Sunday AM Update: Paramount’s Daddy’s Home 2 is stealing second place away from 20th Century Fox’s Murder on the Orient Express, $30M to $28.2M. Daddy’s Home 2 benefited quite well from Saturday matinees, given that it’s a family pic, seeing a 6% rise on Saturday with $11.6M. Murder on the Orient Express was +$75K over Friday, with an estimated $10.8M.
Meanwhile, Disney/Marvel’s almighty Thor: Ragnarok is looking at a second weekend of $56.6M, -54% for a running 10-day take of $211.6M. The Taika Waititi-directed threequel earned $23.6M yesterday, +29% over Friday. Around the world, Ragnarok counts over $650M, with its $438.5M foreign take whipping the lifetime overseas ticket sales of Wonder Woman ($409.2M), Logan ($390.5M), and it’s closing in on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 ($473.8M). Ragnarok raked in $10.1M globally from 1,180 Imax hubs, while $4.6M was minted in U.S./Canada. Running total cume for the film’s large format play is $19.3M domestic, $50.3M worldwide. Imax was lauded on Friday night by the American Cinematheque with their Sid Grauman award, given for outstanding contributions to theatrical exhibition.
Daddy’s Home 2 and Murder on the Orient Express are very good, especially when you consider their wonky genres at the box office, one being a comedy sequel and the other a period piece. With $30M, Daddy’s Home 2 reps an opening that returns Will Ferrell back to his box office wheelhouse (read his openings for Anchorman at $28.4M, Anchorman 2 at $26.2M, and Step Brothers at $30.9M) after suffering a career low with New Line/Warner Bros.’ The House ($8.7M FSS). Daddy’s Home 2 is also in Mark Wahlberg’s $30M opening neighborhood for his comedies. True, Daddy’s Home 2 is a PG-13 comedy next to the year’s tortured R-rated comedies, and it can attract a wider audience. But nonetheless, it’s a lift for comedies, and Daddy’s Home 2 is the second-best start for Paramount this year (after Transformers: The Last Knight‘s $44.6M) and for the comedy genre overall after Universal’s Girls Trip ($31.2M). Respect here for Paramount. This is a great start for a comedy sequel; the studio beat its low $20M tracking estimates with a sequel that’s only $8M off in its opening from the first film’s $38.7M.
Saturday’s uptick indicates that Paramount’s square play for families on the sequel worked. Exit polls showed a growth in families attending, moving from 18% to 35% throughout the weekend. Seventy percent of the kids attending were 10-12 years old, with more moms than dads (57% to 43%). These demos could pan out in the weeks to come. Daddy’s Home 2 played broadly from big city to small city, with Mark Wahlberg’s Boston home popping and Latin audiences at 21% providing great ticket sales in the Midwest and South. Paramount sold the family aspects of the sequel to Hispanic audiences, particularly the comedy adventure between the dads and grandfathers. The studio activated the comedy sequel at key multicultural events, such as Halloween and Dia de Los Muertos, via dedicated booths inclusive of interactive activities thematic to the film, and orchestrated kids activity days at a variety of key after-school organizations. In sum, Paramount’s Hispanic efforts yielded 143M social media impressions and accounted for $7.1M in media value. John Cena was pivotal on social media in regards to pulling in multi-cultural families, given his 63M followers.
African American audiences turned out at 12%. Paramount’s campaign with the demo turned out 36M impressions and close to $900K in media value. The studio partnered with veteran urban outlet TheSource.com and social media influencer and Interactive One editor Blogxilla and his celebrity friends for advance screenings of the film. Their campaign focused on reaching families via media promotions and word-of-mouth groups in top African-American markets, as well as grassroots events like the Taste of Soul in Los Angeles with 350K in attendance, generating more than 6M impressions.
Overall, Daddy’s Home 2 is a bright spot on Paramount’s release schedule, which has largely been polluted with duds (i.e. Suburbicon, Baywatch, Monster Trucks, you name it). Some rivals see Daddy’s Home 2 coming in at $29.6M. If a comedy can make as much overseas as it does stateside, that’s typically considered fantastic by industry standards. The first Daddy’s Home made $92.4M abroad to its final domestic of $150.4M.
Also, STXfilms’ A Bad Moms Christmas provided gifts for the comedy genre with a remarkable -31% dip in weekend two, with $11.5M and $39.9M. Knock on wood, but it looks like a sleeper all over again.
