at 3M, Rebecca Ferguson at 402K and David Dastmalchian at 298K. Villeneuve is non-social,” adds the social media analytics corp.
Dune demands to be seen in a theater, and 50% of the pic’s business came from Imax, Dolby Cinema, PLF, D-box and 3D. Imax theaters alone delivered $9M from 404 screens, a 22.5% marketshare of the pic’s B.O. this weekend, one of the biggest shares for the large format exhibitor.
Globally, it’s the biggest October opening weekend ever for Imax at $17.8M. Top five Domestic IMAX locations (including the 2‐day grosses so far) this weekend include: 1. TCL Chinese Theatre Hollywood $119,028, 2. AMC Lincoln Square NY $104,007, 3. AMC Metreon San Francisco $71,128, 4. Cineplex Scotiabank Toronto $63,958, and 5. Cineplex Banque Scotia Montreal $63,958.
The top 10 locations overall (including the 2‐day grosses so far) are: 1. AMC Lincoln Square NY $170,656, 2. TCL Chinese Theatre LA $128,390, 3. AMC Burbank LA $125,175, 4. AMC Metreon San Francisco $123,228, 5. Cineplex Cinema Banque Scotia Montreal $121,389, 6. AMC Empire NY $103,948, 7. AMC Boston Common $99,302, 8. Regal Irvine Spectrum LA $96,485, 9. Cineplex Scotiabank Toronto $95,908, and 10. AMC Century City LA $86,397.
And in a great result for arthouses, The French Dispatch from Wes Anderson scored the best theater average during the pandemic with $25K or $1.3M at 52 theaters in 14 markets. The theater average bests that of such event titles, Venom 2 at $21.3K per theater and Black Widow at $19.4K per theater. The movie, which made its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival, expands to 600 theaters in 60 markets next weekend.
“The French Dispatch is a jolt of electricity for the specialty box office, delivering record-breaking results in theaters across the country,” said Searchlight Pictures’ SVP-General Sales Manager Frank Rodriguez in a statement. “These figures show that after a year and a half, arthouse and independent theaters have a superhero of their own in Wes Anderson. What has been doubly encouraging is the crossover results in mainstream theaters hungry for Wes’ 10th film as well. We are thrilled that after several delays, moviegoers said it was worth the wait.”
Top theaters for French Dispatch included the Angelika in downtown Manhattan as the pic’s highest- grossing theatre in North America, nearing the $100K mark over three days and selling out numerous screenings. The Grove in Los Angeles took in $41,3K in the pic’s first two days, followed by the BAM in Brooklyn ($40,3K first two days) Alamo Brooklyn ($33K), AMC Lincoln Square in New York ($41K) and the Landmark West L.A ($35,4K).
Canada also saw an incredible turnout, particularly in the Varsity in Toronto ($29K first two days) and the Park in Vancouver ($22K). In polling, 83% of the audience considered themselves Anderson fans, higher than any number seen for The Grand Budapest Hotel and Isle of Dogs according to Searchlight.
Other takeaways from this weekend: Disney/20th Century Studios/Locksmith’s Ron’s Gone Wrong lived up to its title’s name at the weekend box office with an awful $7.3M. I mean, family movies that were purely theatrical and on PVOD day-and-date during the pandemic like Paw Patrol, Addams Family 2, and The Boss Baby: Family Business (day and date Peacock) and Space Jam 2 (day-date HBO Max) did substantially more business. Look for the great return of families at Thanksgiving with Disney Animation’s Encanto.
Also, many are in my ear about the -71% drop off of Halloween Kills in weekend 2, with $14.5M. Sure, we can blame some Peacock here. But I think the majority of the decline rests on the fact that the movie is a horror film, and everyone that needed to see it saw it opening weekend, and that B- CinemaScore screams that there was no reason to see it again, or even venture out to see the sequel in weekend 2. Not when you have a spectacle like Dune in the marketplace.
Comscore is reporting the total weekend B.O. at $95M, off 13% from last weekend. Total running B.O. for 2021 for Jan. 1 through Oct. 24 is $3 billion, 42% ahead of last year at the same point in time.
1.) Dune (WB) 4,125 theaters Fri $17.5M/Sat $13.7M/Sun $8.9M/3-day $40.1M/Wk 1
2.) Halloween Kills (Uni) 3,727 (+2) theaters Fri $4.5M/Sat $6.2M/Sun $3.7M/3-day $14.5M (-71%)/Total $73.1M/Wk 2
3.) No Time to Die(UAR) 3,807 (-600) theaters Fri $3.58M/Sat $5.2M/Sun $3.1M/3-day $11.9M (-50%)/Total $120M/Wk 3
4.) Venom: Let There Be Carnage(Sony) 3,513 (-500) theaters Fri $2.45M/Sat $4.1M/Sun $2.5M/3-day $9.1M (-45%)/Total $181.8M/Wk 4
5.) Ron’s Gone Wrong (20th/Dis) 3,560 theaters, Fri $2.3M/Sat $3M/Sun $2M/3-day $7.3M/Wk 1
6.) Addams Family 2 (UAR) 2,907 (-700) theaters Fri $1.1M/Sat $2M/Sun $1.2M/3-day $4.3M (-39%)/Total $48.3M/Wk 4
7.) The Last Duel(20th/Dis) 3,065 theaters Fri $627K/Sat $864K/Sun $609K/3-day $2.1M (-55%)/Total $8.5M/Wk 2
8.) Shang-Chi (Dis) 1,600 (-700) theaters Fri $547K /Sat $936K/Sun $517K/3-day $2M (-39%)/Total $221M/Wk 8
9.) The French Dispatch(Sea) 52 theaters Fri $555K/Sat $452K/Sun $293K/3-day $1.3M/Wk 1
10.) Met Opera: Fire Shut Up in My Bones(Fathom) /Sat $610K/3-day $610K/Wk 1
‘Halloween Kills’ Grabs Best Horror R-Rated Opening Records During Pandemic With $50.4M at the BO!!
Typically, horror movies fall apart on a Saturday night, especially ones with bad reviews and lackluster audience exits. But Universal/Blumhouse/Miramax’s Halloween Kills kept it together, even with a day-and-date Peacock component.
The David Gordon Green-directed sequel, the 12th in the franchise, kept on course for a $50.35M 3-day, slightly higher than what we saw yesterday morning off a $17.2M Saturday, -25% from Friday. That’s a better Friday-to-Saturday hold, percent-wise, than previous Blumhouse October horror pics Paranormal Activity 3 and Paranormal Activity 2, both -35%. Also, Halloween Kills’ Saturday beats Paranormal Activity 2’s Saturday of $13M.
Overall, Halloween Kills is the best 3-day US/Canada opening we’ve seen for a horror movie during the pandemic, beating Paramount’s A Quiet Place Part II ($47.5M), and it’s the best opening for an R-rated movie during the pandemic, blowing away Warner Bros/HBO Max’s The Suicide Squad ($26.2M).
From PostTrak exits, the majority of respondents at 38% said the main reason why they went to the sequel was because it was part of a franchise they liked.
Halloween Kills ties with Jackass 3D as the ninth-best opening at the domestic box office for October, and the third-best for a horror film during the month, after Halloween two years ago ($76.2M) and 2011’s Paranormal Activity 3 ($52.5M). The pic is also the eighth Blumhouse title to open north of $40M.
Beamed Universal Domestic Distribution Chief Jim Orr, “The debut of Halloween Kills this weekend is a further reinforcement that audiences are eager to be in theaters to truly experience the energy created by what becomes a communal event, especially for this genre and this franchise. Our amazing director, David Gordon Green, and our lead, Jamie Lee Curtis, crafted an incredibly terrifying continuation of this franchise that our audience enthusiastically embraced this weekend.”
Before the streamer-heads take a victory lap, and no doubt Comcast NBCUniversal brass will do so for the sequel when earnings hit on the 28th of this month, this is clearly and vibrantly a win for the box office and movie theaters.
A majority of the streamers outside of Netflix are silent about their viewership, and aim to get headlines with anecdotal exclamations. However, if there’s a result here on Peacock for Halloween Kills in terms of the hard number of paid subscribers gained or the millions that watched, then the media conglom should trumpet that to the sky. Anything less and anecdotal, “Oh, it was the best we’ve seen” is unacceptable. It takes a lot of nerve, muscle, and tact to release a theatrical movie in a marketplace that’s looking to repair itself, and these movies every weekend get looked at under a microscope.
While it’s been declared that Boss Baby 2 worked, there’s been zero data from the conglom to support that. Meanwhile, a majority of what’s on streaming gets away without any scrutiny. Not really fair, but more than that, if I’m a content creator or any guild member associated with the movie, I deserve to know what the fruits are from the blood, sweat, and tears that has been poured into a production.
Again, Halloween Kills going to Peacock wasn’t about any concern for the pandemic and cautious audiences. Moviegoers, especially the 18-34 sect, have already demonstrated that they’re willing to come out to cinemas. Sending the sequel to Peacock was all about Peacock. All we know is that 52M subscribers are activated on Peacock, meaning that any Comcast cable household has access to the ad-fueled, subscription-free tier of the service.
Most recent numbers for activated monthly Peacock users were at 14M, and per MoffetNathanson in our previous update, the number of paid subs on the service (who at $4.99 would get access to Halloween Kills) are significantly smaller, according to data from earlier this year. Best advice for Peacock: Get Battlestar Galactica off the ground ASAP to pull in young subs, and get repeat business instead of burning down the theatrical slate.
Wall Street should be keen here to recognize the box office win for Halloween Kills over any anecdotal, non-numerical claims made on the Peacock side: This is the third back-to-back weekend during the pandemic where all movies have grossed over $100M. This past weekend looks to touch $112M this weekend, +3% from last weekend when No Time to Die led the box office.
Top markets for Halloween Kills over Friday-Saturday was LA ($3.7M), NYC ($2.3M), Chicago ($1.6M), Dallas ($1.3M), Houston ($1.1M), Philly ($1.1M), San Francisco ($812K), Atlanta ($768K), Phoenix ($745K) and Detroit ($743K).
The campaign for Halloween Kills kicked off with the official first full trailer launch on June 24, and garnered 60M views, more than 1,000 editorial posts, and generated trending topics on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube, per Universal. Curtis received the Golden Lion Award at the Venice Film Festival, where the pic premiered. The actress also hosted the launch of Universal Pictures’ TikTok account, which is featuring only content from Halloween Kills throughout this month. Her first post racked up more than 350K views in just three days.
There was also an innovative new audio feature on Twitter to tease the final trailer, a “Face the Shape” contest across Instagram and TikTok that allowed fans the chance to win a trip to L.A. and be killed by Michael Myers. Additional social and digital activations include a “Knifed” GIPHY program, a Facebook/Instagram Messenger MovieMate viewing of 2018’s Halloween, which allows users watch the film and receive interactive messages throughout, including BTS stills, trivia, and GIFS as they watch, along with a partnership with Snap for a full three-dimensional scale Michael Myers Snap World lens. The lens was featured on NBC’s Football Night In America.
Who should doubt 007? The global haul for No Time to Die via UAR and Universal stands at $447.5M through three weekends. That’s higher than Disney/Marvel’s worldwide take for Black Widow at $379.3M, also ahead of those studios’ Shang-Chi, which has $414.3M WW, and Bond is about to take over Warner Bros./Legendary’s Godzilla vs. Kong at $467.8M. Imax reports that Bond 25’s second weekend stateside grossed $3M. There were strong weekend holds across much of Europe, particularly Germany (-18%), Austria (-13%), Sweden (+2%), Finland (-20%), and Netherlands (-7%), taking the Imax totals to $19.3M abroad and a global tally of $31.6M. Of that $12.3M is from the pic’s domestic take. I also understand that Canada had a better hold than the U.S. on No Time to Die; Universal is handling the movie in the Great White North.
Top 10 chart:
1.) Halloween Kills (Uni/Blum/Miramax) 3,705 theaters, Fri $22.8M/Sat $17.2M/Sun $10.3M/ 3-day $50.4M/Wk 1
2.) No Time to Die (UAR) 4407 theaters, Fri $7.2M (-69%)/Sat $10.3M/Sun $6.7M/3-day $24.3M (-56%), Total $99.5M/Wk 2
3.) Venom: Let There Be Carnage (Sony) 4.013 (-212) theaters, Fri $4.56M (-50%)/Sat $7.3M/Sun $4.56M/3-day $16.5M (-48%), Total: $168M/Wk 3
4.) Addams Family 2 (UAR) 3,607 (-600) theaters, Fri $1.89M (-32%)/Sat $3.2M/Sun $2.1M/ 3-day $7.2M (-29%), Total $42.2M/Wk 3
5.) The Last Duel (20th/Disney) 3,065 theaters, Fri $1.86M/Sat $1.78M/Sun $1.18M/3-day $4.8M/Wk 1
6.) Shang-Chi (Dis) 2,300 (-500) theaters/Fri $921K/Sat $1.55M/Sun $1.06M/3-day $3.54M (-18%)/Total $218M/Wk 7
7.) Honsla Rakh (Ind) 100 theaters, Fri $195K/Sat $305K/Sun $206K/ 3-day $706K/Wk 1
8.) Free Guy (20th/Dis) 915 (-580) theaters Fri $187K/Sat $301K/Sun $192K/3-day $680K (-45%)/Total $120.8M/Wk 10
9.) Lamb (A24) 865 (+282) theaters Fri $172K/Sat $212K/Sun $159K/3-day $543K (-46%)/Total $2.03M/Wk 2
10.) Most Eligible Bachelor (Sar) 195 theaters, Fri $230K/Sat $143K/Sun $97K/3-day $470K/Wk 1
Daniel Craig’s Final Bond Film ‘No Time To Die Opens with $56M at the BO!!
When it comes to Bond and the box office, the world is enough, and the bigger exclamation, as we first told you earlier this week, was going to be in No Time to Die‘s global figure, which is coming in at $145.5M (very close to the $150M we reported), comprised of its opening weekend domestic and second weekend abroad. We’ve heard there’s great holds throughout Europe, and with even bigger riches ahead in China, when the Cary Joji Fukunaga film lands there. All-in right now for the MGM/United Artist Releasing/Universal/Eon title is $313.3M. However, domestic came in at the lower end of expectations with a $56M start. Saturday was steeper than initially figured yesterday, with $18.1M, -22%. Tracking and UAR always expected No Time to Die to open between $55M-$60M, and somehow the greater PR narrative on the film seemed to position the 25th Bond as though it was going to play like a Marvel movie. That was never in the cards at the domestic B.O. Thirty-nine percent of the audience was between 18-34 versus Venom: Let There Be Carnage‘s first weekend grab of that crowd, which was 64%.
Also, we told you, this is the range that the last two Mission: Impossibles opened at, and those were in the late summer. Among all Bond movies, No Time to Die is the fourth-biggest at the domestic B.O., after Skyfall ($88.3M), Spectre ($70.4M) and Quantum of Solace ($67.5M). It’s also the longest 007 title ever at 2 hours and 43 minutes. Also something to note, only 88% of all 5,8K U.S. and Canadian theaters are open during the pandemic. While a majority of states have their theaters open, only Delaware can boast that 100% of their theaters are open.
No Time to Die can look forward to some more cash tomorrow, Monday, when the Northeast takes a holiday for Indigenous Peoples’ Day. In addition, Bond typically holds well in its subsequent weekends, and we hear there’s an indication that even though there wasn’t an overabundance of older adults, there were those older Bond fans who did come out to the theater for the first time in two years. Those over 45 repped 36% of the audience.
True, it’s a very competitive October, and two blockbusters back-to-back like Venom: Let There Be Carnage and No Time to Die did impact each other. No Time to Die couldn’t go any later, I hear, because of its brand partner campaign. In addition, Top Gun: Maverick had dibs on the Thanksgiving frame. By the time Paramount moved it, UAR’s marketing for No Time to Die was already locked and loaded.
At the same time, what shouldn’t be lost on Wall Street is that No Time to Die, together with Sony’s Venom 2, fueled a very good weekend during the pandemic for exhibition, with an estimated $110M, -13% from last weekend, and -22% off from the same period in 2019, when Joker‘s second weekend ruled with $55.8M, UAR opened Addams Family to $30M, and Paramount’s Will Smith movie Gemini Man debuted to $20.6M.
Venom 2, by the end of Monday, will see $146.5M, clocking ahead of the original movie’s running total of 11 days, which was $144.9M. That’s remarkable for this time when moviegoing is looking to get back on its feet, and very noteworthy as Venom 2‘s second weekend decline of -64%, or $32M, was in the face of tentpole competition. Previous big blockbusters like F9 and Black Widow experienced respective -67% and -68% second weekend drops without any competition.
“A lot of people came out and saw this movie, and it was the first movie they went back to the cinemas for. No Time to Die will play and play. They’ll tell friends how much fun they had at the theater, and then they’ll come back,” said UAR President of Distribution Erik Lomis, who, with No Time to Die, counts the seventh 007 title he’s released after a great track record at MGM. For UAR Marketing Boss Gerry Rich, it’s the fifth Bond film he’s worked on. MGM Film President Jonathan Glickman stayed aboard after leaving the studio in January 2020 to provide guidance on No Time to Die.
Anyone thinking that vaccine cards curb theatrical business, think again. New York City, where vax cards are enforced, was the top market for No Time to Die in the nation, with AMC Lincoln Square being the pic’s top destination.
Other top-grossing theaters, most of them AMCs, include the AMC Burbank, the AMC Empire 25, the Regal Irvine, the TCL Chinese in Hollywood, Cinemark’s Lincoln Square in Seattle, Scotiabank in Toronto, the AMC Metreon in San Francisco, AMC’s the Grove in LA and AMC’s Tyson Corners in Washington D.C.
Other top markets after NYC for Bond were Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Dallas, Toronto, DC, Seattle and Salt Lake City.
EntTelligence reports that 4.2M patrons watched No Time to Die this weekend, with over 400K coming out for previews. Showing the older targets desired time to see the film, on Saturday only 12% of No Time to Die‘s business came after 9PM, while Venom 2 had near 20% of their business during the late night hours. Venom 2 did have more overall seats because of its runtime. But both titles did have the equal percentage of their individual available seats post 9PM.
Audience exits ticked up a tad between Friday and Saturday to 83% positive on PostTrak, and 63% definite recommend for No Time to Die. Sixty one percent said that Craig’s final turn as Bond met their expectations, while 29% said it exceeded. As is typical during the pandemic, those heading to the cinema are deciding to do so at the last minute, with 65% buying their tickets the day they saw No Time to Die and 15% the day before, versus 14% within the last week.
Among the reasons for those attending No Time to Die: 45% bought tickets because they love Bond, 38% came for Craig, 28% attended because the person they were with wanted to see the film, while 24% respectively came for the cast and the subject/plot. Twenty-four percent of the audience came with a spouse or partner, 19% came with a friend, and 17% with an adult family member. Of those who plan to buy or rent the DVD or watch on digital, they numbered 56% while 22% said they’d go see the movie again in theaters.
Now, UAR has been marketing Bond for quite some time: The first trailer dropped on Dec. 4, 2019, and there was a Super Bowl ad thereafter before the pandemic lockdown. iSpot estimates that stateside, $22M was spent in TV ads, yielding 1.5 billion impressions. I’ve heard global P&A, which started and stopped, is (revised) in the $175M range. iSpot says that NBC, Fox, ESPN, CBS and Telemundo were the top networks advertising No Time to Die, on such programs as NFL, Super Bowl LIV, the Tokyo Summer Olympics, college football, and SportsCenter.
Before catching No Time to Die over the weekend, PostTrak exits showed that 37% of the audience watched the pic’s trailer or clips before attending a month or prior before, 20% caught a trailer this week, while 16% saw it the day they went to the theater. Close to a third of the audience didn’t watch a trailer or film clip before going to No Time to Die.
No Time to Die‘s campaign kicked off on Good Morning America with a trailer launch and digital boards takeover in Times Square. There was a spot in the NFL Season Opener which ignited the pic’s TV campaign, including spots during NFL matchups, MLB Playoffs, high-profile prime finales, and new season premieres.
There was a custom spot on ESPN featuring Karl Anthony Townes as a Bond Stunt Double. There was also a strong audio campaign in the top 18x markets targeting multiple formats, along with Station ID takeovers and DJ Chatter. UAR targeted streaming audio to younger consumers, and podcast coverage in NY Times, The Daily and Joe Rogan.
Oct. 5 was Global James Bond Day, with a media blitz stunt across all TV dayparts, including Univision Prime Novella roadblock, heavy local radio, including station ID takeovers and heavy-up on streaming audio platforms, and numerous high-impact digital takeovers, including T-Mobile Tuesday partnership and Promoted Twitter Trend.
Overall, a robust digital campaign delivered over 750MM impressions and 175MM video views targeted to broad moviegoers and Bond fans. There were 31 high impact takeovers the week of release across connected TV, audio, social, and ticketing partners.
Social Media analytics firm RelishMix reports that Spectre in 2015 had a social media universe of 188.2M, including 164M YouTube video and pre-dated Facebook video counts, and with Instagram during its early days. No Time to Die clocked over 736.5M in its social media reach, including 588.3M YouTube views from earned and owned posts, 79.4M Facebook views and the Instagram page at 1.6M.
The Billie Eilish effect on the film includes her 172.8M fans (92.5M on Instagram, 31M FB, 6.2M Twitter and 43.1M YouTube subs) and the top two videos on Youtube at 104.8M and 45.7M views of the theme song, with 4.5M fans. Other cast activated include Christoph Waltz at 532K, Naomie Harris at 465K, Jeffrey Wright at 407K, and Billy Magnussen at 88K. Ana de Armas posted quite time ago about the film to her 4.6M Instagram followers. Daniel Craig, Rami Malek and Lea Seydoux are non social.
There was a James Bond x FaZe Clan partnership, including a team screening and a live stream gaming event, which featured an interview with Craig and a surprise appearance by Eilish, who won a Grammy for the title song. FaZe Clan is the largest gaming and esports organization in the world.
Most influential ads, per PostTrak audiences for Bond 25, were social media celebrity endorsements (17%), YouTube videos, in-theaters ads (15%) on which the film trailered on F9, Shang-Chi, Venom 2, and The Suicide Squad, and 10% TV spots.
A24’s Lamb milked $1M at 583 theaters, and will clock $1.1M over the four-day holiday. Again, in order to reach these types of numbers, arthouse titles have to go wider during the pandemic. In addition, many pay TV deals for independent films are structured in such a way that an indie distributor benefits by going wider in weekend 1. It’s a positive number for the pandemic, but everyone is still yearning for pre-pandemic business. The feasible brag here is that Lamb is the highest-grossing Icelandic film of all time in the US. Lamb is on a 20-day theatrical window.
NEON’s Palme d’Or winner Titane saw a steep decline in weekend 2 of -62% or $200,8K at 474 locations. The pic posted a $67K Friday, $76,4K Saturday and $57,3K Sunday. We are hearing that IFC’s French timely abortion drama Happening from filmmaker Audrey Diwan is bound to be France’s official submission for this year’s Oscars. The movie made its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival and won both the Golden Lion and Fipresci Award on the Lido. The pic, as I understand, will have a more nurturing release pattern when it hits theaters, that of a platform to build word of mouth.
1.) No Time to Die(UAR) 4,407 theaters Fri $23.3M/Sat $18.1M/Sun $14.6M/3-day $56M/Wk 1
2.) Venom: Let There Be Carnage(Sony) 4,225 theaters, $9M (-75%)/$13.1M Sat/Sun $9.9M/3-day $32M (-64%)/Total $141.66M/Wk 2
3.) Addams Family 2(UAR) 4,207 theaters Fri $2.77M (-51%)/Sat $4.2M/Sun $3M/ 3-day $10M (-42%), Total: $31.1M/Wk 2
4.) Shang-Chi(Dis) 2,800 (-655) theaters Fri $1.17M (-28%)/Sat $1.8M/Sun $1.23M/3-day $4.2M (-31%), Total: $212.5M/Wk 6
5.)The Many Saints of Newark(NL) 3,181 theaters Fri $450K/Sat $570K/Sun $430K, 3-day $1.45M (-69%), Total: $7.4M/Wk 2
6.) Free Guy (Dis) 1,495 (-1,050) theaters Fri $350K/Sat $540K/Sun $410K/3-day $1.3M (-42%)/Total $119.7M/Wk 9
7.) Dear Evan Hansen(Uni) 1,927 (-1,437) theaters, Fri $290K/Sat $420K/Sun $290K/3-day $1M (-60%)/Total $13.7M/Wk 3
7.) Lamb (A24) 583 theaters, Fri $415K/Sat $325K/Sun $260K/3-day $1M/Wk 1
9.) Candyman(Uni) 1,153 (-592) theaters, Fri $210K/Sat $310K/Sun $180K/3-day $700K (-45%)/Total $60M/Wk 7
10.) Met Opera: Boris Godunov(Fathom) 791 Theaters, Sat $387K/Total $387K/Wk 1
‘Venom: Let There Be Carnage’ Shatters Pandemic Records with $90.1M Opening at the BO!!
Sony, which has been overly cautious and conservative in their projections for Venom: Let There Be Carnage, always had a hit on their hands, as the Marvel sequel easily scoring the best domestic opening at the box office with $90.1M; exceeding the previous pandemic U.S./Canada debut of Black Widow which was $80.8M. Not only that, but the Sony/Marvel movie exceeded the original 2018 title’s opening of $80.2M by 12%; amazing for a sequel to best its first chapter’s grosses during a pandemic.
Even though Sony has sent movies straight to streamers to financially survive during the pandemic, when it comes to whatever titles they’re releasing in theaters, they’re bullish about the theatrical window, and Venom 2 is a win for them and the industry in regards to that business philosophy. Black Widow went day-and-date in cinemas on the Disney+ Premier PVOD tier.
“For us, Venom: Let There Be Carnage absolutely validates our exclusive theatrical window strategy,” exclaimed Sony President, Motion Pictures Group Josh Greenstein, “If you look at the history of theatrical, the obituaries have been written many times and they’ve always been wrong. We had confidence in the theatrical experience, confidence in our big valuable IP and took full advantage and had the patience to weather all of this. That strategy is paying off which we’re happy about. It’s a nice validation of the theatrical strategy.”
Venom 2‘s opening here in U.S. and Canada, while the highest we’ve seen during the pandemic, is the second best ever for the month of October, behind Warner Bros/Village Roadshow/Bron’s Joker ($96.2M).
Beamed Tom Rothman, Chairman and CEO of Sony Pictures’ Motion Picture Group, “We are so grateful to Tom, Andy, Kelly and all of the many gifted contributors who made such a unique and fun film. We are also pleased that patience and theatrical exclusivity have been rewarded with record results. With apologies to Mr. Twain: The death of movies has been greatly exaggerated.”
Venom 2‘s Saturday is $31.6M, -15% from Friday/Thursday previews total of $37.29M, and Sunday is projected to be $21.2M. Imax, PLFs and 3D are repping 64% of the pic’s gross with Cinemark’s XD seeing the strongest October performance of all time. Imax reports that Venom 2 drew $9.6M WW, $8.6M of that from 402 screens stateside and the large format exhibitor’s best domestic opening during the pandemic and 3rd best ever for October.
Sony’s Venom 2 wasn’t the only film raining cash on exhibition, but MGM/United Artists Releasing’s Addams Family 2 put up a great $18M at 4,207 theaters, even though it was available in homes on PVOD for a 48-hour rental at $19.99. For a pure animation film geared at families (not hybrid), that’s the biggest opening during the pandemic.
“This shows that family audiences having a willingness and readiness to come to theaters,” beamed United Artists Releasing Distribution Boss Erik Lomis, “The film played to families in the West, Middle America and Southwest.” In addition, it was a diverse turnout for the family sequel with close to half the audience being Latino/Hispanic and Black. Through out it all with rival family film Hotel Transylvania 4 (before it left) and Venom 2 dating on it, Addams Family 2 stuck to its release date.
Early figures show that because of Venom 2 and Addams Family 2, total ticket sales are at $128M, -15% from the same weekend in 2019, per Comscore. EntTelligence reports that over 10M people –the most ever during the pandemic in a given weekend– put the remote control down and got out of the living room to see one of the of the top ten movies this weekend with over 70% watching Venom 2.
“Venom: Let There be Carnage is a box office sensation. This film really resonated with our moviegoers, delivering results that significantly outpace the industry performance and set multiple all-time Cinemark records, including largest-ever October box office weekend,” exclaimed Cinemark CEO Mark Zoradi in a statement. “This is another strong example that people want and need to get out of their homes for an immersive entertainment experience. Congratulations to our partners at Sony and all the talent involved on delivering such a fantastic film for our moviegoers to see exclusively in a movie theatre.”
While Sony decided only a month ago after seeing the success of Shang-Chi and the Legend of Ten Rings over Labor Day weekend to push Venom 2 from its most recent release date of Oct. 15 to Oct. 1 after dropping posters which already had the older dates on them, full praise to their marketing department for being relentless in pivoting their campaign and seeing fruits such as this bear forth from it. Changing the release date of a major motion picture event over several times during a short period as the pic comes closer to its opening date sounds like a recipe for disaster: By doing so, how can you ensure the moviegoing audience knows when the movie is coming out? But in the case of Venom 2, moviegoers were clearly keeping watch. The hot word of mouth obviously got out that the sequel was in theaters: Comscore/Screen Engine’s PostTrak shows that only 19% of the audience bought their tickets in advance (by either a week or month ago), indicating that Venom 2 received a bulk of walk-up business over the last three days. Sixty-six percent of those who watched the Sony sequel bought their ticket day of, while 15% bought their tickets the day prior. On PostTrak, they enjoyed the movie at 4 stars.
“We were able to move quickly and nimble. We have a very, very fast-moving organization and can change plans very quickly and in this case were able to launch over a shorter period, it’s a credit to the movie and the organization,” says Greenstein about responding to moviegoers’ prompt return to cinemas during the pandemic, and Venom 2‘s marketing strategy.
“We’re thrilled that the strategy worked. We moved this movie multiple times, and it goes to show if you create an event, as long as you capture it, as long as you create a cultural event. In fact, releasing movies in theaters allows you to do that. If you release movies on streaming, it doesn’t have the same kind of cultural impact,” adds Greenstein.
In regards to the most influential piece of marketing for Venom 2, those polled by PostTrak said it was mostly the trailer on YouTube (20%) followed by the pic’s trailer in theater (14%), social media/celebrity endorsement of the pic (13%), friends and family recommending (10%) and the online trailer (10%). That social media/celebrity endorsement is important to note: Part of Sony’s push were “Venomizatios” with over 75 celebrities and influencers around the world promoting Venom on social with custom animation GIFs, including Jimmy Kimmel. NFL player George Kittle starred in a popular ESPN promo as Eddie and Venom’s new roommate, hosted his own screening, and did a social post where he was turned into Carnage.
Sony made Sept. 27, Venom Day, and celebrated the Marvel protagonist with social posts, publicity activity, a real-time ‘get roasted by Venom’ Twitter activation, vignette and clip releases, and social initiatives, culminating in stunted fan screenings with intros by Tom Hardy (taped) and director Andy Serkis and resultant reaction initiatives and ads. Sony also screened the movie around the world starting early in the UK (Sept 13) followed by NY, LA and other major markets around the world.
“We let the fans see the movie first which was a bit of a gamble. But it’s their first reactions out there in the world and it’s what got people going. We had the confidence that they’d love the movie and used all that social sentiment starting with the first UK screening two weeks ago to last Monday screenings in NY and LA. We really let the fans carry us though,” adds Greenstein.
Sony also reached out to their immediate PlayStation demos launching an exclusive sneak peek “The Birth of Carnage” which has been watched over 7M times and counting.
Drilling down the moviegoer response to Venom 2, PostTrak reports that 43% of those who attended came out as the sequel was part of a franchise they enjoyed, 40% came for the genre/plot, 25% came with a friend who wanted to see it, 23% heard the sequel was good, while 21% came out for star Hardy, 21% for the entire cast, and only 10% because of film reviews.
Warner Bros./New Line’s Sopranos prequel The Many Saints of Newark came in below what was spotted yesterday with $5M at 3,181 theaters. I’d be curious what the business on this film would be without HBO Max. True: the older adult demo is going to be very slow to come back versus the 18-34 crowd (who showed up at 64% for Venom 2), however, this feature from Sopranos architect David Chase, who co-wrote and produced, was dogged by bad word of mouth at C+. Still, we can’t wait to see any kind of HBO Max viewership figures for this film and whether the streamer exploits this movie further by creating a Sopranos prequel limited series. Who wouldn’t want to watch that at home? Some might say that it would have helped that the word Sopranos was in the title, however, until we’re mask-less, and it’s really safe, can we expect older audiences to come out.
How Addams Family 2 snapped up theatergoers
United Artists Releasing had a big promotional partner campaign for the animated sequel including a TV spot and social media from Progressive insurance; the ad re-writing the classics Addams Family theme song. There was also a TV spot from Realtor.com, the biggest real estate website in the U.S. with the iconic spooky family’s home and Realtor’s “To Each Their Home” campaign. GO RVing launched an integrated marketing campaign to inspire RV travel that takes family and friends on unforgettable adventures – just like the Addams family. Go RVing produced a commercial in Wyoming using RVs to recreate the famous “Snap Snap Song”. The Kellogg Company created The Addams Family 2-inspired limited-edition cereal and snacks across such products as Apple Jacks, Froot Loops, Frosted Flakes, On the Go JumboSnax, Pop Tarts Bites and Rice Krispies with custom character artwork on millions of packages. Other partners included Goodwill with a TV spot and in-store promotions for the film at 3K locations. There was also Ibotta, the cashback app with 40M registered users at 500K retailers, which teamed with UAR on an all-family promotional event centered around Ibotta’s Halloween CPG and retail program via TV spots and social media pushes. Addams Family 2 was also splashed on millions of packages of Tombstone pizza. Other partners included Menchie’s, Valpak and Dracula Citrus and GSTV.
UAR trailered the pic across Space Jam: A New Legacy, Jungle Cruise and Paw Patrol, with on-screen content reaching over 25K screens. Theater circuits promoted through paid and organic social, push notifications, homepage web banners, eblasts and app inclusion. There was a fall candy promotion with AMC, RV AR driving activations with Regal, Cinemark Icee Promotion and in theater concessions.
The chart for Oct. 1-3, 2021:
1.) Venom: Let There Be Carnage (Sony) 4,225 Theaters Fri $37.2M/St $31.6M/Sun $21.2/3-day $90.1M/Wk 1
2.) The Addams Family 2 (UAR) 4,207 theaters Fri $5.6M/Sat $7M/Sun $5.4M/3-day $18M/Wk 1
3.) Shang-Chi (Dis) 3,455 (-497) theaters Fri $1.62M / Sat $2.77M/Sun $1.63M/3-day $6M (-54%), Total: $206.1M/Wk 5
4.) The Many Saints of Newark (NL) 3,181 theaters Fri $2.1M, Sat $1.67M/Sun $1.25M/3-day $5M/Wk 1
5.) Dear Evan Hansen (Uni) 3,364 theaters Fri $740K/ Sat $1.05M/Sun $660K/ 3-day $2.45M (-67%), Total: $11.8M/Wk 2
6.) Free Guy (20th/Dis) 2,545 (-630) theaters Fri $611K / Sat $1.07M/Sun $599K/3-day $2.27M (-45%), Total: $117.6M/Wk 8
7.) Candyman (Uni) 1,745 (-811) theaters Fri $350K / Sat $570K/Sun $310K/ 3-day $1.23M (-52%), Total: $58.9M/Wk 6
8.) Jungle Cruise (Dis) 1,375 (-690) theaters Fri $171K/Sat $329K/Sun $180K, 3-day: $680K (-61%)/Total: $116M/Wk 10
9.) Chal Mera Putt 3 (RBE) 90 theaters Fri $210K/Sat $230K/Sun $203K, 3-day: $644K/Wk 1
10.) The Jesus Music (LG) 249 theaters Fri $244K/Sat $174K/Sun $142,2K, 3-day: $560,2K/Wk 1
Titane (NEON) 562 theaters Fri $223K/Sat $173K/Sun $119K, 3-day, $515,7K/Wk 1
Eyes of Tammy Faye (Sea) 985 (-367) theaters Fri $73K / Sat $100K/Sun $63K/3-day $236K (-62%), Total: $2.1M/Wk 3
Next week Greenwich has NatGeo’s The Rescue, the follow-up to the Oscar winning hit doc Free Solo by Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin, about the Thai cave rescue of 2018 by a team of international divers, in exclusive runs in NYC, LA and Chicago. October 15 sees a week 2 moderate expansion to 400 runs.
‘Shang-Chi’ Becomes Highest-Grossing Domestic Pandemic Release While ‘Dear Evan Hansen’ Flops at the BO!!
Disney-Marvel’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is coming in ahead of industry estimates of $12.8M for its fourth No. 1 weekend, with $13.3M. As we told you earlier, thanks to the pic’s $3.6M Friday, Shang-Chi has become the highest-grossing movie at the pandemic domestic B.O., overtaking Black Widow‘s $186.7M domestic running total with a current $196.5M by EOD today. A $250M domestic final looks to be quite conceivable for the Destin Daniel Cretton-directed movie.
According to box office analytics corp EntTelligence, about 3.2M patrons attended one of the top 10 movies this weekend, with a more than third going to Shang-Chi. The MCU title continued its dominance, with playability throughout the day. Morning, Afternoon, Evening, Late night – moviegoers came out. On Saturday, 17.5% of the audience showed up before 1PM, and only 24% were from showtimes in the highly desired 7PM to 8PM dayparts.
Meanwhile, Universal’s Dear Evan Hansen, arguably the most prolific major studio release on the fall schedule since Shang-Chi, is not doing well after a $3.3M Friday, including $800K Thursday previews, for an awful $7.5M in the No. 2 spot at 3,364 theaters; a lowly result which isn’t that far from Universal’s previous big Broadway feature take, Cats, which died promptly off a $6.6M opening over the Christmas 2019 holiday. Dear Evan Hansen, I hear, is on a 17-day theatrical window, especially with these numbers. Imax repped close to 20% of the musical’s weekend ticket sales.
If there’s anything positive to say about Dear Evan Hansen, it’s that the teen dramatic musical cost significantly less than Cats, a net $27M after Georgia tax credits, versus Cats’ $90M net. Dear Evan Hansen‘s demise at the domestic B.O. comes as no surprise after critics promptly ravaged it following its TIFF premiere with a current Rotten Tomatoes score of 33%.
The fans of the Tony-winning Benj Pasek & Justin Paul musical did show up on Friday and Thursday, though not en masse, hence the A- CinemaScore. Initially, I heard off Thursday previews that the Screen Engine/Comscore PostTrak was 82% and a 60% definite recommend. It’s now fallen to a 78% positive with a 57% definite recommend. Despite my enjoyment and consistent emotive cry while watching this 2 hour and 20 minute feature, this movie about a teenage boy with a social anxiety disorder who means to do good, but falls greatly short of that following the school bully’s suicide, doesn’t exactly spell escapism at the movie theater at a time when people want to have the time of their lives, away from the gloom of the lingering pandemic. It’s the stacked deck of fanboy IP in October of Venom: Let There Be Carnage, No Time to Die, and Dune that has many excited.
Social Media analytics corp Relish Mix, gauged online sentiment toward Dear Evan Hansen as a 5.5 out of 10 on its meters, reporting, “Convo quality runs the gamut — from joyous praise of the power of the theme coming from the Broadway play as a post-pandemic story of hope and inspiration, with the musical soundtrack that runs deep into our culture, celebrated by audiences. On the cynical side, threads over the last four months touch on questions about Ben Platt being cast as a high school student, given the fact that he’s 27. In defense of Ben Platt on social, rolling into the feature film, fans of the play are piling on in vigorous support of his continuation of his role in the film, and question the intent and ‘to suspend their disbelief to get more out of life’.”
The few who bought tickets for Dear Evan Hansen were 62% females, 52% over 25, with 54% falling between 18-34, which is what Universal was expecting. Diversity demos were 58% Caucasian, 21% Latino and Hispanic, 8% Black, and 13% Asian/other. Also not shocking to hear is that Dear Evan Hansen played best on the East coast. However, Salt Lake City, Utah popped with five of the top ten theaters, and eight of the top 15. Why is it a standout market? Quite often, Salt Lake City overperforms on more female skewing YA titles, i.e. musicals, Hunger Games and Twilight. Other top markets for Dear Evan Hansen were NYC, LA, Chicago, Philadelphia, Dallas and San Francisco.
iSpot estimates that before Dear Evan Hansen‘s opening, Universal spent $3M in TV spots which drew 236.4M impressions with ads booked on NBC, FX, CBS, Freeform and USA, and during shows such as America’s Got Talent, Big Brother, Law & Order SVU, Bachelor in Paradise, and re-runs of Friends.
Due to the momentum of the Broadway’s plays publicity over the last five years, RelishMix counts the social media universe for Dear Evan Hansen at 459.5M (which is above Pitch Perfect 3 at 317.7M and A Star Is Born at 301.1M) across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube. However, subtract the Broadway musical YouTube video views of 356.2M, and the social media awareness for the film drops to 103.3M, “which is at the lower end of the genre, in the range of Rocketman‘s 114.5M and La La Land‘s 48.3M,” says RelishMix.
The Dear Evan Hansen cast has 10.7M activated across social, primarily on Instagram, with Ben Platt and Julianne Moore each at 2.9M, Amandla Stenberg with 2.4M, and Amy Adams at 784K.
The romantic dramaLove Story from Sekhar Kammula debuted in 300 theaters, and continued to show how Indian-Telugu-language fare continues to draw an audience during the pandemic, with a theater average of $2,6K and an estimated 3-day of $790K at 300 theaters. The movie had fairly good numbers in NYC, Dallas, San Francisco, DC, and Atlanta. Friday cashed in $296K. The movie follows Revanth and Mouni, who dream big when it comes to their lives. But with their social standing and gender proving to be a hindrance, they try to find a way to let their love prevail.
Filing No. 11 is the second weekend of Searchlight’s The Eyes of Tammy Faye, which surged its theater count by 902 to 1,352. This is resulting in a hold of -3%, with $621K in the No. 11 spot, -5%. The pic grossed $202K yesterday, down 18% from a week ago. PostTrak exits, as the audience measure report records wide releases, showed a low audience response than last weekend’s CinemaScore of B+, with 67% positive and a 38% definite recommend. Of those who turned 65% were females, and 81% over 25 and 51% between 25-44 years old.
Diversity breakdown was 76% Caucasian, 9% Latino and Hispanic, 10% Black, & 5% Asian/other. In its limited launch last weekend, iSpot estimates that Searchlight spent around $1M for TV spots that aired on MSNBC, CNN, Food Network, ABC and NBC pulling in 168M impressions and during shows such as Good Morning America, Today, Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives, The Rachel Maddow Show and Don Lemon Tonight.
Top theaters this weekend for Tammy Faye are The Belcourt in Nashville, Tenn., as well as the Alamo in Brooklyn, AMC Lincoln Square in Manhattan, Sunset 5 in West Hollywood, Alamo in Springfield Mo., Enzian Orlando, Nighthawk Williamsburg, Varsity in Toronto, Angelika NY, and the AMC Grove in Los Angeles.
Tammy Faye star Jessica Chastian won Best Performance at San Sebastian over the weekend. She really puts in a sublime performance.
Look, it’s strange times during the pandemic, and box office, like last year, isn’t going to keep these Oscar bait films down. Quite often, they say poor box office results kill a movie’s awards season chances. Maybe not, as Searchlight proved last year with Nomadland‘s Best Picture, Director and Best Actress wins: They didn’t officially report that film’s B.O. grosses.
Bleecker Street’s limited release of German Oscar entry I’m Your Man at 16 locations looks to make $34,2K for the weekend, or $2,1K theater average after a $10,3K Friday. Unfortunately, these grosses aren’t a sign that arthouses have rebounded for this critically acclaimed movie at 95% certified fresh.
Final Sunday Studio-reported estimates:
1.) Shang-Chi (Dis) 3,952 theaters (-118)/ Fri $3.6M (-38%)/Sat $6M/Sun $3.7M/3-day $13.3M (-39%), Total: $196.5M/Wk 4
2.) Dear Evan Hansen (Uni) 3,364 theaters/Fri $3.3M/Sat $2.56M/Sun $1.66M/ 3-day $7.5M/Wk 1 –
3.) Free Guy (20th) 3,175 theaters (-113)/Fri $1.1M (-17%)/Sat $1.9M/Sun $1.05M/3-day $4.1M (-20%)/Total $114.1M/Wk 7
4.) Candyman (Uni) 2,556 (-264) theaters/Fri $740K (-30%)/Sat $1.1M/Sun $630K/3-day $2.5M (-29%)/Total $56.8M/Wk 5
5.) Cry Macho (WB) 4,022 theaters (+55)/Fri $653K (-59%)3-day $2.1M (-52%)/Total: $8.3M/Wk 2
6.) Jungle Cruise (Dis) 2,065 theaters (-200)/Fri $437K (-10%)/Sat $818K/Sun $467K/3-day $1.72M (-17%)/Total $114.9M/Wk 9
7.) Malignant (NL) 2,534 theaters (-967)/Fri $450K (-46%)/3-day $1.5M (-45%)/Total: $12.3M/Wk 3
8.) Copshop (Open Road) 3,005 theaters/Fri $405K/Sat $530K/Sun $330K/3-day $1.265M (-45%)/Total $4.5M/Wk 2
9) Paw Patrol (Par) 1,995 (-274) theaters/Fri $265K (-29%)/Sat $515K/Sun $340K/3-day $1.12M (-35%)/Total $38.7M/Wk 6
10.) Love Story (Sony) 300 theaters, Fri $295K/Sat $295K/Sun $200K/3-day $790K/ Wk 1
11.) The Eyes of Tammy Faye (Sea) 1,352 theaters (+902)/Fri $202K (-18%)/Sat $252K/$167K/3-day $633K (-3%)/Total: $1.5M/Wk 2
‘Shang-Chi’ Becomes the Highest-Grossing Release of the Pandemic BO!!
By the end of today, the Marvel Cinematic Universe‘s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings will have become the highest-grossing domestic release of the pandemic. The martial arts-infused comic book blockbuster has been surpassing expectations at every turn, and this is just the latest feather in the cap of the franchise’s newest Avenger.
Shang-Chi is currently sitting on $183.4 million domestic, which means that it needs just $200,000 to snatch the crown away from fellow MCU stablemate Black Widow, once again reinforcing Kevin Feige‘s all-conquering outfit as the biggest game in town. That’s an incredible achievement, especially when early estimates had Shang-Chi debuting to a franchise-low total, but it’s now got a real chance of becoming the first title since Bad Boys for Life to crack $200 million in the United States, and the action threequel hit theaters all the way back in January 2020.
Shang-Chi is also set to win the box office for a fourth consecutive weekend, with Dear Evan Hansen providing the only real competition if you could even call it that based on the critical reactions. Having already tripled the Labor Day record and continued to hold firm ever since, the 25th installment in the superhero saga will be sitting on around $195 million domestic by Sunday if not even higher.
Globally, Shang-Chi is already the fifth-biggest earner Hollywood blockbuster of the pandemic behind Fast & Furious 9, Godzilla vs. Kong, Black Widow, and Christopher Nolan‘s Tenet, so the good news just keeps on coming for Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, which proves that theatrical exclusives are still more than capable of doing big business without setting foot on a streaming service.
However, Shang-Chi will be heading to Disney+ this winter, coming to the streamer on its inaugural Disney+ Day, November 12, for subscribers to stream at no additional cost.
‘Shang-Chi’ Continues Rule with $21.7M at the BO!!
Any doubts about the health of the overall domestic box office continue to wane. Disney/Marvel’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of Ten Rings reigns atop the tallies in its third weekend, scoring $21.7M, the second-best third weekend result for a September release after Warner Bros.’ It ($29.75M).
That’s a great -37% hold after a Friday of $5.8M, -40%, and the Destin Daniel Cretton-directed feature looks to stand by EOD Sunday at $176.9M. Shang-Chi is currently the second-highest grossing Hollywood movie during the pandemic after Black Widow ($183.2M). However, don’t worry; the Simu Liu movie will topple the Scarlett Johansson MCU film for that title sooner than later.
There’s really not a lot to brag about in regards to the rest of newcomers on the chart, largely aimed at skittish older adults during the pandemic. That said, none of them are really lighting rods in regards to generating chatter on social media. However, Searchlight’s The Eyes of Tammy Faye did have a pulse. Tammy Faye and Open Road’s Copshop have theatrical windows, but Warner Bros’ Cry Macho does not given its day and date availability on HBO Max.
