5th Writethru Sunday AM after Saturday update: Universal’s Hobbs & Shaw saw a solid Saturday with an estimated $20.6M, which kept the pic on track toward its $60.8M opening this weekend. This is exactly where Paramount’s Mission: Impossible – Fallout opened a year ago, which carried us into August, and we can expect this Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham pic to do the same. In fact, on a worldwide basis, the Furious spinoff is poised to crush Fallout‘s $155.8M global opening, with a $180.8M take ($120M from abroad, these numbers will be updated soon).
For both actors, it’s their best opening outside the Fast & Furious franchise, both stateside and around the world. Neither Fallout nor Hobbs had China in their opening suite. Uni is celebrating that it’s their fifth-biggest global opening ever (behind Fate of the Furious, Jurassic World, Furious 7 and Fifty Shades of Grey), with No. 1 debuts in 53 out of 63 territories.
Beamed Universal Domestic Theatrical Distribution Boss Jim Orr, “Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham are a formidable duo. Add to that the toughest villain you’ve seen in a Fast film with Idris Elba, the extraordinary Vanessa Kirby, and you really understand why audiences were thrilled for this first spin-off from the Fast & Furious franchise.”
Overall, it was a good weekend at the B.O., with ComScore reporting an estimated $150M for all pic, +7% from the same frame last year. By the way, the summer box office is +2% over the same period last year with $4.1 billion, and that’s for the period from April 26 when Avengers: Endgame began through today.
Hobbs & Shaw posted solid exits here of 4 stars from general audiences on PostTrak, 5 stars from parents, 4 1/2 stars from kids under 12, and an A- CinemaScore (versus A for Fate). The duo had to share Imax screens with Lion King, with 285 stateside delivering $2.9M.
While no one was expecting Hobbs & Shaw to open at Furious levels, there was hope by many that it would over-index. And ironically, that’s because we expect the Fast & Furious brand to seep in here somehow and beef up grosses. The spin-off cost $200M, and with P&A, $360M, (some finance sources tell us “too expensive” for an action pic likes this), not far from what Paramount shelled out for Fallout, which wound up at $791.1M global. A $600M WW box office for Hobbs & Shaw should put the pic at break-even during the pic’s home entertainment window, finance sources say. Here’s the thing — spin-offs are hard, tend to come in lower than a franchise sequel, and, by the way, studios need to be careful with th,em because if they’re not good enough, they can be perceived by the public as another sequel in the franchise, and potentially slow down grosses for future pics. At least that’s what happened with Warner Bros.’ Lego movies and Fantastic Beasts pics (when compared to Harry Potter).
Both the West and the South, which have typically been strong regions for Fast & Furious fare, repped close to 60% of the pic’s business since Thursday, versus a 57% norm for other pics in the franchise (just not as strong). Families repped 20% of all moviegoers, versus 80% general audience.
Similar to the Fast and Furious movies, Hobbs & Shaw pulled in a diverse crowd stateside, with Caucasians repping 40% (like Fate of the Furious), Hispanic 27%, African Americans 20% (both similar to Furious 7) and Asian/other 13% (similar to Fate). Uni prioritized diverse demographics in their campaign outreach, leveraging the star power of Eliza Gonzalez and creating elements for Idris Elba. There was a never-been-done integration with Univision’s #1 Spanish
language award show Premios Juventud ,hooking 2M Latino millennials. This included a song-branded performance by pop star Anuel AA, which was interwoven with Hobbs & Shaw clips and spots and included an intro to the performance by Johnson and Gonzalez. There were also an early Spanish language “Fuego” 60-second spot for Hobbs & Shaw featuring new music from reggaetón stars Bad Bunny and El Alfa, which ran during the two biggest soccer tournaments – Copa America on Telemundo and Gold Cup on Univision. With Johnson, Bad Bunny and others posting, the reach was 25M.
Overall, guys over 25 were in the driver’s seat for Hobbs & Shaw at 29%, followed by women over 25 at 28%, men under 25 at 25%, while females under-repped 18% of the audience. Moms and dads were about even, 51% to 49% and boys under 12 outnumbered girls, 62% to 38%.
The campaign for Hobbs & Shaw began with the first trailer launched during the Super Bowl in February, with north of 284M views. This trailer won Twitter’s Entertainment Category Award for the highest in-game conversation of any advertised movie. Some critiqued over the ‘sci-fi nature’ of Idris Elba’s antagonist. Uni pivoted and a second trailer back in April brought in even more views at 391M. A third and final trailer at the end of June dropped, with all three plugs amassing north of 734M views.
“This spinoff had social media momentum that was sustained for months,” praises social media monitor RelishMix. “Using a variety of clips, some of which are downright funny, others that offer true, behind-the-scenes insight, the Fans were consistently entertained. And, the clips continued to feature a new moment or character – as in they didn’t rely too heavily upon The Rock’s Hobbs nor the super-action trademarked by the series.”
