The first weekend of the year, which at its apex in 2016 grossed $219.5M off the heat of Disney’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens, registered an estimated $13M for the entire weekend. That’s in a continued decimated exhibition marketplace that’s praying to reopen in 2021.
Warner Bros.’ theatrical release of Wonder Woman 1984, which is also available on HBO Max for the next 21 days, grossed $5.5M, -67%, for a running domestic B.O. of $28.5M. From that kind of drop, it sounds like whatever moviegoing public exists out there finally got the message that they can see the movie at a cheaper price for the family at home on HBO Max. Either that or given the B+ CinemaScore on WW1984, word of mouth has stalled the sequel at the box office, and folks have figured out that it’s more economical for them to watch it at home. Warners has yet to provide hard numerical details on the spike in subscribers or viewership for WW1984 on HBO Max.
Despite the awful New Year’s weekend, many pics respecting some sort of theatrical window saw weekend-to-weekend gains in their grosses from the previous Christmas 3-day, i.e. Monster Hunter, Fatale, Croods 2, Pinocchio, War With Grandpa, Come Play, or decent holds, i.e. Promising Young Woman and News of the World. Also, showing that some moviegoing habits haven’t changed even with fewer people going, Saturday’s daily box office business for most of the top 10 films was, on average, +11% over Friday.
While Warner is banging the drum on the global cume, now at $118.5M, which, let’s face it, would be significantly higher had the studio waited this tentpole out to a healthier time in the marketplace, box office analysts believe the Patty Jenkins movie will fizzle at around $40M in a domestic marketplace where 60% of all 5.5K theaters are closed. Warner’s Tenet, with the No. 2 chain Regal open during the majority of that pic’s run, halted at $57.9M. A reminder that with fewer box office DMAs open, the majors are also holding on their usual tentpole marketing spend.
Meanwhile, read the @HBOMaxHelp Twitter feed and you’ll see that streaming glitches continue for the DC sequel, specifically the Roku device. Here’s but one public example from the weekend:
Hey @HBOMaxHelp, what's going on with WW84? All your other content looks great. I try to watch this film and it's stuttering all over the place. Totally unwatchable. 🤔
— They Call Me Nels (@TheyCallMeNels) January 1, 2021
While it’s already been reported that critics soured greatly on the movie, dropping their Rotten Tomatoes score from 89% certified fresh on Dec. 16 to a current 60% fresh, social media analyst RelishMix noticed that the DC sequel’s recent social media chatter ranked a 4.5 out of 10 in its conversation meter.
“Convo before release was exceptional in tracking for the next chapter. But since opening, chatter is wildly mixed, with questions about the exception powers of ‘The Dreamstone’, the re-birth of Chris Pine’s character, to Kristen Wiig’s transformation. Review spots drill deeper about the pace of the storyline, as well as Wonder Woman moments throughout the film. Fans are hoping for a 2021 return to the big screen with popcorn, ASAP,” reports RelishMix.
That said, the social media push for the pic, particularly by star Gal Gadot, has been wonderful. “The social channels for WW84 across Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram, with the movie official pages (3.9M), the studio (53.8M) and DC channels (8.2M) — the Social Media Universe of Gal Gadot (60.5M) is the strongest driver of engagement since opening. Specifically, activity on the Gadot Instagram over the week has clocked over 8M likes.”
Since Christmas day, the hottest Gadot post took fans behind-the-scenes, which they clearly savor, with 2.7M likes and over 10K comments on image:
Over on TikTok, Gal Gadot and her marketing/glam-squad haven’t missed a beat with continuous posting to extend to another 1.2M fans.
Other stats on WW1984 for the weekend include Canada grossing an additional $6.2M. The exhibition situation is so bad in the Great White North, the sequel has a simultaneous PVOD release.
The top 10 locations for the weekend were: 1. Cinemark West Jordan SLC, 2. AMC Disney Springs Orlando, 3. Paramount Drive-In Los Angeles, 4. District Megaplex South Jordan SLC, 5. Santikos Palladium San Antonio, 6. Cinemark Pharr Town Center, 7. Cinemark Majestic Meridian Boise, 8. Estrella Falls Phoenix, 9. Cinemark University Mall Orem SLC, and 10. Victoria Ward Honolulu
And top 10 DMA markets were 1. Salt Lake City, 2. Dallas, 3. Phoenix, 5. Greater New York Metro area (NJ, CT, and Upstate NY theaters), 4. Houston, 6. Orlando, 7. Atlanta, 8. Tampa, 9. Miami, and 10. Las Vegas.
Elsewhere, Universal and Focus, as has been practice, filled out four spots in the top 10, eight in the top 20. Their DreamWorks Animation’s Croods: A New Age hasn’t stopped on the big screen since its Thanksgiving debut given its current availability on PVOD with a sixth weekend take of $2.18M in 2nd, +25% for a running total of $34.5M. The sequel’s global take is at $115M.
Uni western News of the World filed 3rd with $1.69M in weekend 2, -25%, for a 10-day total of $5.4M. Focus Features’ Promising Young Women slots 6th with $660K, -8%, for a 10-day of $1.9M.
Promising Young Woman‘s top theatres and markets for the first weekend of 2021 are similar to last week’s results. New York moves up to become the pic’s second biggest market. “The New York market share without the New York City theatres has not been placing this high overall during the pandemic so you can see that the film is really making an impact,” reads the Focus morning release. “Austin and Washington DC are also have an unusually high market share in this pandemic time period on Promising Young Woman.” Overall, top markets were Dallas (6.4% of the B.O.), NY (5.4%), Phoenix (5.1%), Houston (4.4%), Atlanta (2.8%), Austin (2.8%), Salt Lake City (2.7%), Orlando (2.5%), Miami (2.3%) and Washington DC (2.1%).
We’re building out the top 10 chart for Jan. 1-3, 2021:
1.) Wonder Woman 1984 (WB) 2,151 theaters/$5.5M (-67%)/Total: $28.5M/Wk 2
2.) Croods: A New Age (Uni) 1,751 theaters (+25), 3-day: $2.18M(+25%), Total: $34.5M/Wk 6
3.) News of the World (Uni) 1,928 theaters (+28), 3-day: $1.69M (-25%)/Total: $5.4M/Wk 2
4.) Monster Hunter (Sony) 1,807 theaters (-10), 3-day: $1.25M (+11%)/Total: $6.3M/Wk 3
5.) Fatale (Lionsgate) 1,183 theaters (+15), 3-day: $700K (+6%), Total: $3.09M/Wk 3
6.) Promising Young Woman (Focus) 1,333 theaters (+23), 3-day: $660K (-8%)/ Total: $1.9M/Wk 2
7.) Pinocchio (RSA) 795 theaters (+9), 3-day: $284k (+4%)/Total:$772,8K/Wk 2
8.) The War With Grandpa (101) 305 theaters (-210), 3-day: $114K (+27%), Total: $18.7M/Wk 13
9.) Alien (20th) 505 theaters, 3-day $75K/Total: $81.9M/Wk 505
10.) Come Play (Foc/Amb) 110 theaters (-13), 3-day: $55K (+28%)/Total: $9.56M/Wk
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