Clint Eastwood’s western Cry Macho is not his best, with 53% on Rotten Tomatoes, and therefore not his best at the box office, with an estimated $1.6M on Friday and $4.5M three-day at 3,967 theaters in third, and that’s with a theatrical day-and-date and HBO Max release.
Cry Macho will slot third, after 20th Studio/Disney’s Free Guy, with $5.2M, coming into 2nd place during its weekend 6, -10%. What would the film’s grosses look like without HBO Max taking eyeballs away? That’s the long-beaten million-dollar question of 2021. However, we can’t proclaim that older demos are back in full in theaters during the pandemic, not to mention given the audience reactions here of a “B” CinemaScore and 73% positive on Screen Engine/PostTrak.
We can’t expect the latest from the 91-year old filmmaker and actor to make that much more, even with a theatrical window. Eastwood, I hear, pulled this movie off a year ago with great deftness. Eastwood’s previous pre-pandemic release in which he both starred and directed, The Mule, earned a 71% on Rotten Tomatoes, an A- CinemaScore, and opened to $17.5M in the middle of December 2018, and legged out to $103.8M domestic boosted by year-end moviegoing. With Cry Macho, Eastwood counts his 50th year directing and his 25th picture he both directed and starred in, the first being Play Misty for Me, released in 1971. Overall, his 60-year canon has grossed $4.3 billion, $3.8B of that being Warner Bros. releases.
Of Cry Macho‘s turnout, 79% were over 35, 62% over 45 and 36% over 55. The pic leaned a bit female at 51%, with a diversity demos of 66% Caucasian, 14% Latino, 8% Black and 12% Asian/other.
Of Cry Macho‘s top 20 grossing theaters in the US, seven locations were in Phoenix, six were in Texas, with a mixture of other West/Midwest theaters. Los Angeles held the top overall marketshare with ~6%, followed by Phoenix with ~4% share. Other top markets include Dallas, Salt Lake City, Houston, New York, and San Francisco.
Open Road’s Gerard Butler feature Cop Shop at 3,005 theaters pulled in $950K. The pic is posting $2.31M over three days. The pic has a glowing 80% from critics on RT, but didn’t impress audiences, with 62% positive and a 39% recommend on PostTrak. How much in P&A was spent here? Because this Open Road release is just under its pandemic release openings, Liam Neeson’s Honest Thief and The Marksman, which respectively debuted to $4.1M and $3.1M. Per-theater grosses weren’t that strong, even with eight of the top ten runs coming from the West Coast. Those 54% over 35 showed up, as well as 34% over 45 with 60% guys leading and a diversity breakdown of 57% Caucasian, 18% Latino, 15% Black, and 10% Asian/other.
RelishMix notes, “Awareness on social runs moderate at 34% of the genre norm for action thriller, with a light content load of late boosted trailers on YouTube and on Facebook, and moderate activity across key performance indicators. With a film market-style genre film and with a target audience that have clear expectations, chatter tone and volume runs light and mixed for an ultra-violent, ultra-action romp and plugs for the recent Joe Carnahan Boss Level over on Hulu.” Joe Carnahan and Frank Grillo have done their part to spread the word with the former inviting superfans to meet him to talk about movies:
Searchlight, Freckle Films and Madison Well’s The Eyes of Tammy Faye, hot off a great reception at its TIFF premiere, but an even less-so result from critics, who’ve grilled it at 67% fresh, did $250K on Friday and is coming in with $675K over three days at 450 theaters for a $1,5K theater average, which doesn’t scream that older arthouse crowds are back.
The film earned a B+ CinemaScore, and was more dominant in the big cities and the coasts in regards to grosses, with two theaters in Austin, TX making their way into the top ten run alongside NY and LA theaters. Some decent numbers in the NY and LA run, I hear, but the rest of the grosses weren’t good. Upsetting, as Jessica Chastain shines here in this Michael Showalter-directed satirical biopic (and Andrew Garfield, too). Some have critiqued to me about the marketing: Did anyone know that this movie was opening? Indeed, a dilemma for all arthouse distributors as we enter Q4 and awards season: How much are we gonna spend?
That said, RelishMix noticed prior to opening that out of the three wide entries, Tammy Faye had some movement, and that’s because you have to give it up to Chastain who has been a relentless promoter for the movie. Not just now because she’s starring in it, but also in its ramping up as she produced the movie. Chastain counts 6.2M on her social media channels, and has been giving fans a preview of the pic, from BTS to its splash at TIFF. Overall, a social media universe across Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube views of 62M+ per RelishMix which is “normal for indy drama” with “content cadence quickening” before the pic’s opening. Chastain’s Instagram post for the NYC premiere, garnering just under 300K views:
Universal had its limited release of Blue Bayou in 477 theaters, earning $120K on Friday, $315K for the weekend, for a theater average of $661. The movie is 72% fresh on RT. Directed by Justin Chon, the pic follows a Korean-American man raised in the Louisiana bayou who works hard to make a life for his family. He must confront the ghosts of his past as he discovers that he could be deported from the only country he has ever called home. Chon stars with Alicia Vikander.
Movie analytics firm EntTelligence reports that Cry Macho predominantly saw an afternoon and early evening turnout on Friday and Saturday for its older crowds, with 88% of all patrons showing up before 8PM. Meanwhile those early birds took advantage of inexpensive ticket pricing of $10.77 on average, while specialty films Blue Bayou and Tammy Faye each hovered around $13 per ticket, as they included a more evening-centric audience.
Overall weekend box office is estimated at $47.5M, -61% from the same weekend in 2019 and +252% from the same frame last year when NYC and LA were still closed.
1.) Shang-Chi (Dis) 4,070 (-230) theaters Fri $5.8M (-40%)/Sat $9.8M/Sun $6.1M/3-day $21.7M (-37%), Total: $176.9M/Wk 3
2.) Free Guy (20th) 3,288 theaters (-377)/Fri $1.33M (-10%)/Sat $2.4M/Sun $1.47M/3-day $5.2M (-10%)/Total $108.6M/Wk 6
3.) Cry Macho (WB) 3,967 theaters/Fri $1.6M/Sat $1.7M/Sun $1.2M/3-day $4.5M/Wk 1
4.) Candyman (Uni) 2,820 (-459) theaters/Fri $1.03M (-26%)/Sat $1.59M/Sun $880K/3-day $3.5M (-26%)/Total $53.1M/Wk 4
5.) Malignant (NL) 3,485 theaters Fri $835K (-58%)/Sat $1.19M/Sun $655K/3-day $2.68M (-51%)/Total: $9.8M/Wk 2
6.) Copshop (Open Road) 3,005 theaters/Fri $950K/Sat $850K/Sun $510K/3-day $2.31M/Wk 1
7.) Jungle Cruise (Dis) 2,265 theaters (-500)/Fri $487K (-13%)/Sat $1M/Sun $558K/3-day $2.09M (-11%)/Total $112.6M/Wk 8
8.) Paw Patrol (Par) 2,269 (-551) theaters/Fri $375K (-23%)/Sat $810K/Sun $565K/3-day $1.75M (-24%)/Total $37.1M/Wk 5
9) The Eyes of Tammy Faye (Sea) 450 theaters/Fri $250K/Sat $245K/Sun $180K/3-day $675K/Wk 1
10.) Don’t Breathe 2 (Sony) 1,003 (-705) theaters, Fri $185K (-44%)/Sat $310K/Sun $170K/3-day $665K (-42%)/Total:$31.3M/ Wk 6
11.) Cardcounter (Foc) 584 (+4) theaters Fri $140k/Sat $180K/Sun $120K/3-day $440K (-58%)/Total $1.9M/Wk 4
‘Shang-Chi’ Continues Strong While ‘Malignant’ Flops at the BO!!
With great success comes continued great chaos for the theatrical experience this past week. On the plus side, the domestic box office is continuing its rebound during the pandemic, with the second weekend of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings earning $9.7M in its second Friday, -67%, for an estimated 3-day of $35.7M, -53%. That’s the third-biggest second weekend for a September release after It ($60.1M) and It Chapter Two ($39.6M).
Disney responds after the Marvel pic’s record Labor Day frame opening last weekend of $94.6M by announcing that the rest of its domestic release slate for the year will honor a theatrical window ranging from 30-45 days per pic. Great, right?
But then Universal decides to take a solid franchise sequel they’ve been holding during the pandemic, Halloween Kills, and go day-and-date with it on Oct. 15. This, coupled with news that Paramount Chairman & CEO and largely respecter of theatrical windows, Jim Gianopulos, is exiting the studio as ViacomCBS doubles down on streaming service Paramount+.
Seriously, what the hell is going on? Does the town think we’re going to sit on our couches and watch our cell phones for eternity? The big screen is the curation of great product, don’t ya get that? How should we sift through a sea of titles on streaming menus if we don’t know what’s great yet?
Warner Bros. which has turned the post-Labor Day frame into a blockbuster frame, staring with 2017’s It (with a $123.4M opening), and has continued to rule it with horror movies, as It Chapter Two ($91M) and The Nun ($53.8M) will have to look forward to regaining its rule over this weekend next year with the New Line adaptation of Stephen King’s Salem’s Lot, because this weekend’s James Wan’s Daria Argento-inspired Malignant via New Line doesn’t quite cut it, with a theatrical debut of $5.57M, per Warner Bros., after a $2M Friday. Argento-like Giallos don’t exactly spell blockbuster; read Luca Guadagnino’s 2018 reboot of Suspiria, which only did $2.48M domestic, $7.9M WW.
While we can always rely on HBO Max for siphoning grosses, Malignant actually divided audiences with a C CinemaScore, and even worse, PostTrak exits at 59% positive and a 38% definite recommend, despite most critics giving the pic a 77% fresh Rotten Tomatoes score. The movie had an ending with a big twist, so it was hard for WarnerMedia to market the movie, and if you do a deep dive in reviews, you find that the pic was gory. The Associated Press’ Lindsey Bahr says, “If you must see Malignant, a theater might honestly be the best bet. That way, at least you can laugh along in utter shock with your fellow theater-goers,” while calling the Wan-directed title a “thanklessly humorless and offensively sadistic film that fails to capture any sort of authentic emotion or make any meaningful statements about trauma.” Eeeks.
Wan and Warner Bros have easily moved on from this blunder. He’s already in production on Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom. If you’re here at TIFF, you can’t watch the movie on your phone, because HBO Max isn’t available in the country. Either head out to Cineplex to see it, or rent it on PVOD here. Malignant, I hear, cost $40m before P&A, and was a co-production between Starlight and New Line.
Malignant pulled in 68% 18-34, the tried and true moviegoers coming out during the pandemic, leaning 57% male and 68% over 25. Diversity breakdown was 42% Caucasian, 25% Latino, 18% Black and15% Asian/other. Pic’s best ticket sales were in West and South, with L.A. venues dominant, filling out the top ten runs with two from San Antonio.
Social media analytics corp RelishMix noticed a mixed reaction in the run-up to Malignant‘s opening. They further report:
“With another short dated run-up, the studio has used the New Line social channels with 368K existing fans for Malignant, across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram instead of quickly building out channels from scratch, which you could argue might be a savvy tactic. On the heels of the Wan produced The Conjuring 3 back in June, on New Line, this is efficient. Emphasis is on YouTube videos engagement, most brisk with 22.1 million views with Facebook light at 2.5M for 8 videos and one boosted across New Line, Warners and HBO Max with awareness stats just under the norm at 88.4M.”
Focus Features has the Paul Schrader-directed noir The Card Counter, which, after launching in Venice, is 86% Certified Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. The pic, which is likely to rank No. 7, is set to make $1.05M at 580 locations in 119 markets for a $1,8K theater average after a $420K Friday. While the arthouse isn’t screaming back, it’s a notable take for a limited Focus release currently in less than 1K theaters, and the second-highest specialty release of the year behind its Anthony Bourdain documentary Roadrunner, which opened to close to $2M in 927 theaters and finaled at $5.2M. Schrader’s Oscar-nominated First Reformed during the summer of 2018 had a platform release opening at $97,5K in four theaters over Memorial Day weekend, and ultimately finaling stateside at $3.4M.
The movie is on a 17-day window and had some OK runs in New York, LA, Phoenix, San Diego and Austin. Top cinemas for Card Counter over the weekend were AMC Century City, LA, AMC Grove, LA; AMC Lincoln Square, NY; The Landmark, LA; Camelview, Phoenix; AMC Tustin, LA; AMC Burbank, LA; AMC Americana, LA; Alamo Brooklyn and AMC Porter Ranch, LA.
“Following the great response out of Venice and Telluride, we’re thrilled to see moviegoers around the country responding with the same enthusiasm for what Paul’s created on screen with Oscar, Tiffany and Tye,” said Focus president of distribution Lisa Bunnell. “And to see the specialty film audiences returning to theaters in these numbers is exciting, not just for Focus, but our entire industry.”
Sony Affirm had the faith-based title from producers the Kendrick Brothers, Show Me the Father, which made $275K on Friday for a $700K 3-day from 1,073 locations. No reviews yet, but those who watched it enjoyed it with an 88% on PostTrak and a 67% recommend. The pic nabbed an A+ CinemaScore, which is not surprising, given faith-based moviegoers showing up. Pic skewed 53% guys, 71% over 35 and 52% over 45 with 63% Caucasian, 15% Black, 17% Asian/other and 5% Latino showing up. Pic played in the faith-based tracks of the Midwest and South, with the strongest draw in the Southeast. The Rick Altizer-directed movie features captivating stories interwoven with inspirational truths about the fatherhood of God.
The third movie in the Anna Todd ya series After We Fell hit 45 markets in Canada, with OK figures out of Quebec and Montreal coming in with an estimated $428,3K opening. Fathom Events has the threequel hitting theaters on Sept. 30 and Oct. 4.
According to theatrical analytics firm EntTelligence, Shang-Chi entered its second week at No. 1, helped by the same things that got it to that record-breaking number last week: Patron attendance from premium large formats, coupled with high average ticket prices in dense markets. Over Friday and Saturday, Shang-Chi had an average ticket price of $12.93 compared to its first Friday and Saturday in week one of $13.62. The Destin Daniel Cretton-directed MCU title continued to play well during the day. Yesterday, over 35% of ticket sales were for shows during the late afternoon to early day parts, 3PM-6PM. New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco continued to push the weekend’s B.O. with higher ticket prices than the national average.
We’re updating the top 10 chart with Sunday AM numbers
1.) Shang-Chi (Dis) 4,300 theaters Fri $9.7M (-67%),/Sat $15.3M/Sun $10.7M/ 3-day $35.7M (-53%), Total: $145.6M/Wk 2
2.) Free Guy (20th) 3,650 theaters (-235)/Fri $1.47M (-30%)/Sat $2.65M/Sun $1.688M/3-day $5.8M (-35%)/Total $101.8M/Wk 5
3.) Malignant (NL) 3,485 theaters Fri $2M/3-day $5.57M/Wk 1
4.) Candyman (Uni) 3,279 (-290) theaters/Fri $1.4M (-52%)/Sat $2.1M/Sun $1.29M/3-day $4.83M (-53%)/Total $48M/Wk 3
5.) Jungle Cruise (Dis) 2,800 (-275) theaters/Fri $571K (-36%)/Sat $1.16M/Sun $709K/3-day $2.4M (-40%)/Total $109.9M/Wk 7
6.) Paw Patrol (Par) 2,820 (-184) theaters/Fri $490K (-50%)/Sat $1.04M/Sun $680K/3-day $2.2M (-45%)/Total $34.6M/Wk 4
7.) Don’t Breathe 2 (Sony) 1,708 (-468) theaters, Fri $330K/Sat $530K/Sun $290K/3-day $1.15M (-50%)/Total/$30.2M/ Wk 5
8.) Card Counter (Foc) 580 theaters/Fri $420K/Sat $390K/Sun $290K/3-day $1.1M/Wk 1
9.) Show Me the Father (Sony) 1,073 theaters/Fri $300K/Sat $225K/Sun $175K/3-day $700K/Wk 1
10.) Respect (UAR) 1,307 (-800) theaters/Fri $141K/Sat $226K/Sun $136K/3-day $503K (-59%)/Total $23.1M/Wk 5
11.) After We Fell (VVS) 230 theaters/Fri $215,6K/Sat $126,6K/Sun $85,6K/3-day $428,3K/Wk 1
‘Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings’ Shatters Labor Day Records at the BO!!
Who says that people don’t go to the movies over Labor Day weekend?
And who says American audiences are hesitant about going to the movies?
Hollywood, it’s time to re-think your game plan about the theatrical release schedule. It doesn’t look like Vax cards policing at any movie theaters prevented anyone from going to Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, as Disney continued to exercise a theatrical window post-Free Guy, taking their latest Marvel Cinematic Universe title to the second best-3 day of the pandemic with $71.4M, behind Disney/Marvel’s Black Widow ($80.3M) and ahead of F9‘s $70M. The 4-day per industry estimate is expected to be $89.2M. Disney is reporting $83.5M for the four-days as of this morning.
Overall estimated four-day weekend for all movies stands at $135.2M, which is 12% ahead of the 4-day Labor Day weekend of 2019 of $120.7M. Many sources have told me that moviegoing won’t be considered normal until we’re at or ahead of 2019 weekend box office levels. Well, here’s well-above normal. Oh, and by the way, MGM/United Artists Releasing’s No Time to Die is staying put on Oct. 8; there was never, ever an option for the 007 pic to move again on the theatrical release calendar.
Imax screens in U.S. and Canada drove $8M of Shang-Chi‘s weekend, or 10% of it’s overall 3-day, with a per screen of $20K, hands down an Imax domestic weekend Labor Day record.
“Shattering Labor Day box office records with an origin story new to many fans, Shang-Chi delivers an emphatic statement: people really want to get back to the movies,” said Rich Gelfond, CEO of Imax, in a statement. “It’s clear that great filmmaking plus an exclusive theatrical release is a winning formula at the box office, and this groundbreaking film has successfully launched an exciting new cinematic journey for Marvel and a strong fall blockbuster slate for the industry.”
A lot of stats to share here on Shang-Chi this morning, all according to Screen Engine/Comscore’s PostTrak:
As a testament to the pic’s buzz and how it impacted people to get up off the couch: 63% of those buying tickets to the Destin Daniel Cretton directed feature bought their tickets the day of, while 16% did it the day before, with 14% in the last week, and 7% more than a week ago. Sixty-three percent bought their tickets online, while 35% bought their movie tickets at a theater, with 2% through a Costco or Walmart package. Close to 60% saw the movie in a normal theater, while 23% chose Imax and 13% chose the premium large format experience.
Thirty-one percent of the audience were males under 25, 31% were males over 25, with females under 25 at 20% and females over 25 at 18%. Updated 18-34 turnout is 59%. Updated diversity demos are 36% Caucasian (92% grade), 22% Latino (88% grade), 18% Black (90% grade) and 18% Asian (who gave the MCU title it’s best grades at 94%). Disney exits show 61% males overall for Shang-Chi.
In regards to how people went to this blockbuster, as it’s very telling during a pandemic; it appears as though they were very comfortable: 23% of the audience went with 2 to 4 friends, 16% went with one friend, 7% came with five or more friends, families repped 20%, while 16% of those buying tickets were on a date, and 10% watched the Marvel movie alone. Per Disney polls, they report 88% general audience and 6% parents and 6% kids turning out.
The primary reason why moviegoers went to see Shang-Chi were as follows: Part of a franchise they love, that being the MCU (49%), the genre/plot (46%), came with someone who encouraged them to see it (31%), the cast as a whole (27%), heard it was ‘good’ (27%), lead actor Simu Liu (23%), Awkwafina (14%), and critics’ reviews (14%).
Citing the most influential form of marketing that prodded them to see Shang-Chi, those polled answered the YouTube trailer (23%), the online trailer (13%), the in-theater trailer (11%), word of mouth from friends/family (9%), Instagram trailers/clips (9%), TV ads (8%), Twitter clips/trailers (3%), Facebook clips/trailers (3%), in theater posters-banners (3%), and billboards/outdoor ads (2%).
Before watching Shang-Chi this weekend, 40% said they watched the trailer or film clips online a month or so before, while 25% said they watched the trailer/clips this week, and 21% caught the trailer literally the day they went to the see the picture. Fourteen percent said they never watched the trailer to Shang-Chi before seeing the movie.
After watching Shang-Chi, of the moviegoers polled, 25% said they’d buy the movie on Blu-Ray or DVD, 13% said they’d buy it digitally (Amazon, iTunes, etc) while 10% said they’d rent the movie digitally, while 15% said they’d find a way to download the movie for free (BitTorrent, Limewire, etc).
How often are people going to the movies during the pandemic in the last two months? Screen Engine/Comscore learned that of those attending Shang-Chi, 5% had seen seven or more movies over that time frame, 2% had seen six movies, 5% had seen five movies, 9% had watched four movies, 22% had seen three movies, 28% had watched two movies, while 30% had watched one movie.
iSpot reports that since the start of Shang-Chi‘s campaign, Disney spent close to $11M in TV ads that generated 1.18 billion impressions. Of the top networks the studio advertised on: NBC (15%), ABC (12%), Disney Channel (6.3%), Freeform (5.5%) and ESPN (4.1%). The top shows that aired Shang-Chi spots (based on TV ad impressions) were the Tokyo Olympics (11.1%), Bachelor in Paradise (2%), America’s Got Talent (1.8%), MLB games (1.7%) and SportsCenter (1.6%).
EntTelligence estimates that 4M people saw Shang-Chi through the end of Saturday. Activity for Shang-Chi was well spread out on Saturday, with patrons showing up throughout the day, per the industry analytics firm: About 35% of the audience came out after 7PM compared to Friday when 55% of patrons came out once the evening began.
This weekend’s chart for Sept 3-6, 2021, Labor Day weekend:
1.) Shang-Chi and the Legend of Ten Rings (Dis) 4,300 theaters Fri $29.6M/Sat $23.2M/Sun $18.6M/Mon $12.1M/3-day $71.4M/4-day $83.5M/Wk 1
2.) Candyman (Uni) 3,569 theaters Fri $2.8M/Sat $3.8M/Sun $3.8M/Mon $2.88M/3-day $10.55M (-52%)/4-day: $13.4M/Total $41.9M/Wk 2
3.) Free Guy (20th/Dis) 3,885 theaters (-55) Fri $2.1M/Sat $3.2M/Sun $3.3M/Mon $2.45M/3-day $8.7M (-34%)/4-day $11.1M/Total $94.3M/Wk 4
4.) Paw Patrol (Par) 3,004 theaters (-185) Fri $970K/Sat $1.5M/Sun $1.5M/Mon $1.2M/3-day $4M (-40%)/4-day $5.215M/Total $31.5M/Wk 3 —also available on Paramount+
5.) Jungle Cruise (Dis) 3,075 (-295) theaters Fri $885K/Sat $1.55M/Sun $1.5M/Mon $1.25M/3-day $3.95M (-21%)/4-day $5.2M/Total: $106.9M/Wk 6 — available on Disney+ Premier
6.) Don’t Breathe 2 (Sony) 2176 (-527)/Fri $585K/Sat $840K/Sun $785K/Mon $510K/3-day $2.2M (-23%)/4-day $2.7M/Total $28.5M/Wk 4 — on PVOD already
7.) Respect (UAR) 2,107 (-500) theaters Fri $313K/Sat $464k/Sun $487K/Mon $366k/3-day $1.265M (-44%)/4-day $1.63M/Total $22.2M/Wk 4 – on PVOD
8.) The Suicide Squad (WB) 1,561 (-875) theaters/Fri $230K/Sat $355K/Sun $320K/Mon $210K/3-day $905K (-55%)/4-day $1.11M/Total $54.6M/Wk 5 — currently on HBO Max for a few more days
9.) Black Widow (Dis) 750 (-300) theaters Fri $185K/Sat $264K/Sun $299K/Mon $155K/3-day $748K (-5%)/4-day $903K/Total $182.6M/Wk 9 — on Disney+ Premier, but also doubled booked at drive-ins showing Shang-Chi.
10.) Night House (Sea) 1,020 (-1,220) theaters Fri $140K/Sat $195K/Sun $217K/Mon $148K/3-day $552K/4-day $700K/Total $6.4M/Wk 3
11.) Chal Mera Putt 2 (RBE) 90 (+18) theaters/Fri $113,5K/Sat $187,5K/Sun $189K/Mon $174K/3-day: $490,5K (-13%)/4-day $664,5K/Total $2.165M/Wk 2
12.) The Protege (LG) 1,451 (-1,126) theaters Fri $145K/Sat $190K/Sun $190K/Mon $135K/3-day $525K (-68%)/4-day $660K/Total $7.02M/Wk 3
‘Candyman’ Pulls an Impressive $22.4 Million at the BO!!
At a time when Covid-19 cases are +20% in the U.S. to 156K over two weeks, and Hurricane Ida is expected to hit the Gulf Coast today, Universal/MGM/Monkeypaw’s Candyman is prevailing with a great late August start of $22.4M.
Also, another encouraging sign for the box office, especially on a horror film, is that business wasn’t entirely frontloaded, which is typically the case: Candyman‘s Saturday of $7.78M was +8% over Friday after backing out Thursday night previews.
For a movie that has debuted during the final frame of August, Candyman ranks fourth behind 2009’s Final Destination ($27.4M), 2016’s Don’t Breathe ($26.4M) and 2007’s Halloween ($26.3M). In fact, you could argue that Candyman is the third-best opening for the final weekend of August, as Halloween technically bowed over Labor Day weekend.
“Nia DaCosta crafted an intense thriller that audiences responded to extraordinarily well this weekend. The debut of Candyman exceeded all industry expectations, and with the very positive audience reaction scores and a three-day holiday in our second weekend, we’re anticipating a strong theatrical run at the domestic box office,” said Universal’s Domestic Theatrical Distribution President, Jim Orr.
Candyman was hatched at MGM back in the fall of 2018, as the studio owns the IP from its acquisition of the PolyGram film library. In fact, in the new movie, there’s an Easter Egg paying homage to the horror film’s older studio: There’s a high school in the movie named after late PolyGram Boss Steve Golin.
Jordan Peele approached Jonathan Glickman, who was then President of the MGM Motion Picture Film Group, with the idea of writing and producing a take on Candyman which would redefine the perspective of African Americans in horror films.
The original movie takes place in the Chicago neighborhood of Cabrini-Greene (which was also the setting for the 1970s sitcom Good Times), a public housing project that has been torn down. Peele’s version of Candyman would study what happened when you build on top of a neighborhood with a past; you can’t hide its roots underground. Glickman gave the greenlight. However, because of Peele’s deal at Universal, the film was segued to them for distribution and marketing. Peele wanted a theatrical release, and hence Uni held it during the pandemic, the production being shot in the fall of 2019 for roughly $20M.
Updated stats on Candyman: PLFs accounted for 23% of weekend ticket sales through Saturday. Chicago, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Detroit, and Baltimore all significantly over-performed norms. LA and Chicago generated 12 of the pic’s top 25 theatres. While Candyman played fairly evenly across the US, it was potent in the Southeast and Northeast and in the Midwest, with great performances in Chicago and Milwaukee. Top markets over Friday and Saturday were LA ($1.3M), NY ($1.1M), Chicago ($778K), Atlanta ($600K), Dallas ($565K), Philly (close to $500K), Houston ($464K), San Francisco ($411K), DC ($403K) and Detroit ($334K).
Males showed up at 53% to females 47%, African Americans led at 37%, then Caucasians at 30%, Latino at 22% and Asian audiences at 6%. The 18-34 crowd repped 69% of Candyman‘s audience, with 25 and older at 59% and under at 41%.
As we’ve seen weekend-to-weekend during the summer, even though the top of the box office chart is faring quite well, it’s the middle and lower parts which are sagging. Weekend 35 here of 2021 is only expected to gross $61.8M, per Comscore, -3% from last weekend, but a steep 33% off from the same 3-day period in 2019 (keep in mind, that was Labor Day then, with the second weekend of Angel Has Fallen leading with $11.8M). Many account that gap in the box office, not so much to the number of theaters which are closed (which is only around 10% in the US and Canada). Rather, the lack of potency in holdovers because of theatrical day-and-date releases, and, yes, audience’s overall reluctance at this point in time during Covid-19.
Despite the success here with Candyman this past weekend, and the potential Labor Day weekend record-breaking that Shang-Chi and the Legend of Ten Rings is expected to do, with at least $45M over 4 days, many in the industry are greatly concerned about what will unfold in the next few weeks at the autumn box office. It’s not the 18-34 demo they’re worried about so much, rather, families with unvaccinated kids opting to stay at home because of the looming delta variant. Studios with family pics are being very respectful of the perilous situation, and that’s why they’re either pushing their releases, selling them to a streamer (which is what Sony is doing with Hotel Transylvania 4), or going day-and-date theatrical PVOD like MGM/United Artists Releasing with their Addams Family 2 on Oct. 1.
The sluggishness among older adults is also worrisome, and it will be interesting to see what kind of windows shake out here for the bulk of Oscar bait that’s programmed on the Q4 release schedule. MGM/UAR’s Aretha Franklin biopicRespectwas available on PVOD as early as this past Friday, that movie having collected close to $20M after three weekends in theaters.
Disney wound up getting Jungle Cruise across $100M today, and Free Guy had an even better third weekend hold of -27% than originally spotted yesterday.
1.) Candyman (Uni) 3,569 theaters Fri $9.1M/Sat $7.78M/Sun $5.4M/ 3-day $22.37M/Wk 1
2.) Free Guy (Dis/20th) 3,940 (-225) theaters Fri $3.6M (-31%)/Sat $6M/Sun $4M/3-day $13.55M (-27%)/Total $79.3M/Wk 3
3.) Paw Patrol (Par) 3,189 (+5) theaters Fri $1.75M (-61%)/Sat $2.86M/Sun $2M/3-day $6.6M (-50%)/Total $24M/Wk 2
4.) Jungle Cruise (Dis) 3,370 (-205) theaters Fri $1.3M (-26%)/Sat $2.2M/Sun $1.4M/3-day $5M (-21%)/Total $100.1M/Wk 5
5.) Don’t Breathe 2 (Sony) 2,703 (-302) theaters Fri $805K/Sat $1.2M/Sun $785K/3-day $2.8M (-45%)/Total: $24.6M/Wk 3
6.) Respect (UAR) 2,607 (-600) theaters Fri $629K (-42%)/Sat $965K/Sun $675K/3-day $2.269M (-40%)/Total $19.7M/Wk 3
7.) The Suicide Squad (WB) 2,436 (-490) theaters, 3-day $2M (-40%)/Total $52.8M/Wk 4
8.) The Protege (LG) 2,577 theaters Fri $484K/Sat $689K/Sun $477K/3-day $1.65M (-43%)/Total: $5.7M/Wk 2
9.) Night House (Sea) 2,250 theaters Fri $354K/Sat $511K/Sun $353K/3-day $1.2M (-58%)/Total $5.1M/Wk 2
10.) Black Widow (Dis) 1,050 (-290) theaters Fri $227K/Sat $382K/Sun $246K/3-day $855K (-23%)/Total $181.5M/Wk 8
11.) Old (Uni) 1,136 (-411) theaters Fri $240K/Sat $370K/Sun $220K/3-day $830K (-28%)/Total: $46.5M/Wk 6
12.) Reminiscence (WB) 3,265 theaters, 3-day: $820K (-58%)/Total $3.5M/Wk 2
13.) Chal Mera Putt 2(RBE) 67 theaters Fri $168K/Sat $230K/Sun $167K/$8,4K per theater/3-day $565K/Wk 1
14.) Un Rescate de Huevitos (A Rescue of Little Eggs) (LG/Pant) 320 theaters Fri $125K/Sat $152,5K/Sun $152,5K/$1,3K per theater/3-day $430K/Wk 1
15.) The Green Knight (A24) 552 (-273) theaters, Fri $97K/Sat $124K/Sun $99K/3-day $320K (-44%)/Total $16.58M/Wk 5
Together (Bleecker) 250 theaters Fri $35,5K/Sat $37,9K/Sun $28,5K/$408 per theater/3-day $102K/Wk 1
‘The Suicide Squad’ Crosses $100 Million at the International BO!!!
Over the weekend, the overseas box office gross earnings for The Suicide Squad finally crossed the $100 million mark. It was already very close at the onset of the weekend; but the extra $4.6 million it earned airing in 6,530 theaters in 73 different international markets was just enough to tip it over the edge. It has now grossed a total of $101.8 million dollars overseas, bringing its worldwide total to $154.6 million.
To put this in perspective, this puts The Suicide Squad at number eight worldwide (according to Box Office Mojo) compared to other US movie releases so far in 2021. It is preceded by F9, Godzilla vs. Kong, Black Widow, A Quiet Place II, Cruella, Jungle Cruise, and Space Jam 2. But it has performed very well in foreign markets. It ranks in sixth place overseas, beating out Jungle Cruise and Space Jam 2 on that particular list.
Usually, the American films that perform the best overseas are those with lots of action and/or slapstick comedy with light, uncomplicated dialogue. Less gets lost in translation for the non-English speaking markets, so it’s easier for a broader audience to enjoy. The Suicide Squad is chock-full of action, so that’s a definite plus as far as its overseas performance is concerned. Still, it is interesting to see that the film’s witty dialogue and emotional layers and subplots – especially Ratcatcher 2’s speech to Bloodsport about having a purpose in life and her flashback with her dad – seem to be translating with international viewers.
The Suicide Squad is still playing in theaters nationwide and is also available for streaming on HBO Max until September 5.
‘Free Guy’ Continues Hold on Top Position with ‘Paw Patrol’ Just Behind at the BO!!
Despite all the bad news about the delta variant, there are parts of the box office which held up quite well, while the rest of it played like a normal August.
Showing some amazing holding power, Disney/20th Century Studios’ Free Guy eased -34%, for a 3-day of $18.8M, putting its 10-day total at $58.8M. Percent-wise, that’s the best second-weekend hold for any wide release this summer (meaning, for any movie opening Memorial Day weekend and thereafter). Free Guy‘s second weekend bests the holds of Peter Rabbit 2 (-40%), Boss Baby 2 (-45%), Forever Purge (-43%), and Stillwater (-45%). Among those Ryan Reynolds’ movies that opened to north of $20M in their first weekend, Free Guy clocks the best second weekend hold of the actor’s career, percent-wise (live action and animated), besting the weekend 2’s of Turbo (-36%), Croods (-39%), Safe House (-41%), Amityville Horror (-42%) and The Proposal (-45%), and even his late August 2017 hit Hitman’s Bodyguard (-52%). Imax pulled in $750K for Free Guy, repping a 39% dip, the best second-weekend hold for the large format exhibitor YTD.
In addition, despite being available for free to 42M streaming subscribers on Paramount+, the Melrose lot’s little kid pic with Spin Master, Paw Patrol, came in ahead of its single digit expectations with $13Mat 3,184 theaters, and that’s without No. 2 circuit Regal Cinemas in its count. The exhibitor and studio was not able to see eye-to-eye on terms for this theatrical-day-and-date release. Business was even up for Paw Patrol on Saturday by 9% over Friday, with close to $5M.
Meanwhile, the rest of this weekend’s wide releases tanked, and that would have still been the case if there wasn’t a pandemic to blame. We’re talking Lionsgate/Millennium’s The Protege ($1.1M Friday, $2.93M 3-day, B), Searchlight’s The Night House ($1M Friday, $2.869M 3-day, C-) and Warner Bros.’ Hugh Jackman future romance noir Reminiscence(also on HBO Max) (estimated from industry figures at $680K Friday, $2M 3-day, C+).
Again, don’t blame the vaxx card policy, blame the product. The vaxx card policy is there for moviegoers to feel more comfortable. All of this said, total weekend ticket sales are estimated to be around $64.1M, -41% from the same late August weekend in 2019, which was $108.7M. See, it’s that overall weekend number which indicates we’re still not completely out of this pandemic yet at the domestic box office, even though there is a drive to see product, as the top of the chart indicates.
Out of the new stuff, Paw Patrol, based on the TV series, has the best CinemaScore with an A-, and great reviews at 84% certified fresh. The most immediate comp here due to being a day-and-date animated pic is The Boss Baby: Family Business, which debuted to $16M in theaters, along with a drop on Universal’s 54M subscriber streaming service, Peacock.
Paw Patrol over-indexed in the Midwest and South Central US, and was slightly above norm in the Northeast and under-indexed in the Southeast, Rockies, and the western U.S. Canada, home of Spin Master Entertainment- the creators of Paw Patrol, clocked a great 14.38% while Canada’s overall market share this weekend was 11.64%. The movie is being released by Elevation in the Great White North. Top markets that over-indexed include Toronto, Philadelphia, Montreal, Minneapolis, Vancouver, St. Louis, Edmonton, Calgary, Milwaukee, and Pittsburgh. Top 20 markets that under-indexed include LA, NY, San Francisco, Wash DC, Seattle, Denver, Miami, San Antonio, Orlando, Tampa, Las Vegas, and San Diego.
Top theaters hailed from Montreal, Baltimore, LA, Vancouver, Sacramento, Nashville, San Antonio, Toronto, NY, Cleveland, Harrisburg PA, Odessa TX, Quebec, Pittsburgh, Dallas, and Edmonton.
Families repped 88% of the audience, with females and girls 56%. Sixty-three percent were under the age of 25, while 47% were under 18, and 53% over 18. By ethnicity, Caucasians were less than half the audience at 41%, with both Hispanics (34%) and African Americans (20%) over-indexing relative to other family films. The pic clocked 4 1/2 stars out of 5 on Screen Engine/Comscore’s PostTrak audience survey with 81% overall positive, 66% definite recommend and kids are 12 giving it a 91% positive score and a 74% definite recommend. Per EntTelligence, 75% of those tickets purchased for Paw Patrol were for shows before 6PM.
Breaking down Paw Patrol‘s social media reach, analytics corp RelishMix counts 4.9M from the show’s YouTube channel, which “runs like a view factory for children, with over 2.6B cumulative views for the franchise.” Film-related, the social media universe is massive at 583.4M, with 99.2M YouTube views and a lighter 1.1M views on Facebook. The awareness total over-indexed, with several ultra-social cast members, including Kim Kardashian with 347.3M fans, Adam Levine with 38.5M, Tyler Perry 27.7M fans and Jimmy Kimmel with 15.8M. “Paw Patrol took a page out of the Sesame Street playbook by casting stars who have young children, all of whom want to impress their little kids,” says RelishMix.
Kimmel also wanting to impress his kids with the film:
Despite the positive news at the box office, major studios are taking precautions with family films in the immediate fall schedule as the delta variant continues and kids under 12 not vaccinated. Late Friday, MGM decided to go day-and-date theatrical and on PVOD with their highly anticipated sequel The Addams Family 2 after holding strong against Sony for a theatrical release during the first weekend of October, after the Culver City lot moved Hotel Transylvania 4 onto that date. In the end, Sony decided to get into talks with Amazon to license the fourthquel to the streaming service in a deal that’s being estimated at $100M. I hear that most theaters, which are enforcing the vaxx card policy in New Orleans, San Francisco, and NYC, are allowing kids under 12 in as long as they’re wearing a mask — with, of course, a vaccinated parent. The pandemic continues, and with that, the dynamic window experimentation.
According to Market Insights firm EntTelligence, while Free Guy dominated the box office, Paw Patrol‘s impressions aren’t far behind, thanks to a lot of afternoon shows with an average ticket price of $10.28, compared to $12.90 for the Reynolds movie. The turnout for Paw Patrol was 1.3M admissions to Free Guy‘s 1.6M. “Overall the industry continues to rebound with an estimated 5.3M moviegoers heading to the cinema this weekend to see one of the top 10 movies,” reports EntTelligence. The cinema data org uses proprietary technology, machine learning and movie-goer analysis, which includes on-site ticket price verification to create its metrics and insights.
How many times have we seen this femme action shoot-’em-up movie before? The Protege‘s weekend is under Lionsgate’s Luc Besson’s female assassin movie, Anna, which tanked pre-pandemic with a $3.6M start and finaled at $7.7M domestic. Protege stars Maggie Q, Michael Keaton and Samuel L. Jackson, and is directed by Martin Campbell, and despite OK critics score of 61% fresh, saw a blasé audience recommendation of 50% recommend and 76% positive. Older guys turned out at 61%, 81% over 25, with slightly more than half of the pic’s ticket-buyers falling between 25-44 years old. Diversity demos were 47% Caucasian, 25% Black, 16% Latino, and 12% Asian/other. Most notable markets were the West and South.
Night House, despite having great reviews of 84% certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, divided genre audiences, given that it’s an arthouse horror pic, two tastes which rarely go together. PostTrak is low here with 61% positive, 38% recommend. Those who dared to show up were 52% males, 61% over 25, and 67% between 18-34. Diversity mix was 50% Caucasian, 20% Latino, 14% Black, 16% Asian/other. Lackluster results on the coasts and in the South here for the Rebecca Hall movie. Searchlight shelled out $12M for the global rights to Night House at Sundance 2020. Still, it’s product for the arthouse. Audiences responded more to Searchlight’s pre-pandemic gory feature Ready or Not, which logged a B+ CinemaScore. Hardly any social media push here reports RelishMix given the non-socially activated cast.
Reminiscenceis another star adult-geared drama from Warner Bros. to wilt this year, after Angelina Jolie’s Those Who Wish Me Dead ($2.8M opening, $7.3M final). Two things here with Warner: They had the foresight to notice that the pandemic would last this long with their HBO Max theatrical plan, but also the concern going forward is whether they take some of these risky adult titles either day-and-date on the service, or over a short theatrical window. This despite their commitment to a 45-day theatrical window next year. Note, that’s a concern for the entire industry as to where arthouse and adult fare will wind up going forward. MGM/UAR’s Respect, for example, fell -57% in weekend 2 here with $3.8M.
Audiences didn’t get this Jackman package priced at an estimated $68M (before P&A and talent recoup, the latter which I hear was huge), which Warners snapped up at auction out of Berlin, at 67% positive, 44% recommend. 56% guys, 74% over 25, and 60% between 18-34. Diversity demos were 54% Caucasian, 15% Latino, 14% Black, 17% Asian/other. The most activity the movie saw was in the West and Southeast.
This’s weekend’s top 10 films — refreshing with Sunday AM numbers
1.) Free Guy (20th/Dis) 4,165 theaters Fri $5.2M/Sat $8M/Sun $5.6M/3-day $18.8M (-34%)/Total: $58.8M/Wk 2
2.) Paw Patrol (Par/Spin) 3,184 theaters Fri $4.5M/Sat $4.95M/Sun $3.5M/3-day $13M/Wk 1
3.) Jungle Cruise (Dis) 3,575 (-325) theaters, Fri $1.7M (-34%)/Sat $2.8M/Sun $1.7M/3-day $6.2M (-31%)/Total $92.5M/Wk 4
4.) Don’t Breathe 2 3,005 theaters (Sony/SG) Fri $1.5M/Sat $2.1M/Sun $1.4M/3-day $5.05M (-53%)/Total: $19.7M/ Wk 2
5.) Respect (MGM/UAR) 3,207 theaters Fri $1.08M (-70%)/Sat $1.55M/Sun $1.17M/3-day $3.8M (-57%)/Total $15.8M/Wk 2
6.) The Suicide Squad (WB) 2,926 (-1,093) theaters Fri $980K/Sat $1.4M/Sun $1M/3-day: $3.4M (-54%) /Total $49.2M/Wk 3
7.) The Protege (LG) 2,577 theaters Fri $1.1M/Sat $1M/Sun $767K/3-day $2.93M/Wk 1
8.) The Night House (Sea) 2,240 theaters Fri $1.08M/Sat $1.06M/Sun $737K/3-day $2.869M/Wk 1
9.) Reminiscence (WB) 3,265 theaters Fri $680K/Sat $755K/Sun $565K/3-day $2M/Wk 1
10.) Old (Uni) 1,547 (-1,084) theaters/Fri $330K (-54%)/Sat $490K/Sun $320K/3-day $1.14M (-52%)/Total $45.1M/Wk 5
Ryan Reynolds’s ‘Free Guy’ Triumphs with $28M+ Opening at the BO!!
Those having any concern that the pandemic is wrecking complete havoc at the box office can rest a bit easy as Disney/20th Century Studio’s Free Guy smashed expectations with a $28.4M opening weekend. Worldwide the Shawn Levy-directed movie is at a $51M start. Something more to applaud is the fact that stateside business for Free Guy surged 24% on Saturday when you back out Thursday previews from Friday’s number; all indicative that great word of mouth works in the current marketplace, as well as sheer star power, and we’re talking Ryan Reynolds, who announced yesterday on social that Disney already wants a sequel to this movie which was held from release during Covid.
“This is the first non-IP, non-sequel that Disney has released in literally years. And not just because of the pandemic, but because of the culture of our industry, which more and more rarely bets, and bets big –they’ll bet small—but bets big on a new, original movie. That was the bet that (former 20th Century Studios Boss, now at Paramount) Emma Watts placed and that Disney doubled down on,” Levy told us recently. We also hear that former 20th Century Studios Exec Mike Ireland, who also at Paramount now, was also one of Free Guy‘s original champions.
“I want the studios to see that when we give the culture, when we give the audience, something new and original, and therefore inherently original, the audience comes, the audience exists,” says Levy.
“If we end up evolving in an industry that is nothing but sequels and franchises, we’ll be the poorer for it,” he adds, “Not just as an industry, but as a culture.”
Another movie that also came in slightly ahead of expectations was Sony/Screens’ R-rated horror sequel Don’t Breathe 2 which did $10.6M. Back out that pic’s Thursday $965K previews from its $4.3M Friday, and Saturday at $3.65M was actually +7%. Again, another encouraging sign that the box office isn’t entirely in freefall, rather clicking with the younger demos.
The key thing here to remember is that both Free Guy and Don’t Breathe 2 were propelled by the 18-34 demo, respectively at 50% and 63%, and that’s a crowd who’s been increasingly showing that they’re unafraid to head out to the cinema.
That can’t be said for all moviegoing demos, in particular the older female crowd who didn’t show up in bulk to MGM/United Artists Releasing’s Aretha Franklin biopic Respect which despite a solid A CinemaScore did $8.8M in 4th place this past weekend. On one positive note, Respect, for an older-leaning movie turned in a higher start than Focus Features’ Stillwater which began at $5.1M, and held -45% in its second frame. But there’s concern here about films geared at older crowds in the pandemic especially as we head into Q4 awards season. Either Respect holds like a rock, or with great audience scores like these, it overperforms in its home ancillaries. However, it’s going to be a long road for older-skewing titles as the headlines of delta and lambda variants continue. From the moment the campaign for Respect began, overall moviegoing comfort levels dropped from 81% to 66% in NRG polling, while the worst confidence came from the female over 35 (52% sentiment) and over 45 (44% sentiment) quads; the latter demo dropping 30 points since Respect‘s promo push. Those demographics are Respect‘s targeted crowds, and among the few who bought tickets. Respect pulled in 67% over 35, 45% over 45, & 26% over 55 years old. Best markets were Chicago, Atlanta, Detroit, NYC and LA.
Some might ask, what’s the big deal? So, Free Guy opens to a $26M+ weekend after last weekend’s The Suicide Squad did $26.2M, which was painted by the media and Warners as a collateral damage from the pandemic (yet, was the highest start for an R-Rated movie during Covid). Free Guy gets plenty of trumpets this weekend because it’s, once again, expensive original IP, which is very risky and it’s debuting at a time when younger adults have other distractions such as returning to school or college. There was a great concern out there that Free Guy was going to be sidelined due to Covid. Oh, and let’s not forget, Free Guy is on a pure 45-day theatrical window, which will only fuel its legs at the box office (Respect and Don’t Breathe 2 are also theatrical window titles).
Again, a majority of James Gunn’s Suicide Squad downfall stemmed from a marketing misfire in identifying the title from its predecessors, fanboys’ previous dissatisfaction with the DC franchise’s history, and, oh, it was available free to HBO Max subscribers, the negative results of which we witnessed again at the box office after the studio’s Space Jam 2 as the former Harley Quinn and friends film plummeted -70% this weekend with $7.75M.
“Free Guy was built with one prime objective, audience delight” Levy told us about the pic, “we made it for an audience experience.”
“Disney from early on loved this movie, and that love went to another level, when they sat in a test screening of Free Guy, which I can say is the best of Ryan’s and my careers, and we both had successful test screenings in the past. You could feel it in that theater. I’m so grateful that the Alans were there (Bergman and Horn), and (Disney Marketing Boss) Asad (Ayaz) was there. You could feel that this movie becomes something bigger than the movie when it’s shared by an audience,” Levy tells Deadline. In addition, Free Guy is a win for 20th Century Studios President Steve Asbell and his team this weekend. SVP of Global Publicity Michelle Sewell was also a big supporter of Free Guy. “They really have given this the full Disney effort,” says Levy who’s been blown away by the campaign.
