UPDATED, Monday AM: Early morning estimates show Disney/Marvel’s Black Panther now making $112 million for the weekend, a 45% dip from its Week 1, which is an amazing second-weekend hold for a four-quad event film of this size. Disney will report its official figure later this morning.
All records still stand: Second-best second domestic weekend ever (after Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ $149.2M); record second-weekend haul for a Marvel movie (beating The Avengers’ $103M); and second-fastest to $400M in 10 days, along with Jurassic World behind Force Awakens (eight days). But also, Black Panther has the smallest second-weekend decline ever for an MCU title, beating the sophomore-session holds of Thor (-47%), Iron Man (-48%) and Avengers (-50%) and Doctor Strange (-50%).
The running domestic box office for Black Panther is just under $404M, and the Ryan Coogler-directed Marvel title has pushed the entire 2018 domestic box office to an awesome $1.9 billion for the period of January 1-25. According to ComScore, that’s 12.5% ahead of the same period last year, and 10% ahead of 2016, which wound up being a banner year at the U.S./Canada box office with $11.4 billion. Black Panther‘s second Sunday minted $35.4M, -26% from Saturday.
New Line/Warner Bros.’ Game Night has grown $2M in its weekend projections since Friday night, now coming in at $17M after a $4.4M Sunday, down 37% in second.
Paramount’s Annihilation is spot-on with its Sunday AM outlook with $11M for the weekend in fourth after a $3M Sunday, down 27%.
UPDATED, Sunday AM: Disney has confirmed this morning what industry estimates saw last night: Black Panther will hit $400M at the domestic box office by end of today, making the Ryan Coogler-directed Marvel movie the second-fastest to that point, along with Jurassic World, in 10 days. Black Panther gets to $400M in four days less than The Avengers (14 days) and ranks behind the Star Wars: Force Awakens record of eight days.
The Disney release posted $47.6M on Saturday, +66% which puts its second weekend at $108M, -46%. Can’t mention enough how this Marvel movie goes higher and higher, so if we’ve grown this much since Friday, we’re bound to grow even more by the end of today. At this pace, Black Panther would own the second-best second weekend at the B.O. behind Force Awakens ($149.2M), and well ahead of Avengers‘s sophomore sesh of $103M. Imax auditoriums delivered an outstanding $9M in weekend 2 at 404 sites, taking the large format exhibitor’s domestic cume to $36M. T’Challa’s Imax run continues to outstrip all other MCU titles, including Avengers:Age of Ultron, which made $28.9M after 10 days.
Screen Engine/ComScore’s PostTrak shows that the movie continues to wow with a 92% overall positive score, males under 25 leading the way (29%), followed by guys over 25 (27%) and females over 25 (26%), with a moviegoer make-up of 37% Caucasian, 33% African American, 18% Hispanic and 7% Asian.
New Line/Warner Bros.’ Game Night grew 25% on Saturday over Friday with $7M, taking its opening to $16.6M in second place, and as we mentioned, that’s OK, not fantastic, and a bit of a rebound from the studio’s R-rated laugh recession last year with The House, Fist Fight, and Alcon’s Father Figures. New Line kept this comedy as economically sound as possible, with a production cost under $40M, which is their range for the genre. At this box office level with Game Night, New Line is in the same boat of other R-rated original IP comedy openers such as Mike & Dave Need Wedding Dates ($16.6M opening, $46M final domestic), Office Christmas Party ($16.9M, $54.8M), and How to Be Single ($17.8M, $46.8M), so figure it comes in within $40M-$50M at the domestic B.O. when all is said and done. R-rated comedies remain the quagmire for many studios (outside of Universal’s Girls Trip geared toward African American audiences), as studios and comedy creators continue to scratch their heads and figure out how to pull in younger crowds who’ll fuel breakout successes.
