6th Update, Monday AM: Disney is reporting that Pixar’s Incredibles 2 is flying in at $183.2M, higher than where both the industry ($181M~) and the studio were seeing it yesterday. Records still maintained: Best animated opening of all-time beating Finding Dory ($135M), 8th best opening of all-time, just ahead of Captain America: Civil War ($179.1M) and best PG debut of all-time besting Beauty and the Beast‘s $174.7M. New Line’s Tag was a bit higher at $14.9M in 3rd place after a $4.5M Sunday, -7% from Saturday in 3rd, while in second place, Warner Bros./Village Roadshow’s Ocean’s 8 looks to be settling at $19M, -54% for $78.6M. Sony’s Superfly is down in 6th place with $6.8M FSS, $9M for the 5-day. More actuals later
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5th Update, Sunday 7:38 AM: With chart How awesome was Disney/Pixar’s Incredibles 2 this weekend?
So awesome that the movie’s $180M-reported weekend –the 8th biggest of all time and best ever for a PG title- not only played like a comic-book event, thrashing the debuts of Captain America: Civil War ($179.1M), Iron Man 3 ($174.1M), and Batman v. Superman ($166M), to name a few, but even crushed the lifetime domestic cumes of such Pixar movies as A Bug’s Life ($162.7M), Cars 3 ($152.9M), and Good Dinosaur ($123M).
After Disney/Lucasfim’s Solo: A Star Wars Story failed to keep summer’s momentum going off of Avengers: Infinity War and Deadpool 2, Incredibles 2‘s footprint reps a 180-degree turn in the hit-starved marketplace, sending the industry’s total ticket sales for the weekend to $266M, per ComScore, +40% over the same period a year ago. The year to date box office through today counts $5.5 billion, pacing 6% ahead of the same January to mid-June frame last year.
“Brad Bird put together a highly anticipated film that had something for all ages, says Disney EVP Theatrical Distribution, Franchise Management and Business & Audience Insights Cathleen Taff about Incredibles 2 awesome Marvel-like opening. “There hasn’t been much for families, and there’s been a pent-up demand for this film, and when combined with its A+ CinemaScore, people want to get to the movies.”
Two indications that Incredibles 2 wasn’t just a family film, but one of live-action superhero proportions: First the Imax Wednesday double-feature preview night packed auditoriums at a 70-80% capacity, and note it’s not a family crowd that turns up midweek for those premium ticket showtimes. Next, by 9PM EST on Friday night, grosses continued to swell for Incredibles 2. Typically, animated pics taper off after that time, but this one proved it had the might of any Marvel four-quad title.
In addition, the pic’s in-theater trailers embraced the fact that the sequel was coming out 14 years later, and didn’t make audiences question why it’s been so long since the last film. Rather, Incredibles 2 was sold as a reunion of these beloved characters who have a multi-generational appeal. “Instead of making audiences wonder why it’s been so long, the Incredibles 2 campaign spoke to moviegoers like they were friends with the superheroes. There was a subtle wink to the audience: ‘Don’t worry, we got this, this film will work, you’ll be very happy with it. It’s been worth the wait,'” praised one rival studio marketing exec this morning. We further detail Incredibles 2 marketing in the previous update.
While adults led the charge on Thursday and Friday, ComScore/Screen Engine’s PostTrak shows that the under-25 set grew to 66% on Incredibles 2, with 18-24 repping 40% of the crowd and 13-17 pulling in 26% of the crowd. With no other mega animated title of this size on the summer schedule, Incredibles 2 will own the season with a $500M-$600M domestic take. Plus, this movie has an enormous 83% definite recommend and an overall positive of 93%, five stars. Imax alone took in $14.1M from Incredibles 2, the second-biggest June opening of all-time for the large format exhibitor. Female/male ratio was 51%/49%.