Levy received the script five years ago. He was initially reluctant to do it, that it is until Reynolds called him three years ago. Reynolds knew Levy was the guy for the project; the actor’s vision being a high concept videogame movie, but one that was warm and humanist, not limited to the gaming crowd.
“We made this movie for our younger Back to the Future-obsessed selves. We wanted that feeling of wish fulfillment, aspiration, a huge ‘what if’ at the center, but we wanted it to be as warm as it is funny. If it was just cool, we would have failed,” adds Levy.
“That was the key that unlocked me,” said Levy, “We called Emma. I said ‘It’s me and Ryan, let’s go’”
While most movies based on videogames are boxed by the parameters of their IP and gamer’ expectations, Reynolds and Levy weren’t burdened by any limits in making the movie, “and we got to create Free Guy with only our imagination as the rule of law” says the helmer.
Free Guy initially kicked off its campaign at NYC Comic-Con and Brazil CCXP 2019 with talent appearances and content drops before the pandemic kicked in. Reynolds and fellow Free Guy star Taika Waititi put their Marvel sensibility in the marketing with a huge online bit of their Deadpool and Korg characters watching the trailer, as well as a hilarious NPC lawyer content piece featuring attorney “Bryan Breynolds.”
Three trailers leveraged high-profile events including New York Comic-Con, Monday Night Football, and Summer of Game Fest. Early media kicked off with hits in key sporting events including MLB All-Star Game, NBA Finals (Games 3, 5, and 6), Concacaf Gold Cup (group stage, quarterfinals, and finals), Hallmark’s Christmas in July, connected TV takeovers and out-of-home teases with a “Big Movie, Big Screen” message (Sunset Wall, Hollywood Towers, The Grove, Penn Station and Marriott Times Square, Disney Story Times Square, Bus Ultra Super Kings, Wildposting, and more). There were also big broadcast moments in the Olympics, Bachelorette, NFL Hall of Fame Game, NBA Draft, Fantasy Island premiere, Stargirl premiere. Not to mention there were takeovers on connected TV, Fandango, IMDb, ESPN, IGN, Complex Jumbotron, Spotify and Soundcloud, Bustle Kindle Fire, and beyond.
Integrated marketing and synergy included #FreeGuyFieri/Food Network, Freeform Becomes Free Guy takeover, FX daylong stunt on Aug. 12, 5-day countdown blitz with countdown clocks across GMA, ABC World News and Nightline.
On the exhibition side, there was a Regal AR Activiation (where users can put on Guy’s glasses to see the game overlay of the city, with in-world tappable elements revealing fun moments from the film, and a level-up experience to get a Guy “cardboard cutout” to place into their world for a photo-op experience) and a Cinemark Esports Fortnite Duos tournament that included buy-one-get-one-free ticket offer for entrants and a private watch party for the top two winners.
Digital hits included emoji, spotlight trend, and premiere coverage on Twitter; custom stickers & gifs, influencer engagement, custom AR lens, and word-of-mouth program on Facebook and Instagram; shareable opportunities on TikTok. There were stunted digital PR beats for Mashable, Fandango, Buzzfeed, Bustle, IGN, LadBible, Yahoo!. There was a first-to-market spectacles opportunity on SnapChat with a custom Free City World lens. Alongside Fortnite, Disney tapped into the gaming community with a custom Free Guy Questline Integration, custom “Don’t Have A Good Day, Have a Great Day” emote and playable dude skin. Promotional elements include: influencer activations, social stunted interaction with talent, in game message of the day, CRM Fortnite social support, Fortnite store hero placement and in-console game support.
A big list of promo partners were lined up here by the Mouse House including XBOX celebrating NPCs in a global gaming campaign with a custom greeting and trailer during the XBOX Global Launch Celebration. The campaign also included the first ever XBOX NPC Awards consisting of three custom pieces launched across XBOX’s social channels, a NPC Lawyer content piece on late night Cable/TV and Outdoor digital boards in LA and NYC Times Square, incremental support across Microsoft businesses including a profile page on LinkedIn, co-branded gaming kits for influencers, PR events and activations and a premiere sponsorship with a first-time reveal of the HALO Warthog on the Red Carpet along with the NCP Trophy. Under Armour also was a co-branded spot highlighting the limited Edition Power Up Blue Sole Shoe with all of the proceeds going to support the Boys and Girls Club, with a digital and social campaign on Twitch, Snapchat, YouTube and a LEVEL UP workout on TikTok. Under Armour also sponsored the Premiere and had a themed shirt giveaway. Additional domestic partners included Zenni, GrubHub, GFuel, HyperX.
Audience breakdown to date from Disney for Free Guy is 59% male/41% female. General audience was 84%, with parents and kids repping 16% of all ticket buyers. Those over 25 were 54% of Free Guy‘s crowd. Premium formats including IMAX, PLF, 3D, DBox and 4D accounted for a very strong 29% of the pic’s weekend.
Big shoutout to Universal’s F9which at $681.4M is the highest grossing Hollywood film during the pandemic. The movie crossed $500M at the offshore box office, becoming the first major motion picture studio to do so ($509.3M to be exact) since 2019 and one of only three titles (including two Chinese local movies, Detective Chinatown 3 at $686.3M and Hi Mom at $821M) to cross this milestone in 2020 and 2021.
Total weekend for all films per Comscore is $76.9M, +17% from last weekend. The 2021 annual box office is close to eclipsing 2020 with a running total of $1.9B, -1%, for the period of Jan. 1-Aug. 15.
This’s weekend’s top 10 films:
1.) Free Guy (20th/Dis) 4,164 theaters Fri $10.5M (includes $2.2M previews)/Sat $10.3M/Sun $7.6M/ 3-day $28.4M/Wk 1
2.) Don’t Breathe 2 3,005 theaters (Sony/SG) Fri $4.3M (includes $965K previews)/Sat $3.65M/Sun $2.56M/3-day $10.6M/Wk 1
3.) Jungle Cruise (Dis) 3,900 (-410) theaters, Fri $2.55M (-43%)/Sat $3.9M/$2.55M/ 3-day $9M (-43%)/Total $82.1M/Wk 3
4.) Respect (MGM/UAR) 3,207 theaters Fri $3.6M (includes $650K previews)/Sat $3M/Sun $2.2M/3-day $8.8M/Wk 1
5.) The Suicide Squad (WB) 4,019 (+17) theaters Fri $2.2M (-81%)/3-day $7.75M (-70%)/Total $42.9M/Wk 2
6.) Old (Uni) 2,631 (-507) theaters Fri $710K/Sat $990K/Sun $700K, 3-day: $2.4M (-42%)/Total $43M/Wk 4
7.) Black Widow (Dis) 2,060 (-1,040) theaters Fri $569K/Sat $846K/Sun $585K/3-day $2M (-49%)/Total $178.1M/Wk 6
8.) Stillwater (Foc) 2,179 (-432) theaters Fri $380K/Sat $560K/Sun $360K/3-day $1.3M (-54%)/Total $12.5M/Wk 3
9.) The Green Knight (A24) 1,784 (-1,014) theaters Fri $344K/Sat $455K/Sun $364K/3-day $1.16M (-55%)/Total $14.7M/Wk 3
10.) Space Jam: A New Legacy (WB) 1,841 (-1,028) theaters/3-day $1.115M (-54%)/Total $68M/Wk 5
‘The Suicide Squad’ Takes Top Spot With an Underwhelming $26.5 Million Debut at the BO!!
When it comes to the lackluster result of Warner Bros.’ latest The Suicide Squad at $26.5M this past weekend, one can blame the variant, and they can definitely blame HBO Max, but they’ll also need to blame the brand. Several reasons are weighing down on why this well-intended and valiant effort by the studio to improve a damaged franchise went wrong.
While it was a brilliant stroke to bring in the gifted James Gunn, not even he could save DC’s The Suicide Squad. Remember, what I keep saying: Any misfire at the box office, especially of late, always boils down to brand and whether it’s worth people’s time to go out. It is always a challenge for any studio to market a sequel to a movie that many initially regarded as a bad movie, and David Ayer’s Suicide Squad, despite its global box office success of $746.8M, and biggest domestic August debut of all-time at $133.6M, is the Batman v. Superman of DC’s villain cinemaverse (and Birds of Prey with a $33M domestic debut, $84.1M U.S./Canada take and $201.8M WW, didn’t help).
And despite the great reviews for Gunn’s Suicide Squad, and any good exits from the Under 18 demo, they’re likely watching this R-rated film at home on HBO Max where it’s free and they can don’t have to deal with the hassle of sneaking into the theater or being turned away. The whole HBO Max factor –and piracy– just kills the film’s legs at the box office, and that has statistically been proven time and again during the pandemic. Also, with a title like The Suicide Squad, a studio is just telling the audience they’ve already seen this movie before.
Now, some are trying to blame the delta variant for The Suicide Squad going sideways, and while not to be “callous” as Disney would say, it’s possible that moviegoers are exercising caution, however, I don’t think it’s time to sound the air raid siren at the box office: Theaters are still open, people are vaccinated (NY State is 58% fully inoculated, California is 54%), and as a nation we didn’t close down this past weekend. Comscore reports that the gap between the 2021 box office (at $1.8 billion) for the period of Jan. 1-Aug 8 and the same frame in 2020 continues to close, now -6%. Despite those restraining from travel, there is part of the population who is vaccinated that wants to continue to live a normal life. Also, last week, when we still had headlines about the surging delta variant, Jungle Cruise beat its $25M projections with a $35M opening. See? It’s boils down to brand (and Dwyane Johnson’s marketing muscle).
However, a studio can’t claim the best R-rated opening during the pandemic here (especially for a dynamic window movie, which is already curbing ticket sales) and point the finger at Covid at the same time. Suicide Squad‘s opening is right in line, in fact it’s ahead, of HBO Max/Warner Bros’ previous R-rated titles, i.e. New Line’s Mortal Kombat ($23.3M) and also above The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It ($24.1M). For weeks, tracking was indicating that The Suicide Squad was looking like Birds of Prey, and that’s before the latest group of Covid spikes in NY and LA, so there’s no great shock here in regards to Suicide Squad‘s opening weekend. The only question was how far north of $30M the sequel could possibly go.
Warners believes that they continue to be on the right side of history here, given how they predicted the lingering pandemic and braced for it by putting their movies in theaters and on frosh streaming service HBO Max. There also isn’t a great concern out there by the industry that Warner will bail on theatrical given their commitment to a 45-day window next year for their event titles.
Gunn shot The Suicide Squad in Imax, and large format theaters drove 10% of the pic’s weekend B.O with a 3-day of $2.6M.
Also, while we’re on the subject of whether Covid is impacting the box office or not: After Jungle Cruise emulated the first week results of pre-pandemic Rampage, the Johnson-Emily Blunt pic had a better than expected second weekend decline of -55% with $15.69M. Many were predicting a -60% decline with the whole Disney+ Premier of it all, piracy and Suicide Squad stealing the theme park-inspired pic’s PLF screens. Some of the hold here might boil down to Disney+ actually charging for the film at home rather than giving it away free to its streaming subscribers like HBO Max. Don’t say families aren’t going to the movies now. If you haven’t noticed, Johnson, even in weekend 2, continues to have a bullhorn for Jungle Cruise on his social media channels. Typically stars bail on promoting their movies in their second weekend, but Johnson doesn’t quit. The proof of continually speaking to his 332.2M social media followers is showing positive results for Jungle Cruise at the box office this weekend.
Johnson is seen here below being a proponent for consumer choice in times like this. On Wednesday, he posted a video on Instagram saying, “Been a JUNGLE CRUISE celebration all week long – THANK YOU – for making us the #1 MOVIE IN THE WORLD with an amazing $92M opening weekend worldwide ($35M domestic) 👏🏾🌍🍿🙏🏾. As we try to navigate our way thru this challenging Covid market, I’ve been a big advocate on creating an incredible EXPERIENCE IN THEATERS as well as an incredible experience IN YOUR LIVING ROOMS on the same day. Very important to me, to always give you and your families options as we all work hard to get on the other side of Covid.Thank you guys around the world for launching a JUNGLE CRUISE franchise by absolutely loving our characters and the wild adventures they journey on!!! Back to work ~ sip your ZO, now LFG! dj 🖤👊🏾”
According to iSpot, Warner Bros. and Disney essentially spent the same amount of money in U.S. TV spend respectively on Suicide Squad and Jungle Cruise, $18.8M and $18.3M. Suicide‘s spend includes $7.7M in HBO Max promos that included the DC bad guy ensemble. The Suicide Squad TV campaign generated 930.1 million impressions to Jungle Cruise‘s 1.81 billion. Top network runs for Suicide Squad ads were NBC (16.4%), ABC (10.8%), TBS (8.7%), TNT (6.3%) and Univision (4.8%). The Margot Robbie-Idris Elba trailer also aired during the Olympics, NBA, College basketball, re-runs of The Big Bang Theory and Family Guy.
Meanwhile, Focus Features’ Stillwater had the strongest hold out of those titles in their second weekend, -45% besting not only Jungle Cruise, but also A24’s Green Knight which slid -62%. The Matt Damon drama stands at $10M through ten days after a $2.86M weekend 2. This is a sign of optimism and deserves to be noticed as it indicates older audiences are getting comfortable with returning to cinemas. There’s also not a lot of smart films for older adults out there right now, which works to Stillwater‘s advantage. Why did Green Knight nose-dive? Essentially the Dev Patel movie has the same guy male fanboy audience as Suicide Squad, which is potent between 18-35), and it was a movie that divided its audience; an arthouse title posing as a genre movie which is de rigueur for A24.
- The Suicide Squad (WB) 4,002 theaters, Fri $12.1M/Sat $8.22M/Sun $6.18M/ 3-day: $26.5M/Wk 1
- Jungle Cruise (Dis) 4,310 theaters, Fri $4.46M (-67%)/ Sat $6.67M/Sun $4.55M/ 3-day $15.69M (-55%)/Total: $65.3M/Wk 2
- Old (Uni) 3,138 theaters (-241), Fri $1.2M (-44%)/Sat $1.67M/$1.26M/3-day $4.1M (-40%)/Total: $38.5M/Wk 3
- Black Widow (Dis) 3,100 theaters (-260)/Fri $1.2M/Sat $1.66M/Sun $1.16M/ 3-day $4M (-38%)/Total $174.3M/Wk 5
- Stillwater (Foc) 2,611 theaters (+80), Fri $770K (-59%)/Sat $1.22M/ Sun $870K/3-day $2.86M (-45%)/Total: $10M/ Wk 2
- The Green Knight (A24) 2,798 theaters (+8) Fri $760K (-74%)/Sat $1M/ Sun $816K/3-day $2.59M (-62%)/Total $12.1M/Wk 2
- Space Jam 2 (WB) 2,869 theaters (-632) Fri $685K/Sat $1M/Sun $770K/ 3-day $2.475M (-43%)/Total $65.6M/Wk 4
- Snake Eyes (Par) 2,080 theaters (-1,460) Fri $450K/Sat $675K/Sun $500K/3-day $1.625M (-60%)/Total $26M/Wk 3
- Escape Room 2 (Sony) 1,303 theaters (-783)Fri $405K /Sat $510K/Sun $335K/3-day $1.25M (-44%)/Total $23M/Wk 4
- F9 (Uni) 1,715 theaters (-633) Fri $320K/Sat $520K/Sun $390K/3-day $1.23M (-54%)/Total $171M/Wk 7
‘Jungle Cruise’ Ships off with $91.8M Opening at the WW BO!!
Jungle Cruise kept its ship together at the domestic box office over the weekend, and actually saw an uptick in Friday-to-Saturday grosses (when you back out Thursday previews of $2.7M) of +16% which puts the adventure film at $34.2M, an opening that’s not far from Dwayne Johnson’s pre-pandemic event film Rampage ($35.7M), and the biggest family film start during the pandemic to date. All in, add $27.6M in overseas box office and $30M+ in Disney+ Premier global spend and Jungle Cruise counts a first weekend’s worth of revenues of $91.8M. Similar to Black Widow, the bulk of Disney+ Premier spend, I understand, is coming from the U.S. as our market is more accustomed to making purchases on the Disney+ streaming service, while offshore markets are still adopting.
Beamed Disney EVP of theatrical distribution Tony Chambers, “We have delivered the No. 1 family film opening of the year and take great solace in that; one can’t compare the numbers to anything pre-pandemic. With great word of mouth and audience exits, we’ve exceeded our own and industry expectations.” Jungle Cruise was expected to open to $25M domestic; Deadline heard that global theatrical estimates at $65M.
At a time when many might be worried that the delta variant is curbing business, and that families are staying home, Jungle Cruise‘s pure U.S. and Canadian theatrical ticket sales show—once again after Warner Bros.’ Space Jam: A New Legacy’s $31M opening—the demographic is willing to head out. Again, when we see such holds and successes in the face of dynamic windows, the question continually begged is how much more could Jungle Cruise have made this weekend at the domestic B.O. without Disney+ Premier blocking its path? Overall domestic theatrical weekend per Comscore for all movies stands at $76.7M, +9%. The gap between 2021 and 2020’s running comparative U.S./Canada B.O. is now -11% with the current Jan. 1-Aug. 1 period being $1.7 billion.
However, there are those in the industry this morning who are not impressed with Jungle Cruise‘s numbers. Again, blame the global pandemic and dynamic windowing. A $91.8M combined global theatrical and PVOD start are not the ingredients to profit off a tentpole with excellent audience exits which cost an estimated $362M in negative cost, distribution and marketing expenses. But then again, what is truly making money right now in the current global marketplace? At the end of the day, a simultaneous theatrical and PVOD window brings the streaming revenue forward in time. “There’s too much evidence that the model diminishes the aggregate streaming revenue as well as cuts into a movie’s theatrical gross,” one film finance insider tells us this morning.
There are some industry analysts who claim that those sitting on the couch to watch Jungle Cruise were never going to head to the movies anyway, but there is a looming concern out there by the business that the casual moviegoer is showing some doubt about returning to the cinema. There’s no worry about avid moviegoers going out to see movies now.
On the other hand, a sign that the offshore markets still aren’t back for Jungle Cruise: Rampage posted a $114.1M an international B.O. first weekend ($55M came from China then, which wasn’t in the mix for Jungle Cruise; the remaining balance on the giant ape movie debuted to $59.1M). Disney is all about global day-and-date launches which are hampered here because of territory closures and capacity restrictions, which is why the studio continues to argue their Disney+ Premier day-and-date theatrical model. We don’t know yet which future movies on the Disney theatrical slate will commit to the experimental model.
Despite being sued by Scarlett Johansson over crushing the theatrical and PVOD window on Black Widow, Disney will defend that by putting Jungle Cruise on its streaming service for $29.99 (versus $19.99 or lower), they’re trying to put a high price point so that they’re not directly competing with movie theater ticket prices which average around $10-$15 each. Counter that with the fact that a Disney+ Premier purchase for Jungle Cruise is the better bargain for a family of four. Or it costs absolutely nothing at home if the consumer is taking in the Disney pic over a pirated site.
Some have asked me why I’m comping Jungle Cruise to Rampage, a pre-pandemic title: Because in regards to pure domestic box office, we need to see where we are versus normal standards; it’s an indicator of whether we are in a state of recovery or not. Disney and Warner’s current experimenting with dynamic windows only clouds any signs of rebound. Note, it’s not prudent to comp Jungle Cruise to Rampage in weekend 2, the latter fell -44% without any event pic competition mid-April 2018 and Jungle Cruise is apt to lose its premium large format screens to Warner Bros.’ Suicide Squad next weekend. With avid moviegoers choosing the premium theatrical experience for tentpoles in their first weekend, and Jungle Cruise doing 25% between Imax and PLF, ticket sales are apt to decrease in weekend 2 without such additions for a movie title.
Meanwhile,Black Widow‘s weekend 4 at the box office is the lowest fourth weekend for a Disney-released Marvel title ever at $6.4M.
But going back to the pic’s theatrical success at least here in the states: Johnson is always a pro in championing his movies, and he kept fans in the loop about starting the recent press tour back on July 15 (see below). In fact, the campaign started way back pre-pandemic at D23 Expo 2019 with Johnson and Blunt arriving onstage in a custom-built La Quila boat and classic car. Marketing reignited in May with a new trailer, poster, and announcement of dual theatrical and Disney+ Premier Access release on July 30, exclusively revealed on Good Morning America. Johnson shared all of this on his social media handles to his huge following.
In the face of a pandemic, Johnson and Blunt bravely appeared at the Disneyland premiere for the film and even took a surprise ride on the Jungle Cruise much to the delight of fans (see below). Social media analytics corp RelishMix reports that that pic’s social media was massive “connecting Disneyland 29.7M into the mix along with Disney Studios 62.2M, Disney+ 11.8M, Disney Channel 21.9M for a total social media universe of 559.8M total which is exceptional in relation to family live-action comps. Superfan channels on YouTube are also reposting cast junkets with a viral repost rate of 23:1 for the five owned trailers which exceeds the norm of 16:1 along with key performance indicators which popped from the Disneyland premiere event last weekend.”
The Rock’s social media pull across Instagram, Facebook, Twitter counts 333.8M which according to RelishMix reps 59% of the entire reach metric for Jungle Cruise along with the action star’s YouTube channel, with 5.6M subs, which dropped trailers including the No. 1 trailer from 17 months ago at 8.3M views. And while Blunt, and stars Jesse Plemons and Paul Giamatti are non-social, the Rock’s social powers mixed with Jack Whitehall’s 10.2M fans and Edgar Ramirez’s 5.2M fans picked up the slack.
After Focus Features’ Roadrunner, arthouses continued to see the light this weekend thanks to A24’s The Green Knight which opened to $6.784M at 2,790 theaters in the No. 2 spot. That’s a result that’s just ahead of the Oscar-winning distributor’s Midsommar which did $6.56M over the three days of the 2019 Independence Day weekend and was a Wednesday opener. Green Knight played notably in upscale and hipster arthouses, i.e. Alamo Drafthouse had five of the top ten runs, I hear. The movie did well in big cities with cash coming from New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, San Francisco, Boston, DC, Seattle and Phoenix. A24 hung onto this David Lowery-directed, Dev Patel fantasy film throughout the pandemic, rather than relegate it to a PVOD release, and I’m sure they aren’t sorry. The pic cost under $30M, but I understand a majority of that production cost was covered by foreign sales. The pic is on a 20-day theatrical window.
Relish Mix says that a bulk of Green Knight’s near 45M social media universe before opening weekend came from 41.3M views on five YouTube videos which were re-dated from the pic’s original February 2020 drop of materials. In regards to chatter, “Conversations shout with excitement about the approach that A24 has taken to introduce the pic’s mythology with early calls for Oscars cinematography nominations as fans of Patel and Alicia Vikander await the release.”
The studio dropped a video that clocked 7.4M views on YouTube about the pic’s origins which is the 14th Century epic poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.
Always keen on connecting with Gen-X and millennials, A24 even created a real roleplaying game for Green Knight.
Last weekend’s pure theatrical releases, Universal’s M. Night Shyamalan Old and Paramount’s Snake Eyes took tumbles in their second weekends respectively with -60% and -70%. Old, which posted a drop on par with Shyamalan’s 2006 misfire Lady in the Water, was good enough to take No. 3 (some have it at No. 2) with $6.76M and a ten-day of $30.6M. Snake Eyes at 2,348 theaters made $4M for a ten-day tally of $22.2M. Again the lackluster results here strictly boil down to lack of interest in the IPs, as indicated by both pics’ sour audience exits last weekend.
In 5th place is Focus Features/Participant’s Stillwater which is coming in right where many expected with $5.1M in 5th at 2,531 theaters and 232 DMAs.
“We’re thrilled to see so many parts of the country, like the Midwest and the South, returning to theaters to watch Matt (Damon) in Stillwater. Those audiences came out solidly, which is promising for the weeks to come on the film,” said Focus Features President of Distribution Lisa Bunnell. As we told you yesterday, the movie which is partially set in Stillwater, OK where Damon plays an oil-rig worker, saw five out of its top ten theaters this past weekend coming from Oklahoma which is uncommon for the domestic B.O. Stillwater‘s top theaters over Friday and Saturday were 1.) Warren 14, Oklahoma City ($16k) 2.) the Carmelview, Phoenix ($10,4K) 3.) Broken Arrow, Tulsa ($10,1K), 4.) Tibbs, Indianapolis ($8,3K), 5.) Cinemark 17, Tulsa ($7,5K), 6.) Cal Oaks, LA ($7,2K) 7) Showbiz, Oklahoma City ($7,1K), 8) AMC Stillwater ($7,1K), 9) Estrella Falls, Phoenix ($7K) and 10) Cinemark West Plano ($6,7K).
Top markets for Stillwater included LA and NY with the most runs respectively 127 (7.1% of the B.O.) and 103 cinemas (4.2%). Phoenix, San Francisco, Oklahoma City, and Denver were above their normal market share with Oklahoma City continuing to be the most impressive placing 9th with only 17 runs. Best grossing region for the film was the South. Overall in rank the other top-grossing markets were 3) Dallas (69 theaters, 3.9% of B.O.), 4) Phoenix (43 theaters, 3.3%), 5) San Francisco (56 theaters, 2.5%), 6) Houston (49 theaters, 2.4%), 7) Chicago (69 theaters, 2.4%), 8) Denver (47 theaters, 2.2%), 9) Oklahoma City (17 theaters, 1.9%) and 10) Atlanta (54 theaters, 1.9%).
This weekend’s top 10 chart:
- Jungle Cruise (Dis) 4,310 theaters, Fri $13.378M/Sat $12.2M/Sun $8.5M/3-day $34.2M/Wk 1
- The Green Knight (A24) 2,790 theaters (-25)/Fri $2.878M/Sat $2.17M/Sun $1.7M/3-day $6.78M Wk 1
- Old (Uni) 3,379 theaters (+24), Fri $2.1M (-70%)/Sat $2.65M/Sun $1.99M/3-day $6.76M (-60%)/Total: $30.6M/Wk 2
- Black Widow (Dis) 3,360 theaters (-890)/Fri $1.9M (-46%)/Sat $2.6M/Sun $1.9M/3-day $6.4M (-45%)/Total $167M/Wk 4
- Stillwater (Foc) 2,531 theaters, Fri $1.85M/Sat $1.92M/Sun $1.35M/3-day $5.12M/ Wk 1
- Space Jam 2 (WB) 3,501 (-501) Fri $1.34M (-57%)/Sat $1.67M/Sun $1.26M/3-day $4.265M (-55%)/Total $60.7M/Wk 3
- Snake Eyes (Par) 3,540 (+19) Fri $1.19M/Sat $1.6M/Sun $1.19M/3-day: $4M (-70%)/Total $22.2M/Wk 2
- F9 (Uni) 2,348 (-502) theaters Fri $760K/Sat $1.06M/Sun $830K/3-day: $2.65M (-45%)/Total $168.5M/Wk 6
- Escape Room 2 (Sony) 2,086 (-729) Fri $670K/Sat $860K/Sun $670K 3-day $2.2M (-37%)/Total: $20.55M/Wk 3
- Baby Boss 2 (Uni) 1,865 (-908) theaters Fri $400K/Sat $510K/Sun $390K/3-day $1.3M (-55%)/Total: $53.4M/Wk 5
‘Old’ Takes Top Spot with $16 Million, as ‘Snake Eyes’ Stumbles at the BO!!
Two releases respecting the theatrical window –Universal’s Old and Paramount’s Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins– are opening at the box office to blah results, respectively with $16.5M and $13.35M. But don’t blame the distribution strategy.
However, it’s questionable whether we can blame the delta variant. These two movies, which received lackluster CinemaScores of C+ and B-, are opening roughly right in line with their estimates. If both of these movies were A CinemaScore titles and completely missed their projections, then it would be quite feasible to squarely blame the delta variant.
However, it’s just another lull at the summer pandemic box office, and we’ve seen that before this summer during May and June. Even with LA County seeing an 80% spike in Covid-19 cases this week (vs. last), the market was No. 1 for Universal’s Old with $1.22M, and it was No. 1 for Snake Eyes.
Overall, the mixture of two mediocre studio wide entries, delta concerns, and theatrical window experimentation is pushing the overall weekend box office down -25%, with an estimated $69M, a drop from last weekend’s $91.4M. There is something to be said, though, in the current pandemic marketplace that the avid moviegoer is fearless about returning to the cinema, but the casual moviegoer is still reluctant. A 76% comfort level about moviegoing during the pandemic remains, according a recent NRG poll, and despite jitters last week about the delta variant, the Dow jumped 200 points to close above 35,000 for the first time.
Don’t forget, when it comes to box office, it’s all about product, and last weekend it was clear that there was a segment of the audience who was eager to see the long-awaited sequel to 1996’s Space Jam, spending $31.05M. Space Jam: A New Legacy opened in the face of the delta variant and over-indexed its $20M projection to become the biggest domestic debut for a family movie during the pandemic. This weekend, the sequel is down -69% for around $9.56M, putting it in 4th place. But the fact that the film is available for free in HBO Max households has plenty to do with that.
Disney’s Black Widow, also available in homes on Disney+ Premier, is looking at a third weekend of $11.6M in third place, -55%. Black Widow made $3.5M on Friday, -56% from a week ago.
More proof that audiences didn’t want to go out of their way to see Old and Snake Eyes can be seen in their Comscore/Screen Engine audience exits: the M. Night Shyamalan movie posted an awful 61% positive, 37% recommend, while Snake Eyes drew 69% positive and 46% recommend. Both titles’ respective Rotten Tomatoes scores of 52% Rotten and 42% aren’t exactly advertising ‘must-see’ either. For the record books, Old ranks as Shyamalan’s sixth No. 1 opening as a director.
Some rival marketing suits tell me that the problem with Old was that the ads didn’t have the extra grab factor in regards to why people should go out and see this tropical horror movie about upper middle class vacationers who age hysterically during a day’s journey at the beach.
When you have a director known for his twists, it’s impossible to include that in the trailers. Some blame the sluggishness of Snake Eyes on the fact that Henry Golding isn’t a marquee draw. But we can’t use the same excuse for Old. Shyamalan as filmmaker is the drawing power for his films, and his other titles with fresh face casts, i.e. The Visit ($25.4M) and Split ($40M), opened significantly better.
Also, in regards to Snake Eyes, Paramount and Hasbro haven’t exploited the G.I. Joe properties aggressively like Transformers in the last 12 years. Why, then, should anyone suddenly care about Snake Eyes? If you’re going to reboot the franchise with a $110M spin-off, best to make a movie which wins on all fronts like a Marvel movie, and rises above its fanboy kitschy IP. Make it smarter than it’s supposed to be.
G.I. Joe in the 1980s wasn’t all toy and TV show: the IP had a great long-running storyline in the Marvel comics, with some fantastic cliffhangers, a great read in a Reagan Economics America.
All of that said above, the G.I. Joe demos are rather splintered: Guys who grew up with the toys in their late 40s know who Snake Eyes is, but do kids 18 and below know, and even care? Snakes Eyes is clearly no Sonic, who has lived a multitude of generations in videos games throughout the years.
Heading into the weekend, RelishMix noticed a “mixed positive” response to the film on social media (“a sarcastic cynicism runs thick about connecting the dots from Snake Eyes comic books” says the analytics corp). I’m sure Paramount could have easily sent Snake Eyes to Paramount+. However, it’s part of a cinema franchise, and best not to tarnish that, even if there’s another, more improved G.I. Joe movie down the road.
Old pulled in slightly more females than guys at 52% with 62% over 25, with 56% falling between 18-34 years old. Diversity breakdown was 43% Caucasian, 26% Latino, 18% Black, & 9% Asian. Updated territory grosses show Old over-performing in the West (14 out of the pic’s top 20 were in the West; 13 in LA on Friday) and South Central region. Top markets were LA, NYC, Dallas, Phoenix, San Francisco, Chicago, Houston, Philly, Atlanta and San Francisco. Close to 20% of Old‘s business came from premium large format screens.
iSpot shows that Old TV ads ran on ABC, CBS, NBC, ESPN and Telemundo on such shows as NBA basketball, Super Bowl LV, The Bachelorette, Law & Order SVU and Exatlón Estados Unidos.
Ahead of the weekend, RelishMix saw that the social media buzz on Old was “mixed-positive,” with comparisons to “the new Quiet Place, the new Conjuring, next to Shyamalan’s Glass and Split, as well as the upcoming Edgar Wright movie Last Night In Soho — plus numerous references to ABC’s Lost TV series. Conversational tones swings from excitement, fear, curiosity, caution, warnings to the characters in the film — to questions about the pregnant girl and numerous guesses about how the films ends and plot twists.”
Pic’s social media universe moved above the genre norm to 113.2M with 41.2M YouTube views from three videos; a trailer, featurette and the Super Bowl spot at 6.8M YouTube views. Also there was 30.3M Facebook views from 19 videos. However, the viral rate “falls short of the norm along with daily click-rates.” Universal reports that the Super Bowl spot for Old ultimately clocked 100M views. There was an Old Snapchat aging lens which racked up more than 23M global views in its first 24 hours with Shaquille O’Neal, Kenny Smith, Charles Barkley taking part in it.
Guys at 60% showed up for Snake Eyes, with an even split between those under/over 25, 51% fell between 18-34 years old. Diversity demos were 40% Caucasian, 18% Black, 12% Asian/other, and 25% Latino. The West and the Southwest were the best-grossing areas for the Robert Schwentke-directed film, with PLF and Imax repping around a third of the spin-off’s grosses. Motion seats repped 3% of business. Close to 80% were general audience, with the remainder being kids under 12.
Social media universe for Snake Eyes was OK with close to 126M including 57.3M views on YouTube off 17 videos and Facebook’s 9.2M views from 48 videos. The studio held free preview screenings on Wednesday night around the country in celebration of San Diego Comic-Con@Home. Snake Eyes is arguably the only movie from a theatrical studio which held a panel during Comic-Con, but few tuned in 10,7K views.
RelishMix did notice some life for Snake Eyes on TikTok with 122.7M ‘TikTok looping views’, “which is unlike views on other platforms that count views ‘per session’ and put TikTok large stats into perspective” reports the org.
Top-grossing theaters for Snake Eyes came from LA, NY, Fresno, Albuquerque, Honolulu, Phoenix, San Antonio, Orlando, San Diego, Wash DC, and Pharr TX. Canada came in with a 5.53% market share on 7.7% of locations. Canada’s overall marketshare this weekend is at 8.93%.
Roadside Attractions’ pick-up of Solstice Studios’ Joe Bell saw $243,6K on Friday, for an estimated $707K 3-day at 1,094 theaters in 171 markets. Mark Wahlberg plays a small town, working class father who embarks on a solo walk across the US to crusade against bullying after his son is tormented in high school for being gay.
Pic is based on a true story and has a Rotten Tomatoes score of 38% Rotten. Audience exits countered that with 79% positive on PostTrak and a 57% recommend. Nearly even spit here between males and females, with 76% over 25 with 56% over 35 years old. Diversity demos were 60% Caucasian, 24% Latino, 8% Black and 8% Asian/other. West and Mid-West were the best territories for Joe Bell. However, overall, there were mediocre results.
Let’s just hope the studios don’t assess this mediocre weekend to be something more severe and start pushing event films out of the theatrical schedule, or even worse, sending them to their streaming services.
Weekend estimates for July 23-25:
- Old (Uni) 3,355 theaters, Fri $6.9M/Sat $5.59M/Sun $4M/3-day $16.5M/Wk 1
- Snake Eyes (Par) 3,521 theaters Fri $5.5M/Sat $4.48M/Sun $3.37M/3-day: $13.35M/Wk 1
- Black Widow (Dis) 4,250 theaters (-25)/Fri $3.5M/Sat $4.7M/Sun $3.4M/3-day $11.6M (-55%)/Total $154.8M/Wk 3
- Space Jam: A New Legacy (WB) 4,002 theaters (+37) Fri $3.05M (-77%)/Sat $3.7M/Sun $2.8M/3-day: $9.56M (-69%)/Total $51.3M/Wk 2
- F9 (Uni) 2,850 theaters (-518), Fri $1.36M/Sat $1.9M/Sun $1.43M/3-day $4.7M (-39%)/Total: $163.3M/ Wk 5
- Escape Room: Tournament of Champions (Sony) 2,815 theaters Fri $1.07M/Sat $1.33M/Sun $990K/3-day $3.4M (-61%)/Total: $16M/Wk 2
- Boss Baby: Family Business (Uni) 2,773 theaters (-676), Fri $820K/Sat $1.1M/Sun $770k/3-day $2.7M (-43%)/total $50.1M/Wk 4
- Forever Purge (Uni) 2,113 (-622) theaters Fri $740K/Sat $890K/Sun $670k/3-day $2.3M (-44%)/Total $40.3M/Wk 4
- A Quiet Place 2 (Par) 1,367 (-628) theaters Fri $380K/Sat $500K/Sun $370K/3-day $1.25M (-44%)/Total $157.5M/Wk 9
- Roadrunner (Foc) 954 (+27) theaters, Fri $250K/Sat $320K/Sun $260K/ 3-day $830K (-58%)/Total $3.7M/Wk 2
‘Space Jam: A New Legacy’ Takes Over Top Spot from ‘Black Widow’ with $31M+ Opening at the BO!!
Even with Space Jam: A New Legacy in homes on HBO Max, Warner Bros. proves again that when they shell out on TV spots, they can open the film in movie theaters to a solid number. In this case, it was the best 3-day we’ve seen for a family film during the pandemic, with $31.65M. That’s also the best for Warner Bros. during the Covid-19 era, beating Godzilla vs. Kong‘s big Easter opening of $31.625M by a smidge, and also a record career opening for director Malcolm D. Lee, beating the opening weekend of his Girls Trip by $31.2M.
“It’s the family movie of the summer, and it’s exciting to see audiences come back in big numbers,” said Warner Bros. domestic theatrical distribution chief Jeff Goldstein, who praised the big marketing push by the studio for the Looney Tunes NBA sequel, which included everything from bus wraps, loud social media drumming from star and producer LeBron James, and the pic’s mobile game Looney Tunes World of Mayhem, which has a week’s theme devoted to the sequel.
iSpot shows that Warner Bros spent $15.2M in TV spots on the Looney Tunes live-action animation hybrid movie (since April 3, yielding 993.6M impressions), which is more than what other studios have been spending on family pics during Covid-19, i.e. Sony with Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway ($8.7M), and Universal with The Boss Baby: Family Business ($13.4M). Warner’s spend here on Space Jam 2 is also less than the $22.5M they forked over for TV ads on In the Heights.
The question is whether and when Warner Bros. can get this movie to cross $100M, given the whole HBO Max factor (the movie plays free to subscribers during its first 28 days, then its second month is strictly in theaters). In a regular pre-pandemic marketplace, without any dynamic windowing strategies, this wouldn’t be a question. It took Warner Bros. 12 weekends to get Godzilla vs. Kong ($31.625M 3-day) past the century mark stateside.
Warners, according to iSpot, bought ads for Space Jam 2 across Nick, ABC, NBC, TNT and Cartoon Network on such shows as SpongeBob SquarePants, NBA basketball, College basketball, America’s Got Talent, and The Loud House.
Social media was huge here for Space Jam 2, with RelishMix reporting that the sequel’s reach across Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram was 601.2M, “well above the family animated norms,” thanks to the social power of James (166.2M) and Zendaya (138M) in the mix.
“The quadrangulation of Looney Tunes social network (19.1M) along with HBO Max (growing to 3.3M), Warner Bros. Pictures (56.7M) and the channels for the Space Jam movie (868K) are driving strong activity on international materials — dropping materials across WB YouTube channels to Italy, Spain and the Latin channels. Instagram is most notable at 38% in terms of social platform segment at 234.1M fans for the cast. Key soundtrack artists added to the SMU and activating with song posts, including John Legend (43.7M) on the red carpet at the premiere, plus The Jonas Brothers (25.5M) and Joyner Lucas (7.1M),” reports RelishMix.
James has been posting about the film heavily, and even Dwayne Johnson did so to his 58.8M Facebook fans about a song by his wife Lauren Hashian that’s in the film (James thanked him as well for the shoutout).
Reports RelishMix about the pre-buzz for Space Jam 2: “Conversation ran wildly mixed with throwbacks to the original, crunchy comparisons of LeBron vs Michael Jordan, with hopes that MJ makes a cameo — and dreams of Space Jam 3 based on Kobe or Steph Curry. With a rowdy hoops crowd, fans were expectedly skeptical about the remake, but noting that the target to families and kids — comments on many of the YouTube videos are turned off — while many fans can’t wait to post their reactions on eared materials after they see the film on the day/date big and little screen.”
Yes, yes, similar to Black Widow, even with this result for Space Jam 2, money was left on the table, box office-wise. This weekend, the Scarlett Johansson standalone MCU origin title dropped -67%, with $26.25M, which reps the steepest second weekend drop for a Disney MCU movie after Ant-Man and the Wasp‘s -62%. So if you’re wondering how Disney+ Premier impacts a Marvel title’s box office, here’s further proof. Note among all Marvel movies, 2003’s The Hulk, which Kevin Feige executive produced for Universal, reps the steepest second weekend domestic drop at -70% for the comic book label’s movies. The 10-day box office for Black Widow stands at $132M.
Note, you cannot comp Black Widow’s second weekend drop here to F9‘s -67% because the latter’s second Sunday fell on July 4th, which is always a down day for moviegoing. Monday July 5th for F9, which was also a recognized holiday stateside, saw that pic’s business pop +15% over Sunday. F9 was released with a theatrical window.
Disney did not report any second weekend updates about Black Widow‘s results on Disney+ Premier. How’s that for transparency?
Warner Bros. has eased the town and exhibition’s fears that they’re only practicing this theatrical-HBO Max-day and date strategy for this year because of the pandemic; that their 2022 and beyond slate will be purely theatrical next year. And at the end of the day, it’s this pandemic (and the continued news of Delta variants and re-masking of L.A. doesn’t help) which continues to give studios like Disney the license to burn down the film distribution model to keep warm. They can trumpet how they made money between a pic’s opening weekend box office and the Disney+ premier PVOD cash. But in addition to shrinking the pie, I hope that Disney CEO Bob Chapek and Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution Chairman Kareem Daniel also realize that they’re losing more than just long-term box office dollars and solid ancillary windows on these-day-and-date releases: Piracy is stealing more money from them faster than they realize, as many sources in the know tell me. And that diminishing of dollars at the box office and windows will hit every downstream business units at Disney quite hard. Wall Street needs to stop sniffing the streaming glue, wake up and realize this recipe for financial disaster.
Fact: Black Widow was the most-pirated movie last week on Torrent Freak, ahead of The Tomorrow War in the No. 2 spot. Many of these piracy sites dress themselves up with images from the film to make it look like they’re legit. The studios go to great lengths while editing their films to encrypt movies and watermark them so they can trace where a pirated copy comes from (whether or not it leaks from inside the studio).
All of those safeguards are blown away in this day-and-date theatrical-streaming era. One industry analytics source informed me that in one study they did for a studio, it showed that these piracy sites were the No. 1 platform for those at home to watch movies, not Disney+ or any other streaming platform. By Disney executing this Disney+ Premier strategy from day one (and Warner’s with their 2021 slate), they’re essentially making pristine free copies available.
By the way, I need to correct myself: Disney doesn’t get 100% of their Disney+ Premier revenue many sources have informed me in the wake of last weekend’s report. On a PVOD release, they have to share ~15% of the revenues with platform providers such as Amazon Firestick, AppleTV+, etc.
So that $60M global PVOD huzzah last weekend is really around an estimated net $51M back to Disney. While it’s better than the 60%/40% rental terms with exhibition, once again, Disney is decimating an ancillary window faster and bound to walk away with less money in the end than they typically would on a regular theatrical release.
The Napster millennials have grown up, Disney, and they’re familiar with getting their goods for free. Is this really a road you want to continue on with future theatrical films? Less box office glow and more piracy results in eroding your brands in the future. Giving into to consumers’ flexible-viewing habits is truly financial foolishness.
iSpot shows that Sony bought ads on ESPN, Telemundo, FX, and Adult Swim for the Adam Robitel-directed sequel, as well as on shows such as NBA basketball, SportsCenter, Family Guy, Mom, and Martin.
Escape Room 2, per RelishMix, had a social media universe of 39.8M across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube, which is well under horror awareness levels per the analytics corp.
“Conversation ran mixed-positive among horror fans who mulled storyline thoughts about the subway with many who love it and ‘puzzle masters’ who are dissecting the trailer,” said RelishMix about the low wattage pre-buzz from the pic.
One highlight of the sequel’s marketing push: the studio reconstructed the pic’s subway escape room in Hollywood:
Focus Features’ Morgan Neville’s documentary Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain rang up $1.9M in 8th place at 925 theaters from 189 DMAs, repping the top opening for a specialty movie and top opening for a docu this year. The pic out-grossed the weekend debuts of Roadside Attractions’ The Courier (opened at $1.885M) and Zola (opened at $1.2mil) and grossed more than three times what Questlove’s Summer of Soul made in its opening weekend of $650k. Roadrunner is also the top opening of Oscar winner Neville’s career.
NEON’s Nicolas Cage thriller Pig slotted 10th with $945K at 552 locations for a $1,7K theater average. The pic’s top ten theaters I’m told out of its top 20 came from arthouses, which is a promising sign that the sector is on the rebound after weathering the pandemic. Top cities were NY, LA, Chicago, San Francisco and Portland.
The weekend’s top 10 movies by studio-reported gross:
- Space Jam: A New Legacy (WB) 3,965 theaters Fri $13.2M/Sat $10.5M/Sun $7.9M/Sun 3-day: $31.65M/Wk 1
- Black Widow (Dis) 4,275 theaters (+115)/Fri $8M /Sat $10.3M/Sun $7.2M/3-day $26.25M (-67%)/Total $132M/Wk 2
- Escape Room: Tournament of Champions (Sony) 2,815 theaters Fri $3.8M/Sat $2.8M/Sun $2.15M/3-day $8.8M/Wk 1
- F9 (Uni) 3,368 theaters (-281), Fri $2.2M /Sat $3M/Sun $2.4M/3-day $7.6M (-33%)/Total: $154.8M/ Wk 4
- Boss Baby: Family Business (Uni) 3,449 theaters (-239), Fri $1.5M /Sat $1.8M/Sun $1.4M/3-day $4.7M (-47%)/total $44.6M/Wk 3
- Forever Purge (Uni) 2,735 (-323) theaters Fri $1.3M/Sat $1.6M/Sun $1.27M/3-day $4.16M (-42%)/total $35.9M/Wk 3
- A Quiet Place Part II (Par) 1,995 (-364) theaters Fri $700K/Sat 915K/Sun $685K/3-day $2.3M (-27%)/total $$155M/Wk 8
- Roadrunner (Foc) 925 theaters Fri $780K/Sat $650K/Sun $470K/3-day $1.9M/Wk 1
- Cruella (Dis) 1,175 (-700) theaters Fri $352K/Sat $466K/Sun $294K/3-day $1.1M (-54%)/total $83.4M/Wk 8
- Pig (NEON) 552 theaters Fri $377K/Sat $333K/Sun $235K/3-day $945K/Wk 1
‘Black Widow’ Opens at Pandemic Best $215M+ Including Disney+ Premier at the WW BO!!
The Walt Disney Company sent out a widespread announcement that Black Widow made $215M-plus WW this weekend: Broken down, that’s $80M at the domestic box office, $78M in international box office, and over $60M in Disney+ Premier Access consumer spend globally. I understand that the latter figure skews more heavily toward US Disney+ Premier spending. This is the first time that Disney has released actual dollar figures about how their films did on Disney+.
Even with Black Widow coming in lower than industry weekend expectations, and we’ll have more on that in a bit, the MCU title easily repped the largest domestic box office opening since the COVID-19 pandemic began, and the largest domestic opening weekend since Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker in December 2019.
Disney states that the combined theatrical and Disney+ Premier Access opening makes Black Widow the only film to surpass $100M in domestic consumer spend on opening weekend since the start of the pandemic. Disney reports that the combined dollars on Black Widow‘s opening weekend marks the highest domestic opening weekend for a Marvel Cinematic Universe origin story after Black Panther ($202M 3-day) and Captain Marvel ($153.4M)
“Once again, Marvel has delivered an exceptional film to the delight of fans worldwide with Black Widow achieving numerous milestones in the current marketplace,” said Kareem Daniel, Chairman, Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution, in a statement. “Black Widow’s strong performance this weekend affirms our flexible distribution strategy of making franchise films available in theaters for a true cinematic experience and, as COVID concerns continue globally, providing choice to consumers who prefer to watch at home on Disney+.”
