SUNDAY AM UPDATE: For all the headlines about Omicron, in many ways the Christmas box office isn’t unlike others pre-pandemic, where one film is driving the majority of business. With the 3-day for all films estimated to ring up around $154M, Sony/Marvel’s Spider-Man: No Way Home is driving 53% of that figure. It has a 3-day of $81.5M, with only one other event film expected in the long run, that being Illumination/Universal’s Sing 2, which is notching a $41M 5-day start.
All of this is quite similar to Christmas 2015 when Star Wars: Force Awakens was the big star atop the holiday box office, and Paramount’s family film Daddy’s Home the only other movie to make it past $100M in the long run. Global for Spidey is finally at $1.05 billion WW, the first pic to cross that milestone during the Covid era, with domestic being $467.3M of that figure as of EOD today.
Thanks to great film options and safety-first protocols at theaters, moviegoing confidence continues to grow. Attendance is pacing at an increase of 50% since the last 5-day holiday period, Thanksgiving. That means for every two tickets sold over Thanksgiving, three are being sold over the Christmas weekend, according to box office data firm EntTelligence.
They report that Spider-Man: No Way Home has sold 38M tickets since opening, a figure that’s close to the entire population of California. The most-attended films during the five day period Dec. 22-26 were No Way Home (12.6M), Sing 2 (4.1M), The Matrix Resurrections (1.76M) and The King’s Man (920K).
With the third-highest grossing Christmas Day ever at the B.O. with $31.7M, after Force Awakens’ $49.3M and Rise of Skywalker‘s $32.1M, Spider-Man: No Way Home isn’t being slowed by Omicron. If you were expecting bigger numbers on No Way Home, note that Christmas falling on a Saturday also impacts the amount that can be generated: Essentially, a day-and-a-half of ticket sales are impacted (Friday and a majority of yesterday) since business doesn’t fire up until after Christmas dinner on Saturday evening.
It’s arguable for certain older-skewing adult films that omicron is slowing their ticket sales, i.e. West Side Story, Nightmare Alley, A Journal for Jordan, although UAR/MGM’s Licorice Pizza showed signs of life, making a similar amount of money to its predecessors, but in significantly less theaters —$2.33M in 786 locations, for a $3K theater average–66% of its audience being spurred by 18-34 year-olds.
West Side Story in its third weekend did $2.8M (-23%) at 2,810 theaters, Denzel Washington’s drama A Journal for Jordan saw $2.2M at 2,500 theaters, while the second weekend of Searchlight’s Nightmare Alley did $1.3M, -54% at 2,135.
Illumination/Universal’s Sing 2 did $8.42M on Christmas Day, +61% over Christmas Eve, for what looks to be a $23.76M 3-day, $41M 5-day. Universal Domestic Distribution Boss Jim Orr exclaimed, “Audiences have shown us by this fantastic box office result, and our incredible audience reaction scores, that Sing 2 is the perfect movie to see this holiday season. The music, the performances, the fun and energy brought to the screen by Chris Meledandri and Illumination are helping to make the world a bit brighter.”
Geographically, the sequel played evenly across North America, with Mountain, Midwest, and South Central family regions robust. The top ten markets were LA, Dallas, NY, Salt Lake City, Houston, Chicago, Phoenix, San Francisco, Denver, and Atlanta. Per PostTrak, women led at 58%, 56% under 25, and 44% 17 and under. Diverse spread for a family movie with 39% Hispanic and Latino, 35% Caucasian, 15% Black and 7% Asian.
RelishMix says that the voiceover cast of Sing 2 are driving 31% of its 100.1M social media reach across Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, led by Reese Witherspoon at 33.6M, Nick Roll at 2.7M, Matthew McConaughey at 18.5M and a non-activated Halsey at 27.6M. Overall social media universe, including YouTube for the Illumination sequel, stands at 393.1M, 24% above norms for pre-Covid family animation, and higher than recent releases Encanto (272.6M), Addams Family 2 (236.6), Tom & Jerry (159.2M), Sprit Untamed (111.1M) and Croods: A New Age (238.5M). Illumination Studios feeds YouTube owned materials to 3M subscribers and cross-promoted to Universal channels.