Incredibles 2 saw a $58.8M Saturday, the tenth-biggest, that was -18% from Friday’s $71.5M (which included $18.5M Wednesday/Thursday previews). Technically, Saturday repped the highest day for the superhero sequel, especially when one backs out those previews, Friday technically being $53.1M. Saturday’s take easily reps the best for an animated title, surpassing Shrek the Third‘s $47M. Disney schedules their Pixar pics around the Father’s Day holiday, so we’ll continue to see strong traffic for Incredibles 2, with many estimating at least a $50M Sunday.
Other highlights of Disney’s weekend: They re-released Ava DuVernay’s A Wrinkle in Time, pushing the pic to the century mark stateside. Infinity War at $664.1M sailed past Titanic ($659.3M) to become the fourth-highest grossing film at the domestic box office, right behind Marvel’s Black Panther, which continues to push to the seven century mark ($699.6M), the third-best behind Star Wars: Force Awakens ($936.6M) and Avatar ($760.5M).
Warner Bros. takes spots 2 and 3, respectively, with its holdover Ocean’s 8, which dipped 53% with $19.6M, and a 10-day total of $79.1M, while its New Line wide release Tag tapped $14.6M, an OK take in regards to its $28M production cost. Ocean’s 8 benefited from an immense amount of female traffic during the midweek and over the weekend, and will continue to serve its targeted demo. It was a surprise to see that Tag pulled in slightly more females than guys at 51% to 49%, both who gave the R-rated comedy a B+. Originally, Warners had Tag scheduled for June 29 in the pre-July 4th frame (the holiday falls on a Wednesday this year, ugh). However, there was a number of male counter-programming on that date with Lionsgate’s African American comedy Uncle Drew and Sony’s Sicario 2. So the studio jumped the title to this weekend. Again, neither frame is a win-win situation. However, this comedy was slowed by a 56% Rotten Tomatoes score.
Sony’s Superfly also suffered by going up against The Incredibles 2 this weekend, and we’re hearing its production cost was well north of $20M, near $30M. Sony is reporting $16M net. It’s Proud Mary all over again, but worse, as the Director X movie only made $8.4M in five days ($6.3M FSS) to Taraji P. Henson’s shoot ’em up, which made more with $9.9M over its FSS. Variety’s Owen Gleiberman says that the reboot of the 1972 classic is, “A competent yet glossy and hermetic street-hustle drug thriller, less a new urban myth than a lavishly concocted episode. It holds your attention, yet leaves you with nothing.”
A24’s Hereditary did not have the average horror pic slide in its second weekend of -60% to -70%. Rather, a fantastic -48% hold, or $7M, for a 10-day of $27.1M. While the movie’s opening was a record for A24 at $13.6M, but OK for a horror title, rival indie bosses are impressed, as the NY-based distributor pulled off that gross without spending a ton on TV, some of it being relegated to specific local markets.
Vertical Entertainment and MoviePass Ventures’ Gotti drew $1.67M at 503 venues, seeing $620K on Saturday, slightly more than Friday’s $614K. It’s a result that those in the indie sphere aren’t wowed by, citing that a $3M start in regards to the pic’s limited launch would have been better. We’re hearing that MoviePass accounted for 40% of this weekend’s grosses on this mob film that 23 critics have slaughtered with a 0% Rotten Tomatoes score. The pic’s biggest problem is that it feels like Scorsese and The Sopranos all over again. No new ground broken here on this John Travolta passion project, which at one point was going to be made by Millennium.
“The movie performed very well in New York, Los Angeles, and the five cities John Travolta and Kelly Preston toured (Phoenix, Dallas, Chicago, Miami, and Philadelphia), and we will most likely expand in those cities. That shows the power of publicity. What is shocking to me is that 80% of audience members on Rotten Tomatoes and 4 of of 5 of them on Fandango liked the film. Clearly, critics are out of touch with the people who actually vote with their pocket books. It makes me wonder if the press and critics don’t want a movie to succeed because they incorrectly think we are glorifying John Gotti,” says Dennis Rice, who spearheaded marketing for Gotti.