“It’s incredible to see audiences enjoying Black Widow after two years without a new Marvel Studios film, and this spectacular opening weekend shows just how eager fans have been to see this beloved Avenger in her own story. There’s no question it’s been worth the wait – Cate Shortland, Scarlett Johansson, and the Marvel Studios team have delivered an exceptional film that continues a legacy of creative excellence as the Marvel Cinematic Universe expands and enters a new era,” added Alan Bergman, Chairman, Disney Studios Content.
MCU on Disney+ saw record premiere-watched weekends with Loki (per Samba TV), which bested the weekend of previous champ The Falcon and The Winter Soldier. Disney reports that Marvel fans have streamed nearly 3 billion hours of content on Disney+.
As we say above, the majority of the $60M global Disney+ Premier spend on Black Widow leans toward domestic. And if you want to know how that hurt the pic at the weekend box office, here’s how.
Black Widow took a big fall on Saturday, earning $23.3M, which, next to its Friday (including Thursday previews) number of $39.5M, reps a 41% drop, which translates to an $80M start. While that figure is higher than Disney theatrical distribution’s estimate of ~$75M pre-weekend, it’s lower than what the industry was initially forecasting on Friday and Saturday AM, and that’s because it’s hard for many box office analysts to forecast these day-and-date titles from Disney and Warner Bros.
Throughout the weekend, box office analysts continually lowered their estimates as ticket sales plummeted. Even if we backed out those Thursday previews out of Friday, Black Widow is still down 11% on Saturday, which is still big for an MCU title.
What this drops indicates for Black Widow is that the fanboys came out in a front-loaded nature on Thursday and Friday, and the regular moviegoers, who are typically part of the walk-up crowd on Saturday night, opted to stay home. Mulan, when theaters were closed, sans any domestic theatrical component, pulled in 1.12M US terrestrial Households, per SambaTV, in its first four days on Disney+ Premier (we’ll know more tomorrow). I have to imagine that Black Widow will beat that, and right there that tells you where some $30M in the opening B.O. went missing. Again, Disney keeps all that Disney+ money.
And just so you can digest how seismic the Friday to Saturday drop was on Black Widow, on recent previous MCU titles, Captain Marvel eased -14%, Ant-Man also -14%, Black Panther -13%, and Doctor Strange -3.7% –and that’s in a situation where Friday included Thursday previews. Right there that tells you the damage that Disney+ Premier did to Black Widow‘s box office. On a pure theatrical window, the Friday-to-Saturday declines for F9 and A Quiet Place Part II were, respectively, -25% and -22%; and Black Widow drops 41%?! How’s that?
Other stats on Black Widow: Like Captain Marvel, the femme-led movie drew more guys than women. Black Widow pulled in 58% males to 42% women; while Captain Marvel was 55% males to 45% females. Wonder Woman was a different scenario, and brought in female moviegoers with 55% females, 45% males. I’ve been hearing of late that the older female demo is slightly more reluctant to come back to movie theaters with Covid-19 lingering. With kids not largely vaccinated yet, that could be the factor in keeping Moms at home with Black Widow, as there was a low family turnout here with parents at 10% and kids at 13%, to the general audience’s dominant 77%. The lack of a female turnout here on Black Widow isn’t because Disney didn’t market toward them: They ran ads on female-centric TV programming: The Bachelorette, Keeping Up With the Kardashians and The Grey’s Anatomy finale. The under-25 set turned out at 47% for the Shortland-directed MCU title.
Imax screens in U.S. and Canada made $7.2M, repping 9% of the opening weekend, from 380 screens. The domestic Imax screen average is over $19K. As we previously mentioned, this is the first weekend at the domestic box office since Presidents Day weekend 2020 that has grossed over $100M; Black Widow leading all movies to an estimated $117M.
Now, here’s the thing that Disney might be giddy about. Let’s says Black Widow did debut to $100M this weekend at the box office without the Disney+ Premier factor. The studio would be taking home roughly $60M (I hear that smaller exhibitors are forking over a theatrical rental of 60% to the Mouse House, plus a three-week hold). In this world with Disney+ stateside, the studio is earning a $48M theatrical rental, plus let’s assume at least another $30M from Disney+ Premier (again, the draw for Black Widow has to be higher than Mulan). Disney walks home with a first domestic theatrical rental and Disney+ Premier weekend of $78M in revenue.
In all the power and the glory and trumpets over Black Widow‘s box office and Disney+ Premier weekend, here’s what CEO Bob Chapek needs to realize: Disney is shrinking the pie. The Disney+ factor will likely hurt the tail of Black Widow‘s box office legs and long-term ancillaries. Hollywood has built a fantastic business model in getting audiences to buy the same piece of IP twice. Now with Black Widow‘s availability on Disney+, you’ve just killed a window, or at least shortened the life of that window’s revenues. Captain Marvel, off its $153.4M start, had an amazing 2.78 domestic lifetime multiple to $426.8M; I don’t think we’ll see that here on Black Widow.
Marvel movies make $1 billion at the global box office: Are those days gone in favor of shrinking the pie? What about the optics of the Black Widow IP? If Disney announces a Black Widow sequel, and pulls the same day-and-date distribution strategy, who’s to say that the box office won’t be significantly less the second time around? Can we expect Disney to report Disney+ Premier revenue every time they have a film? Will we ever know the final Disney+ Premier global number on Black Widow?
Content creators, SAG, WGA, and DGA would sure love to know. Also, there’s really no third party like Comscore to verify those PVOD figures (though being a public company, Disney can’t lie about what they exclaim). For the record, since Disney announced the theatrical-day-and-date-Disney+ Premier release of Black Widow on March 23, their stock is down 6% as of Friday’s closing to $177.04.
As of this minute, Disney is expected to pull a theatrical-day-and-date Disney+ Premier release with one more title: The Dwayne Johnson-Emily Blunt title, Jungle Cruise. Their next MCU title over Labor Day weekend, Shang-Chi and the Legend of Ten Rings, and 20th Century Studios’ Free Guy, are expected to be pure theatrical releases. Who is to say more theatrical/Disney+ Premier releases aren’t in the works?
Now, Mr. Chapek, don’t go killing golden gooses. It’s premium cinema IP that makes us want to watch it in the home. As you said, back on Disney Investor Day in December, when it came to the grease that runs the Disney+ conveyor belt, “We had a $13 billion box office [in 2019], and that’s not something to sneeze at. We built those franchises through the theatrical window.”
Here’s what happened to the top 10:
- Black Widow (Dis) 4,160 theaters/Fri $39.5M/Sat $23.3M/Sun $17.2M/3-day $80M/Wk 1
- F9 (Uni) 3,649 theaters (-554), Fri $3.46M (-58% from prev Friday)/Sat $4.24M/Sun $3.18M/3-day $10.88M (-53%)/Total: $141.3M/ Wk 3
- Boss Baby: Family Business (Uni) 3,688 theaters (+44), Fri $2.88M (-63%)/Sat $3.23M/Sun $2.59M/3-day $8.7M (-47%)/total $34.7M/Wk 2
- Forever Purge (Uni) 3,058 theaters (+7), Fri $2.32M (-60%)/Sat $2.5M/Sun $1.88M/3-day $6.7M (-47%)/total $27.4M/Wk 1
- A Quiet Place Part II (Par) 2,359 (-467) Fri $975K/Sat $1.18M/Sun $840K/3-day: $3M (-27%)/Total: $150.7M/Wk 7
- Cruella (Dis) 1,875 (-505) theaters, Fri $775K/Sat $900K/Sun $525K/3-day: $2.2M (-29%)/Total: $80.7M/Wk 7
- Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard (LG) 1,904 (-678) theaters Fri $469K/Sat $650K/Sun $486K/3-day $1.6M (-59%)/Total: $35M/Wk 4
- Peter Rabbit 2 (Sony) 1,958 (-996) theaters Fri $442K/Sat $473K/Sun $335K/3-day $1.25M (-56%)/Total: $37.7M/Wk 5
- In the Heights (WB) 788 (-617) theaters Fri $185K/Sat $235K/Sun $210K/3-day: $630K (-47%)/Total $28.3M/Wk 5
- Zola (A24) 1,401 theaters, Fri $210K/Sat $235K/Sun $175K/3-day: $620K (-48%) /Total $3.5M/Wk 2
‘F9,’ ‘Boss Baby 2’ and ‘Forever Purge’ Show July 4th Synergy at the BO!!
For the first time since the onset of the pandemic in mid-March 2020, the top 10 films (on a 3-day basis) are set to gross well over $1M+ each.
It may not sound like a big deal, but it is, because it finally demonstrates depth and breadth at the box office and a rebuild of the business. While that’s good news, the big screen business isn’t completely back just yet.
Canada’s B.O. capital, the Ontario province, which generates 40% of the country’s theatrical ticket sales, remains closed, with LA’s indie jewel Hollywood Arclight shuttered until TBD, and small town cinemas also closed.
Over 4-days, the total July 4th box office is expected to gross an estimated $109.2M, per sources, an improvement on the Memorial Day 4-day weekend, which posted $98.3M, juiced by Paramount’s A Quiet Place Part II. However, juxtapose that next to the July 4th 4-day weekend of 2010, the last time the holiday fell on a Sunday, and we’re off 56% from that frame’s $250.4M (when Twilight Saga: Eclipse led with $83.6M).
Remember, theaters were originally expected to have Paramount’s Top Gun: Maverick this weekend. However, with a multitude of offshore markets being in a funk, Paramount relocated the Tom Cruise movie for the Thanksgiving period (Nov. 19). Also, it still helps to spread these tentpoles out, and having Top Gun 2 sandwiched between F9 and Black Widow this coming Friday wasn’t ideal. Even with Black Widow on Disney+ Premier and in theaters next weekend, the domestic box office is only expected to improve, as industry estimates are projecting at least $80M or more on that long-awaited MCU title. Presales on Black Widow are expected to eclipse F9‘s first weekend pre-sales this coming week.
Business will take a dive today in the 30%-40% range from Saturday, as many finally enjoy the 4th of July they didn’t have last year during lockdown. Monday will rebound over Sunday by an average of +25% for the top ten movies.
While we don’t have a tentpole of Twilight magnitude, we have Universal’s combo of a second-weekend holdover and two wide releases in F9, The Boss Baby: Family Business and The Forever Purge, which combined are expected to ring up $71.7M over four days.
Exclaimed Universal Domestic Distribution Boss Jim Orr about the studio’s July 4th juggernaut, “This weekend epitomizes the strengths of Universal. We have some of the very best franchises in the history of the industry, as proven by the success of F9 The Fast Saga in its debut last week and the strong hold this weekend, as we also very successfully open films from our tremendous partners at Dreamworks and Blumhouse, delivering audiences the most diverse slate in the industry.”
F9 crossed $100M on Friday, its 8th day of release, with $8.2M (-72% from last Friday)– the fastest pic to that benchmark during the pandemic. The Justin Lin-directed sequel is set to raise its running total near $126M by Monday, after a 3-day of $24M (-66%), and 4-day of $32.7M at 4,203 locations. Imax auditoriums earned $2.2M over 3-days and $2.6M over 4-days for F9, taking the large format’s domestic total on $9.1M.
Uni’s DreamWorks Animation sequel Boss Baby: Family Business did $7.7M on Friday, including Thursday previews of $1.3M, and is shaping up for a $17.36M 3-day, $23M 4-day. Again, the whole Peacock availability isn’t stealing from the box office. I’ve heard from sources in the know the streaming service is a disaster, and this was a means to prod an increase in subscribers.
Uni commits to spending on theatrical P&A, and that is clearly showing in the weekend results here. And no, there’s no hesitation out there by family audiences to head out to the cinema: Sony didn’t spend to pull people in on the opening weekend of Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway (which only opened to $10.1M). There’s also somewhat of a love here for the snarky toddlers in the DWA IP. CinemaScore was an A, which is higher than the first 2017 movie, which notched an A-.
No, Boss Baby isn’t Shrek in regards to pumping its opening numbers higher on its sequels. But the 66% falloff between part 2’s start here and the original 2017 movie is to be expected on a younger skewing property, i.e. the difference between the opening weekends of Sony’s Smurfs and Smurfs 2 was -50%.
Audience exits on Comscore/Screen Engine’s PostTrak were lower than CinemaScore at 74% positive and a 49% recommend for general audiences, while kids under 12 graded it slightly higher at 79% positive and a 62% recommend. Demos through Saturday wound up being nearly split between females and males, 51% to 49%. Sixty-four percent of the pic’s audience was under 25, with half of the pic’s audience being under 12. Diversity demos were 43% Caucasian, 25% Latino, 20% Black, & 12% Asian/other. Boss Baby 2‘s business was most notable in the East, Midwest, and South Central. Top ten markets for Boss Baby 2 were LA, NYC, Dallas, Houston, Boston, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Chicago, San Francisco and Atlanta.
The studio’s Blumhouse fifthquel The Forever Purge saw $5.7M on Friday, including $1.3M Thursday previews, and a 3-day of $12.75M and 4-day of $15.86M. An erosion in grosses is organic on a long-running horror series of this kind, the Purge movies now being eight years old. On a 3-day basis, Forever Purge‘s debut is -27% from First Purge‘s (granted, that movie had a Wednesday start heading into a 5-day Independence Day weekend in 2018).
Forever Purge, written and produced by the franchise’s architect, James DeMonaco, received a B- score from CinemaScore audiences, which is on par with the last movie, 2018’s First Purge. 2016’s Purge: Election Year received the highest audience grade in the series with B+. Forever Purge was tracking at $4.4M midday on Friday and then saw a huge surge last night reflective of pre-Covid-19 audience trends on a Friday.
PostTrak exits were 72% positive, with a 53% recommend and a 52% male turnout, 54% under 25, with close to 40% between 18-24. Forever Purge‘s guy turnout in regards to share was greater than the opening weekends of Conjuring 3 (47%), A Quiet Place 2 (45%), and even The First Purge (49%). Best markets were in LA, NYC, Houston, Dallas, Chicago, San Francisco, Philly, Phoenix, Atlanta and Sacramento. Hispanic audience hubs such as El Paso, San Antonio, and Albuquerque were potent yielding a very diverse crowd of 39% Caucasian, 25% Latino, 25% Black, and 11% Asian/other.
RelishMix observed heading into Purge Forever‘s opening weekend that its social media universe approached pre-pandemic norms with 78.4M, supported by the Blumhouse’s social media universe of 1.1M fans/followers and Purge pages at 3.1M.
Horror spikes late on social before a pic’s opening, and fueling the fire was a dozen clips over the last week on Facebook. The trailer per Uni has generated 60M views to date since launching on May 12. The studio leaned heavily into promoting the pic on social media on TikTok where fans spread the word, as well as with the launch of a Snapchat lens that saw Purge elements emerge around the user as they watch the trailer along with a first-commercial Snap integration and a custom Twitter emoji.
A24’s Zola grossed a low estimated at $1.23M, and 4-day of $1.65M, for an all-in 5-day run of $2M and 6-day of $2.4M. While not spectacular for this $5M production, it’s some form of a baseline for the top 10’s hum.
Zola was notable on the coasts, with some OK numbers in NY, LA, Austin, and Atlanta, where I hear there were some sellouts. However, 20% of Zola’s 1,468 theater count generated the majority of the pic’s weekend gross, which isn’t good.
Essentially, there was a divide between critics and moviegoers here: While Zola had the best reviews among wide entries this weekend at 87% certified fresh, it’s in great contrast to PostTrak figures at 68% positive and a low 46% definite recommend. Females showed up at 59%, with 72% between 18-34.
Diversity demos were 42% Caucasian, 26% Latino, 24% Black and 8% Asian/other. What’s clear here is that outside of family movies, older females (35+) are still hesitant about heading out to the box office (either that or there really isn’t anything for them in the Bridesmaids or Girls Trip sense-of-the-draw). Some believe that given the target demo of this movie, A24 should have platformed the title and expanded after the holiday to get the young folk.
That’s one way to look at it. However, the distributor had to know that the word-of-mouth wasn’t there, given the lackluster reaction from crowds, and hence the best path for this movie is a fast theatrical window, and into PVOD.
For a movie based on a Twitter thread by A’ziah “Zola” King, which spawned the Rolling Stone, RelishMix noticed that Zola had a very small social media following, with 3.3M across Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube subs. The analytics corp also noticed that there were 3.2M views for the trailer tied to the pic’s social media universe. RelishMix noticed that the original Twitter thread is private, but King has published the thread in a book entitled The Thotyssey tied to the pic. Stars Riley Keough and Taylour Paige are supporting the movie heavily on their social media channels, which combined across Twitter and Instagram are respectively are 450K and 535K.
The following video generated 30K views on Paige’s Instagram and over 25K on Keough’s.
Searchlight’s Sundance acquisition documentary Summer of Soul, booked at 752 theaters, drew $250K on Friday, including $78K+ Thursday night previews, for what looks to be a 3-day of $650K and 4-day of $805K. The Questlove-directed feature is also available to watch on Hulu. Not a powerful turnout I’m advised, however, the El Capitan in Hollywood did over $8K on Friday with some notable runs in Harlem, Atlanta and Philadelphia.
Final Sunday studio-reported numbers:
- F9 (Uni) 4,203 theaters (+24), Fri $8.26M/Sat $9.26M/Sun $6.48M/Mon $8.75M/3-day $24M (-66%)/4-day: $32.75M/Total: $125.9M/ Wk 2
- Boss Baby: Family Business (Uni) 3,644 theaters, Fri $7.7M/Sat $5.3M/Sun $4.26M/Mon $5.7M/3-day $17.36M/4-day and total $23.07M/Wk 1
- Forever Purge (Uni) 3,051 theaters , Fri $5.7M/Sat $4.1M/Sun $2.88M/Mon $3.1M/3-day $12.75M /4-day and total $15.86M/Wk 1
- A Quiet Place Part II (Par) 2,826 (-298) Fri $1.485M/Sat $1.66M/ Sun $1.08M/Mon $1.35M/3-day: $4.22M (-32%)/4-day: $5.57M/Total: $145.7M/Wk 6
- Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard (LG) 2,582 (-779) theaters Fri $980K/Sat $1.23M/Sun $786K/Mon $900K/3-day $3M (-38%)/4-day $3.9M/Total $32.2M/Wk 3
- Cruella (Dis) 2,380 (-440) theaters Fri $865K (-23%)/Sat $975K/Sun $716K/3-day $2.55M (-32%)/4-day $3.2M/Total $77.2M/Wk 6
- Peter Rabbit 2 (Sony) 2,954 (-377) theaters Fri $860K/Sat $800K/ Sun $590K/ Mon $800K/3-day $2.25M (-53%)/4-day $3.05M/Total: $35.2M/Wk 4
- Conjuring 3 (NL) 1,716 (-952) theaters Fri $480K/Sat $505K/Sun $305K/Mon $320K/3-day $1.29M (-57%)/4-day $1.6M/Total $62.5M/Wk 5
- In the Heights (WB) 1,405 (-998) theaters Fri $400K/Sat $500K/Sun $375K/Mon $410k/ 3-day: $1.275M (-43%), 4-day: $1.685M/Total: $27.3M/Wk 4
- Zola (A24) 1,468 theaters, Fri $445K/Sat $460K/Sun $325K/Mon $422,5K/3-day $1.23M/4-day: $1.65M/5-day: $2M /6-day: $2.4M Wk 1
‘F9’ Zooms to a $70M Pandemic Opening Record at the BO!!
Universal’s F9 grossed in one day what some movies have made in a weekend during the pandemic, earning $30M on Friday, on its way to a revised 3-day of $70M. It’s an amount achieved on a pure theatrical window, which is expected to be around 45 days, and that’s important to note: So far the movies that have opened to big numbers this summer ($50M+) are those respecting the theatrical window, F9 and A Quiet Place Part II (which speaking of windows, had a great hold in weekend of 5, -32% with $6.2M). In fact, the top four movies this weekend were those strictly available in theaters. Warner Bros.’ In the Heights, which is also available on HBO Max right now, lost 1,106 theaters in its third weekend due to its misfiring at the B.O., and F9 entering the weekend as the widest release to date during the pandemic in 4,179 theaters. We’ll see whether Disney’s Black Widow changes the game when it opens in theaters and on Disney+ Premier (for $29.99) on July 9; the Marvel movie now expected to open to $80M+. No matter how big the opening weekend might look for Black Widow, remember this: Marvel movies make $1 billion WW, and at least $300M domestic. Can Black Widow see those types of numbers if it’s also available on Disney+ simultaneously and future robust ancillaries? Hmmm…
No question about it, that’s the best opening day and weekend we’ve seen during the pandemic, and more proof that moviegoing is getting back on its feet.
How is that? F9‘s opening day and weekend are ahead of such pre-pandemic hits as Sony’s Bad Boys for Life (opening day $23.6M, $62.5M 3-day) and even Universal’s Fast & Furious spin-off, Hobbs & Shaw ($23.6M opening day, $60M opening). Realize that F9 doesn’t have 40% of Canada due to Ontario being closed, Toronto’s province, which further illustrates how great F9‘s opening weekend is. Also realize this: F9‘s Los Angeles box office over Friday-Saturday bested Hobbs & Shaw by close to 30%. And that’s without the Arclight and Pacific Theatres being in the mix. What this underscores is that the gross finds a way: When a big movie theater closes, the audience migrates to another one in the marketplace.
Beamed Universal Domestic Distribution President Jim Orr this morning, “F9 The Fast Saga has ignited the domestic box office and set the industry on its way to a great summer. The Fast family led by Vin Diesel was sorely missed by audiences around the world with the results this weekend in North America extremely gratifying, proving that audiences are desperate to be in theatres for a truly immersive experience.”
Any of the entertainment financial analyst naysayers who aren’t impressed by this weekend’s results and claim that we’re far from opening a movie at $100M need to digest the obvious: F9 in the tenth movie in a franchise that is 20 years old. The fact that F9 is posting results ahead of Hobbs & Shaw is impressive enough.
Overall, the domestic weekend box office is set to hit $99.1M, +112% from last weekend per industry sources, and the best Friday-Sunday we’ve seen during the pandemic, even beating the $80.8M grossed over the first three days of Memorial weekend. Comscore is officially calculating the weekend at $98.08M, +114% over last weekend. 2021 running B.O. for Jan. 1-June 27 is $1.054 billion, -43% behind 2020.
Unfortunately, with most offshore markets not being as vibrant as the US, if F9 is suffering anywhere, it’s overseas. Fate of the Furious pulled in $1.2 billion WW and Hobbs & Shaw $759M, and it’s quite conceivable this is where the Universal sequel will greatly fall short, despite a $204M win in China and this weekend’s stateside results. However, all of the tentpole launches this summer will have to contend with offshore markets which are trying to ignite. F9 cleared close to $38M in 45 offshore markets this weekend, including new territories UK and Mexico, raising its overseas haul to $334.8M, $404.85M WW; officially the highest grossing movie during the pandemic, surpassing Warner Bros. Tenet ($363.65M).
Updated: F9 is booked in a US marketplace that has 79% of 5,88K theaters open. In addition to LA and NYC, the following markets are operating at 100% capacity: Miami, Orlando, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Boston, Phoenix, Minneapolis. Overall, 44 states in total are now allowing theaters to operate without any capacity restrictions. Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, New Mexico, Oregon, and Washington are among those with auditorium cap limits.
F9 earned a B+ CinemaScore, which is a gear down from 2017’s Fate of the Furious (A) and 2019 spinoff Hobbs & Shaw (A-), with Comscore/Screen Engine PostTrak exits of 80% positive and a 62% recommend, with kids under 12 giving the movie 83% and an 80% recommend.
Still, those audience speedometers are enough to revive summer moviegoing. If we complained about product for slowing us down in recent weeks, it’s only going to get busier and crazier from here, with such movies as Disney’s Black Widow (July 9), Paramount’s Snake Eyes, and Universal’s Old (July 23), Disney’s Jungle Cruise (July 30), and Warner Bros. The Suicide Squad (Aug. 6) in the next six weeks. However, it pays to note that F9 is being released on a pure theatrical 45-day window. Not all the movies coming out this summer will be released on such terms, i.e. the Warner Bros. and Disney movies, so we’ll have to assess those dynamic windows results as they happen on a case by case base. Despite Cruella hitting $71M to date, industry sources believe the pic’s Disney+ Premier PVOD tier is impacting the pic’s overall revenue, not just at the box office, but in the movie’s downstream ancillary revenues.
F9 drew 57% guys, with 51% under 25, with 46% between 18-34 years old. There’s always a diverse pull with the Fast & Furious movies, and this one was 37% Hispanic, 35% Caucasian,16% Black and 8% Asian/other. The West was the best for F9, as well as the South. LA delivered nine of the top 25 highest-grossing locations, while producing all of the top 5 best theatres. Imax and PLF repped combined 24% of the pic’s business to date, which is extremely healthy. PLF count at 750 repped 16% of the gross, while 358 Imax screens accounted for 8%. Top markets for F9 were 1. Los Angeles 2. NYC 3. Dallas 4. Houston 5. Chicago 6. San Francisco 7. Atlanta 8. Phoenix 9. Washington DC 10. Philadelphia. Top 5 theaters in the nation for F9 were all in the Los Angeles DMA: AMC Burbank, AMC Citywalk at Universal City, LA Live Regal, AMC Block Orange in Anaheim, and Regal’s Irvine Spectrum.
Universal Filmed Entertainment Group Chairman Donna Langley was instrumental in moving F9 forwarded one year to a time when it was then perceived exhibition would be getting back on track from the pandemic. Good things come to those who wait, and that was a very smart call in regards to dating. Uni, due to the pandemic, capitalized on blasting off the F9 marketing campaign first during Super Bowl 2020 with a trailer drop timed to a Miami concert with the pic’s stars and soundtrack performers, and again this year during the Big Game; both huge successes.
There’s a handful of movies which get promoted through the NBCUni Comcast corporation via its various tentacles –the Symphony program–with promo spots running across every network and digital platform within the NBCUniversal portfolio, including a co-branded Olympics trials promo, placement in the Belmont Stakes, the Stanley Cup Playoffs and the U.S. Gymnastics Championships all anchored by Vin Diesel recreating one of Dom’s trademark speeches from the franchise. F9 spots ran during the NBA Finals on TBS and TNT. Extending the theme of rival brothers, a custom spot, voiced by Vin Diesel, was created with Giannis Antetokounmpo and his basketballer brothers that ran on ESPN during the first round of NBA Finals.
F9‘s trailers have earned more than a billion views. The one dropped in April showcased the nostalgia and franchise history with the Tokyo Drift boys, Queenie Shaw behind the wheel, etc. The most recent trailer was surrounded by several supporting tactics, including the first-ever live broadcast on Twitter Spaces, with the cast and filmmaker Lin appearing an hour after the trailer had been unleashed and garnered a massive reach of nearly 30 million Twitter accounts.
To celebrate the 20th anniversary of The Fast Saga, Universal and its exhibition partners across the U.S. launched “Fast Fridays,” a free nationwide screening series of all eight previous Fast films.
F9 digital content included multiple featurettes, dedicated character social posts, clips and GIFs. Fast GIFs have been viewed more than half a billion times on Giphy per Universal. Viral videos reposting over a year from the pre-Super Bowl party stands at healthy 20:1 given 30 videos are posted on the Fast Saga dedicated YouTube channel with 1.6M subs for the series.
Entertainment social media analytics corp RelishMix says that the Fast Saga is one of the most social film franchises, now at 1.3B across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube, “over indexing in all social-quads against comps on the action-adventure genre by 3X and 4X”. The F9 cast continues to leverage their social star power at 581.3M across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at 43% of the SMU social media universe. F9 is fueled by 435.2M YouTube views and the official Facebook page with 54.4M fans. Platform segmentation of 341.6M Facebook fans, Facebook video views at 217M from 93 videos and into FB owned Instagram 243.3M at 62% of the entire SMU driven by cast verified FB and IG pages. Historically, segmentation favors YouTube, but Universal has gone where their fans are, on FB.
BTS Queenie and Dom piece on Vin Diesel’s IG at 1.42M views:
In regards to the muscle of the F9 cast on social, RelishMix calculates that Vin Diesel’s social media universe is at 178.1M, Cardi B’s at 144.8M, John Cena with 82.3M Tyrese Gibson with 57.1M, Michele Rodriguez has 24.5M, Sung Kang counts over 17.4, Charlize Theron 17.3M, Jordana Brewster 12.1M as well as Hellen Mirren’s 947K on IG. Talent-posted character vignettes on their social media handles totaling more than 6M views across all platforms. Additionally, a “Women of Fast” featurette spotlighted the Anitta track “Furiosa” from the film’s soundtrack and was shared to her 53.8M Instagram followers. The franchise also launched its new TikTok account which has received 75M views.
One notable piece of social media was on Lin’s IG, with selfies of the cast thanking the world:
The weekend’s top 10 movies:
- F9 (Uni) 4,179 theaters, Fri $30M/Sat $22.4M/Sun $17.6M/3-day $70M/Wk 1
- A Quiet Place 2 (Par) 3,124 (-277) theaters, Fri $1.86M /Sat $2.48M / Sun $1.85M/3-day $6.2M (-32%)/Total $136.4M/Wk 5
- Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard (LG) 3,361 theaters (+30), Fri $1.36M/ Sat $2M/Sun $1.5M/3-day $4.875M (-57%)/Total $25.8M/Wk 2
- Peter Rabbit 2 (Sony) 3,331 theaters (-15) Fri $1.47M / Sat $1.95M/ Sun $1.43M/3-day $4.85M (-20%) /Total $28.8M/Wk 3
- Cruella (Dis) 2,820 (-290) theaters Fri $1.1M/ Sat $1.52M/ Sun $1.08M/3-day est. $3.73M (-26%)/Total $71.3M/Wk 5
- Conjuring 3 (NL) 2,668 (-612) theaters Fri $935K/Sat $1.13M/Sun $850K/3-day $2.92M (-42%)/Total: $59.1M/Wk 4
- In the Heights (WB) 2,403 (-1,106) theaters Fri $655K/Sat $900K /Sun $675K/3-day $2.23M (-47%)/Total: $24.16M/Wk 3
- Spirit Untamed (Uni/DWA) 1,773 (-1,194) theaters Fri $290K/Sat $440K /Sun $300K /3-day: $1.03M (-34%)/Total: $15.8M/Wk 4
- 12 Mighty Orphans (SPC) 1,020 (-27) theaters Fri $164,3K/Sat $230,2K/Sun $197,3K/3-day $591,9K (-34%)/Total : $2.29M/Wk 3
- Nobody (Uni) 110 (-197) theaters Fri $250K/Sat $180K/Sun $130K/3-day: $560K (+3390%)/Total : $26.7M/Wk 14
‘Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard’ Leads Weekend with a $17M Debut at a Dull BO!!
The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard is coming in higher over five days with $17M and a 3-day of $11.7M at 3,331 locations. It’s an OK result, and better than expected, but it’s not a result that has the town skipping about the return of the summer box office as the pandemic winds down, especially over what is typically a lucrative Father’s Day weekend.
Speaking of Father’s Day, wouldn’t it be nice to have a Pixar film in the marketplace instead of for free on Disney+? With NYC and LA permitting cinema capacities to rise to 100% this weekend, Luca, no matter how unknown the IP is, would have truly rained some cash on exhibition. Disney can’t act clueless here and claim they didn’t know capacity limitations would be this high. It was clear with Covid cases coming down and vaccinations increasing that LA and NYC would lift restrictions heading toward the Independence Day holiday. While it’s not ideal for exhibition that a Disney movie like Cruella is available on Disney+ Premier and in theaters, circuits will take whatever available cash is out there, and the Emma Stone movie has at least delivered a running total north of $64M (not great, but it’s money).
Let’s get something straight about this dull moment in the box office right now: Don’t forget it’s all about product, as A Quiet Place Part II is showing as the tentpole of the season with $125.2M. NRG polls have consistently been showing that increasingly more people are comfortable with returning to the movies as the pandemic eases, and if you look around, people are everywhere — at restaurants, the beach, baseball games, etc. People wanna get out. So if audiences aren’t showing some sort of surge around a title at the box office, they unfortunately do not want to spend their disposable income and time to see that movie.
It’s that simple.
This weekend, there wasn’t a crowd thirsting to see a sequel to a 2017 late August action comedy that didn’t cross $100M domestic. I have to think Ryan Reynolds’ Free Guy in its novelty of a guy whose inside a videogame will do better at the B.O. with a bulk of Disney P&A behind it.
August ISpot, which tracks studios’ TV spot spending, showed last weekend that Warner Bros. shelled out $22.5M on In The Heights. The movie didn’t open to Crazy Rich Asians results, nor did it get eyeballs on Warner’s streaming service HBO Max. Again, it’s whether the title possess product-driven power or not. Get it? It’s not about cinemas being dead, or people falling out-of-love with the movies.
Total weekend B.O. is expected to gross around $47M for all movies, which is a plus next to last year, but off 18% from last weekend’s $57.2M Comscore reported weekend total.
Already, people are packing into cinemas here in Los Angeles: A Thursday night screening of F9 at the Burbank AMC was the most I’ve seen in a theater auditorium since February 2020’s Birds of Prey. However, it’s all about the share price and subscribers for Disney, not box office at the moment, and the entertainment conglom missed on 2Q Disney+ subs, brining in 103M subs to Wall Street’s estimate of 109M. That’s why we’re still seeing big product like Black Widow and Jungle Cruise hit the service day-and-date with theaters (and, yes, yes, overseas markets are still in a sling, which prevents the meaty tentpole profits we’re use to seeing).
Lionsgate is covering around a third of the $70M production cost on Hitman’s 2, and the P&A spend I hear is between $25M-$30M. The sequel’s weekend ticket sales are finding close to a third of its business from Imax and PLF screens. The Ryan Reynolds-Samuel L. Jackson movie’s strongest markets were in the South and the West with some OK numbers in NYC, Philly, Chicago, DC and Detroit. Los Angeles, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Seattle and Phoenix were better.
Sony Pictures Classics expanded their Martin Sheen-Luke Wilson sports drama 12 Mighty Orphans to 1,047 (+915) in weekend 2 in 174 markets, making $870K. Pic isn’t beloved by critics at 59% Rotten, but audiences liked it better with close to 80% positive in Comscore/Screen Engine PostTrak exits and a 75% definite recommend. Guys showed up, of course, at 53% and 80% over 25 with an older crowd actually coming out with 49% over 55+ (wow). Diversity demos were Caucasian 78%, Latinx 6%, 9% Black, and 7% Asian/other. Best markets were Mid and Southwest.
Other highlights this weekend: Focus Features provided arthouses something to feast on and that’s the Edgar Wright directed MRC documentary The Sparks Brothers which made $110K on Friday,$87K on Saturday, and a projected $68K today in 534 theaters for a 3-day of $265K or $497 per theater. The docu, which is on a 30-day theatrical window, saw some notable results at the Alamo Brooklyn, Alamo Downtown LA, Alamo South Lamar Austin, AMC Burbank, East Hampton Cinema NY, AMC Century City. Sparks Brothers made its world premiere at Sundance.
Roadside Attractions has on a 17-day window the Sundance docu Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go for It, which is booked at 227 theaters. The pic made $24,4K on Friday, $29,2K yesterday and a projected $22K today for a 3-day estimated debut of $75,7K or $334 per location.
According to box office sources in regards to improvement to the exhibition marketplace: Forty-three states are now allowing theatres to operate without capacity restrictions. Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Michigan, New Mexico, Oregon, Washington, and Puerto Rico are still enforcing auditorium limitations or social distancing guidelines. Number 1 movie circuit AMC is increasing their auditorium capacity cap to 100% in those areas of the U.S. where they allowed, and 75% where social distancing is still being enforced. Over 77% of 5,8K cinemas in U.S./Canada remain open. That translates into 85% of 44K domestic screens in operation.
In Canada, cinemas in Ontario remain closed until late July, including B.O. capital Toronto. On the other hand, Edmonton and Calgary Theaters can reopen to north of a third capacity. British Columbia threw up their doors last Tuesday for 50% capacity. Many movies are feeling the lack of the Great White North in their domestic grosses, which can generate 7%-10% on average. Good news on Canada: 95% of Quebec cinemas are open, along with 73% in Alberta and British Columbia. Saskatchewan also has close to 70% of all movie theaters with the lights back on.
Studio reported figures:
- Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard (LG) 3,331 theaters, $3.05M Fri/$4.1M Sat/$4.4M Sun/ 3-day $11.67M/Total $17M/Wk 1
- A Quiet Place 2 (Par) 3,392 (-123) theaters, $2.76M Fri (-27%)/$3.56M Sat/$3.05M Sun/3-day $9.4M (-22%)/Total $125.2M/Wk 4
- Peter Rabbit 2 (Sony) 3,346 theaters $1.9M (-53%) Fri/ $2.3M Sat/$1.86M Sun/3-day $6.1M /Total $20.3M/Wk 2
- Conjuring 3 (NL) 3,280 (+43) theaters $1.675M Fri/$1.98M Sat/$1.49M Sun/3-day est. $5.15M (-50%)/Total $53.6M/Wk 3
- Cruella (Dis) 3,110 (-197) theaters $1.5M (-29%) Fri/$1.9M Sat/$1.7M Sun/3-day est. $5.1M/Total $64.7M/Wk 4
- In the Heights (WB) 3,509 (+53) theaters $1.365M Fri/$1.62M Sat/$1.22M Sun/3-day est. $4.2M (-63%)/Total: $19.66M/Wk 2
- Spirit Untamed (Uni) 2,967 (-427) theaters $480K Fri/$620K Sat/$500K Sun/3-day: $1.6M (-38%)/Total: $13.8M/Wk 3
- 12 Mighty Orphans (SPC) 1,047 (+915) theaters $236,6K Fri/$317,4K Sat/$316K Sun/3-day $870K (+246%)/Total: $1.25M/Wk 2
- House Next Door (Hidden Empire Film Group) 530 theaters (+110) $156,5K Fri/$217K Sat/$212K Sun/3-day $585,5K (-42%)/Total $1.99M/Wk 2
- Wrath of Man (UAR) 707 (-500) theaters/$113K Fri/$171K Sat/$163K Sun/3-day $448K (-33%)/Total $26.8M/Wk 7
‘A Quiet Place Part II’ Continues Domination as ‘In The Heights’ Bows Tepidly at the BO!!
Paramount’s A Quiet Place Part II in its third weekend has beaten Warner Bros. highly-publicized Jon M. Chu-directed, Lin-Manuel Miranda musical In the Heights for the top spot at the weekend box office, $11.7M to $11.4M. It is a defeat no one really saw coming. A Quiet Place Part II‘s domestic running B.O. stands at $109M.
As one rival marketing exec told me this weekend, “Warner Bros. was everywhere with In the Heights. Everywhere I turned, on every network, there was an ad.” And that’s not a ding to the Burbank, CA lot; it’s what a filmmaker wants, especially on a diversity project such as In the Heights, with a fresh- faced cast: They want to know that the studio truly has their best intentions and their backs. Warner Bros. supported In the Heights this weekend. Unfortunately, it was the audience who did not.
As we mentioned yesterday, In the Heights’ underperformance, after lofty $20M+ opening weekend projections, boils down to its IP: It’s not Miranda’s Hamilton, which redefined the Broadway musical and became a sensation by taking an American founding fathers story, setting it to rap, with diverse casting. Rather, it’s a smaller musical, beloved by the composer/lyricist/multihyphenate’s core fan base.
In an ideal box office marketplace, it would have been best for Warner Bros. to platform the movie off of the fall film festival troika word-of-mouth, much like Lionsgate’s did with La La Land. However, even in pre-pandemic times, what’s been hanging around the release calendar, which Warners had to always stay clear of, is another Hispanic-themed musical, and that’s Amblin/20th Century Studios/Disney’s reboot of West Side Story from Steven Spielberg, which is scheduled for theatrical release on Dec. 10.
Again, a fresh-faced cast isn’t the reason why In the Heights didn’t pull in crowds here. Rather, the IP doesn’t boast the renowned, hummable songs that Hamilton does. Any comps to The Greatest Showman don’t work here: That movie had stars, and was immediately found by mass moviegoers over the 2017 year-end holiday period, yielding a platinum-selling soundtrack.
Also, let’s not forget that the core audience for musicals is an older demographic. That group is more cautious than younger people, and less likely to go to cinemas during a pandemic. Fifty-one percent of In the Heights‘ audience on PostTrak fell between 18-34. On CinemaScore, 67% were over 25, 49% over 35.
Females at 63% gave the movie an A+. PostTrak audiences gave it 4 1/2 stars. There’s a lot of audience and critical good will, though it’s clear the fans and a 40% Hispanic fanbase came out for In the Heights. How that translates into legs seems cloudy, given how the movie is also on HBO Max. Maybe a 5-day launch in August like Crazy Rich Asians would have done the trick for In the Heights? Crazy Rich Asians in its first 3 days of Wed-Friday made $16M, with $5M Wednesday, $3.7M Thursday and $7.2M Friday. That movie didn’t hold previews. Warners listed In the Heights on Fandango as having an opening day of Thursday, with showtimes at 2PM, and rolled all that money in the Friday first day.
In the Heights did very well in the northeast theaters; NYC DMA being king. I hear the Hispanic theaters, such as those in Texas and Southern California, where Conjuring 3 over-indexed last weekend, didn’t overperform with In the Heights this weekend. Imax auditoriums alone drove $1M of the weekend ticket sales for In the Heights. PLF and Imax combined repped 28% of the Chu-directed film’s business over Friday and Saturday.
Sony’s Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway, which is also available on a theatrical window, also didn’t massively beat its Sony projection, posting a $10.4M opening. The studio held onto the sequel, rather than selling it to a streamer, because the first film was a $351M-grossing success. The muted performance of both In the Heights and Peter Rabbit 2 also underscores how product-driven the theatrical business remains. This after a pandemic which has sidelined many people at home, who are now fully returning to their leisure routines as the U.S. opens back up. The sequel, as we told you, got an A- CinemaScore, same as its first title, with a PostTrak exit of 74% positive and a 45% recommend. Imax and PLF on the movie only repped 2% of the title, with its most prominent business in the Mid-West & South.
A Quiet Place Part II‘s repeat at No. 1 reps a win for a movie released on a pure theatrical window (even if it’s 45 days). Sure, there are questions about how much the HBO Max release might have stolen here from In the Heights’ box office. However, Warners was on a streak showing that they can open these simultaneous theatrical-day-and-date movies to No. 1 and beat projections, i.e. Tom & Jerry, Godzilla vs. Kong, Mortal Kombat and Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It. On the other hand, there’s an argument to be made that HBO Max subscribers weren’t diverting too many B.O. dollars from the Chu-Miranda musical at all: The service doesn’t boast the number of subscribers that Netflix and Disney+ does.
WarnerMedia doesn’t report figures on HBO Max viewership, and it would be disingenuous if they claim some sort of win this weekend for In the Heights anecdotally. The weekend premiere viewership for these HBO Max/Warner Bros. slate movies, per Samba TV, are as follows for those who tuned in for at least five minutes (the third party stat org measures 3M households which have terrestrial smart TVs): Mortal Kombat (3.8M 3-day), GvK (3.6M 5-day), Wonder Woman 1984 (2.2M U.S. households 3-day), Justice League: The Snyder Cut (1.8M 4-day) and Conjuring 3 (1.6M 3-day).
Juxtapose these numbers, though not fully complete, to the ones that Netflix is putting out for its 4-week global draw of its movies; recently Snyder’s Army of the Dead is set to hit 72M households.
While Warner Bros has said it’s committed to a theatrical window for its movies in 2022, the fear with something like the box office underperformance of In the Heights —a potential awards darling if you will, geared at adults– is whether the studio takes all movies like this in the future and relegates them to the streaming service. As long as the Academy Awards provides loopholes allowing streaming titles to compete (they did so, even pre-pandemic), it won’t be shocking if more studios with OTT services opt to skip a theatrical release with an awards contenders so they can avoid the tarnish of box office headlines.
That would be truly unfortunate. Even with the lackluster weekend performance of In the Heights, I have to think that Miranda is over the moon that In the Heights, a musical which he hatched in college in 1999, is playing on the big screen this summer, and had the big Tribeca Film Festival premiere that it did. Theater owners as well, who I hear are still starving despite any glowing headlines the box office had provided in recent weeks, would rather have In the Heights in theaters, making whatever money they can. After a 31-day run on HBO Max, In the Heights will be exclusively in theaters.
On social, RelishMix saw a social media universe for In the Heights of 115.6M across YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. By comparison, La La Land, which platformed-out for nominations, was only at 48.9M at opening. In The Heights had seven owned video materials, which were cross-promoted across Warners YouTube channels around the globe, including the UAE, Europe, Latin America, and soundtrack videos on the Atlantic Records channel, too. Activity popped from the Tribeca world premiere in Washington Heights and as the cast made the talk show rounds, noting a big “Broadway’s Back” performance on Jimmy Fallon with Lin-Manuel cross promoting In The Heights.
RelishMix noticed a huge push, of course, from the In the Heights’ cast, who were “well-activated and the driving force across social media tracking back over a year from before the pause.” Stephanie Beatriz led the charge with 3.1M fans/followers across Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, along with Leslie Grace 2.5M, Anthony Ramos 1.8M, Miranda 1.8M, Ariana Greenblatt 1.9M, Dascha Polanco 930K, Melissa Barrera 817K — as well as super-activated helmer Chu with 813K fans.
Total weekend B.O. per Comscore was $55.8M, -16% from last weekend. Total running domestic B.O. for Jan. 1-June 13 is $852.7M, -54% of 2020. Jill Goldsmith will take you deeper into the indie box office later today.
1.) A Quiet Place Part II (Par) 3,515 theaters (-229) Fri $3.8M/Sat $4.6M/Sun $3.25M, 3-day $11.65M (-40%)/Total: $108.9M/Wk 3
2.) In the Heights (WB) 3,456 theaters Fri $5M/Sat $3.66M/Sun $2.745M/3-day $11.4M/Wk 1
3.) Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway (Sony) 3,346 theaters Fri $4M/Sat $3.65M/Sun $2.75M/3-day $10.4M/Wk 1
4.) Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It (New Line) 3,237 (+135) theaters, Fri $3.65M/Sat $3.87M/Sun $2.5M/3-day: $10.02M (-58%)/Total: $43.8M/Wk 2
5.) Cruella (Dis) 3,307 theaters (-615) Fri $2.1M/Sat $2.6M/Sun $2M/3-day $6.7M (-39%)/Total: $56M/Wk 3
6.) Spirit Untamed (Uni/DWA) 3,394 theaters (+183), Fri $840K/Sat $970K/Sun $690K/3-day: $2.5M (-59%)/Total: $10.9M/Wk 2
7.) House Next Door: Meet the Blacks 2 (Hidden Empire Film Group) 420 theaters, 3-day $1M/Wk 1
8.) Wrath of Man (UAR) 1,207 theaters (-800) /Fri $178K/Sat $264K/Sun $172K/3-day $615K (-51%)/Total: $26M Wk 6
9.) Queen Bees (Grav) 500 theaters, Fri $115,8K/Sat $132,8K/Sun $79,7K/ 3-day: $328,3K/Wk 1 [This title was a day-and-date theatrical/PVOD release]
10.) Spiral (LG) 1,572 theaters (-411) Fri $99K/Sat $125K/Sun $81K/3-day $305K (-66%)/Total: $22.6M/ Wk 5
‘Conjuring 3’ Scares ‘A Quiet Place Part II’ From Top Position at the BO!!
It use to be that the studios would space their horror movies apart on the schedule. It’s not usual that one would open up immediately after the other for fear of cannibalizing the same audience. That didn’t happen this weekend as New Line’s The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It opened to $24M, while Paramount’s second weekend of A Quiet Place Part II took in $19.5M. All of this just speaks to audiences’ urge to return to the cinema after being cooped up for a year-plus during Covid. We saw a slightly similar clash of demos when two fanboy IPs, Mortal Kombat and Demon Slayer, went at it over the April 23-25 weekend, each posting respective solid results of $23.3M and $21.1M.
“New Line’s Richard Brener and Carolyn Blackwood did an incredible job, in addition to Josh Goldstine and his marketing team for really letting audiences know that they can be scared in the Conjuring tradition,” beamed Warner Bros. Domestic Distribution Boss Jeff Goldstein this morning.
Meanwhile, which movie will get bragging rights first for being the first to cross $100M at the domestic B.O. during the pandemic? Paramount’s A Quiet Place Part II or Warner Bros/Legendary’s Godzilla vs. Kong, now at $99.1M? Sources’ are betting it’s A Quiet Place Part II.
Even the No. 3 title, Disney’s Cruella, did well, posting a $11.2M second weekend at 3,922, -48%, after a $3.28M Friday, -57%. Ten-day total for Cruella is $43.6M.
