Refresh for updates The top grossing titles at the weekend domestic box office, were straight from Canada with Paramount’s SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run landing the No. 1 spot with $900K from 300 locations per the Melrose Ave studio with $345K on Friday, and $300K on Saturday, -13%.
SpongeBob Movie, along with Trolls: World Tour, have been the only new major studio mainstream movies (not counting specialty label titles) to be released during the pandemic.
Solstice Studios’ Russell Crowe road rage movie Unhinged, distributed in Canada by VVS, but it made $230K on Friday for a $582K 3-day.
This past weekend, the country’s hard-top theaters were largely reopened, led by Canada’s biggest chain, Cineplex Entertainment, which had 137 of its 164 locations reopened. Their entire circuit from St. John’s, Newfoundland, to Victoria, British Columbia will be open next weekend. Landmark, Canada’s other notable chain, has been open for weeks. I hear business for both movies was more prominent in the suburbs than the city; the notoin that people are largely avoiding public transportation during the pandemic.
For those completely not in the know about box office, a film’s domestic weekend results are always made up of Canada and U.S. tickets sales. Canada typically reps 8%-10% of the domestic box office on a major tentpole opening in both countries. While neither pic’s results were mindblowing, they are respectable, especially as exhibition aims to click back with reduced auditorium capacities (ranging from 20%-40%). In an effort to assess the new normal (Saturday saw dips for both movies), distributors and exhibition want to look at the big picture of a film, i.e. a week’s set of grosses, in an effort to assess a film’s commercial potential. In Europe, for Unhinged, Sunday has been an up-day; Solstice is curious if that will occur in Canada. Also, over the weekend, the weather was great, and there was hockey on Friday night, both competitors to moviegoing. School doesn’t start in Canada until Sept. 8, so Paramount is looking forward to a good runway with Sponge on the Run.
“I’m excited with the marketplace open and that people are going to the movies,” Paramount’s domestic distribution boss Chris Aronson told Deadline this morning.
“This is a good solid start,” said Solstice chairman/CEO Mark Gill about Unhinged‘s results in the Great White North. “What we’re seeing largely everywhere in the world is that slow and steady wins the race. Week after week, you keep seeing that we aren’t dropping 40% rather 8-10% in most markets.”
Most of Unhinged‘s P&A (roughly 40%) will be on fire this week as it heads to its U.S. theatrical opening on Friday with a total domestic footprint of 2,000 theaters. AMC and Regal will officially be reopening on Friday, with Cinemark expanding the rest of its exhibition balance. Australia has been the boom country for Unhinged, grossing the most to date with $2.1M prior to Friday since July 30.
Here in the U.S., the second weekend of RLJE Films’ Shia LaBeouf movie The Tax Collector took in $203,7K at 138 locations for a 10-day of $634K. The pic was No. 1 last weekend. The action movie from David Ayer has clocked over $5M on digital and VOD platforms in its first eight days, remains No. 1 on the iTunes charts.
IFC’s fourth weekend of Dave Franco’s The Rental drew $78K at 144 theaters for a running total of $1.3M.
Saban Films title The Silencing starring Annabelle Wallis and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau opened to $44,8K on 76 screens. Pic also debuted on DirecTV PVOD this weekend.
Other notables for the weekend: week 24 of Sony Pictures Classics’ Burnt Orange Heresy made $14,6K at 84 screens for a total of $94,6K.
IFC Midnight opened Sputnik in theaters and On Demand this weekend with the former earning $12K at 32 theaters. The movie from Egor Abramenko follows a lone survivor of an enigmatic spaceship incident who returns back home with a dangerous creature hiding inside his body. Sputnik ranked No. 1 on iTunes’ horror chart, and ranked within the platform’s top 4 films overall.
Warner Bros. domestic didn’t report its results for the 10th anniversary re-release of Inception at 210 locations in Canada, but Warner Bros. Int’l says that the 37-market offshore number in on 2,850 screens is $1.6M. Imax global alone took in $640K at 181 screens in 27 markets; that figure includes Canadian ticket sales. Inception played on both 2D and Imax screens in Canada. The Christopher Nolan directed Leonardo DiCaprio noir thriller opens in the U.S. on Friday.
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