Studio-reported actuals for the weekend of June 15-17, Father’s Day weekend 2018:
4th Update, Saturday AM after midnight post: Incredibles 2 isn’t just a sequel to an animated film, it’s a sequel to an A+ four-quad movie, and it’s acting like the latter, pulling in everyone, largely adults, with general audiences accounting for 57% of the audience. Note that parents are only repping 12% of the crowd, per PostTrak, with 31% kids. In the middle of the night, we were spotting that Incredibles 2 was clicking to $175.3M, and there’s a very good shot this all-audience pic is flying to $180M+. That figure alone is close to 70% of Incredibles’ $261.4M lifetime domestic gross. With Incredibles 2, Pixar earns its 7th A+ CinemaScore out of 20 full-length theatrical releases. PostTrak is at 5 stars, 92% overall. Yesterday alone, including $18.5M Wed/Thurs. previews, Incredibles 2 made a stunning $71.6M, which harpoons Finding Dory’s previous animated pic opening day record of $54.7M by 31%.
At $180M, Incredibles 2 easily breaks Dory‘s $135M opening record for an animated film, but it also notches the 8th best opening of all-time, stepping on the capes of a slew of superhero movie starts, including Captain America: Civil War (Previously No. 8 with $179.1M), Iron Man 3 (which would move to No. 11 with $174.1M), Batman v. Superman ($166M), Dark Knight Rises ($160.9M), and further down the list, Spider-Man 3 ($151M) and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 ($146.5M).
Given the Marvel event-nature of this film, it really wasn’t a good idea for any studio to open any counter-programming against the Pixar sequel, and that’s one of the reasons why we’re seeing dismal results for Sony’s Superfly, with $5.7M over three days ($7.9M since Wednesday) and a meh opening for New Line/Warner Bros.’ Tag at an estimated $14.3M. There’s not a lot of air in the marketplace.
The one piece of counter-programming that is working is Warner Bros./Village Roadshow’s Ocean’s 8, which teed up quite wonderfully last weekend and will see a second frame that’s $20.1M, -52% for a running total close to $80M, which, by Sunday, will be pacing 11% ahead of the franchise’s highest-grosser, Ocean’s Eleven, through its firsts 10 days ($72.3M for a final $183.4M. But note that film had the year-end holidays boosting its total). Recently, Ocean stars Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchettand Mindy Kaling have called for more diversity among film critics in the press. However, they can relish the fact that the sequel is Teflon-proof against critics’ middling 68% fresh Rotten Tomatoes score.
Here’s the lowdown on this weekend’s films:
Any crater Solo: A Star Wars Story left in the marketplace, Incredibles 2 is overfilling. The Pixar creed has always been in step with the Walt Disney philosophy of ‘plus-sing’: Continually making every detail and facet of a movie better, and questioning its quality along the way in order to make the final product platinum. For the most part, Pixar has benefited by delaying sequels to truly beloved iconic titles like Toy Story, Finding Nemo, and now Incredibles; careful that they don’t water themselves down in the Cars-sense of the word (a franchise that was a guilty pleasure of departing Pixar co-founder John Lasseter). Audiences pulled away from the Cars trilogy, dwindling their ticket spending from $244M stateside on the first 2006 title to shelling out 37% less on the third title last summer, with $152.9M. Meanwhile, the latest installments of Toy Story and Finding Nemo have been the highest for their series, with Toy Story 3 earning $415M and Finding Dory seeing a final domestic of $486.2M, +28% over Nemo‘s $380.8M.
In regards to Disney’s promotional drumroll, the marketing campaign for Incredibles 2 kicked off last July at Disney’s D23 Expo, where director Brad Bird and the original cast reunited onstage, showing off concept art and the first footage of Jack-Jack fighting in the backyard with a raccoon. The first trailer launched online last November, timed with an ESPN College Game Day integration with Craig T. Nelson, and becoming the biggest animated trailer launch ever, with over 113M views in the first 24 hours. The trailer was strategically attached to all the big event pics leading up to its release, including Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Avengers: Infinity War, Coco, and Peter Rabbit.