Conjuring 3 made $9.84M on Friday to A Quiet Place 2‘s $6.2M (-68% from a week ago – remember, Thursday previews were rolled into Friday). A Quiet Place 2‘s second weekend decline of -59% is standard for a horror movie, and very good considering that exhibition is 100% back with capacity limits averaging 50% across the country. By the end of today, the John Krasinski-directed sequel will stand at $88.6M. 2018’s A Quiet Place crossed the $100M threshold by the end of its second frame, and finaled at $188M.
What’s clear this weekend is that audiences continue to show a theatrical appetite, and the abundance of product at the multiplex makes for great business. The overall weekend looks to come in at $70M+, which would be 13% off from last weekend’s $80.1M. That’s with a domestic marketplace which has 73% of 5,88K theaters in operation, with Canada’s Ontario movie theatres shuttered, Manitoba 3% open, with British Columbia and Alberta 6% and 3% open. Canadian aorta exhibitor Cineplex only has 33 of its 162 locations open in the Great White North. With the country’s exhibition infrastructure in shambles, Warners is making Conjuring 3 available on PVOD up there.
Throughout the summer, I’m sure there will be countless pieces written about whether this availability of a film in the home and in theaters at the same time is good or not for the business. Those studios practicing experimental windows need to get their heads around the fact that all these clean copies available on the web only opens the door for piracy. The question becomes: are two windows being burned up at the same time, and thus a movie’s long-term revenue will be significantly lower?
Last weekend, Samba TV reported that in its polling of Smart terrestrial TV households, that Cruella clocked 686K household views on Disney+ Premier, which translates to an estimated $20.57M 4-day weekend in PVOD revenue. Add that to the pic’s 4-day opening of $26.5M and it equals $47M in the pic’s first weekend box office and PVOD money. Disney doesn’t have to split its Premier money with anyone, unlike box office which is shared with exhibitors. What are the legs on a Disney+ Premier title on its service alone? Did Cruella also post a -48% decline like its box office in its second weekend on Disney+ Premier? It’s clear that with Disney+ in the mix, Cruella is getting dented in its sheer running total box office gross: Despite a notable opening for the pandemic, Cruella‘s 10-day total of $43.6M is lower than that of Alice Through the Looking Glass ($51.3M), Maleficent ($128.1M) and Maleficent: Mistress of Evil ($66.2M) over the same period of time. Conjuring 3 is playing for free to HBO Max subscribers, while Cruella is available to Disney+ premier subscribers at $29.99. Conjuring 3 will stay on HBO Max for 31 days. After that, the pic’s second month is exclusive to theaters.
In the wake of A Quiet Place 2 and Cruella‘s success last weekend, Paramount andDisney respectively made headlines on Friday afternoon, the Melrose lot dating the genre pic’s follow-up movie from Jeff Nichols for March 31, 2023, and the latter announcing that a sequel to the Emma Stone feature is already in the works with original pic’s director Craig Gillespie and scriber Tony McNamara.
Meanwhile, the weekend’s second wide entry, Universal’s DreamWorks Animation’s sequel Spirit Untamed, made an estimated $2.4M on Friday at 3,211 theaters for a $6.2M 3-day in fourth place. CinemaScore audiences gave the movie an A. We’ve seen better from animated family fare during the pandemic: Uni shelled out big for P&A on Croods: A New Age, which translated into a $9.7M 3-day, $14.2M 5-day on its way to $58.3M domestic take, while Warner Bros.’ Tom & Jerry did $14.1M over its first Friday-Sunday. Heck, even Disney’s Raya and the Last Dragon‘s opening weekend of $8.5M was higher than Spirit Untamed, and it didn’t have No. 3 Cinemark in its opening mix.
In all fairness to Spirit Untamed, the above movies appealed to both boys and girls, while the DWA horse sequel is largely aimed at girls. Women were the majority on Friday, making up 68% of the audience, with 45% under 17. Social media metrics, per RelishMix, on this part 2 to an animated film that came out 19 years ago (but has rallied on TV and Netflix streaming in spinoff series) are low, with the Spirit YouTube channel counting 743K subscribers before opening. This number is fed into the Peacock Kids YouTube channel with 8.8M subs. Spirit Untamed‘s buzz is tame, says RelishMix: “Convo swings mixed, with frustrations about the general storyline and repetition and with many kids’ titles, while the studio trailers and materials have comments turned off.” Diversity demos were 31% Caucasian, 31% Latino, 24% Black and 14% Asian/other. Best region for the pic was the South, with Comscore/Screen Engine PostTrak moviegoers giving the pic 75% overall positive score and a 55% definite recommend (updated from Friday’s figures).
Fifth place belongs to United Artists Releasing/MGM/Miramax’s 5th weekend of Wrath of Man, which grossed $335K on Friday (-38% from last Friday), $553K on Saturday for a 3-day of $1.27M, -41%, for a $24.6M running total.
Out all of the films in the Conjuring franchise, including spinoffs Nun and the Annabelle trilogy, Conjuring 3 has posted the second-lowest opening, ahead of 2019’s Annabelle Comes Home, which did $20.2M over its Friday-Sunday, and $31.1M over five days (it’s the only Conjuring universe movie to open on a Wednesday).
Like with any horror franchise, one can argue fatigue. However, New Line kept the production budget low on the latest Ed and Lorraine Warren paranormal escapade, coming in at an estimated $40M. Conjuring 3 earned a B+, which is a notch below the A- grades of Conjuring 1 and 2, but higher than any of the Annabelles (which did in order B, B, B-) and much higher than The Nun, which even at a C CinemaScore, boasts the biggest opening in the James Wan and Peter Safran produced horror franchise.
Comscore/Screen Engine PostTrak scores weren’t far behind CinemaScore’s for Conjuring 3, with a 78% positive score and 58% definite recommend, with the crowd leaning female at 52%, 59% under 25, with 60% between 18-34 years old. Diversity demos were great across the board, with 34% Hispanic, 29% Caucasian, 23% Black, & 14% Asian/other. In CinemaScore exits, 25% of the Conjuring 3 audience gave the film an A- (15% Under 18 and 10% Over 50). Males repped 44% of the audience in CinemaScore and females 56% gave the movie B+, while Under 25 (53%) and Over 25 (47%) also gave a B+ rating. Best parts of the country for the Michael Chaves-directed threequel was West and Southwest. Imax and PLF drove over 20% of the weekend’s business for Conjuring 3. In Imax alone, the threequel did $2.1M, repping just under 9% of the weekend.
Top 10 locations for Conjuring 3: 1. Cinemark Tinseltown El Paso, 2. Santikos Casa Blanca San Antonio, 3. AMC Empire New York, 4. CMX Dolphin Miami, 5. AMC Orange Los Angeles, 6. AMC Burbank, 7. Regal LA Live Los Angeles, 8. Santikos Palladium San Antonio, 9. Cinemark Tinseltown Austin, and 10. Regal Irvine Spectrum Los Angeles.
And the threequel’s top 10 DMA markets were: 1. Los Angeles, 2. New York, 3. Dallas, 4. Houston, 5. Chicago, 6. Phoenix, 7. San Francisco, 8. Atlanta, 9. Philadelphia, and 10. Washington DC.
RelishMix notes that Conjuring 3 began dropping materials on April 20, giving it a seven-week runway with ten trailers and videos on WB and HBO Max YouTube channels. Together, they accumulated over 58.2M views before opening weekend, with a very strong viral reposting rate of 40:1. Materials on Facebook are posted across the Warner Media social network of 62.4M which included 4.5M connected fans on FB for the franchise. All of this built toward a social media universe of 131.1M, 31% above the horror norm. Star Vera Farmiga repped exactly 50% of the cast’s social reach with 1.6M fans; the actress being the biggest driver of engagement activation and fan response.
Chatter for Conjuring 3 was mixed, according to RelishMix: “Conversation from early screenings and trailers are positive leaning, with kudos to jump scares, overall cinematic quality with expected horror skepticism. Chatter references the ‘CCU: the Conjuring Cinematic Universe’, call-outs for a Conjuring TV series, as well as threads about how many installments will be produced and which order to see: ‘Conjuring 3 vs Quiet Place 2 first?.’”
The threequel’s stars Patrick Wilson and Farmiga pushed the pic’s release in Imax:
We’re building this weekend’s top 10 chart, refresh for updates:
1.) Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It (New Line) 3,102 theaters, Fri $9.8M/Sat $8.6M/Sun $5.6M/3-day: $24M/Wk 1
2.) A Quiet Place Part II (Par) 3,744 theaters (+18) Fri $6.2M/Sat $7.7M/Sun $5.6M $19.5M (-59%)/Total: $88.6M/Wk 2
3.) Cruella (Dis) 3,922 theaters (+30) Fri $3.2M/Sat $4.3M/Sun $3.6M/3-day $11.2M (-48%)/Total: $43.6M/ Wk 2
4.) Spirit Untamed (Uni/DWA) 3,102 theaters, Fri $2.4M/Sat $2.1M/Sun $1.65M/3-day: $6.2M/Wk 1
5.) Wrath of Man (UAR) 2,007 theaters (-600) /Fri $335K/Sat $553K/Sun $387K/3-day $1.27M (-41%)/Total: $24.6M Wk 5
6.) Raya and the Last Dragon (Dis) 1,504 theaters (-511), Fri $386K/Sat $525K/Sun $395k/ 3-day: $1.3M (+20%), Total: $53.5M/Wk 14
7.) Spiral (LG) 1,983 theaters (-658) Fri $280K/Sat $365K/Sun $245K/3-day $890K (-60%)/Total: $21.8M/ Wk 4
8.) Godzilla vs. Kong (WB/Leg) 1,390 theaters (-425),/3-day: $463K (-48%)/Total: $99.1M/Wk 10
9.) Demon Slayer (Fun/Ani) 600 theaters (-545)/Fri $118K/Sat $192K/Sun $148K/3-day $457,5K (-47%)/Total: $47.7M/Wk 7
10.) Dream Horse (BST) 648 theaters (-606), Fri $68,8K/Sat $99K/Sun $62,1K/3-day: $230K (-64%)/Total: $2.3M/ Wk 3
‘A Quiet Place Part II’ Leads With $58M+ Opening, ‘Cruella’ Shines With $27M Marking Return of the BO!!
Any major studio executive who is out to prove that the theatrical business doesn’t work can rip up that presentation they had planned for next week about projected streaming revenues.
Because this weekend, the domestic box office finally came back, and no, it wasn’t with Tenet or a No. 1 movie that’s being released on streaming day-and-date with theatrical.
Paramount’s A Quiet Place Part II is crushing it, having grossed $19.3M on Friday, including $4.8M Thursday night previews. Saturday eased 23% to $14.9M, and the revised 3-day is now at $48.3M 3-day, $58.5M 4-day opening at 3,726 theaters for a $15,7K theater average. That’s a number which isn’t too far from the $60M which the John Krasinski-directed sequel was expected to do in its 3-day opening pre-pandemic!
A Quiet Place Part II‘s money is being earned on a pure, unadulterated 45-day theatrical window. The sequel will hit Paramount+ after that time frame. The sequel is currently not available on PVOD in Canada, where big provinces like Ontario, Alberta, Manitoba have theaters closed down; the country currently repping around 1-2% of the B.O. to its pre-pandemic of 7%-10%.
Imax delivered $4.1M stateside for A Quiet Place Part II or 8.6% of the domestic gross, making it the highest Imax opening weekend since January 2020.
“A Quiet Place Part II is the first domestic release this year to cross the threshold from ‘great opening weekend given the pandemic’ to ‘great opening weekend, period’ — offering undeniable proof that the domestic box office is back” beamed Rich Gelfond, CEO of IMAX in a statement. “The film’s stellar results give the box office a strong jolt of momentum heading into the summer, and the many blockbusters that held out for an exclusive theatrical release stand to benefit.”
Disney’s Cruella posted $7.2M on Saturday, -6% from Friday ‘s $7.7M, including Thursday previews. Disney is calling the weekend at $21.3M with the four day at $26.5M at 3,892 theaters, for a $6,8K per theater. That’s not a bad number. However, rivals have sniped about how low Friday was in the face of A Quiet Place Part II, that the movie with its experimental distribution window should have gone last weekend. That said, Disney has traditionally programmed the Memorial Day weekend. Like Godzilla vs. Kong, what Cruella indicates is that if it wasn’t on Disney+ Premier at $29.99, it could have made more money, at least here in the US. The good news for domestic exhibitors is that audiences are choosing to watch the movie in theaters. In all fairness to Disney, they did lean into a marketing campaign, especially with their fashion promo partners, which was intended to spur theatrical moviegoing traffic.
Disney’s Global Theatrical Distribution Head Tony Chambers was over the moon about both movies’ success in the states, “This weekend repped for many their first experience going back to the theater and seeing the security measures in place. Audiences got to watch the trailers for the upcoming summer blockbuster movies this summer. It will invite them to come back and do it all over again.”
Disney did not report any figures or make anecdotal statements about the Disney+ Premier performance of Cruella.
In CinemaScore exits, A Quiet Place Part II received an A- (an improvement on the first film’s B+), while Cruella notched a solid A, in line with previous Disney live-action spinoffs of animated fare, i.e. Maleficient 1 & 2 (both A’s) and even better than some, such as Alice in Wonderland and Alice Through the Looking Glass (A-s). On PostTrak, A Quiet Place Part II notched an 83% positive score with a very good 63% definite recommend, while Cruella earned a general audience score of 84% positive and 63% definite recommend. Those under 12 were also high on Cruella, with 84% in the top two boxes and a 68% definite recommend.
Equally mind-blowing is that over 4-days, the box office stands to gross as much as $100M domestic, and around $80M+ over 3-days. The last time the Friday-Sunday B.O. grossed over $100M was the weekend before we shut down during the pandemic, March 6-8 last year, and prior to that, the last time it did $80.7M over three days was Jan. 31-Feb. 2, 2020.
True, before Covid, we were used to seeing bigger box office numbers over Memorial Day weekend: The 4-day holiday grossed $232M in 2019, while 2013 hit a record in $314.3M according to Comscore. However, this weekend was a great achievement for the motion picture industry, given how only 72% of all 5,88K US and Canadian theaters are in operation. There were about 200 independent theaters who are on the fence about reopening; perhaps this weekend will come as an encouraging sign.
Yeah, yeah, we low-balled on estimates. But truly, with capacities in place across the country, and big parts of Canada closed, you never know what you’re going to get at the box office. Pre-sales heading into the weekend for Cruella weren’t as vibrant as A Quiet Place Part II‘s.
More great under-the-hood stats on A Quiet Place Part II: We hear Imax and PLF repped well over 20% of Friday’s box office for the Emily Blunt sequel. The audience on PostTrak showed 52% female, with 53% over 25 and 58% between 18-34. Diversity demos were 44% Caucasian, 24% Hispanic, 18% Black, and 14% Asian/other. Top theaters were in Burbank, NYC, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, Paramus and Baltimore. I hear the movie played strong coast to coast with Utah overindexing as A Quiet Place Part II actress Millicent Simmonds is from there.
Cruella drew 61% female, 43% under 25 years old with 43% between 18-34 years old. Diversity demos were 51% Caucasian, 26% Hispanic, 12% Black, & 11% Asian/other. Disney reports 70% general audiences saw Cruella, 17% kids and 13% parents.
The Movie Which Would Always Bring ‘Em Back
During the pandemic, those in distribution always said that A Quiet Place Part II was the one title which could feasibly bring audiences back. The title already had a substantially high profile before the pandemic, given all of its marketing, including a trailer during the 2020 Super Bowl. Black Widow, No Time to Die, and F9 are also in this camp of titles which have had long runways of exposure before their theatrical release.
Given A Quiet Place Part II‘s marketing edge, Paramount relaunched the campaign on May 5 over a compressed 3.5 week time frame, the first item being the trailer ‘tomorrow’ video built around the copy “It’s been quiet for far too long,” and leaning in on the film’s “only in theatres” proposition. Since the original 2020 release date had seen significant pre-sales refunded due to the shutdown, Krasinski recorded a video thanking those fans and announcing an exclusive 24-hour presale for the new date. The final trailer for the movie launched the next day on May 6.
The campaign targeted multicultural moviegoers, who have driven large portions of the box office recovery so far, and in key theatrical recovery zip codes. TV spots ran during highly rated shows such as SNL, hosted by Elon Musk and Anya Taylor Joy, finales of The Masked Singer, American Idol, and The Voice, as well as Fear the Walking Dead, NBA games, and US Hispanic networks. Custom digital media programs included IGN, IMDB, ESPN, and Twitch, producing high-impact takeovers & roadblocks for the film.
Paramount also tapped into the ViacomCBS portfolio with on-air and digital support across CBS, MTV, Comedy Central, BET, Paramount Network, VH1, Nick@Nite/TeenNick, Logo, Smithsonian, TV Land, across the Pluto service, and audio spots on ViacomCBS podcast properties.
Talent appearances rallied around the film’s return to theaters, many of which were encore appearances following the shutdown. CBS This Morning’s Gayle King interviewed Krasinski in an Alamo Drafthouse. Stephen Colbert hosted Krasinski as his first in-person guest since the pandemic began, and they had a fun conversation over a glass of bourbon, remembering the last time he visited the show just before the original release date. Additionally, Krasinski appeared on James Corden and Seth Meyers, Kelly Clarkson, Ryan Seacrest, and Jimmy Kimmel. Blunt appeared on Howard Stern, Kelly Clarkson, James Corden, and Jimmy Kimmel, where Jimmy declared this was the rare movie that needed to be seen in a theater.
The studio teamed with exhibition to reach moviegoers directly via texting, digital advertising, e-blasts, mobile push notifications; the total reach counted over 24 million loyalty and VIP members.
Krasinksi was one of the first notable film personalities ever to participate in a Twitter Spaces chat and a Tik Tok LIVE. Over 100 social media influencers posted custom content and attended screenings to support the film. This repped the largest influencer campaign for Paramount to date. Additionally, athletes such as Tony Hawk, Jalen Ramsey, Caron Butler, JaVale McGee, Ricky Carmichael, and many others hosted special in-theater screenings posting on social media to support the film.
RelishMix reports that A Quiet Place Part II had a social media universe reach of 173.3M before the weekend, “well above horror genre norms, and in comparison to A Quiet Place, which had a SMU of 103.2M.” Added to this number is the new Paramount+ social network and trailers and materials that have been in rotation for 17 months; the sequel’s materials dropped on Jan. 1, 2020 with the first trailer at 30.1M views.
Overall, the social media universe for the franchise has grown 2.6x since 2018. Krasinski has, natch, been pushing the sequel to his near 10M social media followers, and he’s been flying around the country on a 10-day, 6 market promotional tour, doing in-theatre appearances in NYC, Cleveland, Houston, Austin, Miami, and more. The tour included a live Q&A opening night event on Thursday in LA hosted by JJ Abrams and simulcast to over 500 theatres nationwide, and wrapped in Austin, TX Friday night, the site of the first movie’s breakout premiere at 2018’s SXSW festival for a full-circle moment.
A Quiet Place Part II installation took over the Dolby Soho space in NYC. Press, social influencers, and the public could view iconic scenes and costumes from the film and explore themed environments. The installation was a success and generated over 450K impressions across the sequel and Paramount’s social media channels.
A Quiet Place Part II survival room and VR experience was also built at Dolby Soho. The survival room was a multi-sensory experience with an intense 5-7-minute progression filled with physical and mental obstacles. This immersive, in-world recreation of the sequel tasked guests with keeping their decibel levels down and mitigating any sound in their surroundings at all costs. Separately, the VR encounter was designed specifically for the film, placing the participant within a scene where monsters may be lurking just behind them. Over 1,3K people participated in the survival room and virtual reality during the New York run of engagement.
Reports RelishMix on the A Quiet Place Part II chatter on social: “Convo swings mixed from hot enthusiasm for the sequel and long anticipation of a big screen horror event, to questions about where and when it will stream on Paramount+ or other VOD platforms windows. A Quiet Place as a franchise is a breakthrough for the horror genre, as fans discuss how they never see horror in theaters (too scared). But this film became one of a fav movies, starring Emily Blunt.”
Branded A Quiet Place Part II face masks were supplied for the field to pass out at screenings. Copies of the book, A Quiet Place: Making of a Silent World were also distributed to various press and influencers, as well as, at screenings.
As far as Cruella‘s wattage on social, RelishMix says that the Emma Stone movie “is benefiting from the recently extended Disney SMU Social Media Universe and day/date promotions, with an overall social media universe of 446.7M, which is 25% over the norm and includes Disney+ at 95.2M — noting that without the Disney+ lift, SMU stats are on par for the genre.”
Ahead of release on social, Cruella tracked strong next to comp Beauty And The Beast, which had an exceptional 934M SMU and $174.7M opening weekend B.O., and Mary Poppins Returns, which was below the norm at 229M social media universe and opened at $23.5M 3-day and $49.9M over the 7-day Christmas 2018 stretch.
RelishMix says that the hottest touch point is the official Cruella de Vil Facebook page, with 830K fans and adding 1K new fans per day. The FB page was launched 11 years ago in 2010, as an early Disney social character page, long after the pre-social media live-action 101 Dalmatians in 1996. The page is now fully loaded to promote Cruella with FB views for the 26 videos posted for this campaign at a strong 158.1M. The best video has 20.2M views. In addition there’s another 92.1M views on YouTube for Cruella with an exceptional viral rate of 26.1 for 17 official trailers and spots. Stone and fellow star Emma Thompson are off the social media grid.
In regards to the buzz pre-weekend, RelishMix says, “Chatter spins on the Cruella character’s qualities and the outrageous peril of puppies, as well as cranky mentions about the $30 added fee within Disney+. Fans are buzzing about the soundtrack, stacked with mega-classics including ‘Who’s Sorry Now’ by Connie Francis, ‘These Boots Are Made For Walking’ by Nancy Sinatra, ‘Blood Well Right’ by Supertramp and many more, selected by music supervisor Susan Jacobs.”
Weekend top 10:
1.) A Quiet Place Part II (Par) 3,726 theaters Fri $19.3M/Sat $14.9M/Sun $14.2M/3-day $48.4M /4-day: $58.5M/Wk 1
2.) Cruella(Dis) 3,892 Fri $7.7M/Sat $7.2M/Sun $6.4M/3-day $21.3M/4-day: $26.5M/ Wk 1
3.) Spiral(LG) 2,641 theaters (-350) Fri $635K/Sat $830K/Sun $810K/3-day $2.275M (-55%)/4-day: $2.9M/Total: $20.4M/ Wk 3
4.) Wrath of Man(UAR) 2,607 theaters (-400) /Fri $533K/Sat $819K/Sun $778K/3-day $2.1M (-28%)/4-day: $2.75M/Total: $22.76M Wk 4
5.) Raya and the Last Dragon (Dis) 2,015 theaters (-360), Fri $495K/Sat $800K/Sun $700k/ 3-day: $2M (+20%), 4-day: $2.57M/ Total: $51.4M/Wk 13
6.) Demon Slayer(Fun/Ani) 1,145 theaters (-755)/Fri $221K/Sat $321K/Sun $295K/3-day $837K (-36%)/4-day: $1.06M/Total: $46.7M/Wk 6
7.) Godzilla vs. Kong(WB/Leg) 1,815 theaters (-737),/3-day: $852K (-39%)/4-day: $1M/Total: $98.3M/Wk 9
8.) Dream Horse (BST) 1,284 theaters (+30), Fri $155,9K/Sat $255,1K/Sun $241,3K/3-day: $652,3K (-18%)/4-day: $817,3K/Total: $1.9M/ Wk 2
9.) Those Who Wish Me Dead(WB) 1,805 theaters (-1574)/3-day $545K (-72%)/4-day: $641K/ Total: $6.8M/Wk 3
10.) World War Z(Par, re) 80 theaters Fri $88K/Sat $133K/Sun $126K/3-day: $347K /4-day $448K/Total: $202.8M/Wk 415
Friday AM: After being delayed 15 months by the pandemic, Paramount’s A Quiet Place Part II, directed by John Krasinski, finally hit the screen last night, making $4.8M. That’s an amazing start: The original A Quiet Place had Thursday night previews of $4.3Mback in April 2018.
Meanwhile, Disney’s Cruella, which is also available on Disney+ Premier for $29.99, grossed $1.4M last night.
A Quiet Place Part II, which reteams Krasinski with his wife, Emily Blunt, is booked at 3,700 theaters and also playing in Imax, Dolby and PLF. Previews began at 5 p.m. Thursday. Paramount is hoping for a 4-day that’s north of $30M. Cruella is playing at 3,892 sites and is expected to do around $17M, though rival studios are seeing a much higher figure.
Paramount arguably is the first studio to begin reporting Thursday night preview figures. Many have shied away from doing so, even as exhibition has returned, given the fact that numbers haven’t been so robust. However, this weekend marks the start of summer with a consistent supply of product. A Quiet Place Part II‘s top theaters came from Los Angeles, Salt Lake City, New York, Phoenix, El Paso, Austin, Pharr (Texas), Albuquerque, Fresno (California) and Dallas.
As for the biggest opening day since late-March 2020, when the pandemic began in earnest, that belongs to the Warner Bros./HBO Max release of Legendary’s Godzilla vs. Kong, which grossed $9.6M at 2,409 theaters or $3,980 per location. That monster movie went on to post a 3-day of $31.6M and a 5-day of $48.1M, and it’s the best start we’ve seen during Covid. New Line/HBO Max’s Mortal Kombat ranks as the second-best opening day and weekend during the pandemic with with $9M and $23.3M, respectively.
We’ll have more updates for you as they come.
‘Spiral’ Puts ‘Saw’ Franchise Over $1B as ‘F9’ Zooms to a $162.4M Opening at the Overseas BO!!
The domestic box office isn’t going to get interesting until next weekend when Paramount’s A Quiet Place Part II and Disney’s Cruella launch the summer season.
From that point on, we largely won’t have any weekends where the major studios are taking a break from releasing wide entries, which is the case this weekend as Lionsgate’s Spiral: From the Book of Saw repeats in its second frame with $1.38M on Friday, -63%, and an expected 3-day of $4.55M, and a running total of $15.8M. The second weekend for Spiral reps a 48% decline at 2,991 theaters (+180), which actually is pretty good for a horror movie which in pre-pandemic times can drop -60% or greater, however, these are still low numbers.
Lionsgate is exclaiming that Spiral, even in its most minimal grosses here, is putting the entire franchise over $1 billion through nine films. The sequel is EP’ed by longtime collaborator Daniel J. Heffner, who is the EP of the Saw franchise. Spiral earned $2.67 million from 21 offshore territories taking its foreign cume to $6.72M and global to $22.5M.
All the action this weekend is overseas where Universal’s F9 is heading to $162.4M this weekend in 8 markets, charged by China where it’s the second biggest opener for the studio and the Fast franchise with $135.6M. F9 parks itself at U.S. theaters on June 25. Spiral should ultimately hit $30M at the domestic B.O.
In addition, Funimation/Aniplex’s Demon Slayer, has officially become the second-highest grossing anime film at the domestic B.O. behind Warner Bros.’ 1999 film Pokemon ($85.7M) and overtaking 2000’s Pokemon 2 ($43.7M) with $43.956M through Friday. The Haruo Sotozaki directed feature ranked 6th this weekend with $1.33M in its 5th frame, -32%, with a running total of $44.9M by today at 1,800 locations (-130). A $50M final domestic gross is within reason. Warner Bros/Legendary’s Godzilla vs. Kong at 2,552 theaters, made $1.4M in its 8th frame, for a running total of $96.9M in 5th place.
Heading into summer, we’re still not at a level where the entire U.S./Canadian exhibition infrastructure is open with currently 4,1K theaters out of 5,88K with the lights on. Some of those in distribution circles will argue that the domestic marketplace is already oversaturated, however, it truly does hurt not having Canada entirely online with major provinces Alberta, Manitoba and Ontario reportedly closed until early July. The country typically reps north of 7% of the domestic B.O. On the bright side, 96% of No. 2 chain Regal is opened with 515 locations online and 20 sites permanently closed. No. 1 circuit AMC counts 590 theaters open, and 50 permanently closed while No. 3 chain Cinemark counts 316 theaters in full operation and around 20 also fully closed. Maryland has lifted all capacity restrictions for theaters, and Washington D.C. will follow on June 11 and Massachusetts next weekend. This weekend, capacity restrictions were lifted in NYC, but social distancing rules still applied at 6 feet. Local NATO officials are lobbying for at least 3 feet in the near future as mask rules stay in effect.
No. 2 for the weekend is MGM/United Artists Releasing/Miramax’s Guy Ritchie movie Wrath of Man with a third Friday of $818K, -22%, at 3,007 locations on its way to a 3-day of $2.9M, -21% for a running total of $18.78M. The pic is headed for $25M stateside.
No. 3 belongs to Bron/New Line’s Angelina Jolie action thriller Those Who Wish Me Dead which did around $560K on Friday, for an estimated second weekend of $1.8M, -35%, and a $5.5M running total. The pic is getting a PVOD release in Canada given how big parts of the country remain under lockdown.
Disney’s Raya and the Last Dragon, which is also available on Disney+ Premier at $29.99, is ranking 4th this weekend with an estimated $1.66M, -2%, in its 12th session at 2,375 (+90) and a running total of $48.3M. For all the great weekend-to-weekend holds this movie is experiencing, which underscores how families are starving to get out of the house as the pandemic winds down, make no mistake that this animated film could have performed significantly better at the B.O. had Disney kept it on a pure theatrical domestic window, and had Cinemark onboard in its first weekend. The total running box office here for Raya is what Disney normally would make in an opening weekend for an animated film. True, NYC theaters were online during Raya‘s first weekend, and LA didn’t come alive until weekend 3, but there’s B.O. money being left on the table, and it’s not clear how successful (or not) the Disney Premier release was dollar-wise, even though the studio pockets all that money and doesn’t have to share it with exhibitors.
Warner Bros. gave a theatrical release to its animated pic Scoob!which was scheduled to hit theaters a year ago today, but was sidelined to HBO Max then due to the pandemic. The Tony Cervone directed animated feature made $850K at 2,500 theaters.
Other highlights from this weekend: Bleecker Street’s Toni Collette drama Dream Horse, which made its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival last year, grossed around $260,7K on Friday at 1,254 theaters on its way to a reported FSS of $844,2K for a $673 theater average. Rotten Tomatoes was 91% fresh from critics with solid PostTrak exits of 81% positive and a 57% recommend. Females turned out at 62%, with 85% over 25, 66% over 35 and 45% over 45 years old. Diversity breakdown was 70% Caucasian, 16% Hispanic, 6% Black and 8% Asian/other. The most active business came from the West and Midwest.
Other limited releases include NEON’s Spanish-language Michel Franco-directed drama thriller New Order at 236 locations which made $50K on Friday for a distributor reported 3-day of $130K ($551 theater average). Focus Features had the Luke Holland directed documentary Final Account at 308 sites which opened to $45K for a $150K weekend ($486 theater average).
IFC is reporting $129K weekend for the Robert Robert Connolly-directed Eric Bana Australian thriller, The Dry at 186 venues, a $629 theater average. The pic was a PVOD day-and-date, slotting the No. 1 spot on iTunes over the weekend. The pic debuted in its native Australia on New Year’s and grossed $3.5M in its first four days, repping the 5th best debut at the Australian box office by a native filmmaker. The Dry ranked after the Australian openings of Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby ($6.5M U.S.), George Miller’s Happy Feet ($6.1M), Miller’s Mad Max: Fury Road ($5M), and Luhrmann’s Australia ($4.1M).
Arianna Bocco, President, IFC Films said in a statement “We are so thrilled for the amazing team behind The Dry. Robert, Eric, Bruna, Steve and the whole team behind The Dry have crafted a film and performances that have translated across the ocean to American audiences.”
We’re building the top 10 chart for May 21-23, 2021, daily estimates as provided by distributors:
1.) Spiral (LG) 2,991 theaters (+180) Fri $1.4M/Sat $1.9M/Sun $1.2M/3-day $4.55M (-48%)/Total: $15.8M/ Wk 2
2.) Wrath of Man (UAR) 3,007 theaters /Fri $818K/Sat $1.28M/Sun $834K/3-day $2.9M (-21%)/Total: $18.8M Wk 3
3.) Those Who Wish Me Dead (WB) 3,379 theaters (+191)/3-day $1.8M (-35%)/ Total: $5.5M/Wk 2
4.) Raya and the Last Dragon (Dis) 2,375 theaters (+90), Fri $414K/Sat $725K/Sun $523k/ 3-day: $1.66M (-2%), Total: $48.3M/Wk 12
5.) Godzilla vs. Kong (WB/Leg) 2,552 theaters (+68),/3-day: $1.43M (-6%)/Total: $96.9M/Wk 8
6.) Demon Slayer (Fun/Ani) 1,800 theaters (-130)/Fri $368K/Sat $558,5K/Sun $403,5K/3-day $1.33M (-32%)/Total: $44.9M/Wk 5
7.) Mortal Kombat (New Line/WB), 2,386 locations (-79) / 3-day $935K (-30%)/Total: $41.2M/Wk 5
8.) Scoob! (WB, re) 2,500 locations, 3-day $850K/Wk 1
9.) Dream Horse (BST) 1,254 theaters, Fri $260,7K/Sat $330,2K/Sun $253,2K/3-day: $844,2K/Wk 1
10.) Finding You (RSA) 1,447 theaters (+135) Fri $215K/Sat $285K/Sun $171K/3-day: $670K (-27%)/Total: $1.9M/Wk 2
Final Account (FOC) 308 theaters Fri $46K/Sat $55K/Sun $49K/3-day: $150K/Wk 1
‘Spiral’ Leads Slow Weekend at the BO!!
Lionsgate’s R-rated Spiral: From The Book of Saw, starring Chris Rock and Samuel L. Jackson, came in with $8.7M, under the $10M-$15M many were hoping for. This despite the fact that it’s the 6th No. 1 opening for a Saw movie.
New Line/Bron/HBO Max Angelina Jolie western Those Who Wish Me Dead was not an event film like many of the titles in her resume, opening to $2.8M. Warners pushed this movie more for its streaming service as opposed to theaters, unlike its most recent opening weekend successes, Godzilla vs. Kong ($31.6M) and New Line’s Mortal Kombat ($23.3M).
Netflix’s Zack Snyder zombie movie Army of the Dead, which has a 7-day exclusive theatrical window, was no Demon Slayer, coming in below the $1.5M-$2M industry projection (based on presales), with an estimated $780K at what I’m being told now is really 430 theaters (not 600). Comscore reports a total weekend for all films of $27.5M.
Note many of the new films, such as Spiral and holdovers like United Artist Releasing/Miramax/MGM’s Wrath of Man ($3.7M in weekend 2, -55% for a $14.6M cume), aren’t four-quad titles. Rather, they are targeted demo features. If you remember going back to last August, before Tenet‘s intentions to restart the box office, there were a few targeted demo movies leading up to that film’s release, i.e. Solstice Studios’ Unhinged and Disney/20th’s New Mutants.
Those movies were expected to grease the wheels before a tentpole opening. True, that big B.O. debut never happened for Tenet because of New York and LA’s closure at the time. Anyway, what we have now is an appetizer smorgasbord heading into to summer’s kickoff Memorial day weekend of Paramount’s A Quiet Place Part II and Cruella. Lionsgate had to go early with Spiral before A Quiet Place Part II soaks up all the genre action in the marketplace.
Netflix doesn’t report box office numbers, and shields them from rival studios in Comscore. By all unofficial records, Army of the Dead is the biggest theatrical opening for a Netflix movie. The streamer’s multi-Oscar winner Roma posted an estimated $200K over the 5-day 2018 Thanksgiving frame. But remember, the streamer’s m.o. isn’t about opening box office records. Rather, it’s driving subscribers to its service.
Even though Army of the Dead is boasting a per-theater average of $1,8K, I’m told that’s really not that impressive. How’s that? Drilling down on the numbers, I hear only 35 theaters made over $3K+. Compare this to Spiral, which saw 800 theaters making more than $3K+.
A majority of Army of the Dead‘s theater count comes from No. 3 exhibitor Cinemark, which made a deal with Netflix to play its movies during the pandemic. Cinemark Boss Mark Zoradi was over the moon about his deal with the streamer, as expressed at a recent MoffettNathanson Media & Communications Summit.
Big exhibition has surely changed its tune when it comes to playing movies with severely truncated theatrical windows. It only speaks to how desperate they must be right now. Many tell me that the reason why Cinemark is so giddy is because they’re receiving either generous rental terms or four-wall bookings from Netflix.
Army of the Dead was received by critics with a warm 74% positive and a great 83% positive from Comscore/Screen Engine PostTrak audiences. That’s great, but it makes one wonder if an opportunity was missed here by not giving this film a significantly longer theatrical window. Netflix craves feature franchises, and before Army of the Dead even hit the service, they already greenlit a number of spinoffs associated with the IP. Franchises are created by creating premium experiences theatrically.
When you make a movie available in the home and theaters simultaneously, or on an extreme shortened window, there’s less premium to the movie. Netflix should ponder the following: What would happen if the streamer truly turned Army of the Dead into a big theatrical event and then dropped it on the service 30-45 days later. Would they see a bigger spike in subscribers from those who lost on seeing Army of the Dead the first time around? Couple that momentum with a few big theatrical event movies. Netflix, think about it.
Warner Bros. knows the meat is in a theatrical window. Why else then would they commit to one for their 2022 slate? However, at the same time, they’re attracted by what Netflix has done with their Oscar-bait movies. It’s a much more efficient, lower marketing cost means of distribution, especially when it comes to risky older adult-demo fare which could fail at the box office and spoil its awards season chances.
It wouldn’t be shocking if more adult-demo titles like Taylor Sheridan’s Those Who Wish Me Dead pull off some sort of truncated theatrical/HBO Max play in the future. Remember, all those adult films that failed for Warners at the B.O. during the fall of 2019 (i.e. The Goldfinch, The Good Liar, Motherless Brooklyn) when Joker was excelling? If the studio had to do it all over again, odds are those would be HBO Max movies, to respond to older adult consumer tastes.
Previous Sheridan movies have had big film festival launches, which, in turn, spelled riches for arthouse, including those he directed, i.e. Wind River (world premiere at Sundance, final domestic B.O. $33.8M) and those he scripted, i.e. Sicario ($46.9M) and Hell or High Water ($27M, both titles launched at Cannes). I have to think that if Those Who Wish Me Dead had the opportunity to be an art house event, New Line would have saved this title for Cannes.
But given the diagnostics here on the movie of a B CinemaScore, 62% fresh Rotten Tomatoes critics rating and dismal PostTrak exits of 72% positive and a 44% recommend, the studio likely believed it was better to release this title on the streaming service. A near-even split here between males and females, with 81% over 25 and 51% over 35 on PostTrak. Diversity demos were 46% Caucasian, 26% Hispanic, 13% Black and 15% Asian/other. Cinemascore reports that 16% of the audience under 25 gave Those Who Wish Me Dead an A-.
Those Who Wish Me Dead‘s top 10 theaters were 1. Vali Hi Drive-In Minneapolis, 2. Cinemark Albuquerque Rio, 3. Preferred Georgetown Drive-In (Indiana), 4. AMC Burbank, 5. West-Wind Sacramento Drive-In, 6. Ford Drive-In Detroit, 7. Santikos Casa Blanca San Antonio, 8. Stars & Stripes Drive-In Austin, 9. Tibbs Drive-In Indianapolis, and 10. AMC Century City Los Angeles.
Spiral‘s underperformance can be attributed to many factors, i.e. everything is finally reopening, especially here in California, as the pandemic clicks down and the CDC lifts its mask policy for those who are vaccinated. People are distracted with proms and school year-end activities. It’s not that moviegoing is facing stiff competition as we ramp back up. But people are only going to make time for those titles they feel they can’t miss out on.
Compounding the above is the fact that the domestic exhibition infrastructure isn’t fully ablaze, with only 66% of all US/Canada 5,88K movie theaters open, with provinces in the Great White North like Ontario, Alberta, and Manitoba still under lockdown. Canada, which typically accounts for 7% to 10% of the weekend box office, is only drawing 2% this weekend.
Factor into this that Spiral is not a four-quad movie, and is a complete reimagination of the Saw films as we know it. The response to that? B- CinemaScore, 40% on Rotten Tomatoes, and very low Comscore/Screen Engine PostTrak audience reactions of 63% in the top two boxes, with a 43% recommend. Spiral drew 56% guys, 58% over 25 but with only 25% over 35 years old. Diversity demos were 35% Caucasian, 28% Black, 26% Hispanic, & 11% Asian/Other. Spiral played best on the East Coast. Three-hundred and thirty nine Imax auditoriums drove $1M of Spiral‘s business for an 11% share of its weekend.
Many overestimated Spiral heading into the weekend, given some of the metrics they were seeing on social, i.e. the pic’s social media universe, per RelishMix, was big at 124.1M, well-above the horror genre norm off nine-Lionsgate owned videos on YouTube, with 21.5M views and 35 videos on Facebook measuring 13.57 views.
A big component of the pic’s marketing was 21 Savage, who posted on his Vevo YouTube channel to 7.5M subscribers, a combination of an audio track with 452K views, a teaser video from Tuesday of opening week, and a full ‘Official Music Video’ with 2.48M views. 21 Savage also posted the final teaser to Spiral to his 21.4M followers across social media, with his Instagram clocking 664K views for the trailer.
Fourth place belongs to Funimation/Aniplex’s Demon Slayer which is booked at 1,930 theaters (-170) in weekend 4 making $513K (-41%), $796K on Saturday for a weekend of $1.77M (-36%) for running total of $41.9M.
Fifth place goes to Disney’s Raya and the Last Dragon which in weekend 11 posted $395K on Friday, -6% from a week ago, $760K on Saturday (+92%) and a weekend of $1.718M, -11% for a running total of $46.1M.
Notable titles that had limited openings include Roadside Attractions’ YA movie Finding You, which grossed at 1,314 theaters a 3-day of $954K. The Brian Baugh directed and written title follows Finley, a talented aspiring violinist, who meets Beckett, a famous young movie star, on the way to her college semester abroad program in a small coastal village in Ireland. An unexpected romance emerges, as the heartthrob Beckett leads the uptight Finley on an adventurous reawakening, and she emboldens him to take charge of his future, until the pressures of his stardom get in the way.
RT critics score was at 69% fresh, with meh audience reaction of 71% positive and 46% recommend on PostTrak. Females were the most active ticket buyers here at 62%, with 81% over 25 and 53% over 35 years old for this PG movie.
Diversity demos were 70% Caucasian, 14% Hispanic, 6% Black, & 10% Asian/Other. The most amount of play here came from the Mid-West and South. A $693 per-theater gross here.
Focus Features’ pick-up of Timur Bekmambetov’s thriller Profile grossed $260K at 2,033 theaters on both Friday and Saturday for a weekend of $670K, for a $330 per-theater average. Profile follows an undercover British journalist who infiltrates the online propaganda channels of the so-called Islamic State, only to be sucked in by her recruiter. The pic earned a B CinemaScore, with lower PostTrak exits at 65% positive and a 37% recommend. Critics weren’t wowed at 59% Rotten. Audience make-up was guys at 54%, 79% over 25 with 40% over 35 years old. Diversity mix was 53% Caucasian, 21% Hispanic, 17% Black, & 9% Asian/Other. Most prominent markets were West and Southwest.
Weekend B.O. for May 14-16, 2021
1.) Spiral(LG) 2,811 theaters Fri $3.7M/Sat $3M/Sun $1.9M/3-day $8.7M/ Wk 1
2.) Wrath of Man(UAR) 3,007 theaters (+132)/Fri $1.05M/Sat $1.6M/Sun $1.1M/3-day $3.7M (-55%)/Total: $14.6M Wk 2
3.) Those Who Wish Me Dead(WB) 3,188 theaters/3-day $2.8M/ Wk 1
4.) Demon Slayer(Fun/Ani) 1,930 theaters (-170)/Fri $513K/Sat $796K/Sun $461K/3-day $1.77M (-36%)/Total: $41.9M/ Wk 4
5.) Raya and the Last Dragon (Dis) 2,285 theaters (-30), Fri $395K/Sat $760K/Sun $563k/ 3-day: $1.718M (-11%), Total: $46.1M/Wk 11
6.) Godzilla vs. Kong(WB/Leg) 2,484 theaters (-221),/3-day: $1.46M (-27%)/Total: $95M/Wk 7
7.) Mortal Kombat(New Line/WB), 2,465 locations (-508) / 3-day $1.32M (-45%)/Total: $39.9M/Wk 4
8.)Finding You(RSA) 1,312 theaters (-125) Fri $327,5K/Sat $368,6K/Sun $258K/3-day: $954K/Wk 1
9.) Army of the Dead(Netflix) 430 theaters /Fri $265K/Sat $323K/Sun $192K/$780K/Wk 1
10.) Profile (Foc) 2,033 theaters, Fri $260K/Sat $260K/Sun $150K /3-day: $670K /Wk 1
Here Today(Sony) 1,200 theaters, Fri $157K/Sat $228K/Sun $145K/3-day $530K (-41%)/Total: $1.9M/ Wk 2
Top Gun(Par, re) 153 theaters, Fri $61K/Sat $85K/Sun $53K/3-day $200K/Re-issue cume: $248K/Lifetime total $180M/Wk 1 of re-issue
Guy Ritchie’s ‘Wrath Of Man’ Leads Weekend With $8M at the BO!!
By the calendar’s measure of recent box office years, it is the first weekend of summer. But because movie theaters are still closed in most of Europe and Brazil because of the pandemic, Disney decided to move Marvel’s Black Widow to July 9.
The good news is that we will finally have a semblance of a summer box office season, unlike last year, and UnitedArtistsReleasing is filling the vacancy left by Disney this weekend with the Miramax/MGM production of Guy Ritchie’s R-rated Jason Statham action title, Wrath of Man, which had a solid Friday at the B.O. during the pandemic with $3M (including $500K Thursday previews), then continued on to make the same amount of cash yesterday, and will see a 3-day opening of $8M at 2,875 theaters.
That’s a bit more than what Universal’s gritty R-rated Bob Odenkirk shoot-’em up Nobody scored over its first weekend, with $2.5M Friday and a 3-day of $6.8M (that movie, now in its 7th weekend, is bound to see its domestic cume at $24.6M by today off an A- CinemaScore).
All-in, Wrath of Man opened to $25.6M WW, $17.6M of that from 3,332 locations in nine territories, where eight of ’em ranked No. 1. Russia & CIS raked in $10M, exceeding the lifetime box office of Bad Boys for Life, John Wick 3, Man from UNCLE, and XXX: Return of Xander Cage. Australia and NZ took in $3.2M, Taiwan was $2.5M, while China counted $1M from limited previews which began yesterday before its May 10 launch.
Next to the meat-and-potato action movies aimed at older guys during the pandemic stateside since last August (we’re not counting videogame adaptation Mortal Kombat), Wrath of Man bests the debuts of Nobody, Unhinged ($4M), Honest Thief ($4.1M) and The Marksman ($3.1M).
Audience reaction for Wrath of Man was great, with Ritchie seeing an A-, which was better than the B+ earned by 2020’s The Gentleman, which repped a return to his kinetic, flashy action British capers. That movie, also a Miramax production, was released to 2,165 theaters by STX before Covid-19 hit in late January, and opened to $10.65M.
“This was a smart acquisition by MGM. Getting to work with Bill Block and Miramax was great. They were very supportive of the marketing and dating strategy. We took advantage of the Mother’s Day weekend as soon as Black Widow moved,” UAR President Erik Lomis told Deadline this morning.
“Gerry Rich and the marketing team created a super smart and innovative campaign, laser-focused and efficient, with a trailer launch only six weeks out. Guy Ritchie supported the plan and the marketing team every step of the way, and delivered a solid movie, very playable to his audience,” added Lomis.
Wrath of Man played strong on the west coast and southwest, with Burbank’s AMC the No. 1 theater in the country for the pic.
UAR ran 60-second spots for Wrath of Man across such cable networks as ESPN, FX, FXX, Discovery, SciFi, NBA and digital channels YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Search. There was an early spot which ran during the Walking Dead finale to kick off the marketing campaign. Prime demos were targeted on such shows as 9-1-1, NCIS, FBI: Most Wanted, Blue Bloods, and Chicago PD, with spots also booked during those sports in-season, the NBA, MLB, UFC, Boxing, and NASCAR, as well as guy-targeted cable networks Adult Swim, Comedy, Discovery, ESPN, History, AMC, and FX.
The Wrath of Man trailer launch on March 29 received 22M views and over 48K conversations in its first day. It trended on Twitter and reddit movies, and on YouTube for over 24 hours after launch. The pic’s red band trailer was dropped on April 29 with IGN and Reddit. RelishMix further reports that the viral rate was a solid 9:1, with close to 38M views on YouTube, another 18.2M on Facebook for 27 videos with high posting frequency.