Another hurdle here with Game Night is in its packaging: The larger cast of Kyle Chandler, Jesse Plemons, and Billy Magnussen aren’t known for their comedy chops, not to mention Jason Bateman typically plays the straight man to someone crazier in his comedies, i.e. Charlie Day in Horrible Bosses and Melissa McCarthy in Identify Thief; even Tony Hale and Will Arnett on Arrested Development. Though McAdams has starred in comedies in the past, such as Mean Girls and Wedding Crashers, she has largely built her track record on more serious fare over the last decade, such as Spotlight, HBO’s True Detective, Doctor Strange, Southpaw and Terrence Malick’s To The Wonder. Really, how can an average potential moviegoer know that this is a comedy?
Knowing that they had a different, clever comedy, Warner Bros. sought to capture that irreverent attitude in its marketing and trailers. This is one of the reasons why they didn’t go with the silly standard stars-on-the-poster concept (though that will be implemented overseas); the studio was looking to break form and keep within the pic’s unique sense of humor. The challenge here lied in selling to the young ‘uns (under 25) on what ‘game night’ is (those of us raised on Parker Brothers and Milton Bradley board games in the ’80s know exactly what it is); and so Warners executed an extensive grass-roots program that tapped into local influencers, game & trivia night takeovers, and an aggressive college program that touched down on nearly 200 campuses across the US & Canada. With test scores solid, Warners screened Game Night extensively with AMC, Regal, Alamo Drafthouse, The CW Plus, and Soho House, as well as with eight influencers whose fan bases reached north of 36M. In purchased media over six weeks, Warner Bros. went after older men during the AFC/NFC Championship Games, the Winter Olympics, and NCAA Basketball, as well as broader demo fare such as Ellen’s Game of Games Finale and The Bachelor’s Winter Games.
Screen Engine/ComScore’s PostTrak shows a 78% overall positive and 3 1/2 stars (out of 5) overall audience response to CinemaScore’s B+ for Game Night. PostTrak polls continually throughout the weekend, not just Friday night. Those females under 25 (repping only 14% of moviegoers) enjoyed the Bateman-McAdams feature the most at 85% positive. Females over 25 (36%) and males over 25 (35%) respectively gave the comedy 76% and 78% overall positive scores. Game Night played best in the big cities, especially in the West and Southwest.
Sony’s Peter Rabbit is +103% in its third Saturday, with $5.7M sending its weekend to $12.5M in third place, -29%. Versus Universal/Illumination’s Hop, which, like Peter Rabbit with James Corden, was built around the comedic sensibility of another British comedian, Russell Brand, saw the feature adaptation of Beatrix Potter’s classic in weekend 3 pacing behind that 2011 title by 13%, with $71.2M at the domestic B.O. Hop ended its stateside run at $108M, so figure Peter Rabbit lands in the low $90Ms.
Paramount/Skydance’s Annihilation in 4th place drew $4.1M on Saturday, +8%, rising its three-day to $11M. PostTrak showed 71% overall positive and three-stars, with males out-numbering females to the female-led sci-fi action pic, 56% to 44%. Annihilation played best in the big cities, particularly in the West, and all ten of its best theaters are in New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.
Every Day landed a 64% in the top two boxes, with a lowly 39% recommend in regards to audience reaction. Kids rated it much higher, with 65% in the top two boxes and a 52% recommend. The single largest demo attending were 18-24 at 26%. Those who showed were 68/32 female and 61% under 25. Pic’s opening was $3.1M. If it can leg out to $10M, that would be good for this $5M production (before $8M digital P&A).