The first 10 minutes of the movie previewed at Disneyland, Walt Disney World, Disney Cruise ships and before exhibitors at CinemaCon. Stoking the vertical integration, Disney declared May 14 “Incredibles Day” (when tickets went on sale) and celebrated in a joint effort with its parks and consumer products divisions. There was a campaign centered around the pic’s superhero fashion designer Edna Mode, which included a multi-page spread in Harper’s Bazaar, as well as NYC and Paris Fashion Week outdoor campaigns, a custom fashion-focused piece in the Project Runway finale, and custom integrations with Keeping Up with the Kardashians, The Real Housewives of NYC, and Freeform’s The Bold Type.
There was an extensive exhibitor marketing program, which included custom content featuring Samuel L. Jackson, Sophia Bush, and a “silence your cell phones” PSA from Edna Mode; custom collectible posters, tickets, and specialty products for Imax, Regal, Dolby, Cinemark, Fandango, Alamo Drafthouse, and AMC; a live-stream event into six Imax theaters on June 6 featuring voice talent, director, and producers, plus an Imax double feature of Incredibles 1 & 2 on Wednesday. Promotional partners included ADT, Alaska Airlines (a wrapped plane, of course), American Egg Board, Best Western, Bounty, Chrysler, Clorox, Coppertone, Horizon Organic, Juicy Juice, Kleenex, McDonalds (including themed Happy Meals), Sleep Number and Zillow.
And then there’s Tag, which further underscores the continuing difficulty in launching R-rated modern day live-action comedies that don’t star superheros (like Deadpool 2) and aren’t socially conscious horror titles (like Get Out). If you want to know the direction of where cinematic comedy is going, DP2 and Get Out are great examples of breaking the mold. In all fairness, sources tell me that Tag’s $14.3M opening in respect to its estimated $28M production cost isn’t bad, and it isn’t good, it’s OK. However, there’s been too much skepticism by older males in the marketplace over comedies, and an RT score of 56% Rotten isn’t going to convince the masses to choose the title at the multiplex. Tag‘s situation is the opposite of New Line’s Game Night last February, which had great reviews at 83% certified fresh (which propelled the film from a $17M bow to a 4x multiple near $69M stateside), but eclectic marketing, which arguably curbed its opening. In regards to Tag, the marketing was more straightforward, and played up the slapstick in the trailers (which, anecdotally, received good laughs during an all-audience Ocean’s 8 preview at the AMC Burbank last week). However, despite the ‘based on a true story’ positioning, the juvenile concept (like Fist Fight) is a low-stakes one for discerning adults to get their heads around. RelishMix noticed that on social media: “For moviegoers, the very premise is what has disinterested them. The idea of a group of grown men playing tag into their adult life had a contingent of social commenters saying, ‘I’m out.” Tag might have worked in a pre-Rotten Tomatoes era, when all comedies were critic-proof at the B.O.
Another hurdle for Tag this weekend is that it’s butting up against Warner’s own Ocean’s 8, and there’s some cannibalization of the adult audience there, despite the New Line comedy targeting guys. Ocean’s 8 is pulling in a solid male 25+ quad of 28% to Tag‘s 31%. Meanwhile, women women 25+ are the predominant crowd at Tag at 36% to Ocean’s 44%. Overall positive for Tag on PostTrak is a low 78% and four stars. However, like Game Night, CinemaScore audiences aren’t shrugging the pic with a B+ grade.
Sony’s Superfly is splat with a 3-day of $5.7M, and 5-day of $7.9M, the latter number even lower than the 3-day $9.9M take of Sony’s lackluster femme action pic, Proud Mary. No one was asking for a reboot of this Blaxploitation classic, despite the pic being tricked out in its stylish music video vibe. Sony pushed this movie out quick, which is commendable on some level. However, the summer is a fierce live-or-die season for wide releases (duh). Rolling Stone‘s Peter Travers says that the hair in the film upstages the acting, with a final verdict of “What a mess”. Superfly gets a lower PostTrak than its Wednesday night B+ CinemaScore, with three stars and a 68% overall positive. The film cost a low $16M per Sony (our sources with knowledge of the budget say it was in the low $20Ms). While making ambitious movies at a low cost is a virtue over at Sony, perhaps keeping this one in development a little while longer would have enabled the pic to go a long way; the movie started production back in January.