UAR sponsored a Twitch Livestream for the movie featuring gaming influencers (Chica, Nick Eh 30, and Shiv) taking on three athletes (Richard Sherman, Darius Slay, Karl-Anthony Towns).
The film’s website (WrathOfMan.movie) included direct ticket sales for select theaters across the country, arguably a first for a major studio release stateside to consumers on a mass scale, as movie tickets are often sold via third-party sites.
In theaters, Wrath of Man trailers ran on Nobody (3/26), The Unholy (4/2), Mortal Kombat (4/16), Demon Slayer (4/16) and Separation (4/30). Theater circuits promoted through paid and organic social, push notifications, homepage web banners, e-blasts and app inclusions.
AMC specifically launched an exclusive content piece tied to tickets on sale (3/26) followed by a Ritchie behind-the-scenes piece on their social channels (4/23). There were also promotions with exhibition loyalty programs through targeted digital marketing; Bonus point offers with Regal, Marcus, Cinemark and Showcase Cinemas. In addition Harkins, Marcus, Dolby and Imax shared Wrath of Man content pieces on their social channels the week of opening tied to ticketing push.
RelishMix is very impressed with the social media on Wrath of Man, reporting “social star power is driving the movie’s social media universe, with 69% of its entire 209.4M footprint. The cast which counts 146M total followers spurred a strong launch over a shortened marketing runway.”
Wrath Of Man’s social media star was, natch, Jason Statham, who counts 100M fans, but Instagram is his preferred outlet at 26.4M. The pic’s other star, Scott Eastwood, counts 5.1M across social media, and he, too, is also posting on Instagram. In his film debut, Post Malone is partially activated on Twitter and Facebook with close to 40M followers, and credited as Austin Post as Robber #6. This behind-the-scenes piece below on Statham’s Instagram has clocked over 4M views:
Screen Engine/Comscore PostTrak moviegoers also rated Wrath of Man well with a 77% overall positive and a 57% definite recommend. Guys at 60% made up the overall audience, with 72% over 25 and 45% over 35. Diversity demos were 44% Caucasian, 23% Black, 21% Hispanic, and 12% Asian/other. Wrath of Man was strong in the West and Southwest. PLF and Imax repped 34% of Friday and Saturday’s ticket sales. Critics weren’t as high on Wrath of Man as The Gentlemen, 66% fresh to 75% certified fresh.
While an $8M opening is not what we’re used to in regards to opening summer, keep this in mind: We’re in much better shape and on a better path than we were a year ago. Currently, 63% of 5,8K theaters are operating. While that’s very good, the domestic marketplace isn’t at its full exhibition power. Over 1k theaters haven’t provided targeted reopening dates, No. 2 chain Regal only has 232 theaters of its 533 reopened, and three major provinces of Canada –Ontario, Manitoba, and Alberta — are still closed.
There’s a chance that Cineplex, which only has 27 of its 162 theaters reopened, might open more in another week or two if local ordinances give the OK. But I’m hearing there’s a chance the two features, which are firing up summer, Paramount’s A Quiet Place II and Disney’s Cruella, may not have the full power of Canada when they open over Memorial Day weekend, May 28-31. We will see.
Also, capacity restrictions remain in force across the nation, even in areas where the capacity limits might be at 100%. AMC reportedly is operating its whole chain at 50% levels and enforcing mask wearing, even in those communities where face coverings have been lifted.
For all the good news about the yellow tier moving LA theaters to 75% capacity, again, that’s for those attendees who show proof of vaccinations. Several sources tell me there’s no way exhibition can or will enforce its attendees to show proof of vaccination, and therefore will opt to operate at 50%. That said, I’m told exhibition overall isn’t fretting about this loophole. Talks with CDC and local health authorities in LA and San Francisco remain positive, and all eyes are on June 15, when California Gavin Newsom has announced the state will be fully opened. The hope per exhibition sources is that NYC will be at 50% capacity levels by Memorial Day weekend.
In the No. 2 spot is Funimatin/Aniplex’s Demon Slayer which in its 3rd Friday grossed $851K, -53%, at 2,088 theaters (+183) for a 3rd weekend of $3.05M (-52%) and a 17-day running total of $39.6M. New Line/HBO Max’s Mortal Kombat at 2,973 locations (-141) did $700K on Friday (-62%) in its 3rd Friday in the No. 3 spot with a 3rd weekend of $2.375M (-62%) and a running total of $37.8M. Fourth place is also owned by Warner Bros. with Legendary’s Godzilla v. Kong(which is in a window now of pure theatrical play, not on HBO Max). That pic’s 6th Friday made $505K (-32%) at 2,705 theaters (-48) on Friday for a 3-day of $1.93M (-32%) and a $92.9M running total by EOD Sunday. 5th place belongs to Disney’s Raya and the Last Dragonwhich grossed $420K in its 10th Friday at 2,315 theaters (+505) with a 3-day of $1.865M (+35%) and a running total of $43.8M. The pic is also available on Disney+ Premier for the extra cost of $30. Open Road’s Separation grossed $315K (-54%) in its second Friday on its way to a $1.065M weekend at 1,911 (+160) sites for a 10-day of $3.3M.
Sony and Stage 6 Film’s recent acquisition of Tiffany Haddish-Billy Crystal movie Here Today will be gone tomorrow. The studio doesn’t spend much to open these titles, and this is a moderate release booked at 1,200 locations. Friday according to Sony took in $257K, followed by $366K yesterday, and a projected $277K today for a 3-day the studio is calling at $900K, which is better than the $783K the industry was seeing on Saturday AM. Audience and critical reactions for this Crystal directed feature which he co-wrote with Alan Zweibel were low with a 52% Rotten Tomatoes rating and 65% overall positive from PostTrak and a 46% recommend. 57% females showed up with 57% over 25. Clearly this was a lazy play at the Mother’s Day audience without much marketing muscle. Audience make-up was 62% Caucasian, 17% Hispanic, 17% Black, & 4% Asian/other. Sony doesn’t spend on these movies with iSpot showing the pic’s TV spot spend was a paltry $320K with ads that ran on 60 Minutes, Today, The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, SEAL Team and Haddish’s Kids Say the Darndest Things.
Here Today follows veteran comedy writer Charlie Burnz (Crystal), who is going through a tough time in his life. He meets New York singer Emma Payge (Haddish) and they form an unlikely yet hilarious and touching friendship that kicks the generation gap aside and redefines the meaning of love and trust.
Social media was very light here, considering how the pic was aimed at older audiences. RelishMix noticed before Friday, “With the late re-date pivot into a one-week-ramp-up, the Here Today trailer was dropped on the Sony YouTube channel and another five videos on the Sony studio Facebook. Clearly, making unique pages for the film was skipped with a full Zoom blitz of the cast onto morning and late night talk shows. Trailers on both YouTube and Facebook are equally boosted and quickly approaching 2M views on each platform.”
“Convo from the trailer, theme and casting are mixed-positive-leaning, interwoven with extreme anticipation from Sony YouTube subscribers to the Venon 2 trailer plus, Ghostbusters: Afterlife and Spiderman: No Way Home in their alerts from the Sony YouTube channel (4.6M subs) as movies get back to normal scheduling,” RelishMix adds.
Haddish retweeted to her 559K followers (not so much to her 6.6M Instagram followers) while Crystal has been actively pushing the movie to his 664K Twitter followers.
The top 10 for May 7-9
1.) Wrath of Man(UAR) 2,875 theaters/Fri $3M/Sat $3M/Sun $2.1M/3-day $8M/ Wk 1
2.) Demon Slayer(Fun/Ani) 2,088 theaters (+183)/Fri $851K/Sat $1.26M/Sun $942,5K/3-day $3.05M (-52%)/Total: $39.6M/ Wk 3
3.) Mortal Kombat(New Line/WB), 2,973 locations (-141) /Fri, $700K, 3-day $2.375M (-62%)/Total: $37.8M/Wk 3
4.) Godzilla vs. Kong(WB/Leg) 2,705 theaters (-48),/ Fri $505K/3-day: $1.93M (-32%)/Total: $92.96M/Wk 6
5.) Raya and the Last Dragon (Dis) 2,315 theaters (+505), Fri $420K/Sat $775K/Sun $670k/ 3-day: $1.865M (+35%), Total: $43.8M/Wk 10
6.) Separation(OR) 1,911 theaters (+160), Fri $315K, Sat $450K, Sun $310K, 3-day $1.075M (-40%)/Total: $3.37M/ Wk 2
7.) Here Today(Sony) 1,200 theaters, Fri $257K/Sat $366K/Sun $277K/3-day $900K/ Wk 1
8.) Nobody (Uni) 1,931 theaters (-125) Fri $220K/Sat $330K/Sun $210K/3-day: $760K (-41%)/Total $24.6M/Wk 7
9.) The Unholy(Sony) 1,390 theaters (-148) /Fri $220K/Sat $315K/Sun $195K/$730K (-31%)/Total: $14.1M/Wk 6
10.) Tom & Jerry (WB) 1,831 theaters (+30), 3-day: $426K (-20%)/Total: $44.7M/Wk 11
The Water Man (RLJE) 311 theaters, 3-day: $183K/Wk 1
‘Demon Slayer’ Overtakes #1 Position from ‘Mortal Kombat’ at the BO!!
What’s upsetting about this weekend is how these two movies, Mortal Kombat and Demon Slayer, which had very notable openings and further revived the domestic B.O. last weekend, dropped precipitously this weekend, respectively at -73% and -70%.
Funimation/Aniplex is calling Demon Slayer‘s weekend 2 at $6.4M for No. 1, with a running total of $32.2M, and New Line’s Mortal Kombat is at No. 2 with a weekend 2 of $6.2M and a $34M 10-day total. No one was expecting this type of tumble. What does this say as the US has close to 70% of 40,7K screens reopened, and there’s talk of Los Angeles and San Francisco moving to the yellow tier, which could get theaters at 75% capacity? (It’s not as easy as that reads, more on that in a bit).
Essentially, what’s going on here is that there were two movies catering to niche audiences that overperformed last weekend. However, they had limited wide appeal. Both overindexed last weekend because of pent-up demand, as people sought to get out of the house after 13 months of largely lockdown, with both pics’ core audiences seeing them, hence the second weekend drops.
In regards to Mortal Kombat, movies based on hardcore videogames (not Sonic), have a tendency to plummet in weekend 2, i.e. Doom (-73%), 2001’s Tomb Raider (-59%). By comparison, New Line’s 1995 version of Mortal Kombat, which was rated PG-13, declined 56% in its second weekend, with $10.3M at 2,628 theaters. Mortal Kombat came in ahead of estimates last Sunday. It’s not out of the question for that to occur again.
We always knew Funimation/Aniplex’s Demon Slayer as an anime feature would be front-loaded, which is the B.O. nature of those pics. The distrib’s Dragon Ball Super: Broly in the second weekend following its MLK opening fell 69%. After a $22.3M 6-day opening, that movie stopped its domestic gross at $30.7M. Short runway there.
This weekend marks the anniversary of when 2019’s Avengers: Endgame ($357.1M) and 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War ($257.7M) respectively notched the top 1 and 2 openings of all-time. With no new tentpole in the marketplace over the last three days, that depletes the demand of moviegoing. Couple that with great weather across the nation, and President Biden’s new order that vaccinated folks can go outside without a mask. People decided to do other outdoor activities rather than head to the movies, per distribution sources.
As far as Mortal Kombat goes, I do believe that the whole simultaneous HBO Max of it all is a leg-killer for their titles at the box office. Why see the movie a second time in the theater when you can see it at home for free? It’s going to be really interesting to see how the Disney Premier of it all impacts Marvel’s Black Widow grosses. Will fans see Black Widow in theaters first and buy it on Disney Premier when they get home? Exhibition should be keenly aware of this, that money will be lost on their end and reaped by Disney.
Mortal Kombat‘s drop here at -73%, the steepest we’ve seen for a Warner Bros/HBO Max title during the pandemic since Wonder Woman 1984‘s second weekend drop of -68%, is not a case of the tide rising all boats, as AT&T Boss John Stankey would say. And even though Godzilla vs. Kong is off the studio’s streaming service right now after a 31-day play, the Legendary title, which counts a domestic cume of $90.3M, would have had a faster path to $100M if it wasn’t on HBO Max. Again, the whole theatrical-HBO Max day and date release plan is only in effect for this year, not next.
Exhibition-wise, we’re still not in a perfect state: Canada is only 18% open. No. 2 chain Regal is only 15% open, and this new California state health guideline of insisting that moviegoers show proof of vaccinations before theaters move to 75% next week is truly punishing to exhibition and impossible to enforce. California Governor Gavin Newsom sure isn’t policing a similar policy at LAX, where throngs are fearless about traveling.
On the upside, circuits AMC is 99% open, Cinemark 93%, Marcus 82%, and Harkins 97%. In certain areas of the country, these chains are operating at 75% to 80% capacity where local ordinances permit. The Chinese 6 in Hollywood is now open, along with the main Chinese Theatre, which reopened in time for GvK.
Open Road’s horror movie Separation posted $1.8M after a $680K Saturday at 1,751 locations which was up 1% over Friday’s $675K. Sunday looks to be $476K. Open Road targeted older horror fans, ages 35-44, with limited buys on such shows as Fear the Walking Dead, WWE Smackdown, and NBA Basketball on TNT. Open Road also paid for targeted social and digital ads, specifically on Fandango. The film’s producers hosted a Tik Tok influencer screening in Los Angeles last week with the cast and director William Brent Bell.
Social media chatter on Separation was light, according to RelishMix, with YouTube views at 9.7M and a low viral rate of 3:1. “Pages connected to the film and distributor have scattered posts since the campaign began on March 25. Another ten videos are posting on Facebook at 4.1M and a lightly activated cast at 600k adds to the SMU of 14.3M which is on the low end for the genre,” says RelishMix.
We will update you when Comscore sends their report, but the total B.O. for all pics at the domestic B.O. this weekend is looking like an estimated $24.2M, -57% from last weekend’s pandemic record of $56.3M.
The top 10 chart for April 30-May 2, Warners didn’t break out daily B.O. figures
1.) Demon Slayer (Fun/Ani) 1,870 theaters (+281)/Fri $1.81M/Sat $2.66M/Sun $1.9M/3-day $6.4M (-70%)/Total: $32.2M/ Wk 2
2.) Mortal Kombat (New Line/WB), 3,114 theaters (+41) /Fri, $1.85M, 3-day $6.2M (-73%)/Total: $34M/Wk 2
3.) Godzilla vs. Kong (WB/Leg) 2,573 theaters (-103),/ 3-day: $2.74M (-36%)/Total: $90.3M/Wk 5
4.) Separation (OR) 1,751 theaters, Fri $675K, Sat $680K, Sun $476K, 3-day $1.8M/Wk 1
5.) Raya and the Last Dragon (Dis) 1,810 theaters (-9), Fri $350K/Sat $605K/Sun $380k/ 3-day: $1.33M (-22%), Total: $41.5M/Wk 9
6.) Nobody (Uni) 2,056 theaters (-196) Fri $360K/Sat $560K/Sun $340K/3-day: $1.26M (-28%)/Total $23.3M/Wk 6
7.) The Unholy (Sony) 1,538 theaters (-297) /Fri $305K/Sat $465K/Sun $295K/$1.06M (-27%)/Total: $13.1M/Wk 5
8.) Scott Pilgrim vs. The World (re) (Uni) 152 theaters, Fri $340K/Sat $230K/Sun $150K/$720K /Total: $32.4M/Wk 560
9.) Tom & Jerry (WB) 1,209 theaters (-334), 3-day: $515K (-29%)/Total: $44.2M/Wk 10
10.) Together Together (BST) 659 theaters (-6), Fri $95K, Sat $132,7K, Sun $85K, 3-day: $313K (-41%) Total: $1.02M/Wk 2/
‘Mortal Kombat’ Conquers No. 1 Spot at the BO!!!
SUNDAY AM FINAL: In the fight between Funimation/Aniplex’s Demon Slayer -Kimetsu no Yaiba- The Movie: Mugen Train and New Line/Warner Bros./HBO Max’s Mortal Kombat, it is the latter who is the victor with $22.5M, while the anime title drew $19.5M. Interestingly enough, that amount isn’t that far from what Midway Game’s feature adaptation made back in 1995: $23.2M.
All in, both films, according to Comscore, drove the biggest overall weekend since mid-March last year, when Covid started stateside with $52.9M, +180% over last weekend. Mortal Kombat reps the biggest R-rated opening to date during the pandemic.
All of this is a great sign that the world is opening up again, as the pandemic eases and vaccinations go up. While we have tapped Warner Bros. on the chin for their audacious theatrical and HBO Max day-and-date strategy (which will catch up with itself eventually), we would not know that these B.O. results were possible if it wasn’t for Warner Bros. Really, theaters wouldn’t be open if it wasn’t for Warner Bros. (and Universal), and sincerely that goes all the way back to late August’s Tenet.
This is the fourth movie from Warners this year to open in the No. 1 spot. The studio has owned nine weeks out of 17 this year in the top spot at the box office, with a 48% market share overall.
“New Line once again far exceeded expectations and brought a movie that wowed fans general audiences,” beamed Warner Bros. Domestic Distribution Boss Jeff Goldstein this morning.
This was to be expected, that Warners would edge out, for a couple of reasons: They had the bigger marketing spend (Mortal Kombat is a $55M net production, and given the B.O. result here, Warners likely shelled out less than Godzilla vs. Kong‘s estimated $70M). Understand, the most which was ever expected for Mortal Kombat was $15M going into this weekend. Most of these Warner Bros. movies this year keep beating their tracking, and I’m told, again and again by non-Warner Bros. sources, that the reason why is because of the studio’s new Worldwide Marketing President Josh Goldstine. He knows the secret sauce involved in opening a movie, and when he was at Universal and Sony, those two studios experienced moments where their event pics would beat projections.
A clever marketing move which the Warner marketing team pulled on Tuesday is that they dropped the first seven minutes of Mortal Kombat. You know what happened? I’m told pre-sales tripled on Tuesday (this despite Demon Slayer selling Mortal Kombat out at AMC 4 to 1 in presales heading into the weekend). Credit is also due here to New Line President and CCO Richard Brener and EVP Dave Neustadter, the MacGyver of movie budgets, in delivering an adequately priced feature which delivered with wide appealing results.
While iSpot saw over $6M in TV spend by Warners for Mortal Kombat heading into the weekend, I’m told that number was really in the $12M range. The studio ran spots on Telemundo, UniMas, Univision, Adult Swim, BET, MTV, Turner Sports, and the NBA, along with sponsorships on ESPN Deportes and Fox Deportes. Mortal Kombat spots, according to iSpot, aired on such shows on College and NBA basketball, Family Guy, Ridiculousness, and Rick and Morty.
Warners also had multiple screening events with Gold House (4/22), HBCU Colleges (4/22), CAPE, Asian American Journalist Association, CAAM, East West Players, APA Women, AAPI Women Lead, C100, and more for Mortal Kombat. As we previously told you, fans went nuts over the red-band trailer, which was the second most-watched one ever (after James Gunn’s upcoming The Suicide Squad) in its first week, with over 116M views worldwide.
In hobbled Canada, where only 20% of the B.O. is available, PVOD for Mortal Kombat did $2M there.
The top 10 locations for Mortal Kombat were: 1. AMC Burbank Los Angeles, 2. Santikos Palladium San Antonio, 3. Cinemark Tinseltown El Paso, 4. Santikos Casa Blanca San Antonio, 5. AMC Orange Los Angeles, 6. Cinemark Pharr Town Center (Texas), 7. AMC Empire New York, 8. Cinemark Century 16 Corpus Christi, 9. AMC Gulf Pointe Houston, and 10. AMC Southlake Pavilion Atlanta.
And the top 10 DMA markets for the New Line pic were: 1. Los Angeles, 2. New York, 3. Dallas, 4. Houston, 5. Chicago, 6. Phoenix, 7. San Francisco, 8. Atlanta, 9. Orlando, and 10. Philadelphia.
In further clarification, Funimation spent in the single digits, I’m told, to push Demon Slayer to sub and dub audiences. There were outdoor ads, including an L.A. train wrap, billboards in key markets, and digital campaigns that launched in week. Funimation partnered with key exhibitors to drive incremental ticket sales, with social and CRM activations including dedicated emails, push notifications, organic and sponsored posts. There were influencer activations on Demon Slayer with chefs (Jonathan Kung), beauty (Bella Poarch), and sports influencers (Juju Smith-Schuster) that launched with ticket pre-sell and extended through the first several weeks of release.
Another reason why Mortal Kombat had the upper hand here is because anime is traditionally front-loaded. While it looks like Demon Slayer fell harder in its Saturday to Friday than Mortal Kombat (-32% vs the New Line pic’s -5%), keep in mind that the Funimation/Aniplex movie rolled $3.8M Thursday previews into its $9.5M Friday. Backing Thursday out of Friday (making it $5.7M), Demon Slayer‘s Saturday of $6.44Mis technically up +13%. Mortal Kombat dipped from $9.08M on Friday to $8.7M on Saturday with Sunday expected to bring in $4.8M.
Imax drove business for both Mortal Kombat and Demon Slayer. The New Line movie had the large format screens from Friday-Sunday, earning 2.7M at 375 auditoriums (global was $4.3m). Demon Slayer had those venues on Thursday earning $710K. To date, the anime pic has grossed $28.6M WW in Imax, $25M of that coming from Japan. Demon Slayer is the biggest non-Chinese local title and fourth- highest grossing local language movie in Imax.
Bleecker Street’s Together Together benefited from AMC bookings, which had the pic playing for more than one showtime. The Sundance title, starring Ed Helms and Patti Harrison, turned out good results, given the pandemic with top markets being LA, NYC, Phoenix, Chicago and San Francisco with notable results in Nashville and Seattle.
Total running B.O. for 2021 according to Comscore is $433.96M, off 76% from 2020’s $1.8 billion for the period of Jan. 1-April 25.
The weekend B.O. for April 23-25, 2021 – Oscar weekend, daily B.O. as provided by distributor
1.) Mortal Kombat (New Line/WB), 3,073 theaters /Fri $9.08M/Sat $8.7M/Sun $4.765M/3-day $22.5M/Wk 1
2.) Demon Slayer (Fun/Ani) 1,605 theaters/Fri $9.5M/Sat $6.44M/Sun $3.56M/3-day $19.5M Wk 1
3.) Godzilla vs. Kong (WB/Leg) 2,856 theaters (-145),Fri $1.1M/Sat $1.9M/Sun $1.2M/ 3-day: $4.2M (-46%)/Total: $86.57M/Wk 4
4.) Nobody (Uni) 2,252 theaters (-153) Fri $500K/Sat $850K/Sun $510K/3-day: $1.86M (-26%)/Total $21.67M/Wk 5
5.) Raya and the Last Dragon (Dis) 1,819 theaters (-126), Fri $400K/Sat $800K/Sun $480k/ 3-day: $1.68M (-12%), Total: $39.8M/Wk 8
6.) The Unholy (Sony) 1,835 theaters (-222) //Fri $425K/Sat $610M/Sun $365K/$1.4M (-32%)/Total: $11.5M/Wk 4
7.) Tom & Jerry (WB) 1,930 theaters (-98), 3-day: $650K (-32%)/Total: $43.4M/Wk 9
8.) Together Together (BST) 665 theaters, Fri $181K, Sat $211K, Sun $130K, 3-day: $522K/Wk 1
9.) The Girl Who Believes in Miracles (Atlas) 941 theaters (-71) Fri $90K/Sat $155K/Sun $92K/ 3-day $337K (-40%)/Total: $2.4M/Wk 4
10.) The Courier (RSA) 713 theaters (-210),/Fri $84K/Sat $120K/Sun $60K/3-day: $264K (-43%)/Total: $5.9M/Wk 6
‘Godzilla vs. Kong’ Continues Domination with Pandemic-Best $390.2M Global Haul at the BO!!
SUNDAY AM WRITE-THRU Final: With no new wide releases, and New Line’s Mortal Kombat pushed to next weekend, Warner Bros./Legendary’s Godzilla vs. Kong is still in charge at 3,001 theaters with a 3-day of $7.7M, -44% now counting $80.5M domestic. Worldwide, Godzilla vs. Kong is at $390.2M, $177M of that coming from China. Broken down that’s $2.075M on Friday, -47% from a week ago, $3.6M Saturday, and $2M Sunday. As we told you last weekend, the Adam Wingard feature is poised to profit. Warner Bros. holds the No. 1 domestic marketshare at the B.O. with $167M to date among all studios (48% share). Of the 16 weekends to date this year, Warners has ranked No. 1 for eight of them including a three week streak here for Godzilla vs. Kong.
GvK will be on HBO Max for another two weeks, and then it’s exclusive to movie theaters for another month. As we mentioned previously, the fourthquel is on PVOD in Canada, given the numbers of cinemas which are closed there. Ontario, Manitoba, and Alberta provinces remain closed in the Great White North.
Even though Godzilla vs. Kong lit the domestic box office on fire over Easter weekend, we’re still in a holding pattern here, waiting for the domestic B.O. to wake up. I mean, New York City is still at 33% capacity. Really, Cuomo, that’s gotta stop. According to distribution sources, 56% of the 5,8K theaters in US and Canada are open.
Also, this week’s news of Arclight/Pacific Theatres shuttering is a huge dent to the L.A. theatrical marketplace. In 2019, L.A. generated over $905M, and that local chain fueled 11% of that number. Seriously, studios can’t live without that money, plus the Hollywood Arclight and Cinerama Dome are launch-point theaters. It’s where an indie film from a budding filmmaker can debut, and ultimately cross over and shine and make a long-term career of it. Conversations with sources this past week believe these theaters will come back, it’s just a matter of who, when and whether it’s Decurion in some shape or form in the end as a minority partner.
Everything out there is pure speculation and not solid, as Arclight/Pacific/Decurion has gone radio silent in their lease negotiations. In regards to those kicking the tires, I can tell you it’s not Alamo (which is contending with bankruptcy), AMC, or Netflix. In regards to Netflix, despite their purchases of the Paris and The Egyptian, they have no yearnings to own a greater theater and stray beyond their wheelhouse of streaming. But all of this is a gut check to the motion picture industry: If you want to truly mess around with theatrical windows and do audacious things like play day-and-date on streaming, this is what happens. Movie theaters close down, especially as they try to resuscitate themselves after a year of lockdown.
On the upside in regards to the domestic box office: NRG reported on Friday that moviegoer consumer confidence hit a new high on Friday, with 64% of moviegoers now ‘very or somewhat comfortable’ going to the movies, up a point from the previous wave and +4 points from a week ago. Those who are “very comfortable” also reached a new high on Friday growing to 28% (+2 points above previous high point). Of those polled, 65% believe movie theaters are “very or somewhat safe,” also narrowly a new record ahead of Monday’s wave. Similar to Monday’s wave, 6-in-10 expect to see a movie in theaters within the next two months, and over 7-in-10 expect to see one within the next three.
Regal reopened 11 locations this past weekend, with plans to reopen another 44 next weekend in time for New Line’s Mortal Kombat. Another 177 Regal sites will turn the lights on for the weekend of May 7-9, and followed by 138 on May 14, and 129 on May 21. In California, 15 counties moved from red to orange tier increasing their auditorium capacities to 50% or 200 people. Among those are Napa, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, and Ventura counties.
In second place this weekend at the B.O. is Universal’s R-rated Bob Odenkirk action movie Nobody, with a fourth Friday of $730K, -1%, on its way to a great 3-day hold, -5%, with $2.52M and a total by EOD of $19.05M.
Sony’s third Friday of The Unholy did an estimated $601K, -14% from a week ago, on 2,057 theaters (+207) for an estimated 3-day in third place of $2.06M, -14%, and a running total of $9.56M.
Disney’s Raya and the Last Dragon at 1,945 theaters in weekend 7 did $471K on Friday, -18%, for an anticipated 3-day of $1.9M, -14%, for a total of $37.6M.
Warner Bros. Tom & Jerry in weekend 8 ranked 5th for the weekend with $1.09M, -10%, and a cume of $42.5M.
NEON opened their Ben Wheatley directed pandemic horror movie In the Earth, which made its world premiere at Sundance. The pic, which had notable ticket sales on the west coast, is ranking in the top 10 with $506K off of 547 runs in 129 markets and a 75% fresh Rotten Tomatoes score. NEON also had far outside the top 10 the Victor Kosakovskiy directed documentary Gunda in five locations in NY, LA (including the Pico Blvd Landmark) and San Francisco which debuted to $5K off a 98% certified fresh RT score. The black and white feature looks at the daily life of a pig and its farm animal companions: two cows and a one-legged chicken.
In regards to GvK, RelishMix updates that on social media, “The main studio owned trailer of the two videos posted on YouTube for the film has hit 86M views and up 10.5M since opening on March 31st, and has a continuously strong viral reposting rate of 48:1. Fan chatter debates whose team they are on, from Godzilla and flipping over to Kong and back — plus, in ripped videos from the film, fans debate the fight scenes as proof of who truly rules the world.”
The weekend’s top 10 chart; daily B.O. broken out as provided by studio:
1.) Godzilla vs. Kong (WB/Leg) 3,100 theaters (-83)/Fri $2.1M/Sat $3.6M/Sun $2M/3-day $7.7M (-44%)/Total: $80.5M/Wk 3
2.) Nobody (Uni) 2,405 theaters (+5) Fri $730K/Sat $1.1M/Sun $690K/3-day: $2.52M (-5%)/Total $19.05M/Wk 4
3.) The Unholy(Sony) 2,057 theaters (+207) //Fri $601K/Sat $902M/Sun $557K/$2.06M (-14%)/Total: $9.56M/Wk 3
4.) Raya and the Last Dragon (Dis) 1,945 theaters (+4), Fri $471K/Sat $885K/Sun $544k/ 3-day: $1.9M (-14%), Total: $37.6M/Wk 7
5.) Tom & Jerry (WB) 2,028 theaters (-52), 3-day: $1.09M (-10%)/Total: $42.5M/Wk 8
6.) Voyagers(LG/AGC) 1,996 theaters (+24) Fri $250K/Sat $338K/Sun $202K/3-day: $790K (-43%)/Total: $2.55M/Wk 2
7.) The Girl Who Believes in Miracles (Atlas) 1,012 theaters (+112) Fri $155K/Sat $244K/Sun $162K/ 3-day $561K (even)/Total: $1.8M/Wk 3
8.) In the Earth(NEON) 547 theaters, /Fri $205K/Sat $185K/Sun $116K/3-day: $506K/Wk 1
9.) The Courier (RSA) 922 theaters (-85),/Fri $146,7K/Sat $197,5K/Sun $118,5K/3-day: $462,8K (+6%)/Total: $5.4M/Wk 5
10.)Croods: A New Age(Uni) 1,169 theaters (+30), Fri $65K/Sat $150K/Sun $95K/3-day: $310K (+27%)/Total: $57.1M/Wk 21
Looking ahead to the social media buzz on Mortal Kombat next weekend, as we first told you, the red-band trailer scored a massive 116M views, the second-best for a trailer drop of that type after Warner Bros.’ James Gunn R-rated The Suicide Squad. RelishMix is spotting a lot of heat here on this video game feature adaptation reboot.
“Intermixed with trailers and clips from previous Mortal Kombat movies, TV series, game play materials, plus picture-in-picture posting over more than 10 years — and views for the top ten videos at 452M on top of the social media universe specific to this film at 141.2M, the general awareness for the brand is exceptional. Activity on the meter is strong for fresh materials, given a shortened runway of six weeks. The film has an added advantage of the momentum of Warners releases in the social quadrangulated cross-promotion across Warner Pictures 54.7M, HBO Max 2.5M, Warner Games 1.1M and New Line Cinema social at 355K feeding the movie’s social network at 328K,” reports the analytics corp.
In regards to chatter, RelishMix adds, “Super fan expectations are high and they’re calling out references to characters and other incarnations of the franchise — and how Godzilla vs. Kong is a good lead-up to Mortal Kombat, plus positive chatter about the Snyder cut of Justice League in the HBO Max ecosystem too.”
In regards to the social media star in the cast, that’s Joe Taslim who plays Bi-Han/Sub-zero in the film. He counts 2.2M fans across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
In regards to notable materials on social, RelishMix applauds the fan reaction trailer which dropped on Feb. 25 and is clocking north of 206K views on YouTube.
‘Godzilla vs. Kong’ Continues Dominitation With $13.4M Domestic, $358M Global Take at the BO!!
As expected, Warner Bros./Legendary’s Godzilla vs. Kong made up for its down second Friday ($3.88M, -67% off Good Friday) with a solid Saturday of $6.1M that was up close to 60%, which makes the pic’s second weekend $13.3M, -58%, for a running domestic total of $69.5M. That ease in weekend 2 would be considered quite standard during pre-pandemic times, and is a very good hold. Warners expects Sunday to be off -45% for a $3.3M day.
RelishMix sees an uptick in social media wattage for GvK, observing that Warner Bros. Pictures’ social channels had added over 500k new subscribers to its official YouTube channel in a week, close to breaking 10M. The HBO Max social channels have added 639K to the pic’s social media universe, counting 2.49M and the HBO Max YouTube channel adding 217K new subscribers, now at 667K subs. “You can clearly see where the studios’ strategy is focused on YouTube,” reports RelishMix. In terms of video views, the needle moved most on the top 10 videos which added 218M YouTube views since opening last week.
Outside of Lionsgate/AGC Studios’ Voyagers’ $1.35M opening, notable limited releases included Sri Venkateswara Creations’ Vakeel Saab from filmmaker Venu Sriram, about the life of a criminal lawyer. Pic was booked at 290 runs in 102 markets which some OK plays in NYC, San Francisco, Dallas, Seattle and Atlanta. Pic’s opening weekend is estimated at $411,5K with a notable per theater during the pandemic for a limited release of $1,418.
Social media diagnostics on Voyagers is low, which doesn’t come as a surprise, given the exits and critical scores here. When a studio knows they have a movie that isn’t going to move the needle, they’re not going to invest heavily on it, especially during the current exhibition rebound period. RelishMix shows that the social media campaign for Voyagers began five weeks ago on social, but has only achieved a moderate universe of 22.4M. Of that 6.4M comes from Lionsgate channels with another 6.45M from YouTube. “The cast of Voyagers adore Instagram across the call-sheet with an activated Tye Sheridan at 192K IG, Lily Rose Depp activated with 4.3M IG, Fionn Whiteheard with 70K IG, Chanté Adams 56K IG, Quintessa Swindell activated with 432 IG and Archie Madekwe activated 18K IG. Colin Farrell is the only non-social lead,” says RelishMix. Low social media buzz here for the film, ranking a low 4 out of 10 on RelishMix’s meter: “An over-all mixed sentiment” says the analytics corp on this Lord of the Flies in space.
There was also V. Creations’ Karnan in 95 runs in 53 markets which didn’t fare as well, doing less than Vakeel Saab in San Francisco and Seattle, with a $100K opening and $1k theater average. The action drama from Mari Selvaraj follows a fearless village youth who must fight for the rights of the conservative people of his village because of the torture given by a police officer.
We’re building the top 10 chart, separate FSS grosses reported when distributor makes note:
1.) Godzilla vs. Kong (WB/Leg) 3,084 theaters (+20)/Fri $3.88M/Sat $6.1M/Sun $3.3M/3-day $13.3M (-58%)/Total: $69.5M/Wk 2
2.) Nobody (Uni) 2,400 theaters (-167) Fri $750K/Sat $1.15M/Sun $750K/3-day: $2.65M (-12%)/Total $15.6M/Wk 3
3.) The Unholy (Sony) 1,850 theaters //Fri $700K/Sat $1.03M/Sun $670K/$2.4M (-23%)/Total: $6.7M/Wk 2
4.) Raya and the Last Dragon (Dis) 1,941 theaters (-90), Fri $550K/Sat $975K/Sun $615k/ 3-day: $2.14M (-5%), Total: $35.2M/Wk 6
5.) Voyagers (LG/AGC) 1,972 theaters Fri $515K/Sat $528K/Sun $307K/3-day: $1.35M/Wk 1
6.) Tom & Jerry (WB) 1,826 theaters (-447), 3-day: $1.11M (-17%)/Total: $41.1M/Wk 7
7.) The Girl Who Believes in Miracles (Atlas) 900 theaters (+260) 3-day $597K (+9%)/Total: $1.3M/Wk 2
8.) The Courier (RSA) 1,007 theaters (-315),/Fri $133,5K/Sat $189K/Sun $113,6K/3-day: $436,5K (-12%)/Total: $4.9M/Wk 4
9.) Vakeel Saab (Ind) 290 theaters/3-day: $411,5K/Wk 1
10.) Chaos Walking (Lionsgate) 1,300 theaters (-305), Fri $83K/Sat $117K/Sun $65K/3-day: $265K (-28%)/Total: $12.67M/Wk 6
11.) The Croods: A New Age (Uni) 1,139 theaters (-73), Fri $65K /Sat $110K/Sun $70K/3-day: $245K (+10%)/Total: $56.7M/Wk 20
‘Godzilla vs. Kong’ Defeats Pandemic with $48.5M Opening at the BO!!
Whoever said moviegoing was bound to stay dead, or that streaming has won, needs to go back to business school. Because a big event movie plus a holiday weekend, along with LA & NYC reopened exhibition markets equaled big bucks. At the box office, Warner Bros./Legendary’s Godzilla vs. Kong decimated all industry projections with a 5-day box office of $48.5M after a $12.5M Saturday, +8%. Godzilla vs. Kong‘s 3-day was $32.2M and that’s the high-end of the 5-day projection which was being made before its Wednesday opening. There has to be a lot of WarnerMedia executives who are glad that Godzilla vs. Kong was never sold to Netflix.
“Monstrous results all across the United States. Audiences are excited to see movies in theaters on the big screen with big sound,” exclaimed Warner Bros. Domestic Distribution Boss Jeff Goldstein this morning.
Warner Bros. was the first to ignite the theatrical marketplace during the pandemic. They began to reopen theaters safely with Tenet back in August. Now the studio is finally delivering a box office champ here as vaccinations go up, and Covid cases decrease across the country.
“This movie represents a way for people to slowly re-introduce themselves into a social environment,” Josh Grode, CEO of Legendary Entertainment tells Deadline, “Heading back to movie theaters and learning we’re not going to get sick; it’s these steps we’re taking over the next two to three months to get back to the normalcy of life. This is a movie for a lot of people who are taking the first step.”
This weekend’s B.O. for Godzilla vs. Kong comes as a great sign for the motion picture business and movie theaters that the pandemic hasn’t made moviegoing extinct.
A pro-streaming Hollywood executive might think that this is an opportunity to declare WarnerMedia’s theatrical-and-streaming HBO Max day-and-date model a success.
No, no, no, no, no!
Think of all the money that Godzilla vs. Kong could have made this weekend without HBO Max. Godzilla vs. Kong‘s box office win here is an indicator of that, even with Canada partially open. Not to rain on Warner Bros.’ parade here because they truly made this a win in a way no other streamer could with a theatrical title. But, by having HBO Max in the mix with Godzilla vs. Kong just subtracts ticket sales, or depletes what might be another window. As studios like Disney look to twist exhibition’s arm over rental terms with a theatrical-streaming day and date release like Black Widow, and maintain a kooky business philosophy that “consumers will see movies where they want to see them,” the sheer power of Godzilla vs. Kong this weekend proves that moviegoing and theatrical are still king.
WarnerMedia didn’t reveal any hard, numerical statistical results as to how Godzilla vs. Kong did on HBO Max this past weekend. However Andy Forssell, EVP and General Manager of WarnerMedia Direct-to-Consumer did say this, “The HBO Max audience has spoken very clearly and loudly: they love this film and are watching it more than once. Comparing audience metrics in the first four days since its release, Godzilla vs. Kong had a larger viewing audience than any other film or show on HBO Max since launch.”
A sole theatrical release in all its Imax, PLF or Dolby glory makes a piece of IP exclusive and premium and propels the revenue ancillary chain. A studio can then maintain some exclusivity on that title, create anticipation for those who may not have seen it, and sell it in another window, even if it’s getting more subscribers on HBO Max. Now, Warners has already indicated they’ll pivot to their event films from the theatrical-HBO Max model given their recent 45-day theatrical window deal with Regal for 2022. Also, the 2021 HBO Max theatrical slate plan was only intended for this year alone as the nation slowly comes out of the pandemic.
It hasn’t been decided yet if Legendary’s other Warner Bros. title Dune will go day and date theatrical and on HBO Max. This is despite the fact that the latter streaming service keeps promoting it as part of their 2021 suite. The success of Godzilla vs. Kong this past weekend makes a clear argument in Legendary’s negotiations with Warner to keep that all-star sci-fi movie strictly in theaters.
There are several second and third parties that benefit here from the glory of Godzilla vs. Kong in the ecosphere of the domestic B.O., not just Warner Bros. Exhibition, Imax, Dolby, concession makers, etc. reap in the financial success of this Adam Wingard-directed title.
Overall, Comscore reports that all films at the domestic weekend box office grossed $44.7M, the best three days we’ve ever seen since the pandemic began in mid-March, +143% from last weekend and get this: +109,000% since the same frame a year ago. The 2021 box office through April 4 counts $261.6M, -83% from the $1.8 billion that 2020 had grossed between January and the first weekend of April.
Just take a look at how this fourthquel overall boosted the industry. According to Comscore, the entire LA market for over the last two days for all films made $2.16M (note LA County theaters don’t go to 50% capacity until Monday, but Orange County is at 50%), NYC grossed $1.56M (that market still has 25% capacity, and there’s no word when it will immediately rise to 50%), Dallas Fort Worth saw $1.34M and Houston rang up $1.06M. The industry hasn’t seen these type of city-by-city box office numbers for a while.
Following the domestic B.O. fatigue of 2019’s Godzilla: King of the Monsters, distance was given on the calendar already for this fourthquel during pre-pandemic.
Grode tells Deadline, “We did a lot of analytics after King of the Monsters, and the audience showed that they wanted to see these monsters going at it. This movie gives the audiences what they want and we’re seeing the results of that.”
Several sell-outs abounded for Godzilla vs. Kong. As we told you before it opened, the movie booked a record amount of private auditoriums at 10K, more than any other title during the pandemic.
Domestic Imax auditoriums accounted for 9.3% of Godzilla vs. Kong‘s 5-day box office or $4.5M, with over 1k sold out shows (accounting for about 25% of all available IMAX weekend shows). That Imax domestic number is the best the large format exhibitor has seen in over a year since Bad Boys for Life in January 2020.
Godzilla vs. Kong‘s top 10 markets were Los Angeles, New York, Dallas, Houston, Phoenix, Chicago, San Francisco, Salt Lake City, Orlando and Atlanta.
The top 10 locations for GvK were 1. Cinemark Tinseltown El Paso, 2. AMC Burbank Los Angeles, 3. Santikos Palladium San Antonio, 4. AMC Orange Los Angeles, 5. Consolidated Victoria Ward Stadium Honolulu, 6. AMC Edinburg Texas, 7. AMC Disney Springs Orlando, 8. AMC Gulf Pointe Houston, 9. Santikos Casa Blanca San Antonio, and 10. Cinemark Pharr Town Center Texas.
Warner Bros had a theatrical and PVOD release for Godzilla vs. Kong in Canada which yielded an additional $3M per the studio’s press note this AM.
So, what happens next in the wake of Godzilla vs. Kong? Studios should see this as a promising sign to move up more wide releases, not back down like they did after the opening of Tenet. Warner Bros. has already created some runway for Godzilla vs. Kong here to hopefully leg out by pushing its highly anticipated New Line R-rated feature Mortal Kombat a week from April 16 to April 23.
As far as more Godzilla or Kong movies, Grode said this morning, “we have a number of ideas for more movies.” The franchise has amassed $1.76 billion from the four pics.
Again, if any Hollywood executive is asking where people want to see movies –at theaters or in the home– clearly, it’s not at home.
Other B.O. notes: Sony, which didn’t spend the degree of P&A money to push The Unholy as Warner’s did with GvK, is calling the No. 2 spot with $3.2M for the Screen Gems horror PG-13 title. On the other hand, Sony Pictures Classics’ Golden Globe nominated French Exit drama starring Michelle Pfeiffer and Lucas Hedges pops into the top 10 with $193K.
Atlas Entertainment had the Mira Sorvino faith-based movie The Girl Who Believes in Miracles at 640 theaters in 154 markets. The pic played best in the faith-based tracks of Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, the Rio Grande Valley along with Phoenix, however, numbers aren’t up to pre-pandemic levels for these Christian movies just yet.
Top 10 chart–daily grosses listed as reported by studio:
1.) Godzilla vs. Kong (WB/Leg) 3,064 theaters/Wed $9.6M/Thu $6.7M/Fri $11.6M/Sat $12.5M/$8.1M Sun/3-day $32.2M/5-day $48.5M/Wk 1
2.) The Unholy (Sony) 1,850 theaters Fri $1.2MM/Sat $1.2M/Sun $770K/$3.2M/Wk 1
3.) Nobody (Uni) 2,567 theaters (+107) Fri $1.06M/Sat $1.22M/Sun $790K/3-day: $3.07M (-55%)/Total $11.8M/Wk 2
4.) Raya and the Last Dragon (Dis) 2,031 theaters (-181), Fri $800K/Sat $761K/Sun $493k/ 3-day: $2.05M (-45%), Total: $32.1M/Wk 5
5.) Tom & Jerry (WB) 2,273 theaters (-191), 3-day: $1.4M (-48%)/Total: $39.5M/Wk 6
6.) The Girl Who Believes in Miracles (Atlas) 640 theaters 3-day $526K/Wk 1
7.) The Courier (RSA) 1,322 theaters (-319), Fri $165K/Sat $174K/Sun $113K/3-day: $452K (-57%)/Total: $4.2M/Wk 3
8.) Chaos Walking (Lionsgate) 1,605 theaters (-431), Fri $134K/Sat $149K/Sun $98K/3-day: $380K (-69%)/Total: $12.2M/Wk 5
9.) The Croods: A New Age (Uni) 1,212 theaters (-107), Fri $81K /Sat $76K/Sun $53K/3-day: $210K (-62%)/Total: $56.3M/Wk 19
10.) French Exit (SPC) 483 theaters 3-day $193K/Total $200,5K/Wk 8
‘Nobody’ Opens Strong at #1 Position with $6.7M at the BO!!
Universal’s action genre-defying feature Nobody starring Bob Odenkirk took the top box office spot with $6.7M in a theatrical marketplace which is in the throes of trying to come back.
The good news is that Los Angeles is maintaining its stamina as the No. 1 box office market, with currently $1.1M in its second weekend back, +5% from the same Friday and Saturday period last week. L.A. finaled last weekend with $1.55M.
But there are still a lot of holes at the B.O., both here in the city and nationwide. Capacity in LA is still 25%, though it’s expected to hopefully get to 50% by Easter weekend or the weekend after. Arclight Cinemas are still still closed, but the The TCL Chinese Theatre is reopening Monday, as well as Regal Cinemas on April 2 in time for Godzilla vs. Kong. Of the 5,88K theaters in U.S. and Canada, only 3,1K were open this weekend, with a majority of Canada still closed, including Toronto’s province of Ontario operating at 18% (that said, Quebec has 73% of its theaters reopened).
The hope here with more exhibition opening up is that Nobody legs out. These guy-action pics like Unhinged and Liam Neeson’s The Marksman have been doing a 5x multiple off their opening during the pandemic; and Nobody is poised to do much more with its A- CinemaScore and Rotten Tomatoes of 79% certified fresh. Nobody made $2.54M on Friday, $2.55M Saturday and $1.6M on Sunday. Universal exists show 62% male, 38% female attending, with 56% under 35 and 44% over. Diversity demos were 47% Caucasian, 21% Hispanic, 18% African American, and 6% Asian.
Beamed Universal Domestic Distribution President Jim Orr this morning, “We’re very gratified that major markets such as New York and Los Angeles are available for our release of Nobody. Audiences in these markets, and every other market, have embraced our film. We’re also very excited to see Nobody opening in additional theatres and markets over the next several weeks, especially in Canada, which is still significantly impaired in comparison to the US.”
Nobody played best on the West coast, where it did 26% of its business, and 34% of the total take came from the PLFs. Pic’s top markets were LA, NYC, Phoenix, Chicago, San Francisco, Denver, Salt Lake City, Seattle, Detroit, and Minnesota.