According to RelishMix, the online diagnostics for Hobbs & Shaw were off the chart ,with a social media universe across Twitter, YouTube, Facebook and Instagram just 40M shy of 1 billion reach. Trailers went viral at a mind-boggling rate of 52:1 versus the action tentpole average of 13:1. Between Johnson and Statham, they deliver close to 300M followers on their handles. Statham had a ‘bottle-top’ challenge back on July 1 which drew 22M.
TV spots ran on such pivotal events as the Stanley Cup playoffs, the BET Awards, the NBA Finals, American Ninja Warrior, The Voice and Saturday Night Live. Additional awareness included a custom NBA draft stunt featuring Johnson and Statham, a custom vignette for UFC fans, and Johnson receiving the Generation Award at the MTV Movie Awards in June. There was also a Shark Week Takeover on Discovery Channel for Hobbs & Shaw and a custom “Back Seat” Drivers vignette on MTV’s Double Shot at Love. Promotional partnerships included Brisk, Turo, and McLaren, the automotive brand’s first film partnership. Hobbs & Shaw also took over the Summer of Soccer with six spots in both the Gold Cup and Copa America tournaments.
After the NBA Finals, fans got a treat of a busy bunch of news, ranging from big league stars moving teams to new rookies’ placement in the pros. One of those pros was Duke forward Zion Williamson, who had an enormous one year turn in college, and plans an even bigger rookie season in the NBA. So, the Hobbs & Shaw campaign decided to cut a little spot featuring “rivals become teammates” that compared The Rock & Statham’s characters with Zion Williamson and RJ Barrett. These views were unique to the two players and don’t count all the earned eyes on YouTube and other platforms posted by Universal. “Other campaigns could take a page out of this effort to engage a similar, crossover audience to Furious fans,” says RelishMix.
When it comes to launching a tentpole, Universal taps into its vertical integration Comcast/NBCUniversal Symphony program, and this time around that included a co-branded campaign with Xfinity, an episode takeover of NBC’s Songland, NBCU Hobbs & Shaw theme nights across NBC, USA, Syfy and Telemundo, and a multi-channel takeover across 20 markets.
One pic that arguably slowed Hobbs & Shaw down was Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, even though it’s set to rank third this weekend. Sony has the pic with a $20M second weekend (versus the industry’s average of $19.4M) which is a nice -51% hold. (Inglourious Basterds had a -49% hold in weekend 2 with $19.3M). Saturday saw $8M, +41%.
Even though Hobbs is pulling in more diverse crowds and families, the pic is overlapping with Hollywood in the 18-34 demo, with each pic respectively pulling in 50% and 52% of that crowd. Hollywood is still very much a ‘must see’ movie, and Friday night’s 8PM 70MM showtime at the Hollywood Arclight’s Cinerama Dome was nearly sold out, earning a huge shout from attendees when the iconic theater popped on screen and applause at the end. We hear the Hollywood Arclight was the highest-grossing venue in the country for Hollywood, with $127K through Friday and Saturday, followed by Arclight Sherman Oaks, which racked up $51K, followed by AMC Burbank ($46K), LA’s The Grove ($39k) and Lincoln Square NYC which did $39K. 70mm through the weekend will have a cume gross of $1M with 35MM through the weekend counting $2.5M.
Meanwhile, Disney’s The Lion King saw a $15.2M Saturday, +37% over Friday, sending it over the $400M mark on that day. Third weekend is $38.2M in No. 2, -50% for a total of $430.9M by EOD today.
A24’s The Farewell jumps from No. 10 last weekend to No. 7 this weekend with $2.4M per the distrib on 426 runs in 97 markets (an additional 59 markets from a week ago). Saturday delivered $957K, +35% over Friday. Great runs in New York, LA, Chicago, San Francisco, Houston, Seattle, Phoenix and San Diego. We hear that the expansions aren’t as strong as the original limited runs. The pic needs to either expand quickly or sit tight for three weeks and go for the big pop over Labor Day.
As adult counter-programming gets into full swing for August, there’s a number of notable indie pics entering the marketplace. NEON has the R-rated family drama Luce from director Julius Onah in New York and LA. The movie has the best per-screen of the weekend at $26.5K, or $132.9K. The Lincoln Square, Angelika, Alamo Drafthouse Brooklyn in NY, Drafthouse in LA and Landmark are pulling in respectable numbers. Pic is 94% certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.
Next, IFC has the Sundance premiere The Nightingale from Babadook director Jennifer Kent at Arclight Hollywood and NY’s IFC Center. OK numbers we hear with a $20.4K per screen or $40.8K for the weekend. Last Monday, Taika Waititi hosted a packed tastemaker screening at NeueHouse in Hollywood, which drew Pedro Pascal and Catherine Hardwicke, along with Kent and Nightingale actress Aisling Franciosi. Pic, set in 1825 Australia, follows a convict Irish woman, who with the help of an Aboriginal tracker, chases down the British officer who killed her family. Pic is 79% certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. Pic will be booked in Austin, San Francisco, Boston, DC, along with additional top theatres in Manhattan and Brooklyn (Lincoln Center and BAM).