Vertical Entertainment and MoviePass Ventures have Gotti, which, if you remember, the producers re-acquired from Lionsgate via an exit clause back in December because they wanted a pure theatrical release, not a day-and-date. Also, there were plans to launch the movie at Cannes, which was a goal fulfilled. MoviePass took a piece of the movie back at CinemaCon for low seven figures. Analysts show the film opening to $1.8M at 503 theaters. I’m told double that would be a much better start, however, there isn’t any big studio P&A behind this pic, which boasts 28 executive producers.
No word yet on what percent MoviePass is making up of the weekend gross. However, we understand that Saturday is a big day for their subscribers. Knocked one independent studio boss recently on MoviePass’ push for American Animals and Gotti, “It used to be in distribution, we’d all gossip whether a studio was buying tickets to their own movie to goose their opening. But in the case of MoviePass, there’s no secret: They’re literally buying the tickets to their own movie!” There’s only 17 reviews for Gotti, all Rotten, registering a 0% score (it’s kind of unfair to claim the pic has a 0% when the usual release has 100 critics or more reviewing it). Showbiz 411’s roasts “Gotti Movie is the $9.99 All You Can Eat Buffet Version of Goodfellas“.
Travolta has been a passionate supporter of the film, as he has stayed with the project for some time. Prior to Kevin Connolly tackling it as director, Barry Levinson and Nick Cassavetes were attached to helm at some point years ago, with cast members Al Pacino, Joe Pesci, Lindsay Lohan, Ben Foster, and Chazz Palminteri in the mix to star. Travolta has been touring with the film and wherever he appeared, and/or where the producers spent limited media, Gotti over-indexed. Read: NY, LA, Chicago, Philadelphia, Miami and the rest of Florida.
Props to Focus Features’ Won’t You Be My Neighbor? which is posting a great $10.8K theater average in weekend 2 after its expansion from 29 to 96 screens, for an estimated $1.1M, +128% for $1.8M. Also, Participant Media/Magnolia’s RBG doc about Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in its 7th weekend is flying past the $10M mark, truly remarkable for a doc on the big screen in this streaming era, which has largely taken over the genre, much like comedies.
2nd Update, Friday Midday: Early Friday estimates show Disney/Pixar’s Incredibles 2 drowning Finding Dory‘s animated-opening record of $135M for a potential 3-day of $174.7M at 4,410 theaters, a weekend take that would make the sequel the 10th best domestic start ever, above Marvel’s Iron Man 3 ($174.1M), Warner Bros.’ Batman v. Superman ($166M), The Dark Knight Rises ($160.9M), and even Lucasfilm’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story ($155M). Wow. “It’s a great weekend for our industry,” said a rival studio executive today, tipping his hat to the competition.
Incredibles 2 looks to reap between $68M-$69M today, including those $18.5M previews, easily the best opening day of all-time for animated pic, deep-sixing Dory‘s $54.7M, and even coming in higher than such superhero pics as The Dark Knight ($67.1M), Suicide Squad ($64.8M), and Spider-Man: Homecoming ($50.7M).
Disney already dominated 9 slots on the top domestic openers list, and they’ll continue to do so as Incredibles 2 joins Disney’s Avengers: Infinity War (No. 1, $257.7M), Star Wars: Force Awakens (No. 2, $248M), Star Wars: The Last Jedi (No. 3, $220M), The Avengers (No. 5, $207.4M), Black Panther (No. 6, $202M), Avengers: Age of Ultron (No. 7, $191.2M), Captain America: Civil War (No. 8, $179M), and Beauty and the Beast (No. 9, $174.75M).