20th Century Fox is to be commended on Murder on the Orient Express. The studio was able to dynamite a bulk of sophisticated adults out of their homes to see this period piece. Understand that the demo is slow to arrive to the multiplex, and the fact that close to 50% over-50 (per CinemaScore’s Friday night) fueled this movie to $28.2M, which is very respectable. In addition, consider the fact that this movie wasn’t teed up with any critical advance buzz at the fall film festivals. For the entire weekend, Fox sees a 35+ crowd of 51%. All in, this $55M net production has collected $85.4M around the world after playing in 58 territories through this weekend. Fox sold the Agatha Christie remake on such themes as “The clues are everywhere” and “Everyone is a suspect” to create urgency in the last weeks of the campaign. The studio wanted the visuals and style of the film to take center stage, but wrapped them in the classic elements of a great mystery, and that was obvious from the moment they dropped a trailer at CinemaCon. Also, despite the fact that the film caters toward an older audience, they cast this film strategically with actors who appeal to various demos, read: Daisy Ridley and Josh Gad (the under-25 Star Wars and Frozen crowd), Penelope Cruz (Hispanic), Judi Dench (arthouse denizens), Johnny Depp fans, etc.
“This opening gives me great optimism for the future of the motion picture industry,” said 20th Century Fox domestic distribution chief Chris Aronson, beaming this morning. “The film’s performance shows that people with the right vehicle will come out to see a theatrical motion picture: It’s a Hollywood movie — big stars, sumptuous moviemaking, an actor’s piece; that’s what is heartening about the whole thing.”
Bravo to A24’s Lady Bird, which broke into the top 10 with an amazing $1.2M from just 37 locations. That’s up there with the second weekend of Fox Searchlight’s Juno, which made $1.4M in weekend 2 at 40 theaters.
Fox Searchlight also had a win with their New York and Los Angeles launch of Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, which earned $80K per theater, the third-best opening PTA of the year after Lady Bird‘s $91K last weekend and Amazon/Lionsgate’s The Big Sick ($84K). The Martin McDonagh drama grossed $320K at four theaters.
Studio reported estimates for the weekend of Nov. 10-12 as of Sunday AM:
1). Thor: Ragnarok (DIS), 4,080 theaters / $18.3M Fri. /$23.6M Sat/ $14.7M Sun/ 3-day cume: $56.6M (-54%) / Total cume: $211.6M / Wk 2
2) Daddy’s Home 2 (PAR), 3,575 theaters / $10.9M Fri. (includes $1.5M previews) /$11.6M Sat/ $7.5M Sun/ 3-day cume: $30M / Wk 1
3.) Murder on the Orient Express (FOX), 3,331 theaters / $10.75M Fri. (includes $1.6M previews) /$10.8M Sat/ $6.6M Sun/ 3-day cume: $28.2M / Wk 1
4). A Bad Moms Christmas (STX), 3,615 theaters / $4.1M Fri. (-25%)/$4.6M Sat/ $2.3M Sun/ 3-day cume: $11.5M (-31%) / Total cume: $39.9M / Wk 2
5). Jigsaw (LG), 2,651 theaters (-290) / $1.15M Fri. / $1.46M Sat/ $807K Sun/3-day cume: $3.4M (-48%) / Total cume: $34.3M / Wk 3
6). Boo 2! A Madea Halloween (LG), 1,900 theaters (-302) / $645K Fri. /$948K Sat/ $477K Sun/ 3-day cume: $2M (-54%)/ Total cume: $45.9M / Wk 4
7). Geostorm (WB/SKY), 1,685 theaters (-981) / $480K Fri. /$710K Sat/ $355K Sun/ 3-day cume: $1.545M (-52%)/ Total cume: $31.6M / Wk 4
8) Blade Runner 2049 (ALC/WB/SONY), 863 theaters (-601) / $430K Fri. / $630K Sat/ $350K Sun/3-day cume: $1.4M (-39%)/ Total cume: $88M / Wk 6
9) Happy Death Day (UNI/BLUM), 1,564 theaters (-620) / $456K Fri. /$571K Sat/$285K Sun/ 3-day cume: $1.3M (-51%)/ Total cume: $54.9M / Wk 5
10) Lady Bird (A24), 37 theaters (+33) / $390K Fri. / $478K Sat/$382K Sun/3-day cume: $1.29m (+243%)/ Per screen: $33,8K / Total cume: $1.78M / Wk 2
11.) Let There Be Light (ATLAS), 750 theaters (+108) / $368K Fri. / $432K Sat/$389K Sun/3-day cume: $1.19M (-30%)/ Total cume: $6M / Wk 3
LBJ (ELEC), 607 theaters (-52) / $149K Fri. /$212K Sat/ $127K Sun/ 3-day cume: $488K (-56%)/ Per screen: $804 / Total cume: $2M / Wk 2
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, MO (FSL), 4 theaters / $103K Fri. /$125K Sat/$92K Sun/ 3-day cume: $320K / Per screen average: $72,5K / Wk 1
Last Flag Flying (AMZ/LG), 32 theaters (+28) / $91K Fri. / $50K Sat/ $31K Sun/3-day cume: $172K (+324%)/ Per screen: $5,3K / Total cume: $242K / Wk 2
Writethru Saturday AM after 12:06AM post: Disney/Marvel’s Thor:Ragnarok is lighter than anticipated with $56.1M but will still clear $200M, but the real drama this weekend is in second place where 20th Century Fox’s Murder on the Orient Express and Paramount’s Daddy’s Home 2 are both looking to clear $27M+, ahead of their tracking estimates. The Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg comedy did beat the Kenneth Branagh all-star period piece yesterday, $10.9M to $10.7M in industry estimates.