Across social media, according to RelishMix, Nobody “brings some normalcy back to the digital marketplace with a social media universe of 90.2M, which is on par for the drama action thriller norm — with the majority of power in YouTube views at 21.9M and viral reposting rate at 25:1 for three videos, which is strong. Keep in mind that Nobody ran a pre-game Big Game spot back on Feb. 5 which fueled awareness, with 5M cumulative views in 24 hours.”
Nobody filmmaker Ilya Naischuller told us that Uni has been a big champion of this movie from the onset, trying to find a good place for it on the calendar, investing in a Super Bowl spot, and above all, not sending it directly into homes as a PVOD or streaming title.
That excitement and proof that people will still return to the movies at full capacity once this pandemic clears is in China, where that Warner Bros./Legendary lizard vs. ape sequel grossed $70.3M. Overall, from 38 offshore markets, Godzilla vs. Kong screamed $121.8M on 56,777 screens.
Weekend B.O. for March 19-21:
1.) Nobody (Uni) 2,460 theaters, 3-day: $6.7M/Wk 1
2.) Raya and the Last Dragon (Dis) 2,212 theaters (-49), 3-day: $3.5M (-32%), Total: $28.4M/Wk 4
3.) Tom & Jerry (WB) 2,464 theaters (-44), 3-day: $2.5M (-34%)/Total: $37.1M/Wk 5
4.) Chaos Walking (Lionsgate) 2,036 theaters (-96), 3-day: $1.185M (-38%)/Total: $11.4M/Wk 4
5.) The Courier (RSA) 1,641 theaters (+208), 3-day: $1.04M (-48%)/Total: $3.48M/Wk 2
6.) The Croods: A New Age (Uni) 1,319 theaters (-92), 3-day: $540K (-14%)/Total: $55.97M/Wk 18
7.) The Marksman (Open) 851 theaters (-151)/3-day: $375K (-20%)/Total: $14.8M/Wk 11
8.)Boogie (Focus) 1,028 theaters (-156), 3-day: $340K (-43%) /Total: $3.8M/Wk 4
9.) Minari (A24) 912 theaters (+126), 3-day: $275K (-10%), Total $1.8M/Wk 7
10.) Wonder Woman 1984 (WB) 1,128 theaters (-30)/3-day: $245K (-39%)/Total: $45.8M/Wk 14
Other Best Picture nominees currently at the B.O. outside of A24’s Minari above:
The Father(SPC) 652 theaters (-288)/3-day: $164,8K (-49%)/Total: $1.2M/Wk 5
Promising Young Woman(Foc) 733 theaters (-98)/3-day: $130K (-33%)/Total: $5.9M/Wk 14
Nomadland (Searchligth) 600 theaters (-450)/3-day: $107,5K (-64%)/Total: $2.18M/Wk 8*
Judas and the Black Messiah(WB) 842 theaters (-109)/3-day $105K (-56%)/Total $5.2M/Wk 7
As Theaters Roar Back to Life ‘Raya and the Last Dragon’ Stays at #1 With $5.2M at the BO!!
Disney‘s fantasy-adventure Raya and the Last Dragon stayed atop the chart in hits third outing, falling a mere 5 percent to $5.2 million as L.A. theaters roared back to life over the weekend in a needed boost for Hollywood and ravaged theater owners.
Raya‘s domestic total is now at $23.4 million for a global total of $71.2 million.
The Disney title was hardly the only movie seeing a narrow decline, or even a boost, although the big test will come when new major studio products open over the next two weekends in North America, including Nobody — which opened to a promising $2.6 million from four overseas markets this weekend — and Godzilla vs. Kong.
Exhibitors and distributors are predicting a relatively slow recovery as vaccines continue to roll out, and as more indoor cinemas flip on the lights in Los Angeles and New York, the two biggest moviegoing markets in the country. Regal Cinemas, the country’s second-largest chain, remains closed because of restrictive capacity issues — or 25 percent — in both markets, while a number of smaller cinemas including ArcLight remain dark as well.
Most of California is now open, although much of Canada remains off-limits to cinemas.
Elsewhere on the domestic box office chart, Tom & Jerry fell just 7 percent to $3.8 million in its fourth weekend for a domestic total of $33.7 million and $77.2 million globally. The family pic, from Warner Bros., placed No. 2.
Benedict Cumberbatch‘s new adult drama The Courier, from specialty distributor Roadside Attractions, launched in third place with $2 million. Lionsgate‘s Chaos Walking placed fourth with $1.9 million for a domestic total of $9.7 million, while The Croods: A New Age rounded out the top five with $620,000 (globally, Croods 2 has crossed the $160 million mark for Universal).
A number of Oscar best picture contenders such as Judas and the Black Messiah, A Promising Young Woman and more got a bump following last week’s nominations.
The Father (Sony Pictures Classics) made the top 10 with $321,701 for a domestic total of $970,000.
Minari (A24) is reporting a weekend tally of $306,000 for a domestic total of $1.4 million.
Judas and the Black Messiah (Warner Bros.) earned $250,000, an uptick of 53 percent over the previous weekend for a domestic tally of $5 million.
A Promising Young Woman (Focus Features) was up 117 percent after grossing $195,000. The film’s domestic tally is $5.7 million.
Searchlight isn’t reporting grosses for Nomadland, while A24 and Sony Classics hadn’t previously given out numbers for Minari and The Father, respectively.
‘Raya and the Last Dragon’ Holds #1 Spot at a Slowly Recovering BO!!
Sunday AM Writethru: Following Saturday post, refresh for chart and updated analysis. There’s lots of good news ahead at the box office, but we’re not quite there yet.
The No. 1 box office market, Los Angeles (over $900M in 2019), won’t begin to really wake up until next weekend. Then the industry’s only headache is waiting for capacity restrictions to increase well beyond the current 25%, which NYC and LA are currently capped.
Of the 5.8K theaters in U.S. and Canada, only 51% are currently open this weekend; this despite the fact that Disney is saying that 80% of the domestic marketplace is able to operate in regards to total grossing capacity. The New York DMA, including the recently reopened NYC five boroughs last weekend, is only 44% opened. But there are parts of Canada which are alive, i.e. Quebec at 73%, Saskatchewan at 55%, and Yukon, Northwest Territories, Nunavut at 100%. Toronto’s province, Ontario, is only opened at 20%.
While the B.O. is still in repair, Disney’s second weekend of Raya and the Last Dragon, which is also available on Disney+ for an extra $30 to subscribers, is leading this weekend with $1.5M Friday, $2.6M Saturday, and an expected $1.4M today for a total second weekend of $5.5M, -35% at 2,163 locations (+118) and a 10-day gross of $15.8M. Friday was off 42%. Nancy will have more, but Raya made $11.5M in its second overseas weekend for a combined $17M WW, taking its global total to $52.6M.
While we were very nervous about this new day and date theatrical Disney+ model, those with knowledge of Disney’s distribution maneuvers believe that it was merely an experiment. It is not apt to shake-up the entire future of theatrical releasing, and day and date streaming releases aren’t part of their long term plans for the Burbank, CA lot to make bank on their slate. Word is that Disney heard the message loud and clear from exhibitors like Cinemark, Harkins, and others who refused to play Raya, and clearly the movie is suffering from those chains absence in its box office equation. The biggest ouch here for Raya? Not having Canada’s Cineplex.
Meanwhile, the New York DMA continued to be the No. 1 box office market in the country in its second weekend of reopened cinemas in NYC. While Friday and Saturday combined last weekend earned $768.9K on its way to a $1.07M weekend, the last two days were down 33%, grossing $517.9K combined per stats we received from sources. We can largely say that’s due to the bevy of family fare in the marketplace, plus capacity restrictions. NYC, along with LA, are the theater average capitals for arthouse films. While major studios can contend with multiple showtimes with capped capacities, it’s a different story for independent films which truly rely on as many seats possible from a handful of shows. The overall weekend’s other top markets at the domestic B.O. were (in 2 days grosses) Salt Lake City ($422K), Dallas-Fort Worth ($375K), Phoenix ($309K), Chicago ($263k), Houston ($210K), San Francisco ($205K), Detroit ($194K), Minneapolis ($168K) and Seattle ($159K).
On the upside for NYC, we hear that the 70MM of Warner Bros’ Tenet at the AMC Imax Lincoln Square sold out every showtime, a good sign of life that moviegoing is returning. This Christopher Nolan-directed feature will open in around 13 Los Angeles locations next Friday including the AMC Citywalk at Universal Studios.
Warner Bros.’Tom & Jerry is estimated to have grossed $1M in its third Friday, -37%, $1.9M on Saturday for a 3-day WB reported of $4.1M, -38% at 2,454 theaters (-109), and a running total of $28.2M. The pic is currently on WarnerMedia’s subscriber streaming service HBO Max for another 15 days before theaters have it exclusive in the pic’s second-month run.
Lionsgate’s Chaos Walking in weekend 2 is ranking 3rd with a $647K Friday, $1M Saturday, and $601K today for a 3-day of $2.25M at 1,995 sites (+15), -40%, and a running total of $6.9M by Sunday.
Fourth is going to Focus Features’ Boogie in weekend 2 with $220K Friday, -50%, $320K Saturday for a 3-day of $730K, -39%, at 1,272 theaters (+20) for a 10-day running today of $2.27M.
And fifth goes to the family pandemic sleeper that won’t stop, Universal/Dreamworks Animation’s Croods: A New Age,which is seeing a Friday in weekend 16 of $120K, -41%, $240K on Saturday, a 3-day of $520K, -34%, at 1,440 theaters (-164) and a running total of $54.3M.
Sony Classics is following Searchlight’s lead on Nomadland and not reporting any grosses whatsoever for the opening weekend of The Father. It was the only notable release of the weekend, but not wide (which is determined as over 1K theaters). The Anthony Hopkins-Olivia Colman awards season contender was booked at 865 venues, which, according to industry estimates, made (revised) $97.5K Friday, $135K on Saturday (+38%) on its way to a 3-day debut of $312.5K in the No. 10 spot, for a per-theater of $361.
Sony, big and small, is shielding its box office figures from rival distributors in Comscore. However, big Sony has been very good about reporting numbers on Sunday AM. The Father, directed by Florian Zeller, is 99% certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes and armed with four Golden Globe noms, two SAG noms for Hopkins in lead and Colman in supporting, and six BAFTA noms. Hopefully, this doesn’t become the new norm with Oscar contenders, whereby distributors begin hiding box office results to protect the pic’s reputation during awards season.
Also breaking into the top 10 was Telugu’s Anudeep K.V.-directed and written comedy Jathi Ratnalu, which made an estimated $460K at 130 locations. The pic follows three prisoners who get released and plan for a happy life outside. Events take a new turn and bring in a twist. Can they find happiness and love now? I hear figures were OK in New York, Dallas, San Francisco, Detroit, Seattle, and Austin.
Speaking of not reporting box office numbers, two-time Golden Globe winner Nomadland from Searchlight is estimated to have grossed $117,5K in its sixth weekend at 400 sites (-220), which reps a 42% decline and a running total of $1.529M. Weekend breakdown for the Chloe Zhao directed movie is $33K Friday, $48,5K Saturday and $36K today.
Audience exits on Screen Engine/Comscore’s PostTrak were strong at 84% positive and a 54% recommend. Guys showed up at 52%, with 76% over 35, with the single largest demo being 55+ at 39%. That’s very good news, as some in distribution circles have been concerned about the older demo returning to the cinemas as Covid quells. Clearly, The Father shows they want to come back. Diversity breakdown was 78% Caucasian, 11% Hispanic, 5% Black, and 6% Asian.
Big Sony has the Stephen Basilone-directed Long Weekend at 814 sites, with an OK 71% fresh Rotten Tomatoes rating for this romantic comedy. Sony saw a Friday of $87K,$96K Saturday, $62K Sunday for a 3-day of $245K in the No. 11 spot. Bad exits here at 55% and a 32% definite recommend on PostTrak. Fifty-eight percent females bought tickets, 81% over 25, with the single largest demo being 45-54 year olds at 24%. Diversity demos were 67% Caucasian, 12% Hispanic, 13% Black and 8% Asian.
As we told you first, slowly today Cinemark is throwing open the doors to its Long Beach, CA site, followed by theater reopenings in Orange, Placer, Contra Costa and San Bernardino counties. The No. 3 chain will continue to eye reopenings in the near future in LA, and by March 15, 90% of its national circuit will be open. AMC is reopening its Burbank and Century City hubs Monday.
Some distributors speculate that we’ll be around 4.2K theaters by the time Disney’s Black Widow opens on May 7. As we always said, it’s going to be a gradual box office comeback, not an elevator lift. However, May brings a tremendous amount of hope, with Black Widow, Paramount’s A Quiet Place Part II, 20th’s Free Guy, Sony’s Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway and Disney’s Cruella. It’s that type of cluster of films which is required to lure moviegoers back, not one singular film, ala Tenet.
Weekend of March 12-14:
1.) Raya and the Last Dragon (Dis) 2,163 theaters (+118), 3-day: $5.5M (-35%), Total: $15.8M/Wk 2
2.) Tom & Jerry (WB) 2,454 theaters (-109), 3-day: $4.1M (-38%)/Total: $28.2M/Wk 3
3.) Chaos Walking(Lionsgate) 1,995 theaters (+15), 3-day: $2.25M (-40%)/Total: $6.9M/Wk 2
4.) Boogie(Focus) 1,272 theaters (+20), 3-day: $730K (-39%) /Total: $2.27M/Wk 2
5.) The Croods: A New Age (Uni) 1,440 theaters (-164), 3-day: $520K (-34%)/Total: $54.3M/Wk 16
6.) The Marksman (Open) 1,105 theaters (+55)/3-day: $465K (-7%)/Total: $13.6M/Wk 9
7.) Jaithi Ratnalu (Telugu) 130 theaters, 3-day: $460K/Wk 1
8.) The Little Things(WB) 1,303 theaters (-145), 3-day: $400K (-27%), Total: $14.2M/Wk 7
9.) Wonder Woman 1984 (WB) 1,139 theaters (-78)/3-day: $400K (-20%)/Total: $44.95M/Wk 12
10.) The Father (SPC) 865 theaters, 3-day: $312,5K /Wk 1
‘Avatar’ Is Once Again the All-Time Highest-Grossing Film!!
In the battle between top-grossing films worldwide, it looks like Avatar will officially be taking back the crown. Deadline reports that the James Cameron-directed sci-fi movie has recovered the number one spot over Avengers: Endgame, thanks to a recent re-release of the 2009 film in China this past Friday. This replay in theaters led to Avatar earning an estimated RMB 58 million ($8.9 million) through 5 p.m. local time on Saturday, more than enough than the $7.4 million it reportedly needed to overtake Endgame.
Currently, Avatar stands at an estimated global box office total of $2,798,579,794 against Endgame‘s $2,797,501,328. That gap is only expected to widen as the film remains in theaters, especially given that Avatar also leads the rest of the pack in ticket pre-sales up through Tuesday.
Marvel Studios took their loss in stride, acknowledging the news via an official tweet to Cameron, producer Jon Landau, and “ALL of Na’Vi Nation” alongside a quote that MCU fans will undoubtedly recognize from one of the franchise’s most beloved characters, Tony Stark. Considering Disney technically owns both films, however, there’s something amusingly self-congratulatory about the whole thing. Endgame directors Joe and Anthony Russo also acknowledged Avatar‘s box office win with a congratulatory tweet featuring new artwork for BossLogic.
Chances are if Endgame sees its own re-release in the years to come, the title of top-grossing movie could change hands again — but for now, it seems as though a lot of Avatar fans are whetting their appetite for those distant sequels by revisiting an old favorite. Presently, Disney plans to roll out a total of four more Avatar movies through Cameron, with Avatar 2 slated for release on December 16, 2022, followed by Avatar 3 on December 20, 2024. Additional sequels are planned for December 18, 2026 and December 22, 2028.
‘Raya and the Last Dragon’ Opens Soft with $8.6M at the BO!!
Sunday AM Write thru: Updated with NYC B.O. data While Disney’s animated release of Raya and the Last Dragon led the weekend box office with $8.6M at 2,045 theaters, the movie’s less than stellar result has left agitate in the bellies of many exhibition and studio executives. Read on.
Raya‘s start is 41% below last weekend’s $14.1M opening for Warner Bros.’ Tom & Jerry, and that movie was available for free on HBO Max, versus Disney’s $30 to Disney+ subscribers to watch the film. Raya‘s sour B.O. can largely be attributed to No. 3 exhibitor Cinemark, as well as Harkins, and Canada’s Cineplex blocking the title over Disney’s refusal to budge on terms give the title’s availability on Disney+. Raya‘s opening was also less than Universal/DreamWorks Animation’s Croods: A New Age’s $9.7M 3-day take during its Thanksgiving stretch. There’s also the notion that Croods: A New Age may have been more of a four-quadrant title than Raya, which leans mostly female.
Even though New York City reopened after 50 1/2 weeks of closure due to Covid, Raya isn’t the type of movie that would set the city on fire, say like a Marvel movie. The city’s cinemas have a 25% capacity auditorium restrictions and it’s restart saw all films in the five boroughs fueling the NY DMA (which includes Connecticut and New Jersey, Long Island and Westchester County theaters) to become the No. 1 B.O. market in the country over the weekend, with Friday and Saturday racking up $744K, +525% from a week ago for the region.
Still, Raya‘s release is striking plenty of fear for rival distributors and for exhibition. That’s particularly after Disney CEO Bob Chapek’s recent remarks Monday at a virtual investment conference hosted by Morgan Stanley in which he said things like, “The consumer is probably more impatient than they’ve ever been before,” and that given how the pandemic has brought a number of movies into the home, he’s not sure “there’s going back” to the way films were theatrically distributed prior. Even though Chapek said, “We certainly don’t want to do anything like cut the legs off a theatrical exhibition run,” many are concerned all of this is code for Disney moving forward with their theatrical day and date Disney+ model, and that Black Widow may emulate the same distribution path as Raya on May 7.
Keep in mind that even if Los Angeles is reopened by that date and auditorium capacity restrictions ease, Disney still needs the rest of the world to move ahead with Black Widow and make the $1 billion grossing film that everyone wants to see, that is, for the title to remain a pure theatrical release.
What’s scaring many about Raya is that Disney gets to keep 100% of whatever they’re making from the $30 Disney+ PVOD purchase of Raya. Disney doesn’t have to split that PVOD revenue with any exhibitor. It was explained to me that Raya‘s $30 price point on Disney+ is roughly equivalent to the rental that Disney would get from five or six movie tickets. Wow. While I’ve heard Warner Bros. has been a partner with exhibition, and has made a deal on terms for their same day HBO Max titles, Disney hasn’t budged.
I’m told that Disney’s terms with exhibition for Raya were a two-week minimum play with a scale that starts at a 50% rental if the film grosses ultimately between $0 and $37.5M, and then 51% if the domestic gross finals between $37.5M and $50M. While those terms aren’t stiff in a regular marketplace, we’re still in a pandemic, and people aren’t flocking to the movies in great numbers. Plus, movie theaters have to compete with the whole Disney+ PVOD of it all. How fair is that for movie theaters?
Let’s see what happens with Black Widow, and if Disney emulates a Raya theatrical-Disney+ distribution pattern for that title. I would like to give Chapek the benefit of the doubt. Back at December’s Disney Investor Day, he clearly emphasized that a robust Disney+ slate wouldn’t be possible without the power of the big screen and the franchises it has created. He’s also the guy who crushed the theatrical-DVD window, starting with Alice in Wonderland back in 2010; and the studio still walked away with a $1.025 billion global gross on that movie.
Disney didn’t burn down the house to keep warm back then, and I still don’t think they will now. Currently, the studio says that Black Widow is still going theatrical on May 7, and exhibition hasn’t heard otherwise. They’re just very suspicious, since there weren’t any trailers for the Marvel movie on Raya this past weekend, only those for Disney’s May 28 theatrical release Cruella.
From a sheer box office optics point of view, one can argue that Disney left money on the table with Raya by boxing out Cinemark and Canada’s Cineplex. Why would you do that with a film like Raya, that has an A CinemaScore, is 95% certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, and fantastic PostTrak audience exits of 92%, with an 78% recommend from the general crowd?
Only Disney knows the answer to that question. When it comes to the potential non-reporting of Disney+ Raya PVOD figures, no news is good news. For anything greater would throw the motion picture distribution model off its axis.
Raya opened to $2.5M on Friday and grew to $3.6M on Saturday. The Don Hall and Carlos Lopez Estrada-directed feature in PostTrak audience exits pulled in a largely 57% female crowd, with a third of those who purchased tickets being under 17 years old. The diversity breakdown was 37% Caucasian, 22% Black, 21% Asian and 20% Hispanic. Raya played best in Salt Lake City, I hear, but it had very good numbers for the pandemic in New York, Chicago, Dallas, Washington DC, Houston, Seattle, Phoenix; the list goes on. Disney’s exits show 57% females leading, 48% general audience, 27% parents and 25% kids. Forty-eight percent of those who purchased tickets were under 25.
The social media chatter for Raya was mixed-to-positive according to RelishMix. This despite the fact that Disney’s online marketing machine was in full operation here during the pandemic for the release. Says RelishMix: “Raya is benefiting from the social Mouse House expansion over the year with addition of the Disney+ 9.6M SMU, plugging in Disney Animation 25.1M, big Walt Disney’s 79.4M social media universe and a unique social page for Raya which is clocking 100K. Since the Super Bowl spot drop, the two key Disney big game spots are at 8.2M views, with 81M YouTube owned and earned views. There’s also 25 videos on Facebook with 14.8M views. The overall social media universe for the Disney animated feature counts 259.1 million which is at 86% of the norm for family animated. All things considered by pandemic stats, that’s good.”
Warner Bros’ second weekend of Tom & Jerry ranked second at 2,563 locations (+88), with an industry estimated Friday of $1.6M, -60% from a week ago, and 3-day of $6.6M, -53% for a ten-day running total of $22.95M.
There was chatter among rivals heading into the weekend that Tom & Jerry could possibly steal No. 1 away from Raya, given how that film didn’t have Cinemark. That wasn’t the case. What’s clear here is that the second weekend drop on these theatrical-HBO Max titles are steeper than expected. Remember, Wonder Woman 1984 dropped 67% in weekend 2, and that was over a New Year’s Weekend, typically a big time for moviegoing.
‘Chaos’…Truly And Why The Movie Tanked
With 50% of the nation’s 5,8K U.S. and Canada theaters still closed, there’s really no way for any movie to make great bank. But still, when you have a tentpole, why not delay it? Talk about a great package on paper: Star Wars‘ Daisy Ridley + Spider-Man‘s Tom Holland + filmmaker Doug Liman in YA property Chaos Walking. All together, what studio wouldn’t spend $100M on that, and invest in re-shoots? Chaos Walking lived up to the first half of its name with an awful opening of $3.8M at 1,980 theaters. Yikes, that number even had 217 Imax screens which made $300K and 400 premium large format screens at its disposal.
From what I hear, the movie is collateral damage in Lionsgate’s executive shuffle between former Motion Picture Group co-President Erik Feig, who left in February 2018, and returning Motion Picture Group Co-Chair Joe Drake. The first cut of the Liman film was quite rough, however, Feig is known to turn such frogs into princes. Essentially after his departure, the film had the stain of being part of the former regime and there wasn’t any heart left at the studio to get it into greater shape beyond the reshoots.
Lionsgate, of course, is known for its YA streak with Hunger Games and Divergent, however, what a wasted opportunity here to not get a feature like this in better form. The movie had a social media star in its marketing with Holland who pulls in close to 48M on his social media and co-star Nick Jonas who has a social media universe of 58.3M followers. Those two rep 75% of the pic’s overall 139.5M SMU.
With such paltry exits as a B CinemaScore, horrible reviews at 24% Rotten, and a PostTrak of 70% and a 43% recommend, it’s clear Lionsgate knew what they had and used the pandemic to dump the movie, rather than hold it for a healthy marketplace. Word is that the studio has already written off the pic’s loss. Chaos Walking‘s opening weekend lines up with box office sources’ projections. The Liman directed sci-fi feature pulled in 54% guys, 58% over 25 with the 18-34 demo repping 53% of ticket buyers. Diversity breakdown was 55% White, 21% Hispanic, 15% Black, and 9% Asian. Top markets were New York, Salt Lake City, Phoenix, Dallas, Chicago, Houston and Denver.
In fourth place is Focus Features’ Eddie Huang movie Boogie, which did $440K on Friday and $460K on Saturday at 1,252 locations for a $1.2M opening. Pic landed a C+ CinemaScore. Rotten Tomatoes score was low here at 44% and PostTrak OK, with 70% and 55% recommend. Guys bought tickets at 53% with over 60% between 18-34, and the 18-24 demo repping over 40%. Diversity mix was 44% Black, 20% Hispanic, 18% Asian and 18% Caucasian. Boogie was best on the East Coast with New York, Philly, Boston, Chicago, and Miami among its top markets.
Universal/DreamWorks Animation’s Croods: A New Age in weekend 15 scored at 1,604 locations earned a $200K Friday, -28% from a week ago, a $360K Saturday and a 3-day of $780K, -38% for a running total of $53.6M.
The overall weekend box office is estimated to gross $25.2M this past weekend, +14% from a week ago. That’s likely the combo of more theatrical wide releases and NYC back in business. However, it could have been more if Raya was a pure theatrical release.
The top 10 chart for the period of March 5-7:
1.) Raya and the Last Dragon (Dis) 2,045 theaters, 3-day: $8.6M/Wk 1
2.) Tom & Jerry (WB) 2,563 theaters (+88), 3-day: $6.6M (-53%)/Total: $22.95M/Wk 2
3.) Chaos Walking (Lionsgate) 1,980 theaters, 3-day: $3.8M/Wk 1
4.) Boogie (Focus) 1,252 theaters, 3-day: $1.2M/Wk 1
5.) The Croods: A New Age (Uni) 1,604 theaters (-308), 3-day: $780K (-38%)/Total: $53.6M/Wk 15
6.) The Little Things (WB) 1,448 theaters (-405), 3-day: $550K (-41%)/Total: $13.6M/Wk 6
7.) Wonder Woman 1984 (WB) 1,217 theaters (-317)/3-day: $511K (-27%)/Total: $44.4M/Wk 11
8.) The Marksman (Open) 1,050 theaters (-364)/3-day: $500K (-29%)/Total: $13M/Wk 8
9.) Judas and the Black Messiah (WB) 984 theaters (-366), 3-day: $282K (-42%)/Total: $4.4M/Wk 4
10.) Monster Hunter (Sony) 1,074 theaters (-164) 3-day: $260K (-43%)/Total $14.4M/Wk 12
11.) Nomadland (Searchlight) 600 theaters (-650), 3-day: $203K (-39)/Total $1.4M/Wk 5
‘Tom and Jerry’ Scores $13.7M, Second-Best Pandemic Opening at the BO!!
Updated Sunday AM after Saturday 7:51 AM post: Warner Bros.’ day and date release of Tom & Jerry in theaters and on HBO Max has scored the second-best opening during the pandemic since theaters reopened in August, with $13.7M at 2,475 theaters. Warner Bros. also holds the domestic box office opening record during the pandemic with its Christmas release of Wonder Woman 1984, which did $16.4M. Worldwide, Tom & Jerry did $38.8M. The pic, I hear, before marketing costs, carried a production budget of $79M.
That number also beats the 3-day of Universal/Dreamworks Animation’s Croods: New Age, which took in $9.7M over the 3-day weekend Thanksgiving weekend.
“This is evidence that people are willing to go back to the movies when there is something they want to see,” said Warner Bros. Domestic Distribution Boss Jeff Goldstein about this weekend’s success with Tom & Jerry.
The Tim Story-directed, Chris DeFaria-produced animation live action hybrid also posted an opening day of $4M on Friday. Warners observes there was a big number of private party theatrical auditorium rentals by families. Warners says Tom & Jerry has over 10k auditorium bookings to date.
Warners posted these numbers on Tom & Jerry in a current exhibition landscape where just under 50% of all 5.8K United States and Canadian theaters are open, with No. 2 chain Regal still closed. On the upside, New York City is set to open this coming Friday with 25% capacity limits in time for the second weekend of Tom & Jerry, Disney’s Raya and the Last Dragon (which will also be available on Disney+ for $30 a pop), and Lionsgate’s YA sci-fi feature Chaos Waking. More positive news this weekend: 11 out of 58 counties in California have reopened cinemas at 25% capacity, including Humboldt, Marin, San Mateo, Shasta, and Yolo. Trinity County has moved from the Orange Tier to the more restrictive Red Tier (25% capacity). Quebec also reopened on Friday.
No HBO Max viewership figures, numerical or anecdotal, were reported. Again, we’ve been saying this for the past couple of months, but Warners is really trying to make these movies work in those areas of the country where cinemas are open, despite the day-and-date strategy. I hear that the markets where HBO Max is strong isn’t impacting theatrical ticket sales in a negative way. But again, nothing drilled down is available. Most of the time, Netflix and Amazon movies don’t make any money in their limited theatrical run-up to being on those respective streamers (in regards to the latter, they began adopting this limited theatrical/streaming strategy with their Scott Z. Burns Sundance acquisition, The Report), and clearly that isn’t the case with HBO Max theatrical releases. Note, one of Warner Bros. weekend strategies, which worked wonders on driving The Meg to a $45.4M opening in August 2018, is pushing ticket sales online and on social media, literally zip code-by-zip code.
There was a fear when cinemas first reopened in some parts of the country that families would not venture out. But clearly, with vaccinations increasing, the fear about returning to the movies is slowly subsiding.
Moviegoing is only going to get better: Los Angeles is expected to reopen within the next month as well, and then we only have to wait on capacity restrictions easing.
Again, let’s not get ahead of ourselves: These box office numbers aren’t at pre-pandemic levels. But it shows that the financial tide at the domestic box office is turning.
Tom & Jerry, in early estimates, posted $3.2M in China on Sunday, for a running total of $12.3M. The movie was beat out by local titles Hi, Mom! and Detective Chinatown 3. Nancy will have more intel soon.
CinemaScore is great at A- and Cinemascore/Screen Engine’s PostTrak updated clocked in at a 79% positive rate and four stars. On CinemaScore, Story’s movie saw 70% of the audience under 35-years-old who scored the film an A, and 17% of the guys under 18 demo giving it an A+.
Tom & Jerry earned a good 60% recommend for the general audiences and a 66% recommend from kids. Kids under 12 also gave the cat and mouse feature 4 1/2 stars and a 90 positive rating. Female-male ratio was 51% to 49%, with 46% under 17 years old on PostTrak. Diversity turnout showed 35% Hispanic, 33% Caucasian, 21% African American and 11% Asian/Other.
The expectation is that if Universal can have a slow burn on Croods: A New Age, which hit $52.3M stateside this weekend and has been No. 1 five out of its 14 weekends running, then so can Tom & Jerry.
The top 10 locations this weekend for Tom & Jerry were: 1. Cinemark North Canton (Ohio), 2. Cinemark Pharr Town Center (Texas), 3. West-Wind Sacramento Drive-In, 4. AMC Garden State (Paramus, NJ), 5. Santikos Casa Blanca (San Antonio), 6. Cinemark Egyptian (Hanover, MD), 7. West-Wind Solano Twin Drive-In (Concord, CA), 8. Cinemark West Jordan (Salt Lake City), 9. West-Wind Glendale Drive-In (Phoenix), and 10. Cinergy Odessa (Texas).
The top 10 DMA markets for the animated feature was 1. Dallas, 2. Greater New York Metro area (including top theatres from nearby New Jersey, Long Island, etc.), 3. Chicago, 4. Houston, 5. Phoenix, 6. Salt Lake City, 7. Atlanta, 8. Detroit, 9. Denver, and 10. Boston.
In regards to the social media wattage on Tom & Jerry, RelishMix reports, “During this experimental phase of re-dating and day/dating, we’re seeing titles that run quick campaigns and streamline their marketing spends knowing the move to VOD and streaming will trigger quickly. But on Tom & Jerry, there’s an element that stands out. Tom & Jerry playlists on YouTube, which are perfect for parental- managed kids viewing, have viewing metrics that are usually only seen on Vevo music video channels.
The top Tom & Jerry compilation video has clocked 546M views for one video. And the top ten Tom & Jerry videos combined, most all on the Warner Bros Kids YouTube channels, have more than 2.1 billion views (yes, billion). Note, the WB Pictures YouTube channel with 15 years of marketing materials has 9.5M subscribers, and the Warner Bros Kids channel has 16.3M subscribers. The target for HBO Max is crystal clear.”
Tom & Jerry counted a social media footprint across YouTube views, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter just under 42M heading into the weekend. Over on TikTok, videos and posts around Tom & Jerry are “moderate and scattered,” per RelishMix, “without significant stand-outs”. Note, Warner Bros, used TikTok greatly with the HBO Max debut of Scoob back in May, a result that yielded 4 billion global views; that movie originally dated to go theatrical before Covid.
Star Chloe Grace Moretz counts 20.3M followers on Twitter and Instagram, clearly the pic’s social media star. She interviewed Tom the cat and posted the video on Instagram:
WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar also gave a shoutout to Tom & Jerry on his Twitter Friday:
Searchlight didn’t report numbers on Nomadland. But even with its availability on Hulu, industry estimates peg the Chloe Zhao-directed drama at $333K in its fourth weekend at 1,200 locations. A $3M final domestic B.O. is pegged as its likely endgame in the US and Canada. Again, it will be interesting to see what impact NYC arthouses have on that movie, including Warner Bros.’ awards season contender Judas and the Black Messiah, as well as Focus’ contenders, Land and Promising Young Woman.
The top 10 chart:
1.) Tom & Jerry (WB) 2,475 theaters, 3-day: $13.7M/Wk 1
2.) The Croods: A New Age (Uni) 1,912 theaters (-1), 3-day: $1.2M (-30%)/Total: $52.3M/Wk 14
3.) The Little Things (WB) 1,853 theaters (-208), 3-day: $925K (-23%)/Total: $12.9M/Wk 5
4.) Wonder Woman 1984 (WB) 1,534 theaters (-110)/3-day: $710K (-12%)/Total: $43.6M/Wk 10
5.) The Marksman (Open) 1,414 theaters (-229)/3-day: $700K (-10%)/Total: $12.3M/Wk 7
6.) Judas and the Black Messiah (WB) 1,350 theaters (-556), 3-day: $500K (-45%)/Total: $4.1M/Wk 3
7.) Monster Hunter (Sony) 1,238 theaters (-73) 3-day: $460K (-12%)/Total $14M/Wk 11
8.) Land (Focus) 1,349 theaters (+98)/3-day: $355K (-29%)/Wk 3
9.) Nomadland (Searchlight) 1,200 theaters (+25), 3-day: $333K (-33)/Total $1.1M/Wk 4
10.) News of the World (Uni) 992 theaters (-169), 3-day: $200K (-17%)/Total: $11.96M/Wk 10
‘Croods 2’ Stays on #1 as it Crosses $50M at the Domestic BO!!
Yeah, yeah, yeah, Universal/DreamWorks Animation’s Croods: A New Age led the box office for its fifth weekend out of 13 running, and crossed $50M, inching closer to becoming the top-grossing movie of the pandemic, and potentially upsetting Warner Bros.’ Tenet ($57.9M total domestic).
However, in a business where the transparency of numbers has always been public, for better or for worse, Disney’s Searchlight Pictures isn’t reporting box office numbers or location counts. That includes on the Chloe Zhao-directed, Frances McDormand four Golden Globe-nominated feature Nomadland,which went wide this weekend in its third outing at 1,175 locations.
The pic has already been in release on Imax and PLF screens over the last two weeks, where, according to sources, it’s made $170K. This past weekend, Nomadland grossed an estimated $503K, which is on par to the opening weekend of Searchlight’s The Personal History of David Copperfield back in late August, when cinemas reopened, which debuted to $475.8K on 1,360 sites. Add it up, the total running B.O. of Nomadland is around $673K.
Interesting, for a movie about a woman who decides to chuck society and live out in the vast desert on her own, so does Searchlight toss away the commercialism of box office. Look, the numbers for Nomadland are what they are during the pandemic, and with 53% of US/Canada’s exhibition closed down, no one is posting great numbers.
In order for Searchlight to generate the typical uber-arthouse opening weekend they’d get from four theaters in Los Angeles and New York City on a movie like Nomadland, they have to distribute the pic widely, playing the title in many smaller markets; ones which are typically primed to pop with a platform release preceding it in notable DMAs.
Nomadland would have ranked 7th in the top 10 this weekend. That seems prestigious enough to highlight for right now.
Searchlight’s decision not to report figures on Nomadland speaks to an interesting trend that’s going on with contenders at the box office during Covid. This will not be an awards season whereby box office determines the prestige or tarnish of a nominee. Arguably, all of these movies, most of them from streamers who aren’t reporting box office — Netflix’s Mank, The Trial of the Chicago 7, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Amazon’s One Night in Miami, Focus Features’ Promising Young Woman, Warner Bros.’ Judas and the Black Messiah, and Nomadland will be judged on their pure aesthetic by voters. Not on commercial prospects. Remember how the poor box office of Universal’s Steve Jobs stifled that pic’s awards season prospects? That won’t be happening this season in any way, shape, or form. I mean, these streamers aren’t even reporting viewership numbers! And you’d think that would be something to tout during awards season, that millions watched your movie. Nope.
“Conventional business practice has gone out the window for the industry during the pandemic. The traditional Oscar box office bump we see every year (for obvious reasons) is just simply not going to happen,” Comscore Senior Media Analyst Paul Dergarabedian tells Deadline.
“Usually, it’s a choice of love or money when it comes Oscar. Do you want Oscar love, or do you want a revenue boost? Well, this year, it’s the love that will be the more important currency, since movies that get Oscar buzz aren’t going to realize a big bump in their box office fortunes as many have in the past,” Dergarabedian adds.
Searchlight also didn’t make Nomadland‘s PostTrak audience exit report available. Critics love this slow burn movie at 95% certified fresh. RelishMix noticed a mixed- to-leaning-positive attitude for the pic on social media from McDormand and van-living fans.
Nomadland, as one would expect with an art-house title, has a very small social media universe of 16.5M across YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Searchlight has dropped 15 videos for the movie in the past six months on YouTube, a combo of trailers and cast/filmmaker Q&As, with a featurette about the pic’s drive-in premiere at the Rose Bowl earlier in the fall.
“While the cast is entirely non-social, the drill-down on YouTube shows materials are being exceptionally well-posted, reposted, and reviewed — not only on movie fan channels, but by super-fan-reviewers. Video counts for the majority of clips in the last two weeks are light, but review posting is very strong at over 350 videos in the last 2 weeks,” says RelishMix.
On the flip side of not reporting B.O., there’s no room for a victory lap in the current marketplace, and it would be ridiculous to tout any kind of box office bump from awards. What is Focus going to say about Promising Young Woman? That the four-time Golden Globe nominee’s total B.O. (now at $5.1M) has jumped 16% since its Golden Globe nomination? That’s nothing to scream about, nor isn’t any indicator that there’s a public fever surrounding the movie.
The only small hope that resides for what film distributors bill as “crossing over” with an awards contender at the B.O. –when its box office jumps from arthouses to big chain theaters– this could possibly occur post-Oscars on April 25. Movies like Promising Young Woman, Nomadland, etc. will likely still be in release, and if more theaters, especially Regal, are open by then, and New York City, San Francisco, and Los Angeles multiplexes reopen, then the industry might be able to tout the afterglow of an Oscar win.
I hear that Searchlight didn’t want to report numbers on Nomadland because there isn’t any context in the current pandemic marketplace to make sense of the figures; especially with the pic’s simultaneous release on Hulu this weekend. This despite the fact that Warner Bros. is putting up numbers like $3.3M at the B.O. on Judas and the Black Messiah,while that movie is playing simultaneously on its streaming service HBO Max. Searchlight, like Warners, wanted to help theaters by giving them access to the film, and as we can see, there is a population out there who chooses to go to the cinemas and not subscribe to streaming (Don’t get me wrong — I do not subscribe to this mad man theory of ‘Let the audience choose to see the movie where they want to see it.’ That’s a recipe for motion picture industry collapse and financial disaster).
However, what’s upsetting with Searchlight’s decision not to report box office: It’s that more and more notable distributors are opting to go the way of Netflix and Amazon in shielding their figures. Hopefully, this doesn’t continue when we reopen; that successes are only touted and the bad news covered up. That would be a shame. All of this ‘hiding of box office’ sets up a precedent for bad habits to continue in a healthy financial atmosphere. The accessibility of box office by all distributors and exhibition helps the industry overall in making decisions.
Imagine for a minute, if we didn’t have access to the daily box office of Universal’s Get Out? That movie broke ground for socially conscious genre titles, grossing an amazing $176M+ stateside. Knowing what exhibitor tracks and markets that movie played and how it did informs the industry, and provides confidence to other studio executives to take chances on what would be deemed a risky project on paper.
Box office information is power.
The weekend box office for Feb. 19-21:
1.) The Croods: A New Age (Uni) 1,913 theaters (+23), 3-day: $1.7M (-18%)/Total: $50.8M/Wk 13
2.) The Little Things (WB) 2,061 theaters (-29), 3-day: $1.2M (-39%)/Total: $11.7M/Wk 4
3.) Judas and the Black Messiah (WB) 1,906 theaters (+18), 3-day: $905K (-55%)/Total: $3.3M/Wk 2
4.) Wonder Woman 1984 (WB) 1,644 theaters (-37)/3-day: $805K (-27%)/Total: $42.7M/Wk 9
5.) The Marksman (Open) 1,643 theaters (-182)/3-day: $775K (-36%)/Total: $11.4M/Wk 6
6.) Monster Hunter (Sony) 1,311 theaters (-55) 3-day: $510K (-25%)/Total $13.4M/Wk 10
7.) Nomadland(Searchlight) 1,175 theaters (+1075), 3-day: $503K (+619%)/Total $673K/Wk 3
8.) Land(Focus) 1,251 theaters (+20)/3-day: $500K (-44%)/Wk 2
9.) News of the World(Uni) 1,161 theaters (-82), 3-day: $245K (-35%)/Total: $11.7M/Wk 9
10.) The War with Grandpa (101) 653 theaters (+128), 3-day: $224K (+17%)/Total: $20.3M/Wk 20
‘Croods 2’ Beats ‘Judas and the Black Messiah’ for #1 Position at the BO!!
A year after Covid-19 raged in China, the country’s box office is all sewn up and back together, with Detective Chinatown 3 besting Avengers: Endgame‘s US/Canada all-time opening with a $394M weekend.
But here in the states, we’re still trying to get the pandemic under control, and winter storms which impacted 100 million Americans, according to the National Weather Service, didn’t help over a four-day Valentine’s Day/Presidents’ Day weekend, which is historically a lucrative time.
This weekend, the wide entries were essentially last-minute awards contenders before the Oscar qualification period closes at the end of the month: Warner Bros.’ Judas and the Black Messiah, about the killing of Chicago Black Panther leader Fred Hampton, and Focus Features’ Robin Wright feature-directorial debut drama, Land, which respectively made $2.4M and $1.07M over four days.
But neither of them was No. 1. Rather, it was Universal/Dreamworks Animation’s Thanksgiving release, Croods: A New Age which popped up to No. 1 in its 12th weekend with $2.66M–a No. 1 resurgence which is unheard-of in recent box office history for any wide entry (you have to go back to the 1980s, when lengthy theatrical tentpoles release would pop back up to the top of the charts).
To date, Croods: A New Age has taken in $48.9M, and it’s even on PVOD, which again underscores how hungry people are to get back to cinemas, especially families. They’ll watch a movie that’s 12 weekends old. Over 3-days, Croods 2 is +21% from last weekend with $2.04M. The pic was booked at 1,890 theaters. Croods 2 global cume is $150M and growing.
Last year, Paramount delivered the first big movie under new CEO Jim Gianopulos, Sonic the Hedgehog, which debuted to $70M over 4-days (and finaled at $148.9M domestic, $319.7M). But the biggest Presidents Day’ opener was 2018’s Disney/Marvel movie Black Panther, which debuted to $242.1M (and finaled stateside with $700M, $1.3 billion WW).
Judas and the Black Messiah tied with Warner Bros/HBO Max’s other wide release, The Little Things, for the No. 2 spot. In weekend 3, the Denzel Washington-Rami Malek-Jared Leto thriller also earned $2.4M over 4 days (running total $10.6M). Also, the studio’s Wonder Woman 1984, in weekend 8, grossed $1.3M over 4-days, with a running total of $41.8M in the No. 5 spot.
Again, what remains impressive here with Warners, even with its day and date controversial theatrical-HBO Max titles, is that their movies are making millions of dollars, even weeks later (granted, WW1984 is no longer on the streamer, it’s just in theaters). This is hardly the case for Netflix titles, which solely devote their marketing campaigns to pushing eyeballs on their service. For Warners, the theatrical campaign doubles as their streaming campaign. The m.o. for WarnerMedia is to grow the revenue pie on these titles, which is especially crucial at a time when both box office capitals, New York and Los Angeles, remain closed because of Covid. When we re-emerge from Covid, it will certainly be a different theatrical window environment for all major studio movies.
Judas is a big city movie, and even if there wasn’t any major snowstorms this weekend during the pandemic, the title would have still been challenged. That said, its key cities of play, Atlanta and Chicago, were severely impacted by snow despite both being the top-grossing markets for the pic. There was also a historic snowstorm in Texas, which has remained a box office-grossing territory during Covid-19.
Judas has supporting actor Golden Globe and SAG noms for Daniel Kaluuya (who plays Hampton), as well as a Globe nom for the Original Song “Fight for You” from H.E.R. The pic is also distinguished in having an all-African American producing team. Great audience scores here for the Shaka King-directed action thriller, with an overall ‘A’ CinemaScore, with the under 25 segment (31%) giving the movie an A+. Pic skewed female at 53% in CinemaScore. Comscore/Screen Engine PostTrak came in at a very good 87% and 4 1/2 stars, and a 74% recommend. Critics gave Judas a 97% certified fresh score. In PostTrak exits, there was a 50/50 male-female split, and 75% over 25 and 43% over 35 years old. African Americans led ticket buyers at 61% followed by Caucasians (21%), Hispanic (12%), and Asian/other (6%).
The top ten locations for Judas this past weekend were: 1. AMC Southlake Pavilion Atlanta, 2. AMC Phipps Plaza Atlanta, 3. Paramount Drive-In (Los Angeles market), 4. iPic River Oaks District Houston, 5. Ford Drive-In Detroit, 6. AMC River East Chicago, 7. AMC Hoffman Alexandria (Washington D.C. market), 8. Cinemark Valley View Cleveland, 9. West-Wind Capitol Drive-In (San Jose, CA), and 10. West-Wind Sacramento Drive-In. And the pic’s top ten DMA markets were 1. Atlanta, 2. Chicago, 3. The Greater New York Metro area (including locations in NJ, Long Island, Upstate NY, and CT), 4. Houston, 5. Dallas, 6. Detroit, 7. Philadelphia, 8. Phoenix, 9. Greater Washington D.C. (including theatres in Virginia and Maryland), and 10. Miami.
Social media analytics corp RelishMix counts a total social media universe across Facebook, Twitter, YouTube views and Instagram for Judas of 67.9M, which includes 1.8M from the HBO Max social media universe. “Most recent activity and momentum for the movie’s pages are fueled by videos and recent announcement materials from three Critics’ Choice nominations, two Golden Globe nominations plus the AFI, Sundance premiere, The National Board of Review and more. Soundtrack videos are strategically well cross-promoting predominantly on Facebook and Instagram, fed by YouTube materials and the H.E.R. performance on Colbert and the just dropped Nipsey Hussle & Jay-Z video — plus The Roots with last moment mentions on Fallon and on social — which is an ideal tactic,” reports RelishMix.
Warner Bros. dropped this music video, “What It Feels Like,” on Feb. 9 from Nipsey Hustle and Jay-Z. On the heels of its inspired from the film release, the Roc Nation mogul announced recently that he donated his entire fee from the song, with half going to Nipsey’s estate, while the other half was given to Hampton House, the childhood home of Fred Hampton:
RelishMix also reports, “The timing and tone of Judas is resonating in conversation around Black History Month, #BLM, the new administration and efforts to rewrite classroom curriculums. Clearly, fans understand the day/date offering for HBO Max and journey into the Black Panther’s legacy: ‘I never in my life thought I would see a Fred Hampton movie made. This brought a tear to my eye, I can’t wait to see this,’ wrote one social media follower. Awards-wise and with more nominations assumed, convo touches on comps, ‘This looks like a worthy competitor of Trial of the Chicago 7 for movie of the year,’ observes another.”