Warner Bros./Village Roadshow’s Matrix Resurrections saw $4.65M yesterday, +72% from Friday, for a not-so-good $12M 3-day, $22.5M 5-day for the fourthquel in the 22-year old franchise — far lower than the $40M the studio was expecting over five days. Blame HBO Max, blame lackluster audience reactions, blame Christmas falling on a Saturday, blame everything. The 3-day on Matrix Resurrections is, gulp, lower than the 3-day on Warner Bros.’ Wonder Woman 1984, which opened over that Christmas weekend with $16.7M at 2,151 theaters; also a day-and-date HBO Max release, but in a marketplace where significantly more theaters were closed, including NYC and LA. Yikes. This is the last of theatrical-day-and-date Warner Bros. event titles to hit HBO Max.
It’s not like fans weren’t aware of Matrix Resurrections. The fourthqel counted over 600.6M followers across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube, per RelishMix. HBO Max grew 4X over the last year, up to a near 6M social media universe, next to Warner Bros. Pictures SMU at 57.4M, with a studio YouTube channel now crossing 10M subscribers. “All of these stats run 2X over the norm for the genre as far as awareness and reach,” says RelishMix, which noticed excitement for the sequel heading into the weekend, with fans asking on social “‘What took so long?’ and questions swirling about Neo’s return and the original Morpheus.” We’ll see the Samba TV numbers tomorrow as to whether all that excitement translated into HBO Max viewers.
Matrix played best in the West, with Imax and PLF repping 22% of its business, with most of those screens going back to Spider-Man: No Way Home tomorrow after the Burbank, CA studio had to share ’em with Sony.
Lionsgate and Kingdom Story Company’s American Underdog blitzes its way into 4th place, with $6.2M for its two days of release at 2,813 theaters, which is in the $4M-$7M range the studio was expecting. There’s seriously a wait-and-see on this A+ CinemaScore movie, as it’s apt to play in the red states, where the unvaccinated adult audiences have few fears about omicron (versus the Northeast, scroll down for NRG’s take). The box office was driven by 52% men, with the 25+ moviegoers being 79% over 25. There’s also a faith-based halo working in the movie’s favor as well.
However, the biggest casualty of Christmas is 20th Century Studios/Disney’s Matthew Vaughn-directed/MARV produced prequel The King’s Man, with $6.35M over 3-days and $10M over 5 days at 3,180 theaters. Did anyone know this movie was a prequel to Vaughn’s Kingsmen movies? And did any of the fans care, given how it takes place around WWI? Promos for this movie have been running for the last two years, and the film, because of the pandemic, had several release date changes, moving from Feb. 14, 2020 to Sept. 18, 2020; Feb. 26, 2021; March 12, 2021; Aug. 20, 2021; before landing on Dec. 22.
While there’s a lot of money for movies to make over the year-end holiday, I don’t think the latest release date served this left turn in the 20th Century Studios’/MARV franchise. Previous dates for this movie arguably allowed this prequel to stand on its own, sans the noise of a big guy film like Spider-Man: No Way Home distracting from it. If there was any care to be provided to King’s Man, it was to truly harp on its connection to the previous two contemporary movies, which the trailers didn’t provide loudly enough. Back in December 2019, King’s Man trailers were playing in theaters alongside 1917, providing confusion as to which WWI movie was which. However, the latter ultimately distinguished itself with its Oscar momentum and one-track shot action, while King’s Man became the movie which was delayed.
Of course, the tried and true question is, why didn’t King’s Man go to a streamer, and likely that’s because these 20th Century Studios’ event pics, like Free Guy, were tied to a previous pay one TV window commitment the studio had with HBO. Even with the Armie Hammer scandal hanging over Death on the Nile, that 20th movie is sticking to a theatrical window release of Feb. 11, 2022.
The King’s Man skewed 65% men, 54% between 18-34, and 40% over 35. Advance social media buzz was mixed for this prequel, according to RelishMix, and while a social media universe state of 155.2M was on par for the genre, “re-dates have distracted fans,” says the analytics corp. Further pouring water on any buzz for The King’s Man is that it doesn’t boast a cast with social media handles, the exception being “a well activated Djimon Hounsou with 1.1M fans” says RelishMix.