Given how it was skewing toward older adults, Murder on the Orient Express in its old fashioned revamp appeared risky. Despite Star Wars’ Daisy Ridley in the cast, good luck on getting anyone under the age of 25 in theater (that crowd showed up at a thin 16%). However, the Kenneth Branagh-directed Agatha Christie mystery is drawing a crowd, and coupled with its near $12M gross from the U.K., stands to be in good shape after its play in another 57 territories and its net $55M production cost. Insiders attribute the pic’s overindexing to a great multi-faceted marketing campaign. CinemaScore audiences though gave it a B on top of its now 59% Rotten Tomatoes score. Still not a bad start. Close to half of the film’s audience were the Christie demo with 47% of all CinemaScore audiences being over the age of 50. Older females turned up at 59% females (who gave the movie a B) and over 25 at 84% (B).
Murder on the Orient Express, was of course, a global play. While Fox dropped the first trailer showing the all-star cast dolled up at CinemaCon — which caught our attention in how rich the film was — a huge train for the film was parked out in front of the Carlton Hotel on the Croisette during the Cannes Film Festival. Prior to Cannes, journalists were invited to London and Venice for promo stunts. In Venice, Mathew Prichard, Josh Gad and an Orient Express historian assembled aboard the Simplon Orient-Express. There was a partnership with the Mystery Experience Company on a special MOTOE-themed mystery box that was sent to their 5,000+ subscribers along with an additional 250 press nationwide. The box featured a mysterious letter from an attorney whose client was one of the suspects aboard the famed Orient Express. Through a series of clues, artifacts and puzzles those who received the box were able to unscramble a phone number where, when called, revealed a movie message and drove callers to the film’s website. There were 10 national/global partners which included Belmond hotels, HSN, Movember Foundation, HarperCollins Publishers, Godiva, Proraso shaving supplies (and sweepstakes), Links of London and more. In total $17.2M of marketing support with exposure in over 20K retail outlets.
Daddy’s Home 2 is interesting. At $27.2M, it’s a decent start for a comedy in the 2017 marketplace which has buried the genre, and it’s the second best debut for a Paramount title this year after Transformers: The Last Knight ($44.6M). However, next to it’s $69M production cost, many aren’t wowed by the opening. On the bright side, audiences love it more than the 2015 original, awarding it an A- CinemaScore over the first one’s B+.
Rivals are split on Daddy’s Home 2 having a spot on the calendar here. Given its lackluster reviews at 16% Rotten, some felt that it might have been better if the sequel launched over Thanksgiving and earned around $38M+ over five-days (the opening of the first title), this way it’s in a better position to hold screens and play into Christmas. Others counter that release strategy saying it’s going to be a light Thanksgiving anyway with a number of distributors having pulled their titles off the schedule at the last minute, i.e. MGM’s Death Wish, STXfilms’ Molly’s Game, Dimension’s Polaroid and Entertainment Studios’ Chappaquiddick; more breathing room for Daddy’s Home 2 even in the wake of Justice League, which like Ragnarok could make $200M as well in its first ten days.
However, given how Daddy’s Home 2 is coming in higher than anticipated, I don’t think Paramount is having second thoughts about where they planted the Mark Wahlberg-Will Ferrell sequel. The whole idea of opening this weekend stemmed from gaining as much headway as possible heading into the holiday season and avoiding event titles (Ragnarok, Justice League, Last Jedi) which could eat into the pic’s family audience. Paramount knew they would get good word of mouth on the film, so the A- CinemaScore comes as no surprise. Had Daddy’s Home 2 launched over Thanksgiving, the pic’s subsequent December weekends would have been soft as its sluggish period before Last Jedi opens. Since it’s a family comedy, Saturday matinees should serve it well today.
Fifty-seven percent of Daddy’s Home 2‘s audience were females, who gave the movie an A- per CinemaScore with an over 25 crowd that was 65% (B+). Big turnout for Wahlberg and Ferrell at 38% and those fans gave the movie an A-. The under 25 who showed up at 35% gave Daddy’s Home 2 a solid A. RelishMix weighs Daddy’s Home 2 social media universe at 236.7M across Instagram, Facebook and Twitter and YouTube views with prime castmembers promoting to 120M social media fans. John Cena counts 63M alone across Twitter, Instagram and FB. Wahlberg has close to 30M. Both Ferrell and Wahlberg have been involved in a number of social promos which the latter has been retweeting.