Land, which follows a bereaved woman seeking out a new life off-the-grid in Wyoming, grossed $940K over 3-days. The movie is booked at 1,231 theatres in 196 DMAs North America with a CinemaScore of B+. Critics weren’t over the moon about it at 69% fresh. PostTrak exits showed 73% in the top two boxes, but a low 42% recommend. Females showed up at 56%, with 85% over 25, 62% over 35, and 39% over 45 years old. Diversity breakdown was 74% Caucasian, 13% Hispanic, 5% African American and 8% Asian/other.
“We are thrilled to see audiences returning to theaters as they open more and more across the country. As the top specialty opening of the weekend, audiences have been inspired by Robin’s directorial film debut in Land. Her ability to tackle both sides of the lens in one film shows what a limitless talent she is creatively,” said Focus president of distribution Lisa Bunnell in a statement.
Top theaters over the last two days for Land were Santee Twin DI, San Diego; Sunset DI, Santa Barbara; Arrowhead, Phoenix; Cinemark 24, SLC; Cinemark University, SLC; Cinemark Majestic, Boise; Megaplex, Salt Lake City; Cinemark 12, Salt Lake City; Superstition Springs, Phoenix and the Pineview in Salt Lake City.
Top markets for Land were Salt Lake City, Phoenix, Dallas, Houston, New York, Denver, Atlanta, Minneapolis, Chicago and Orlando.
Focus and Robin Wright’s Land social media universe of 25.1M has clocked 9.1M Facebook views and YouTube views “of a nicely boosted trailer,” per RelishMix, with 2.7M, as well as five additional spots and music videos, with “strong promotional engagement from Focus social channel” at 2M SMU, with social chatter/enthusiasm for her theatrical directorial debut.
“Wright’s social media strategy works well by integrating her film projects, including WW84, her clothing line, Pour Les Femmes, and social causes — with most activity on her Instagram with 634K fans and 1.3M total, including her Facebook and Twitter,” adds RelishMix.
Indian title from Telegu, Uppena, ranks 11th with 100 runs in 49 markets and best plays from Dallas, Detroit, Atlanta, Phoenix, Chicago, and Seattle, with an industry estimate of $205K over 4-days. Movie from filmmaker Buchi Babu Sana follows the romantic love journey of two youngsters whose lives are affected when events take a dangerous turn.
A big shout-out here to 101 Studios’ Robert De Niro family movie, The War With Grandpa, which finally crossed $20M in its 19th weekend.
Bleecker Street had the 19th Century lesbian romance The World to Come, starring Vanessa Kirby, Katherine Waterston, Casey Affleck and Christopher Abbott, at 278 venues in 81 markets. The pic grossed $48.9K over 4 days and $42.5K over 3-days. The movie, which made its world premiere at Venice, will also hit PVOD on March 2.
The top ten movies for Presidents Day weekend 2021, Feb. 12-15:
1.) Croods: A New Age (Uni) 1,890 theaters (-45), 3-day: $2.04M (+21%)/4-day: $2.66M/Total: $48.9M/Wk 12
2.) Judas and The Black Messiah (WB) 1,888 theaters, 3-day: $2M/4-day: $2.4M/Wk 1
2.) The Little Things (WB) 2,090 theaters (-116), 3-day: $2M (-5%)/4-day: $2.4M/Total: $10.6M/Wk 3
4.)The Marksman (Open) 1,825 theaters (-193)/3-day: $1.1M (+12%)/4-day: $1.325M/Total: $10.6M/Wk 5
5.) Wonder Woman 1984 (WB) 1,681 theaters (-137)/3-day: $1.1M (+22%)/4-day: $1.3M/Total: $41.8M/Wk 8
6.) Land(Focus) 1,231 theaters/3-day: $940K/4-day: $1.07M/Wk 1
7.) Monster Hunter (Sony) 1,366 theaters (-101) 3-day: $650K (+11%)/4-day: $750K/Total $12.7M/Wk 9
8.) News of the World(Uni) 1,243 theaters (-294), 3-day: $385K (-2%)/4-day: $443K/Total: $11.4M/Wk 8
9.) The War With Grandpa (101) 525 theaters (-5), 3-day: $180K (+15%)/4-day: $215K/Total: $20M/Wk 19
10.) Promising Young Woman(Focus) 733 theaters (-190), 3-day: $183K (-18%)/4-day: $210K/Total $4.9M/Wk 8
11.) Uppena (Telegu) 80 theaters, 3-day: $189K/4-day: $205K/Wk 1
‘The Little Things’ Retains #1 Spot at the Super Bowl Weekend BO!!
On one of the most difficult box office dates on the calendar, Super Bowl weekend, and also during a pandemic, Warner Bros.’ second weekend of its Denzel Washington-Rami Malek-Jared Leto thriller The Little Things made $2.1M at 2,206 theaters, -55% from its first weekend. That puts the pic’s running domestic total through ten days at $7.8M. As would be typical during any Super Bowl Sunday, don’t count on a lot of business today, especially for an R-rated movie aimed at older men.
Little Things’ second weekend drop is a bit more steep than the second weekend of Open Road’s Liam Neeson movies The Honest Thief (-43%) and The Marksman (-35%); in regards to the latter, that movie was coming off of MLK weekend. However, on a dollar basis, Little Things’ second weekend is in line with what those movies did in their second go-rounds, Marksman at $2M and Honest Thief at $2.35M. Sources believe Little Things‘ stateside endgame is around $14M, which is just under Honest Thief‘s $16M. Worldwide, Little Things took in $3.5M from 23 territories this past weekend, for an overall global running total of $13M.
Despite the controversy that WarnerMedia has stirred up with its day-and-date theatrical HBO Max release strategy during the pandemic, what’s interesting is that its movies are making some sort of money at the box office, particularly when you compare them to the Netflix movies’ receiving a theatrical play. While rival major studios remain ticked off at Warner Bros for hiding their weekend numbers in Comscore, Netflix doesn’t report their B.O. figures at all. More specifically, box office sources told me that Malcolm & Marie made hardly any money last weekend; the movie dropped on Friday on the streamer. People simply don’t go out of their way in droves to see Netflix movies in theaters (the streamer has a current pic-by-pic agreement with No. 3 chain Cinemark).
So, what’s going on here with Warner/HBO Max movies making some cash? A couple of things: Netflix has substantially more subscribers than HBO Max, which means the general viewing public is already predestined to watch Netflix movies at home. Second, it’s quite possible there’s substantially more moviegoers than HBO Max subs in the current box office markets of the South and Midwest which are open.
Nonetheless, this ‘Let the consumer decide where they want to see the movie’ philosophy is a surefire means to cannibalize a pic’s business and devalue film product and franchises when the marketplace opens up again. Having the consumer decide where they want to see a movie during a pandemic, especially with B.O. capitals NYC and LA closed, and moviegoers still overall weary about Covid-19, is currently a whole other business philosophy. Movies aren’t the same as live sporting events or concerts. They’re visual media assets. WarnerMedia would be wise to do what’s best for their asset rather than have consumers determine their business parameters.
WarnerMedia and AT&T execs: Just closely observe what’s gone on with Netflix movies in the marketplace. If this theatrical window formula was such a failure, then how the hell did it become the revenue-generating machine for the major studios over the past few decades? HBO Max plans 12 studio-budgeted releases for its service annually. But that was always sorta part of the plan going back to its announcement of the Warner Max label. Distribution sources say this whole day-and-date theatrical streaming release strategy ends when the world opens back up.
While Super Bowl weekend often gets a bad rap for being slow at the box office, looking back at last year, the industry was swimming in cash: The third weekend of Bad Boys for Life led the box office with $17.6M (total cume at that point in time was $148M, on its way to a final $206.3M) with Orion/UAR’s Gretel & Hansel ($6.1M) and Paramount/Eon’s The Rhythm Section ($2.7M) opening for an overall 3-day of $84.1M (+12% over Super Bowl weekend 2019). Again, money exhibition and distribution would love to have again, even if Rhythm Section didn’t work.
In regards to the state of exhibition, Seattle reopened some theaters this past weekend. However, no hint as to when New York City or major markets in California, like Los Angeles County –which will be shuttered a year as of March– are apt to come back to life in the near future. A positive sign? Sea World in San Diego reopened its animal exhibits (as opposed to its rides) as of Saturday morning because of the state’s lifting restrictions on zoos. The theme park had been closed for the past two months. In regards to New York City, distribution sources tell us that their estimate is that the boroughs will open before Manhattan does (whenever that happens), which was always the thinking going back to last year.
Other handicaps at the box office this weekend, despite only 45% of all cinemas being open (repping close to 70% of the box office) include severe Arctic weather in the Midwest and a big snowstorm in the Northeast. Little Things‘ top ten venues were 1. Paramount Drive-In Los Angeles, 2. West Wind Sacramento Drive-In, 3. West Wind Solano Twin Drive-In (Concord, CA), 4. West Wind Capitol Drive-In (San Jose, CA), 5. Harkins Estrella Falls Phoenix, 6. Santikos Palladium San Antonio, 7. Coyote Drive-In Ft. Worth, 8. Ford Drive-In (Dearborn, MI), 9. iPic River Oaks District Houston, 10. Cinemark Town Center (Pharr, TX). And the pic’s top ten markets were 1. Dallas, 2. Phoenix, 3. Houston, 4. Greater New York Metro area (NJ, CT, and Long Island/Upstate NY theaters), 5. Chicago, 6. Detroit, 7. Atlanta, 8. Denver, 9. Salt Lake City, 10. Orlando. Warners reports that PLF and Large format ticket sales remain prime drivers, even for a film like Little Things, during the pandemic.
Next weekend Warner Bros.’ has its awards season release Judas and the Black Messiah, which is the first wide African American-targeted entry during the pandemic, with Focus Features’ also debuting Robin Wright’s feature directorial debut Land.
Top 10 chart for the weekend of Feb. 5-7, 2021:
1.) The Little Things (WB) 2,206 theaters (+35), 3-day: $2.1M (-55%)/Total: $7.8M/Wk 2
2.) Croods: A New Age (Uni) 1,935 theaters (+34), 3-day: $1.76M (-3%)/Total: $46M/Wk 11
3.)The Marksman (Open) 2,018 theaters (even)/3-day: $1M (-20%)/Total: $9.1M/Wk 4
4.) Wonder Woman 1984 (WB) 1,818 theaters (-46)/$905K (-30%)/Total: $40.3M/Wk 7
5.) Monster Hunter (Sony) 1,467 theaters (-48) 3-day: $585K (-20%)/Total $11.9M/Wk 8
6.) News of the World(Uni) 1,537 theaters (-137), 3-day: $400K (-26%)/Total: $10.9M/Wk 7
7.) Promising Young Woman (Focus) 923 theaters (-133), 3-day: $220K (-17%)/ Total: $4.7M/Wk 7
8.) Fatale (Lionsgate) 864 theaters (-158), 3-day: $170K (-22%)/Total: $5.8M/Wk 8
9.) The War With Grandpa (101) 530 theaters (+5), 3-day: $167K (+18%)/Total: $19.8M/Wk 18
10.) Lord of the Rings: Fellowship… (re) (NL/WB) 150 theaters, 3-day: $166K/Total $315.6M/Wk 1 of re-issue
Denzel Washington Thriller ‘The Little Things’ Takes #1 Spot with $4.8M Debut at the BO!!
If you’re looking for any exciting financial action to come out of the movie business, it’s not at the box office, but rather the stock exchange, especially in last week’s boom for No. 1 exhibitor AMC.
The continued closure of movie theaters during Covid-19, with only 45% of all 5.8K US and Canada movie theaters opened, yielded Warner Bros. Denzel Washington–Rami Malek thriller The Little Things this past weekend, which only opened to $4.8M at 2,171 theaters, the best for an R-rated movie and older guy fare during the pandemic. Worldwide, The Little Things made $7.6M, with money from 20 markets, including Russia, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, and United Arab Emirates.
However, even though there’s not a lot of people coming through movie theaters, including No. 1 chain AMC, that exhibitor capped off a wild week, seeing its market cap mushroom to $4.5 billion and its closing stock price up close to 300% week-over-week on Friday at $13.26. That’s after a square-off between short-selling investors and Reddit investor group buyers. The stock market was so great for AMC, its notable stakeholder Silver Lake cashed out on Friday, converting $600M in the exhibitor’s debt into equity, and then selling those shares for a handsome profit.
Little Things’ 3-day weekend reps a high point in a low-ceiling marketplace since August for older guy fare, besting Solstice Studios’ Unhinged ($4M opening), Focus Features’ Let Him Go ($4M), Open Road’s Liam Neeson movies Honest Thief and The Marksman (respectively $4.1M and $3.1M), and Universal’s News of the World ($2.25M). Warners notches its Little Things notable opening in sync with the pic’s simultaneous release on HBO Max. We’ll assess that whole experiment again in a bit as new intelligence was released this past week.
As far as the exhibition landscape goes, as newly elected US President Joe Biden seeks to get the whole nation inoculated by summer, Illinois and Chicago reopened theaters this past weekend. Boston is reopening with 25% capacity limits starting Monday. The city’s theaters haven’t had their lights on since well before mid-December. AMC Boston Common and South Dorchester will reopen on Feb. 5. Seattle will reopen some cinemas next weekend as well. According to sources, to date, close to 2K theaters have not provided a reopening date. In regards to the B.O. capital states, New York has just over 20% of all movie theaters open, while California has just above 5%.
We still have a long way to go, and with the studios delaying product, even though they’re selling a bulk upfront, I gotta think there remains a belief in the tried-and-true revenue generating theatrical window system — even if physical media is retiring, and streaming is booming. In regards to this whole controversial 2021 theatrical-simultaneous HBO Max release strategy, AT&T Boss John Stankey was on the defense during a Q4 call claiming –and it’s hard to argue this point with him– that “the data points have come in and are consistent with the assumptions,” meaning Warners was correct about how the marketplace was going to suck wind for a while, as more studios abandoned the first half of the year (that said, we await with bated breath for moviegoing to return).
There were other highlights coming away from the 31-day play of Wonder Woman 1984 on fledgling streaming service HBO Max and in theaters: Q4 HBO Max subscribers doubled to 17.4M, and Nielsen reported that viewing of the Patty Jenkins-directed, Gal Gadot DC movie was a monster over the year-end holiday during the Dec. 21-27 corridor, with 2.25 billion minutes of streaming, squashing Disney+’s Soul by 35%.
However, with all these horns blaring, it remains to be seen whether AT&T is making any money off this WarnerMedia experiment. It might be a good form of marketing for the streaming service in the short term, and a means to spike subs during the pandemic by tapping inventory that’s lying around. But where’s the money? Especially on a picture-by-picture basis?
WW1984 has only grossed $152M WW off a $200M production cost, not including P&A spend. The sequel ranked third in its 6th weekend with $1.3M and a running domestic take of $39.2M. I continue to beat the drum that WarnerMedia should have segued product on a picture-by-picture basis to HBO Max in response to the pandemic, versus this knee-jerk full slate move.
As such stats came out this week, AT&T Q4 expenses including roughly $780M “from the impairment of production and other content inventory at WarnerMedia,” with $520M “resulting from the continued shutdown of theaters during the pandemic and the hybrid distribution model for our 2021 film slate,” the telecom reported.
How did Little Things do on HBO Max? We don’t know specifically, number-wise, with Andy Forssell, EVP and General Manager of HBO Max boasting, “We are absolutely thrilled by how Warner Bros.’ The Little Things is performing on HBO Max — it immediately shot up to number one, where it currently remains. Following the breakthrough success of Wonder Woman 1984, The Little Things shows the insatiable appetite our audience has for high quality, feature films.”
On CinemaScore, audiences weren’t wowed by Little Things, giving it a B-, which is lower for Washington in his action thriller genre, compared to the A received by Washington’s Equalizer 2 and A- of Equalizer, B+ from 2 Guns, and A- from Safe House. Some will try to defend that CinemaScore isn’t working with the same sized audience as they are during a normal marketplace. But an audience score is an audience score, and Comscore/Screen Engine’s PostTrak shows a lower 67% positive and a 40% recommend. Those who bought tickets where theaters were open were 55% males, close to 80% over 25, with close to 60% over 35 years old. Caucasians repped 47% of ticket buyers, African Americans 29%, Hispanic 17%, and 7% Asian/other. Critics on Rotten Tomatoes weren’t amused with Little Things at 48% Rotten, but they weren’t amused with Washington’s Equalizer pics either, part 1 and 2 getting a low 59% and 51% Rotten.
In regard to Little Things’ marketing, RelishMix noticed that Warner Bros. “used a short runway, Covid-centric-tactic, given date and day/day release pivots, tapping the studio’s social channels with a SMU Social Media Universe of 53.8M SMU cross-promoted with HBO Max social channel with the emerging 1.8M SMU — and bypassed the tradition ramp-up of new dedicated pages for the film. The Warner Bros. Facebook with 34.3M connected fans, and although only one trailer, posting is robust over the last 3 weeks, with moderate engagement for Facebook views just over 500k. But the well-boosted materials on YouTube have just crossed 20M views for owned and earned posts and reposts, which is strong. Jared Leto’s super social channels (33.1M SMU) for he and his 30 Seconds To Mars band feeds are lifting the SMU Social Media Universe to 109.5M, which is good for the drama/thriller genre.”
Despite WarnerMedia’s newfound love affair with streaming, RelishMix points out, “On the WBPictures Instagram, they want to send a clear message of where you can see the film on the big screen.”
Top markets for Little Things were 1. Dallas-Ft. Worth, 2. Phoenix, 3. Houston, 4. Greater New York Metro area (NJ, CT, and Long Island/Upstate NY theaters), 5. Chicago, 6. Atlanta, 7. Denver, 8. Salt Lake City, 9. Tampa, 10. Orlando.
The pic’s 10 locations this past weekend were: 1. Harkins Estrella Falls Phoenix, 2. West Wind Sacramento Drive-In, 3. AMC Disney Springs Orlando, 4. Santikos Casa Blanca San Antonio, 5. iPic River Oaks District Houston, 6. Santikos Palladium San Antonio, 7. West Wind Solano Twin Drive-In (Concord, CA), 8. West Wind Capitol Drive-In (San Jose, CA), 9. Cinemark North Canton (Ohio), 10. AMC Thoroughbred Nashville.
Meanwhile, some clapping here for Universal, which continues to see its DreamWorks Animation Croods: A New Age continually stay afloat at the weekend box office, even though it’s on PVOD. It just shows that families in those parts of the nation where theaters are open prefer to head to the cinemas for a diversion. The feature is +2% in weekend 10 in the No. 2 spot with $1.84M, and a running domestic $43.9M, with foreign shooting past $100M for a $144.4M WW take. On the recent DEG year-end report, Universal estimated the 18 films it has put out on PVOD in the past 10 months have brought in more than $500 million in revenue in a $30 billion home entertainment 2020, +21% from 2019.
Comscore shows as of this AM, the weekend box office earning $13.1M, +52% from last weekend, but greatly off 84% from the same weekend in 2020. The first month of 2021 has only grossed $70.5M at the domestic box office, off 92% from the $906.6M that 2020 racked up pre-pandemic. Yikes.
Top 10 chart:
1.) The Little Things (WB) 2,171 theaters, 3-day: $4.8M/Wk 1
2.) Croods: A New Age (Uni) 1,901 theaters (+25), 3-day: $1.84M (+2%)/Total: $43.9M/Wk 10
3.) Wonder Woman 1984 (WB) 1,864 theaters (-149)/$1.3M (-17%)/Total: $39.2M/Wk 6
4.)The Marksman (Open) 2,018 theaters (even)/3-day: $1.25M (-38%)/Total: $7.8M/Wk 3
5.) Monster Hunter (Sony) 1,515 theaters (-146) 3-day: $740K (-10%)/Total $11.1M/Wk 7
6.) News of the World(Uni) 1,674 theaters (-200), 3-day: $540K (-31%)/Total: $10.3M/Wk 6
7.) Promising Young Woman (Focus) 1,056 theaters (-180), 3-day: $260K (-34%)/ Total: $4.3M/Wk 6
8.) Fatale (Lionsgate) 1,022 theaters (-110), 3-day: $220K (-45%)/Total: $5.59M/Wk 7
9.) The War With Grandpa (101) 525 theaters (+18), 3-day: $147K (-8%)/Total: $19.6M/Wk 17
10.) Our Friend (Gravitas) 818 theaters (+275)/3-day: $135K (-44%)/Total: $446k/Wk 2
As Major Studios Shift Releases ‘The Marksman’ Stays #1 at the Pandemic BO!!
It didn’t take long for history to repeat itself.
We’re not just talking about the second-weekend No. 1 hold for a Liam Neeson Open Road release during the pandemic — specifically The Marksman, which earned $2.03M, -35% for a running total of $6.09M. But also how the major studios ran for the hills again, just like they did after the release of Tenet, pushing their Q1 titles after seeing the blue Christmas results of Wonder Woman 1984 and News of the World.
As we told you, this was to be expected in Q1, given how the virus is lingering despite the deployment of the vaccines. There’s an interesting article in this morning’s New York Times about how many more infections we’re bound to get, even with the vaccines, should the country decide to relax restrictions. Already with the vaccines, scientists at Columbia University estimate that we’re on track for 158M total infections if the current restrictions we have in the U.S. stay in place until late July. This could mean we go through yet another cycle of release-date changes and push theatrical further into the fall. We’ll see.
Right now, about 56.5% of the 5,900 theaters in the U.S. and Canada are open, with Illinois — including Chicago — expected to reopen next weekend with 40%-50% auditorium capacity in time for the Warner Bros/HBO Max release of The Little Things.
After Universal, Sony, Disney, MGM made major changes for Q1, with the latter’s highly coveted theatrical James Bond film No Time to Die heading to the second weekend of October, the hopeful eye on the prize to bring theatrical back is Disney/Marvel’s Black Widow on May 7. But will Disney give in to a theatrical/premium Disney+ release for the MCU movie or move it to Disney+, given how devoted the studio is to the streaming platform in the wake of The Mandalorian and WandaVision‘s release? Or can it be patient and foster the feature’s potential billion-global theatrical gross? And will we be OK by then? Unfortunately not, according to this NY Times article. Warner Bros. execs aren’t looking like crazy people with their 2021 HBO Max-theatrical release strategy — at least for the near future of the pandemic; let’s see what happens when the world reopens). WarnerMedia did consult with epidemiologists or other experts before making its big swing with the 2021 day-and-date theatrical HBO Max release plan. Those consultants kept telling the studio that it would take a while for vaccines to take effect and further delays would be imminent.
Note it’s not like the other major studios have lost faith in theatrical in the long run: They’ve delayed releases, and they want exhibition reopened again at full capacity. They want the revenue stream back. But this whole short-term plan of selling off fare or sending it to PVOD might continue for a few more months.
As the smoke clears from last week’s moves — which occurred after Joe Biden was sworn in president — we’ve outlined further down how the first half of the year looks for the theatrical calendar. Universal and Warners will deliver the bulk of the product, with many weekends open in between titles, creating opportunities for indie distributors to step in.
Neeson’s previous pandemic October theatrical release from Open Road, Honest Thief, was a bit ahead of The Marksman in Weekend 2, earning $2.3M with a $7.4M running total. But that’s because the movie had access to more screens at the time — 2,502, versus the 2,018 bookings that Marksman has here. Top markets in Weekend 2 were Dallas-Fort Worth, Phoenix, Salt Lake City and Houston. The pic’s top gross in the country came from the Cinemark Pharr Town Center in Pharr, TX, near the Mexican border.
In the meantime, Universal’s The Croods: A New Age remains in theaters in 1,876 theaters, +21, in weekend No. 9 since its Thanksgiving release making $1.82M, -9%, while also being available on PVOD for a running total of $41.8M. Again, a bittersweet result, as we told you last week: You’d never see these types of weekend numbers and holds for a DreamWorks Animation title of late in Weekend 9 (How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World grossed $817K in Weekend 9 at 822 sites). However, at the same these movies aren’t making the major money that they typically do in a normal marketplace (Hidden World posted a first weekend of $55M domestic — far more than the entire stateside run here of Croods 2).
Warner Bros’ Wonder Woman 1984‘s fifth weekend made $1.6M, for a running total of $37.7M domestic, $148M WW. Today is the last day the movie will be on HBO Max for a while, with exhibition getting an additional 31-day exclusive run of the picture before it goes into a normal windowing home entertainment ancillary period.
There was a new release, but not a wide one, in the top 10 this weekend: Gravitas Ventures’ Dakota Johnson-Casey Affleck-Jason Segel drama Our Friend, which was a day-and-date theatrical PVOD release, made $250K at 543 sites for a $460 average. I hear that close to half of the pic’s bookings were under $100 on Friday, which unfortunately is not good and simply indicative of the current marketplace. Whether the movie breaks even depends on its PVOD dollars as theatrical isn’t an indicator here of the pic’s financial end game.
The Gabriela Cowperthwaite-directed movie made its global premiere at 2019 TIFF and follows a couple who, after receiving life-altering news, find unexpected support from their best friend, who puts his own life on hold and moves into their family home, bringing an impact much greater and more profound than anyone could have imagined.
Exhibition relations firm PaperAirplane was part of the marketing plan for Our Friend in getting movie theaters to target moviegoers with custom assets and messaging toward the pic’s 25-54 demographic. There was a network ad spot push on channels such as Bravo, DIY, E!, Lifetime, Paramount Network, CMT, Hulu, Roku and Vizio among others. Talent made appearances on Good Morning America, The Late Late Show with James Corden, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Kimmel Live! and Entertainment Tonight.
Top 10 chart:
1.)The Marksman (Open) 2,018 theaters (+43)/3-day: $2.03M (-35%)/Total: $6.09M/Wk 2
2.) Croods: A New Age (Uni) 1,876 theaters (+21), 3-day: $1.82M (-9%)/Total: $41.8M/Wk 9
3.) Wonder Woman 1984 (WB) 2,013 theaters (-87)/$1.6M (-38%)/Total: $37.7M/Wk 5
4.) Monster Hunter (Sony) 1,661 theaters (-33) 3-day: $820K (-25%)/Total $10.1M/Wk 6
5.) News of the World(Uni) 1,874 theaters (-79), 3-day: $810 (-19%)/Total: $9.6M/Wk 5
6.) Fatale (Lionsgate) 1,130 theaters (-45), 3-day: $415K (-12%)/Total: $5.2M/Wk 6
7.) Promising Young Woman (Focus) 1,236 theaters (-97), 3-day: $400K (-10%)/ Total: $3.97M/Wk 5
8.) Our Friend (Gravitas) 543 theaters/3-day: $250K/Wk 1
9.) The War With Grandpa (101) 507 theaters (+85), 3-day: $164K (+1%)/Total: $19.4M/Wk 16
10.) Pinocchio(RSA) 602 screens (-58) 3-day $122,6K (-22%)/Total: $1.5M/Wk 5
Liam Neeson Pic ‘The Marksman’ Takes Top Spot with $3.7M at the BO!!
In a continuing pandemic marketplace such as this, with 57% of all movie theaters still closed, whether you’re a distributor or an exhibitor, you have to be thankful for any amount of money you can get your hands on. Open Road has released the second Liam Neeson movie during the pandemic, The Marksman, over the MLK 4-day holiday, and it’s opening to $3.7M. It’s the third Neeson movie to hit No. 1 for Open Road after October’s Honest Thief and their first wide entry ever, The Grey.
Open Road Boss Tom Ortenberg tells Deadline this morning, “It’s a universal truth that even in a depressed market lies opportunity. And there are plenty of people who want to go to the movies. Not everyone wants to go theaters, and cinemas aren’t open everywhere. But there are a lot of people who are looking for broad-based entertainment, just like they always have. Like Honest Thief, The Marksman has filled a void in the marketplace. It’s mid-sized distributors like us that have been able to fill the void and serve the need. There is a great thirst for product among consumers, and the opportunity is there. Competition is light, and we can market and distribute movies for less money; our advertising dollars go far.”
Case in point: when Open Road placed an ad for Marksman during last Monday’s College Football Championship game, they weren’t up against seven other titles during the run of the show.
Note that Open Road had less theaters at its disposal this time around than they did back in mid- October, when they opened Honest Thief: 1,975 theaters to 2,245. Marksman‘s 3-day is $3.2M to Honest Thief‘s $4.1M. Honest Thief ran for 11 weeks and posted a domestic B.O. of $14.1M, which is something of the average take for most wide releases during these depressed times, with a global count of $28.3M.
Marksman was fully financed by Raven Capital Management. Raven acquired Open Road Films in 2018.
Marksman, directed by Robert Lorenz, is but one of two wide releases this month, as Covid continues to keep a majority of movie theaters closed, especially in box office capitals New York and Los Angeles. The second release is Warner Bros. day and date theatrical-HBO Max release of cop thriller Little Things, starring Denzel Washington and Rami Malek on Jan. 29. There are more titles in February, likely banking on the start of schools’ winter breaks. It’s these types of meat-and-potatoes, older male-skewing action movies that typically play the early winter anyway.
Open Road is also faring quite well in the homes with its release of not just Neeson’s Honest Thief, but their recent documentary The Dissident from filmmaker Bryan Fogel. The doc follows Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s disappearance in Istanbul, his fiancée, and dissidents around the world who piece together the clues to a murder and expose of a global cover-up. It’s the first documentary in some time to completely be released on PVOD (most debut on streaming or HBO), and last weekend the title ranked No. 3 on iTunes, which is impressive for a doc. The movie is 96% certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, and even caught the attention of Hillary Clinton.
For those who think streaming has won the filmed entertainment battle, simply look over to last year at this time during pre-pandemic times, when MLK weekend rang up $205.3M at the domestic box office, up well over 25% from the 4-day holiday prior thanks to Sony’s Bad Boys for Life, which minted a 4-day of $73M, the second-best debut ever over MLK after American Sniper‘s $107.2M. It revived the Will Smith-Martin Lawrence cop franchise like a phoenix. With incoming U.S. President Joe Biden looking to deliver 100M Covid-19 vaccines in his first 100 days, exhibition analyst Eric Wold of B. Riley recently exclaimed this past week “a return to normalcy” for the big screen theatrical business.
Universal is reporting their DreamWorks Animation sequel, Croods: A New Age, in second place over 4-days, with $2.9M in its 8th weekend. Pic is booked at 1,855 theaters, +37 from a week ago. Even though the pic’s domestic gross has been shackled by the pandemic with a current domestic take of $40.1M to date, what’s eye-raising is that during a normal marketplace, when grosses are frontloaded, a film like this would never do this amount of money in its 8th weekend. Over 3-days, Croods 2 made $2M. In its 8th weekend, Uni/DWA’s How to Train Your Dragon: A Hidden World made $746K at 822 theaters — and it wasn’t on PVOD at that point in time. For a Thanksgiving release like Croods 2 to do this type of business now, even while being available on PVOD, it just shows that people want to get back to the movies. Worldwide Croods 2 is at $134.8M.
Warner Bros.’ Wonder Woman 1984, according to sources, is ranking third over 4-days with $2.7M. Warners reported $2.6M for the 3-day, down just 13% due to holiday traffic. The Patty Jenkins-directed DC sequel, which is on HBO Max until Jan. 24, stands at $35.8M domestic through EOD. Worldwide is at $141.7M. Last weekend, sources told us that some movie theaters closed down in the U.S., and thus wouldn’t pay their bill to Warners for WW1984. Warners tells us that they’re collecting their rentals just fine, thank you very much, with a quick turnaround from their exhibition partners. Note, if an exhibitor is open in this current environment and they skip payment on WW1984, it will be quite difficult for them to book any other upcoming Warners title; that is, if they’re keeping the lights on. Some smaller exhibitors (non-chain) tell us that their terms for the HBO Max-theatrical releases are good at roughly 55% in their favor to Warner’s 45%. Endgame here stateside for WW1984 is in the mid $40Ms.
While critics have long been tired of Neeson’s action pics, with Marksman earning a 33% on Rotten Tomatoes to Honest Thief‘s 40%, Comscore/Screen Engine audience exits gave it a 73% positive with a 46% recommend, I hear. Guys turned up at 57%, with those over 25 at 72%. The over 45 crowed repped 33% of overall attendees. Diversity breakdown was 50% Caucasian, 23% Hispanic, 17% African American and 10% Asian/other.
Marksman’s best market was the South, which has been the key money-grossing sector of the country for movies. Top markets, I hear, were Dallas, Washington DC, Houston, Phoenix, Tampa, Denver, Miami, Cleveland, Orlando, Indianapolis, Nashville, Salt Lake City, San Antonio and Las Vegas.
Top ten theaters for Marksman was the Cinemark Pharr in Phar, TX; Paramount Drive-in in Los Angeles, Estrella Falls 16 in Goodyear, AZ; AMC Dine-In Disney Springs 24 in Orlando; Solano Twin Drive-in in Concord, CA; Sacramento 6 Drive-In; Century 16 in Corpus Christi, TX; Cinemark 24 in Salt Lake City; AMC Tysons Corner in DC; and Cinemark Majestic in Boise, ID.
As I’ve been told, Open Road’s campaign for Marksman targeted Neeson’s reliable core audience of guys over 35 males (who turned out at 51%). The storyline and key cast (Juan Pablo Raba, who plays the villain in the film and has a huge following) allowed Open Road to target Hispanic audiences, especially in Texas, where theaters have remained open and performing well. The movie’s No. 1 gross on Friday was a theater near the border in Harlingen, TX, which is probably the first time that location has ranked No. 1 at the domestic box office. Neeson appeared on programs such as Despierta America on Univision and Un Nuevo Dia on Telemundo. He also appeared on James Corden and Today.
In paid media, Open Road bought national TV, including spots in the College Football Championship Game, NFC Wild Card Game, and multiple spots in the WWE Friday Night SmackDown to fuel mass awareness. In digital, the distrib geotargeted markets where theatres were open. Open Road was also able to re-target the fanbase they cultivated on Honest Thief back in October, which has grown during the title’s release on home entertainment. Open Road teamed with Mike Polydoros’ Paper Airplane on numerous marketing programs directly with exhibitors, focusing on theaters where Honest Thief overindexed, as well as regions where Hispanic audiences were dominant.
Per social media analytics firm RelishMix, Marksman had a similar social media presence to Honest Thief‘s back in October, with 8M views for eight posted videos, mostly boosted on Facebook. The YouTube trailer and a TV spot that were dropped in the last five weeks were hitting 7M views with a moderate viral ratio of 9:1.
RelishMix noticed on the social media chatter for Marksman heading into the weekend: “The majority of the conversation leans positive for fans of Neeson who have clear expectations for the theme with continuous added references to other action-thriller tiles, No Country For Old Men + Logan + Rambo: Last Blood = The Marksman. And while the tone of threads are positive leaning, discussion also wonders if the film will be on HBO Max, Netflix, Apple+ or other confusion on day/day or what the window will be.”
Top 10 chart:
1.) The Marksman (Open) 1,975 theaters/3-day: $3.2M/4-day: $3.7M/Wk 1
2.) Croods: A New Age (Uni) 1,855 theaters (+37), 3-day: $2M (+13%)/4-day: $2.9M/Total: $40.1M/Wk 8
3.) Wonder Woman 1984 (WB) 2,201 theaters (-17)/$2.6M (-13%)/4-day: $2.7M est./Total: $35.9M/Wk 4
4.) News of the World (Uni) 1,953 theaters (-33), 3-day: $1.05M (-15%)/4-day: $1.27M/Total: $8.7M/Wk 4
5.) Monster Hunter (Sony) 1,694 theaters (-71), 3-day: $920K (-16%)4-day: $1.09M/Total: $9.2M/Wk 5
6.) Fatale (Lionsgate) 1,175 theaters (-47), 3-day: $530K (-19%)/4-day: $630K/ Total: $4.8M/Wk 5
7.) Promising Young Woman (Focus) 1,333 theaters (-115), 3-day: $430K (-24%)/4-day: $518K/ Total: $3.4M/Wk 4
8.) Master (Tamil & Telugu) 130 theaters/3-day: $206K/4-day: $251K/Wk 1
9.) Emperor’s New Groove (Dis) 744 theaters, 3-day: $169k/4-day: $239K/Total: $89.6M/Wk 1,049
10.) The War With Grandpa (101) 422 theaters (+37), 3-day: $155K (even) 4-day: $200K/Total: $19.2M/Wk 15
‘Wonder Woman 1984’ Struggles Continues with $3M at the BO!!
Even if there wasn’t a pandemic, odds are this would still be a hard weekend at the domestic box office, what with all the distraction that came out of our nation’s Capitol this past week. Television news seems to be filled with enough suspense and cliffhangers with the Capitol Insurrection, versus the big screen, as we all cling to our TV screens at home to witness how President Donald J. Trump will leave office, expectedly with chaos in tow.
Warner Bros.’ Wonder Woman 1984 in its third weekend continued to emulate the legs of a horror movie, down -45% with $3M at 2,218 theaters and a running B.O. of $32.6M. It’s quite clear this movie isn’t going to make the money that Tenet did stateside at $58M and we knew that all along as 60% of all movie theaters are shutdown, including No. 2 chain Regal (Pennsylvania and Colorado reopened this past weekend I heard). Adding further insult to injury: I hear that after a dismal holiday period some movie theaters have decided to close down, and are skipping paying Warners on WW1984; that’s how bad things are. The studio, which normally doesn’t need to fight for its rental dollars, will need to do so now.
The Patty Jenkins directed sequel is in its 17th day of release, which means it has another two weeks before HBO Max takes the title off its streaming service and the movie plays for another ~30 days in movie theaters. WarnerMedia hasn’t blared any numerical trumpets as to how Wonder Woman 1984 did on HBO Max in regards to viewers and subscribers, and I understand if there’s anything positive to report, we’ll hear about on the next AT&T earnings call. Still, if there was something awesome to shout out to the world about WW1984‘s success on HBO Max…we would have already heard about it. Social media analytics corp RelishMix says in regards to the sequel’s social media chatter “Incremental mentions about HBOMax and connectivity issues are on Twitter and tapering — and Covid mentions are sprinkled across YouTube, Twitter and on Facebook.”
Worldwide, WW1984 stands at $131.4M. Tenet grossed $362.9M, and it’s impossible for WW1984 to even mirror those results. Most theatres in Europe remain closed or are operating with significant capacity restrictions.
Meanwhile, those movies which had a longer theatrical window than WW1984, held in as best they could during a pandemic with Universal/DreamWorks Animation’s Croods: A New Age in 2nd with $1.8M (-19%) in weekend 7 and a cume of $36.8M, Uni’s News of the World with $1.24M in weekend 3, -27% and a total of $7.1M, Sony/Screen Gems’ Monster Hunter in weekend 4 with $1.1M, -13%, with $7.8M and Lionsgate’s Fatale in weekend 4 in 5th place with around $670K and a total of $4M.
I hear that Theatre Owners haven’t even been talking with government officials about the reopening of Los Angeles and New York City in regards to movie theaters because, of course, we’re in an even worst state with record cases of Covid in those two areas. Anecdotally, where I live 30 minutes north of Los Angeles, local ordinances have put a cap limit on the number of people inside a bank’s branch (only 21 people for Chase), with several branches closed around Valencia. Still, there is hypocrisy that prevails in regards to what’s open and what’s closed: restaurants, which like theaters are fighting for their economic lives, forced to only provide pick-up or takeout while Kohls, Walmart, Target, and stores in the mall are wide open. I still don’t get how exhibition allows itself to be punished by local governments when they’re providing appropriate filtering systems and spaced out seating in an auditorium. While Airlines cry that less people are flying, the point is that they’re flying, with no reported Covid cases, and the government isn’t closing down airports: In the last two days, TSA screened 1.48M people who flew, a 61% drop versus a year ago. Since Dec. 24 through yesterday, TSA screened 16.1M followers, down 57%. But wouldn’t it be great to get those 16M people to the movie theater?
In regards to WW1984, the pic’s top ten locations this past weekend were: 1. Sacramento Drive In, 2. Solano Twin Drive In Greater San Francisco, 3. Paramount Drive-In Los Angeles, 4. Cinemark Carefree Circle Colorado Springs, 5. Capitol Drive In Greater San Francisco, 6. Glendale Drive In Phoenix, 7. AMC Disney Springs Orlando, 8. Cinemark North Canton Cleveland, 9. Cinemark Majestic Cinemas Boise, and 10. Cinemark Tinseltown Colorado Springs. And the top ten DMA were 1. Salt Lake City, 2. Dallas, 3. Phoenix, 4. Houston, 5. Greater New York Metro area (NJ, CT, and Upstate NY theaters), 6. Denver, 7. Atlanta, 8. Orlando, 9. Tampa, and 10. Miami.
The weekend box office for Jan. 8-10, the second weekend of 2021 are as follows:
1.) Wonder Woman 1984 (WB) 2,218 theaters (+67)/$3M (-45%)/Total: $32.6M/Wk 3
2.) Croods: A New Age (Uni) 1,818 theaters (+67), 3-day: $1.8M (-19%), Total: $36.8M/Wk 7
3.) News of the World (Uni) 1,986 theaters (+58), 3-day: $1.24M (-27%)/Total: $7.1M/Wk 3
4.) Monster Hunter (Sony) 1,765 theaters (-42), 3-day: $1.1M (-13%)/Total: $7.8M/Wk 4
5.) Fatale (Lionsgate) 1,222 theaters (+39), 3-day: $670K (-4%), Total: $4M/Wk 4
6.) Promising Young Woman (Focus) 1,448 theaters (+115), 3-day: $560K (-19%)/ Total: $2.7M/Wk 3
7.) Pinocchio (RSA) 821 theaters (-3), 3-day: $208,7k (-30%)/Total:$1.1M/Wk 3
8.) The War With Grandpa (101) 385 theaters (+80), 3-day: $147K (+17%), Total: $19M/Wk 14
9.) Come Play (Foc/Amb) 151 theaters (+41), 3-day: $95K (+6%)/Total: $9.6M/Wk 11
10.) Half Brothers (Foc) 167 theaters (+33), 3-day: $60K (+48%)/Total: $2.1M/Wk 6
11.) Alien (20th/Dis) 420 theaters (-85), 3-day $60K (-9%)/Total $82M/Wk 2,173
‘Wonder Woman 1984’ Slips in Second Weekend, With $120M at the Worldwide BO!!
The first weekend of the year, which at its apex in 2016 grossed $219.5M off the heat of Disney’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens, registered an estimated $13M for the entire weekend. That’s in a continued decimated exhibition marketplace that’s praying to reopen in 2021.
Warner Bros.’ theatrical release of Wonder Woman 1984, which is also available on HBO Max for the next 21 days, grossed $5.5M, -67%, for a running domestic B.O. of $28.5M. From that kind of drop, it sounds like whatever moviegoing public exists out there finally got the message that they can see the movie at a cheaper price for the family at home on HBO Max. Either that or given the B+ CinemaScore on WW1984, word of mouth has stalled the sequel at the box office, and folks have figured out that it’s more economical for them to watch it at home. Warners has yet to provide hard numerical details on the spike in subscribers or viewership for WW1984 on HBO Max.
Despite the awful New Year’s weekend, many pics respecting some sort of theatrical window saw weekend-to-weekend gains in their grosses from the previous Christmas 3-day, i.e. Monster Hunter, Fatale, Croods 2, Pinocchio, War With Grandpa, Come Play, or decent holds, i.e. Promising Young Woman and News of the World. Also, showing that some moviegoing habits haven’t changed even with fewer people going, Saturday’s daily box office business for most of the top 10 films was, on average, +11% over Friday.
While Warner is banging the drum on the global cume, now at $118.5M, which, let’s face it, would be significantly higher had the studio waited this tentpole out to a healthier time in the marketplace, box office analysts believe the Patty Jenkins movie will fizzle at around $40M in a domestic marketplace where 60% of all 5.5K theaters are closed. Warner’s Tenet, with the No. 2 chain Regal open during the majority of that pic’s run, halted at $57.9M. A reminder that with fewer box office DMAs open, the majors are also holding on their usual tentpole marketing spend.
Meanwhile, read the @HBOMaxHelp Twitter feed and you’ll see that streaming glitches continue for the DC sequel, specifically the Roku device. Here’s but one public example from the weekend:
While it’s already been reported that critics soured greatly on the movie, dropping their Rotten Tomatoes score from 89% certified fresh on Dec. 16 to a current 60% fresh, social media analyst RelishMix noticed that the DC sequel’s recent social media chatter ranked a 4.5 out of 10 in its conversation meter.
“Convo before release was exceptional in tracking for the next chapter. But since opening, chatter is wildly mixed, with questions about the exception powers of ‘The Dreamstone’, the re-birth of Chris Pine’s character, to Kristen Wiig’s transformation. Review spots drill deeper about the pace of the storyline, as well as Wonder Woman moments throughout the film. Fans are hoping for a 2021 return to the big screen with popcorn, ASAP,” reports RelishMix.
That said, the social media push for the pic, particularly by star Gal Gadot, has been wonderful. “The social channels for WW84 across Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram, with the movie official pages (3.9M), the studio (53.8M) and DC channels (8.2M) — the Social Media Universe of Gal Gadot (60.5M) is the strongest driver of engagement since opening. Specifically, activity on the Gadot Instagram over the week has clocked over 8M likes.”
Since Christmas day, the hottest Gadot post took fans behind-the-scenes, which they clearly savor, with 2.7M likes and over 10K comments on image:
Over on TikTok, Gal Gadot and her marketing/glam-squad haven’t missed a beat with continuous posting to extend to another 1.2M fans.
Other stats on WW1984 for the weekend include Canada grossing an additional $6.2M. The exhibition situation is so bad in the Great White North, the sequel has a simultaneous PVOD release.
The top 10 locations for the weekend were: 1. Cinemark West Jordan SLC, 2. AMC Disney Springs Orlando, 3. Paramount Drive-In Los Angeles, 4. District Megaplex South Jordan SLC, 5. Santikos Palladium San Antonio, 6. Cinemark Pharr Town Center, 7. Cinemark Majestic Meridian Boise, 8. Estrella Falls Phoenix, 9. Cinemark University Mall Orem SLC, and 10. Victoria Ward Honolulu
And top 10 DMA markets were 1. Salt Lake City, 2. Dallas, 3. Phoenix, 5. Greater New York Metro area (NJ, CT, and Upstate NY theaters), 4. Houston, 6. Orlando, 7. Atlanta, 8. Tampa, 9. Miami, and 10. Las Vegas.
Elsewhere, Universal and Focus, as has been practice, filled out four spots in the top 10, eight in the top 20. Their DreamWorks Animation’s Croods: A New Age hasn’t stopped on the big screen since its Thanksgiving debut given its current availability on PVOD with a sixth weekend take of $2.18M in 2nd, +25% for a running total of $34.5M. The sequel’s global take is at $115M.
Uni western News of the World filed 3rd with $1.69M in weekend 2, -25%, for a 10-day total of $5.4M. Focus Features’ Promising Young Women slots 6th with $660K, -8%, for a 10-day of $1.9M.
Promising Young Woman‘s top theaters and markets for the first weekend of 2021 are similar to last week’s results. New York moves up to become the pic’s second biggest market. “The New York market share without the New York City theatres has not been placing this high overall during the pandemic so you can see that the film is really making an impact,” reads the Focus morning release. “Austin and Washington DC are also have an unusually high market share in this pandemic time period on Promising Young Woman.” Overall, top markets were Dallas (6.4% of the B.O.), NY (5.4%), Phoenix (5.1%), Houston (4.4%), Atlanta (2.8%), Austin (2.8%), Salt Lake City (2.7%), Orlando (2.5%), Miami (2.3%) and Washington DC (2.1%).
We’re building out the top 10 chart for Jan. 1-3, 2021:
1.) Wonder Woman 1984 (WB) 2,151 theaters/$5.5M (-67%)/Total: $28.5M/Wk 2
2.) Croods: A New Age (Uni) 1,751 theaters (+25), 3-day: $2.18M(+25%), Total: $34.5M/Wk 6
3.) News of the World (Uni) 1,928 theaters (+28), 3-day: $1.69M (-25%)/Total: $5.4M/Wk 2
4.) Monster Hunter (Sony) 1,807 theaters (-10), 3-day: $1.25M (+11%)/Total: $6.3M/Wk 3
5.) Fatale (Lionsgate) 1,183 theaters (+15), 3-day: $700K (+6%), Total: $3.09M/Wk 3
6.) Promising Young Woman (Focus) 1,333 theaters (+23), 3-day: $660K (-8%)/ Total: $1.9M/Wk 2
7.) Pinocchio (RSA) 795 theaters (+9), 3-day: $284k (+4%)/Total:$772,8K/Wk 2
8.) The War With Grandpa (101) 305 theaters (-210), 3-day: $114K (+27%), Total: $18.7M/Wk 13
9.) Alien (20th) 505 theaters, 3-day $75K/Total: $81.9M/Wk 505
10.) Come Play (Foc/Amb) 110 theaters (-13), 3-day: $55K (+28%)/Total: $9.56M/Wk