Studio reported figures for the weekend of Feb. 23-25:
1..) Black Panther (DIS), 4,020 theaters (0) / $28.9M Fri /$47.6M Sat/ $31.56M Sun/3-day: $108M (-47%)/Total: $400M/Wk 2
2..) Game Night (NL/WB), 3,488 theaters / $5.6m Fri (includes $1M previews)/$7M Sat/ $4M Sun/3-day: $16.6M /Wk 1
3..) Peter Rabbit (SONY), 3,707 theaters (-18) / $2.8M Fri /$5.8M Sat/ $3.9M Sun/3-day: $12.5M (-29%) /Total: $71.2M/Wk 3
4..) Annihilation (PAR), 2,012 theaters / $3.8M Fri (includes $900k previews)/$4.1M Sat/ $3.1M Sun/3-day: $11M /Wk 1
5..) Fifty Shades Freed (UNI), 3,265 theaters (-503) / $2.3M Fri/$3M Sat/ $1.5M Sun/3-day: $6.9M(-60%)/Total: $89.5M/Wk 3
6..) Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (SONY), 2,519 theaters (-281) / $1.3M Fri /$2.65M Sat/$1.65M Sun/ Sun/3-day: $5.6M (-29%)/Total:$387.2M/ Wk 10
7..) The 15:17 to Paris (WB), 2,752 theaters (-290) / $1M Fri/$1.6M Sat/$970K Sun/3-day: $3.6M(-53%)/Total: $32.2M/ Wk 3
8..) The Greatest Showman (FOX), 1,601 theaters (-335) / $905K Fri /$1.55m Sat/ $945K Sun/ 3-day: $3.4M (-32%)/Total: $160.7M/Wk 10
9..) Every Day (OR), 1,667 theaters / $1M Fri (includes $115k previews)/$1.3M Sat/ $715K Sun/3-day: $3.1M /Wk 1
10..) Early Man (LG), 2,494 theaters / $355K Fri/$792K Sat/$553K Sun/3-day: $1.7M (-47%)/Total: $6.7M/Wk 2
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (FSL), 691 theaters (-89) / $287K Fri /$585K Sat/ $348K Sun/ 3-day: $1.22M (-19%)/Total: $50.1M/Wk 16
The Post (FOX), 795 theaters (-255) / $315K Fri /$545K Sat/ $340K Sun/ 3-day: $1.2M (-40%)/Total: $78.8M/Wk 10
The Shape of Water (FSL), 721 theaters (-236) / $298K Fri /$495K Sat/ $307K Sun/ 3-day: $1.1M (-33%)/Total: $55.3M/Wk 13
Samson (PURE), 1,140 theaters (-109) / $258K Fri /$407K Sat/$285K Sun/3-day: $950K (-51%)/Total: $3.7M/Wk 2
Writethru after 3rd Update, Saturday AM: We knew earlier in the week that Black Panther would crack the century mark at the B.O. in its second weekend, and that’s exactly what it’s doing with a current industry 3-day estimate of $104.1M (-48%) after a $28.8M Friday. Don’t underestimate this Disney/Marvel release, it will only get bigger.
The broken records continually change, and at this time Black Panther looks to rank as the third-best second weekend ever behind The Avengers’ $103M; the best-ever for a Marvel movie and the best sophomore session for any title in the pre-summer period beating Disney’s Beauty and the Beast last year ($90.4M). The pic cracked past $300M Friday, and by Sunday will see a 10-day run of $396.05M.
On the upside, Black Panther‘s awesome second frame continues to prove that event titles, when they’re groundbreaking and speak up to audiences rather than down, can perform even better in the off-season than they do in the summer. They can single-handedly defy the handicaps of winter weather and school calendars (ComScore reports that 15% K-12 are off, and only 2% colleges).
Part of Marvel’s secret sauce here is that they don’t see the titles that they pump out as merely ‘superhero’ or comic-book movies, but rather smart, genre-bending cinema. These hits can’t be built on the backs of fans alone.
At a Deadline screening for Logan back in December — a film that proved again last March following Deadpool that R-rated comic book movies can actually rally at the box office — the pic’s director James Mangold made an excellent point: “I don’t think there is anything as the superhero genre, and if there is, it’s a pretty sucky genre,” said the director. “There’s fantasy films and heroic films like Ben Hur, The Dark Knight, the story of Jesus Christ and Gladiator; all are stories about heroes.” Stick to a superhero formula, and you’ll yield a stagnant movie, and that’s exactly what Black Panther specifically does not do. It’s more than a spy movie, more than a comic-book movie, and audiences are showing how much they love the freshness of this heroic movie with their wallets.