Warner Bros./Village Roadshow’s Ocean’s 8 is looking at $6.5M-$6.6M today, for $21.6m at 4,145 locations, -48% for a great 10-day of $81.2M. That’s better than New Line’s Tag, which looks to come in with $14M for the weekend at 3,382 theaters, off a $5.3M estimated Friday.
Disney’s Solo: A Star Wars Story will file 4th with $9.2M at 3,182, -41% in weekend 4 with a running total by Sunday of $192.9M. 20th Century Fox’s Deadpool 2 in 5th looks to make $9.17M, -35% in weekend 5 at 3,212 for a total of $295M.
Sony’s Superfly not so super in 6th place with a weekend of $7M, 5-day of $9M, after a $2.3M Friday.
1st Update, Friday 7:50AM: Disney/Pixar’s Incredibles 2 took off last night with $18.5 million, easily sinking the previous Thursday night record for an animated movie, $9.2M, held by Finding Dory. That Pixar sequel also holds the opening record for an animated title with $135M — $54.7M of that scored on Friday — and Incredibles 2 is now certain to beat that, hitting the high range of its $150M forecast.
But that’s not all: Incredibles 2 also beat the preview nights of Disney’s live-action Beauty and the Beast ($16.3M), Marvel’s Spider-Man: Homecoming ($15.4M) and Thor: Ragnarok ($14.5M), and Warner Bros/DC’s Justice League ($13M). Indeed, a Thursday night of superhero proportions for director Brad Bird’s second go-round. A sequel for Incredibles 2 was long overdue and that’s the big driver of business for everyone from 3 to 80 (plus it’s a great movie at 94% certified fresh).
ComScore/Screen Engine PostTrak exit polls for Incredibles 2 leaped tall buildings in a single bound with an overall 91% positive score, five stars, 80% definite recommend, with a Thursday night turnout of 30% females -25, 26% female 25+, 25% males -25, and 18% males 25+. The 18-24 demo was the biggest age group to show up at 35%, followed by 25-34 at 22% and then 13-17 at 20%.
Duly note that the Incredibles 2 Thursday night also includes cash from the pic’s Wednesday night Imax preview. Fandango already reported that Incredibles 2 is their best advance ticket seller all time for an animated pic.
Incredibles 2 opens day-and-date in about 26% of the international marketplace including Australia, Russia and most of Latin America.
New Line/Warner Bros’ Tag posted $1.3M in previews last night, besting the Thursday night results of Game Night ($1M, $5.6M Friday, and $17M FSS), Life of the Party ($700K Thursday), Fist Fight ($600K Th) and filing below the Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart R-rated combo Get Hard ($1.8M Thursday, $12.9M F, $33.8M FSS). The R-rated comedy about a group of older men who play a lifelong game of tag is projected to make between $12M-$16M at 3,382 venues. Pic cost a reported $28M before P&A. Rotten Tomatoes is at 61% fresh for Tag.
Sony’s Superfly in its second day made $935K at 2,220 theaters in fifth place yesterday, bringing its two-day total to $2.1M. The studio is looking at a $10M-$12M five-day weekend for the blaxploitation reboot by Director X.
Vertical Entertainment and MoviePass Ventures’ Kevin Connolly’s Gotti previewed last night at 350 locations earning $105K. The pic expands to 500 locations today. MoviePass has been promoting the pic to its 3M members. The monthly movie ticket subscription service took a piece of the movie for low seven figures back at CinemaCon as exclusively reported by Deadline.
Among regular pics in release, Warner Bros./Village Roadshow’s Ocean’s 8 has lifted $59.6M to date after a great midweek with a Thursday No. 1 of $3.28M, -22% from Wednesday.
Disney/Lucasfilm’s Solo: A Star Wars Story filed $1.37M yesterday, -15% from Wednesday, for $22.8M over seven days, $183.76M to date through week 3.
A24’s Hereditary grossed $1.35M, -14% from Wednesday for a first week’s tally of $20.1M.
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