1.) Spider-Man: No Way Home (Sony) 4,336 theaters, Fri $19.65M (-33%)/Sat $31.7M/Sun $30.1M/3-day $81.5M (-69%)/5-day $138.6M/ Total: $467.3MWk 2
2.) Sing 2 (Uni/Ill) 3,892 theaters, Fri $5.22M/Sat $8.42M/Sun $10.1M/3-day $23.76M/5-day+previews: $41M/Wk 1
3.) Matrix Resurrections (WB) 3,552 theaters, Fri $2.7M/Sat $4.65M/Sun $4.65M/3-day $12M/5-day $22.5M/Wk 1
4.) American Underdog (LG) 2,813 theaters, Sat $4.2M/Sun 2M/2-Day: $6.2M/Wk 1
5.) The King’s Man (20th/Dis) 3,180 theaters Fri $1.2M/Sat $2.6M/Sun $2.55M/3-day $6.1M/5-day $10M/Wk 1
6.) West Side Story (20th/Dis) 2,810 (-10) theaters, Fri $546K (-48%)/Sat $1.2M/Sun $1.05M/3-day $2.8M (-23%)/5-day $4.19M/Total $23.9M/Wk 3
7.) Licorice Pizza (UAR) 786 (+781) theaters, Fri $7K/Sat $1.22M/Sun $1.1M/ 3-day $2.34M (+2622%)/5-day $2.36M/Total $3.6M/Wk 5
8.) A Journal for Jordan (Sony) 2,500 theaters, Sat $1.2M/Sun $1M/2-day: $2.2M/Wk 1
9.) Encanto (Dis) 2,800 (-375) theaters, Fri $496K (-70%)/Sat $727K/Sun $777K/ 3-day $2M (-69%), 5-day $3.86M/Total $88.3M/Wk 5
10.) ‘83 (Reliance) 500 theaters, Fri $716K/Sat $548K/Sun $523K/3-day $1.78M/Wk 1
11.) Nightmare Alley (Sea) 2,135 theaters, Fri $233K (-81%)/Sat $525K/Sun $542K/ 3-day: $1.3M (-54%)/5-day $1.87M/Total $5.5M/Wk 2
12.) Ghostbusters: Afterlife (Sony) 1,728 (-1,567) theaters, Fri $265K (-72%) /Sat $505K/Sun $465K/3-day $1.2M (-65%)/5-day $2M/ Total: $120.5M/Wk 6
13.) House of Gucci (UAR/MGM) 907 (-1,000) theaters, /Fri $157K (-73%)/Sat $392K/Sun $372K/3-day $922K (-54%)/5-day: $1.39MTotal: $47.1M/Wk 5
SATURDAY AM UPDATE, Christmas Eve box office figures: Despite the slowdown in ticket sales on Christmas Eve, Sony/Marvel’s Spider-Man: No Way Home was still robust with an estimated $19.65M at 4,336 theaters, -33% from Thursday, which is the average drop for the pre-holiday day. Spider-Man: No Way Home is expected to bring in a second weekend of $92.3M, per Sony, which is a steeper-than-expected drop at 65%, but it’s the second-biggest Christmas weekend after Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which rang up $149.2M in 2015 and was -40% in its second frame.
What makes these numbers go higher for No Way Home? It all depends on how big today is and tomorrow as moviegoing is expected to take off after Christmas dinner. In fact, rivals see Spider-Man: No Way Home higher, with at least $99M in Weekend 2. The running domestic total through eight days for No Way Home is $405.5M. The pic will crack $1 billion today around the world.
Among top-grossing Christmas Eve days, No Way Home is third after Force Awakens’ $27.3M and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker‘s $20.2M in 2019. The ensemble movie led by Tom Holland, Zendaya and Benedict Cumberbatch looks to stand at $478.1M by EOD tomorrow, 11% behind Force Awakens, which had collected $540M in its first ten days.
Illumination/Universal’s Sing 2 made $5.25M on Friday, -30%, on its way to a $22.76M 3-day, $40M 5-day. If anyone remarks, “What’s the big deal? It’s the same opening as Encanto,” realize that Sing 2 has a path where all schools are off well into early January, unlike that Disney film which is already on Disney+ after 31 days of an exclusive theatrical window.