Black Panther‘s rays continue to shine brightly on social media as people leave the auditorium: The pic’s social media universe across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube has jumped from 901M last weekend to 981M within five days per RelishMix. Last Thursday, daily YouTube views for the Ryan Coogler-directed movie were at 390K and they’ve now spiked to 575K daily views per day for each top video. After the record-breaking Twitter surge from 137k to 559k hashtags for #BlackPanther and @BlackPanthermovie last Friday, you’d expect to see a rapid taper during the week. But that’s not the case: While Saturday saw a total of 543K, that eased to 480K on Monday, and a daily 352K. “Remember activity over 100k is exceptional,” says RelishMix.
On the downside, the marketplace isn’t a boats-all-rise situation with wide entries getting slowed at the box office. Sorry, distribution heads: Just because your movie is opening within the tracking range, doesn’t mean it’s deemed a success.
New Line/Warner Bros.’ Game Night is earning $15.1M in 2nd place (lower than what we saw last night) after $1M Thursday night, a $5.6M Friday, and a B+ CinemaScore which is toward the middle of its tracking range of $13M-$21M. That’s OK for this $37M-budgeted pic (before P&A), not fantastic, and an improvement both B.O. and audience grade-wise from Warner Bros.’ string of R-rated clunkers last year including Fist Fight ($12.2M opening, B), The House ($8.7M, B-) and Alcon’s Father Figures ($3.3M, B-).
We hear Game Night tested well, and as such Warner Bros. held several advance screenings, and ultimately received the blessing of Rotten Tomatoes critics (82% certified fresh) which is quite a feat when you have a comedy, because they can be vicious. “The convo surrounding Game Night is fairly positive, mostly coming from those fans who have attended advanced screenings,” says RelishMix. “Those who have seen it early have described it as hilarious. Also, many have praised the fact that it features strong leads including Rachel McAdams and Jason Bateman. The plot has also been well praised as original in a time when many films aren’t seen that way by many moviegoers.” Women, who turned up at 56%, enjoyed Game Night giving it a A-; it’s the over 25 crowd at 86% who are giving this a B+.
On the minus side, we hear that some insiders are grumbling about Game Night‘s release date in the wake of Black Panther. And then there’s the marketing campaign, with trailers that rivals have criticized as being more of a serious sell than funny. Then there’s those absurdist one sheets which are advertising game pieces with burglar masks instead of stars Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams. What’s that all about? Some will try to blame the sluggish environment for R-rated fare, however, it smells like New Line had something to work with here from the decent audience reaction and critical reviews. Says Rolling Stone‘s Peter Travers, “Farce is a beast to get right in movies. The fact that Game Night hits the mark more often than it hits a wall is cause for cheering.” Laughter is contagious, so let’s see if Saturday night pegs Game Night toward a better end-game.
Paramount/Skydance’s sci-fi-environmental auteur title Annihilation from director Alex Garland is coming in at the low end of its tracking range with $10.7M for the weekend in 4th place with $3.85M for today. Paramount continues to pay for the sins of the previous executive administration of the late Brad Grey and Vice Chairman Rob Moore. Grey had a predilection for auteur type films that could potentially be awards bait read Arrival, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, mother!, Suburbicon and Downsizing, but the previous regime overspent on them greatly and that’s why most of them have capsized at the box office. $68M for absurdist comedy Downsizing? $30M for the gonzo thriller mother!? Far too much for haughty, fringe, experimental fare.
One of the trickier aspects about Rotten Tomatoes is that its metric leans favorably toward auteurs and critics enjoyed Annihilation at 87% certified fresh. When that’s the case, these scores don’t translate into great ticket sales. Reviewers enjoyed the fact that Garland stuck to his Ex Machina styling, and didn’t sell out to Hollywood with a Jurassic Park-type picture. However, the audience’s smacking it with a C CinemaScore means Annihilation was too slow for them. Those between 18-24 gave Annihilation its bests grade of a B, but they only repped 11% of the audience. Last weekend Paramount opted to trailer their best wares on Black Panther, and that was Mission: Impossible – Fallout. More males than females turned out for this women action movie, 60% to 40%. Both gave it a C.
