UPDATED, Friday, 8:08 AM: Sony Pictures’ just reported late night Thursday numbers for its Kevin James-starring comedy Paul Blart Mall Cop 2 which segwayed in with a preview gross of $450K. The comedy bowed in a 7 PM preview on roughly 2,619 screens. It’s been difficult to find a comp for this one, but general thinking among people smarter than I is to look at Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. That one grossed $5.3M on Friday in October of last year on its way to an $18.3M three-day opening weekend. Three Stooges is another comp which opened to $17M in April of 2012. Paul Blart Mall Cop 2 will be in roughly 3,633 locales today. That late night number is not bad and is heading to a high-teen to $20M+ three-day opening.
PREVIOUSLY, Friday, 7:08 AM: Universal/Blumhouse latest horror film Unfriended grossed $656K which previewed at 8 PM last night before releasing wide in 2,739 theaters today. It previewed in 2,019 theaters. Both face stiff competition of Furious 7‘s third weekend of play as the gearhead mash-up is racing to the $1B mark globally and took in approximately $2.9M last night on 4,022 screens. It is still playing on IMAX. So while we wait for Sony to weigh in on Mall Cop, let’s look at Unfriended.
For comps, Oculus another R-rated film from scared in $475,000 in late night previews that started at 10 p.m. in April of last year when Relativity debuted it. That one opened to $12M for the three-day and went onto gross $27.6M. While Blumhouse’s Ouija (PG-13) opened in October of last year (just in time for Halloween) at 8 PM in 2,061 houses and scared in $911K. That had a three-day gross of $19.8M and ended up with $50.8M domestically.
Mainstream critics have been mostly favorable to Unfriended, which is R-rated but plays younger. In the social media universe (on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram), Unfriended is up to 44M engaging with 32M YouTube views including parodies and reviews, according to RelishMix, which tracks these things. They say the top video for film on MTV’s YouTube channel has been logging over 100k views per day up to 13M. On Instagram, UnfriendedMovie is showing a hefty 24k followers and a healthy batch of mini videos in rotation.
The horror film is killing the Paul Blart Mall Cop sequel online. Twitter hashtags for #Unfriended spiked to 9k on premiere night on Sunday and now tracking at 4X over #BlartRidesAgain. Overall, Unfriended has been outpacing Mall Cop on social networks over the last 4 weeks by 5 to 1.
Still gotta give it to Kevin James who is out there promoting his tail end off. He has been sharing loads of materials with his 714K FB fans and 251K Twitter followers
I just gotta point this out because it is a truly astounding stat: Furious 7‘s Vin Diesel is now at 90M FB fans, adding about 180K new fans. Per day.
Meanwhile, Disneynature’s Monkey Kingdom is in 2,012 theaters today. While no late night numbers are expected in this AM, estimates are that it will bring in a three-day cume of around $5M. That would not be dissimilar to Bears which opened to $4.7M for a three-day total and ended up at $17.7M domestically. Looking over previous Disneynature films, Oceans opened on a Thursday in 2010 with $2.46M and went on to gross $19.4M. Neither Bears, Chimpanzee, African Cats previewed on a Thursday. Earth opened on a Wednesday.