Warner Bros/Village Roadshow’s The Matrix Resurrections saw $2.7M on Friday, -34%. The movie looks to come in on a similar level to Christmas 2016 sci-fi Passengers with more than $14M for the 3-day, and over $24M for the 5-day. Passengers, with a budget of $110M, wasn’t deemed profitable with a $303M WW take, however, with the HBO Max certainly taking away some ticket sales on this B- fourthquel, it’s all about subscriptions for the greater WarnerMedia during the pandemic. The top brass attribute this theatrical day-and-date pandemic plan as being a driver for new HBO Max accounts.
20th Century Studios/Disney’s The King’s Man grossed $1.2M on Friday at 3,180, -14% from Thursday, its 3-day outlook being $6.1M, 5-day estimated at $9.7M. Spidey and Matrix are stealing men, plus anything period is a challenge when trying to collect a mass audience, and if it’s a period men’s actioner — just forget about it.
Columbia Pictures’ A Journal for Jordan took in $285K in Friday, with night early shows that began at 2 p.m. from 1,972 locations. The movie will play at 2,500 sites today. Lionsgate’s Erwin Brothers-directed family football drama American Underdog is booked at 2,813 theaters.
Breaking into the holiday weekend’s top 10 is the Kabir Khan-directed ’83 about India’s incredible Cricket World Cup victory that year. The Reliance Entertainment movie in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu had big results in NYC, San Francisco, Seattle and Toronto along with solid runs in L.A., Chicago, Philly and Dallas, all of which could result in an estimated 3-day of $2.63M at 500 theaters.
According to NRG, moviegoer comfort has declined with the most recent news about Omicron, going from 74% who said that they were very or somewhat comfortable attending a movie theater last week to 69% for the holiday weekend. Of those polled, 34% feel that the situation is “‘getting worse,” which is +7 points from Monday and +13 points from just a week ago. This is similar to what NRG spotted in early August, when “getting worse” grew +12 points to 34% from July 28-Aug. 4.
Meanwhile, in the Northeast, “getting worse” has exploded from 27% a week ago to 47% before this weekend. That’s 15 points ahead of any other region, reinforcing how dramatic the situation is in that area. Ten days ago, 21% of vaccinated moviegoers and 20% of non-vaccinated moviegoers said the situation was getting worse. Now, it is 42% for vaccinated and just 23% for non-vaccinated. And in the last week, comfort among vaccinated has dropped -7 to 64%, while non-vaccinated fell just 1% to 72%.
While all quads polled fell more comfortable with vaccines, of those currently very and somewhat comfortable are men and women under 25 — at 78% and 74%, respectively — while men and women over 25 trail at 66% and 63%. respectively.
1.) Spider-Man: No Way Home (Sony) 4,336 theaters, Fri $19.65M (-33%)/3-day $92.3M (-65%)/5-day $149.4M/ Total: $478.1MWk 2
2.) Sing 2 (Uni/Ill) 3,892 theaters, Fri $5.25M/3-day $22.76M/5-day+previews: $40M/Wk 1
3.) Matrix Resurrections (WB) 3,552 theaters, Fri $2.7M/3-day $14M/5-day $24M/Wk 1
4.) The King’s Man (20th/Dis) 3,180 theaters Fri $1.2M/3-day $6.1M/5-day $9.7M/Wk 1
5.) West Side Story (20th/Dis) 2,810 (-10) theaters, Fri $546K (-48%)/3-day $2.675M (-27%)/5-day $4.065M/Total $23.7M/Wk 3
6.) Encanto (Dis) 2,800 (-375) theaters, Fri $496K (-70%)/3-day $1.87M (-71%), 5-day $3.7M/Total $88.1M/Wk 5
7.) Licorice Pizza (UAR) 786 (+781) theaters, Fri $7K/3-day $2.68M (+3053%)/5-day $2.71M/Total $4M/Wk 5
8.) ‘83 (Reliance) 500 theaters, Fri $716K/3-day $2.63M/Wk 1
9.) Ghostbusters: Afterlife (Sony) 1,728 (-1,567) theaters, Fri $265K (-72%) /3-day $1.325M (-61%)/5-day $2.14M/ Total: $120.55M/Wk 6
10.) Nightmare Alley (Sea) 2,135 theaters, Fri $233K (-81%)/3-day: $1.17M (-58%)/5-day $1.74M/Total $5.2M/Wk 2
11.) House of Gucci (UAR/MGM) 907 (-1,000) theaters, /Fri $157K (-73%)/3-day $709K (-64%)/5-day: $1.17MTotal: $46.9M/Wk 5
FRIDAY AM UPDATE: Sony/Marvel’s Spider-Man: No Way Home ends the week with $385.8M, the third-best opening week at the domestic box office of all time after Avengers: Endgame ($473.9M, 2019) and Star Wars: The Force Awakens ($390.8M, 2015). Sony reports that the film on Saturday will become the first $1 billion-grossing movie of the pandemic at the global box office.