But wait, wasn’t Arrival slow? How did that movie get away with that pace? We understand that its story of a mother’s anguish, coupled with its spiritual sensibility, is what spurred moviegoers to spend $100.5M on that pic, and of course there was the pic’s eight Oscar nominations including best picture (it won one for sound editing).
Paramount earnestly tried to sell this film on its greater attributes of being a largely female driven action film. Some will believe the pic faltered because of the whitewashing controversy it faced, i.e., Natalie Portman’s character was originally of Asian descent and Jennifer Jason Leigh’s character being Native American in Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach trilogy (details that weren’t revealed until the series’ second novel). While such controversial noise doesn’t typically impact the average moviegoers’ purchasing decision, studio marketing executives believe that when building a pic’s promotional momentum, it’s better to be controversy-free. Arguably, the whitewashing syndrome with Ghost in the Shell was significantly louder and was more severe considering it’s a popular 30-year-old manga property and starred Marvel superstar Scarlett Johansson. In regards to Annihilation, did moviegoers even know it was based on a book? VanderMeer himself didn’t raise any objections about the studio and filmmaker’s artistic license with the characters. Portman, Leigh and Garland weren’t even aware of the characters’ ethnic backgrounds as the first novel never delve into them. The pic’s drooping at the B.O. lies more in the fact that it’s a slow-paced, funky piece of specialty sci-fi cinema. The current administration is trying to get beyond these high-priced arthouse movies, and if there was no question about the pic’s risk, Paramount would have never sold foreign to Netflix (sans China).
Orion’s $5M-teenage production Every Day based on the David Levithan YA novel is coming in with $3M. This label is dedicated to narrowly targeted audiences, with low digital-driven P&A spends (I hear this was around $8M). Should the film get to $10M at the domestic B.O. for them, it’s considered a high point as it triggers their MGM TV deals, which are some of the richest in the world. It’s an OK result for what the pic is. Those who showed up gave it a B+. It wasn’t the teenagers who gave this movie its best grades (under 18 at 54% of the crowd gave it a B+), but the middle-age folk 35-49 who repped 9% of Friday night moviegoers and graded Every Day an A-.
Industry estimates for weekend of Feb. 23-25: — chart updating
1..) Black Panther (DIS), 4,020 theaters (0) / $28.8M Fri (-62%) /3-day: $104.1M (-48%)/Total: $396M/Wk 2
2..) Game Night (NL/WB), 3,488 theaters / $5.6m Fri (includes $1M previews)/3-day: $15.1M /Wk 1
3..) Peter Rabbit (SONY), 3,707 theaters (-18) / $2.8M Fri (-30%) /3-day: $12.1M (-31%) /Total: $70.8M/Wk 3
4..) Annihilation (PAR), 2,012 theaters / $3.85m Fri (includes $900k previews)/3-day: $10.7M /Wk 1
5..) Fifty Shades Freed (UNI), 3,265 theaters (-503) / $2.3M Fri (-59%)/3-day: $6.9M(-60%)/Total: $89.5M/Wk 3
6..) Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (SONY), 2,519 theaters (-281) / $1.3M Fri (-28%)/3-day: $5.6M (-29%)/Total:$387.2M/ Wk 10
7..) The 15:17 to Paris (WB), 2,752 theaters (-290) / $995K Fri (-52%)/3-day: $3.54M(-53%)/Total: $32.1M/ Wk 3
8..) The Greatest Showman (FOX), 1,601 theaters (-335) / $910K Fri (-31%) / 3-day: $3.4M (-32%)/Total: $160.7M/Wk 10
9..) Every Day (OR), 1,667 theaters / $1M Fri (includes $115k previews)/3-day: $3M /Wk 1
10..) Early Man (LG), 2,494 theaters / $353K Fri (-58%)/3-day: $1.4M (-55%)/Total: $6.5M/Wk 2
Samson (PURE), 1,140 theaters (-109) / $258K Fri (-55%)/3-day: $915K (-52%)/Total: $3.67M/Wk 2
2nd Update, Friday 1:03PM: Right now industry estimates have Black Panther at $92M, which reps a 54% decline and falls between the second weekend declines of The Avengers (-50% with $103M) and Avengers: Age of Ultron (-59%, $77.7M). By the end of the weekend on this pace, Black Panther will see a domestic running tally of $384M.