Cohen Media Group had the Sameh Zoabi comedy Tel Aviv on Fire at 10 runs in five markets, with mild results in New York, and bad elsewhere. An estimated $50,7K for the weekend. Pic is 87% fresh on RT.
1091 Media’s Sundance acquisition Them That Follow earned $15K at 3 cinemas in NY and LA for a $5K per screen. Unfortunately, not so good for this Walton Goggins drama about backwoods Pentecostal snake handlers.
Studio-reported top 10:
WEEKEND B.O. FOR AUG. 2-4
Estimates as of Saturday AM:
BOX OFFICE FOR AUG. 2-4
3rd UPDATE, Friday midday: Hobbs & Shaw is currently seeing $22 million-$22.5 million for the day, including last night’s money, and an opening between $55M-$57M. Two things here to consider: West Coast business last night pushed the Universal pic past its earlier-day expectations, and the same thing could occur here by dusk. Also, Cineplex Odeon’s box office gross system is down which is throwing off Canadian estimates.
The Lion King is seeing $35M-$37M in weekend 3, for a running total of $429.6M at the high end by Sunday.
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is looking at fantastic hold between $20M-$23M, which is bests the second weekend of Inglourious Basterds ($19.3M). Cume on the high end by Sunday should be at $81.8M. Adult counter-programming power. Way to go, Sony.
UPDATED, Friday AM after Thursday night exclusive: Hobbs & Shaw grossed $5.8 million on Thursday per Universal at 3,400 locations. Showtimes began at 7 PM, and the David Leitch-directed title moves to 4,253 theaters in U.S. and Canada today. It was looking low there for Hobbs & Shaw for a second, but the West Coast came out. PostTrak exits are solid out of the gate with 4 stars, and 4 1/2 stars with parents and kids under 12.
As we spotted yesterday, it’s the best preview night for Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham outside the Fast and Furious franchise, respectively beating San Andreas’ $3.1M and The Meg‘s $4M. Last night’s cash is $200,000 shy of what Mission: Impossible – Fallout earned about a year ago with $6M in previews. That movie turned out to be the best opening in the Tom Cruise franchise with a $61.2M opening. Fallout cost $180M before P&A and went on to gross $220.1M stateside and $791.1M worldwide.
Can Hobbs & Shaw, with a price tag of $200M before distribution and marketing spend, emulate or better those figures ultimately? It will take a lot from foreign should Hobbs & Shaw meet its domestic tracking this weekend with a $60M+ start.
Disney’s The Lion King ended its second week with an estimated $117.4M, taking its running total to $392.7M. The pic will climb to $400M+ today as it gathers $37M-$40M in weekend 3. The pic is $104M from overtaking Beauty and the Beast, which is Disney’s highest-grossing animation remake stateside.
Sony’s Quentin Tarantino movie Once Upon a Time in Hollywood had a fantastic week with solid weekdays, taking in an estimated $58.8M. That figure is 9% ahead of the first week of Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds, which ended its domestic run at $120.5M. The second weekend for Hollywood is projected between $18M-$22M.
PREVIOUSLY, Thursday 6:28 PM EXCLUSIVE: Universal’s Fast and Furious spinoff Hobbs & Shaw starring Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham is currently seeing a Thursday night that’s between $4.5M-$5M. East coast shows are already in full swing with west coast starting at 7PM PST. This is a bid by Uni to take their $5 billion-plus Fast & Furious series to another level, spinning it off potentially into another franchise. We will see. Pic’s Rotten Tomatoes score is settling at 71% Fresh, which isn’t awful, it’s just that movie execs like to see better.
While tonight’s numbers, as expected, are well below some of the most recent Furious films, i.e. Furious 7 ($15.8M) and Fate of the Furious ($10.4M), that was to be expected because the Dominic Toretto gang isn’t all here.
Outside of the Furious series, Hobbs & Shaw will likely be Johnson’shighest preview for a live-action pic besting the Thursdays of San Andreas ($3.1M), Rampage ($2.4M) and Skyscraper ($1.95M). It’s also bound to be Statham’s best, besting The Meg from last August which made $4M in previews, and higher than Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation ($4M Thursday, $20.3M Friday, $55.5M opening). At this point in time, Hobbs & Shaw is under Mission: Impossible-Fallout‘s $6M preview which translated into a $22.8M Friday, $61.2M opening.
Typically, Fast & Furious movies overindex on the West Coast and deliver a huge Hispanic turnout. The night isn’t over for Hobbs & Shaw, so we’ll see what comes.
Meanwhile, Warner Bros. has dropped their trailer to Christopher Nolan’s next international espionage movie Tenet on prints of Hobbs & Shaw. This is exclusively theatrical as Nolan believes in the moviegoing experience, with no word as to when the trailer will drop online. Word is that the teaser doesn’t show a lot of action, just star John David Washington, along with the tagline “It’s time for a new protagonist.”
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