Spidey is pacing 1% behind the running domestic total of Force Awakens, however, it remains to be seen whether the Jon Watts-directed MCU title can keep up with the Lucasfilm sequel, that movie hitting $571.4M on its 11th day of release (Monday). Still, should No Way Home fall short of that figure, it’s like complaining about how far Mike Trout hit two home runs.
No Way Home earned $29.3M stateside on Thursday at 4,336 theaters, +9% from Wednesday. That’s the sixth-highest Thursday for a movie in regular release after Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith ($50M, 2005), The Matrix Reloaded ($37.5M, 2003), The Hangover Part II ($31.6M, 2011), Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker ($30.58M, 2019) and Star Wars: Attack of the Clones ($30.1M, 2002).
Due to Christmas Eve and theaters going quiet for the evening as many celebrate or head to church, expect ticket sales to be down. The Star Wars movies that played at Christmas — Force Awakens, The Last Jedi, Rise of Skywalker and Rogue One — saw an average daily box office drop on Christmas Eve of 33%. Force Awakens made the most on Christmas Eve with $27.3M, followed by Rise of Skywalker with $20.2M, Last Jedi with $17.6M and Rogue One with $15.3M. Force Awakens holds the Christmas Day record for the most made by any film with $49.3M domestic.
Comscore reports 100% of schools and colleges on holiday break for the rest of the year.
In second place Thursday was Illumination/Universal’s Sing 2, which took in $7.5M at 3,892 venues, an 8% dip, for a two-day gross of $15.4M, which is 25% behind the two days of Sing. Those Black Friday weekend previews amounted to $1.6M and put the running total for Sing 2 at $17.2M. The outlook for the sequel is great, with at least $40M-$42M for five days. Great Comscore/Screen Engine PostTrack exits here for sequel from writer-director Garth Jennings in addition to its A+ CinemaScore, with 91% positive and a 78% recommend from the general crowds and kids under 12 giving it a 92% positive and 67% recommend. The animated sequel leaned 66% women with 33% under 17, a draw that will climb throughout the holidays and a diversity pull of 39% Caucasian, 32% Hispanic and Latino, 16% Black and 13% Asian/other. Sing 2 is doing very well in the Midwest and Southern U.S.
Warner Bros/Village Roadshow’s The Matrix Resurrections ranked third with $4.1M on Thursday, -36% from Wednesday for a two-day take of $10.5M. The Lana Wachowski-directed sequel is pacing 44% ahead of Christmas 2016’s sci-fi movie Passengers, which made $7.3M in two days; that movie resulted in a $14.8M three-day and $22.1M five-day. On top of its B- CinemaScore, PostTrack early audience exits for Matrix Resurrections aren’t good, with 60% positive, a 46% recommend, not to mention that HBO Max availability doesn’t help ticket sales. Those who showed up were men at 66%, with 57% between 25-54 and a diversity makeup of 39% Caucasian, 22% Hispanic and Latino, 19% Black and 20% Asian/other. The West and Southwest are showing the best ticket sales for the sequel/reboot, with close to a third of the movie’s business coming from Imax and PLF screens.
20th Century Studios/Disney’s The King’s Man is the least of the new wide holiday releases, with an estimated $1.3M on Thursday, ranking 4th, -41% from Wednesday for a two-day gross of $3.6M. We’ll update with Disney’s official AM estimate when that comes in. Most of the movie’s business is coming from the West and the South, with PostTrak exits that are better than Matrix Resurrections at 77% positive, 60% recommend. Men are buying tickets at 66%, with just over half the pic’s business from the 18-34 demographic and 43% over 45. Caucasians repped 47% of the take, followed by 25% Hispanic and Latino, 10% Black and 18% Asian/other. Through five days, this prequel might not even make it to double digits. Eek.
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.