However, this is a movie that has continually defied expectations so we may see business grow by tonight. Remember, a bulk of the 18-24 crowd comes out for those 10PM or later shows, and Marvel movies get to this enormous size on repeat customers. Black Panther‘s second Friday is at $25M, -67% because opening day was padded by Thursday night previews. Still, this is historic business for the second month of the year in which snow and ice exist in parts of the nation, despite a “heat” wave in the NorthEast.
New Line’s Game Night is playing to a $6M opening day, and a weekend that’s between $16.5M-$18M. We’ll have a better idea tonight if word of mouth syncs with the critical heat on this R-rated movie.
Paramount’s Annihilation is set to collect an estimated $3.5M today and $10M for the weekend, now at the lower end of its tracking.
Orion’s microbudget Every Day after earning $115K from Thursday previews is looking at $1.1M today and $3.2M over three days.
1st Update, Friday 7:16AM: In the face of Disney/Marvel’s Black Panther earning $14.2M alone yesterday for a running total that will cross $300M today, New Line/Warner Bros.’ Game Night and Paramount’s Alex Garland sci-fi environmental pic Annihilation respectively pulled in $1M and $900K.
Annihilation was booked at 1,850 venues yesterday and will raise its theater count to 2,012 today. Game Night will play in 3,488. Game Night is projected between $13M-$21M while Annihilation was pegged between $10M-$12M. The upside for them in a Black Panther-dominated market? Both titles have awesome Rotten Tomatoes Scores with Annihilation at 90% certified fresh and Game Night at 83% certified fresh and that’s hopeful in regards to changing the minds of those moviegoers are pledge allegiance to RT.
These are good starts considering that T’Challa is expected to take in more than $104M in weekend two (it’s actually better for Game Night considering how audiences have been like mules when it comes to R-rated comedies in the last year). However, last night has given rival studios to Disney hope that all boats will rise in a Black Panther world. Through yesterday, he’s made close to $292M and he’ll be the fastest Mavel title to $300M in 8 days, beating The Avengers’ 9 days. Black Panther will tie with Jurassic World and Star Wars: The Last Jedi in regards to the number of days to $300M, which all rank second behind Star Wars: The Force Awakens which cleared the three century mark in a record 5 days.
In regards to comps to Annihilation, there are films like Life which made $800K on its first Thursday before posting a $4.4M Friday and $12.5M opening. There’s also Arrival, which at a $1.45M Thursday yielded a $9.4M Friday and $24.1M three-day. Annihilation cost a net of $40M before P&A. This is the second feature directorial by Oscar nominee Garland whose 2015 release Ex Machina which was a notable sleeper on the arthouse circuit with $25.4M, becoming A24’s third highest release behind Oscar best picture winner Moonlight ($27.9M) and current five-time nominee Lady Bird ($46.6M).
Game Night bulldozes comps for such R-rated summer laugh duds as Rough Night ($700K Thursday, $3.3M Friday, $8M weekend) and The House ($800K Thursday, $3.3M and $8.7M). The Hitman’s Bodyguard, which fared the best of them all, was an action comedy, which Game Night has elements of. That pic Ryan Reynolds-Samuel L. Jackson buddy comedy posted $1.65M on its Thursday night before an $8M Friday and $21.3M opening.
Also opening today is Orion’s teenage drama Every Day in under 2,000 locations. Pic is specifically targeted at the LGBT community and females 13-24. Tracking has the microbudget movie opening between $2M-$4M.