Props to A Bad Moms Christmas which is easing a fantastic 31% in weekend two, proof that older female fans still want to see the movie despite its lower exit polls and reviews, and will come out later to do so.
After A24’s Lady Bird notched the best opening theater average of the year with $91K, Fox Searchlight’s Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is coming up strong with a near $72,5K PTA, now placing third after The Big Sick‘s $84K. Lady Bird, expanding by only 33 locations, is still huge at $31,8K per theater for a mind-blowing $1.18M FSS. That’s $220K shy of what Fox Searchlight’s indie teen comedy Juno made in its second weekend at 40 locations. By the end of Sunday, the Greta Gerwig-directed movie will stand at close to $1.7M to Juno‘s $2.1M.
Industry estimates for weekend of Nov. 10-12 :
1). Thor: Ragnarok (DIS), 4,080 theaters / $18.6M Fri. (-60%) / 3-day cume: $56.1M (-54%) / Total cume: $209.1M / Wk 2
2/3). Murder on the Orient Express (FOX), 3,331 theaters / $10.7M Fri. (includes $1.6M previews) / 3-day cume: $27.9M / Wk 1
Daddy’s Home 2 (PAR), 3,575 theaters / $10.9M Fri. (includes $1.5M previews) / 3-day cume: $27.5M / Wk 1
4). A Bad Moms Christmas (STX), 3,615 theaters / $4.1M Fri. (-25%)/ 3-day cume: $11.6M (-31%) / Total cume: $39.9M / Wk 2
5). Jigsaw (LG), 2,651 theaters (-290) / $1.15M Fri. / 3-day cume: $3.3M (-50%) / Total cume: $34.2M / Wk 3
6). Boo 2! A Madea Halloween (LG), 1,900 theaters (-302) / $641K Fri. / 3-day cume: $2M (-56%)/ Total cume: $45.8M / Wk 4
7). Geostorm (WB/SKY), 1,685 theaters (-981) / $463K Fri. / 3-day cume: $1.4M (-55%)/ Total cume: $31.4M / Wk 4
8/9). Blade Runner 2049 (ALC/WB/SONY), 863 theaters (-601) / $417K Fri. / 3-day cume: $1.33M (-43%)/ Total cume: $87.9M / Wk 6
Happy Death Day (UNI/BLUM), 1,564 theaters (-620) / $454K Fri. / 3-day cume: $1.3M (-51%)/ Total cume: $54.9M / Wk 5
10/11). Lady Bird (A24), 37 theaters (+33) / $385K Fri. / 3-day cume: $1.18m (+224%)/ Per screen: $31,8K / Total cume: $1.68M / Wk 2
Let There Be Light (ATLAS), 750 theaters (+108) / $361K Fri. / 3-day cume: $1.14M (-2%)/ Total cume: $5.96M / Wk 3
LBJ (ELEC), 607 theaters (-52) / $149K Fri. / 3-day cume: $459K (-59%)/ Per screen: $756 / Total cume: $2M / Wk 2
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, MO (FSL), 4 theaters / $103K Fri. / 3-day cume: $290K / Per screen average: $72,5K / Wk 1
Last Flag Flying (AMZ/LG), 32 theaters (+28) / $77K Fri. / 3-day cume: $209K (+416%)/ Per screen: $6,5K / Total cume: $279K / Wk 2
2ND UPDATE, Friday midday: Currently, per matinee estimates, everything is looking rosy, so let’s hope this doesn’t fall apart.
Disney/Marvel’s Thor: Ragnarok is coming in ahead of its $60M projected second weekend with $61.5M-$63M, -49% from last weekend, and will beat both of its previous installments’ final cumes at the domestic B.O. (2011’s Thor at $181M and 2013’s Thor: The Dark World at $206.4M) with a running total by Sunday of $218M. Ragnarok‘s second Friday is looking like $21M.
20th Century Fox’s Murder on the Orient Express is looking healthy with a $9M Friday (including $1.6M previews) and a $24M weekend at 3,341 theaters. That’s notable for a sophisticated, older-skewing film. The Kenneth Branagh-directed remake already has minted $11.5M in the UK and will open in 57 additional markets this weekend, including China, Australia, Russia, Germany, Holland, and Mexico. The threequel’s production cost is $55M net, per insiders, though there are others who believe it’s higher.
Paramount’s Daddy’s Home 2 is looking at an estimated $8M-$8.5M today (including $1.5M previews) and a $21M weekend at 3,575 venues. On the bright side, that might be the second-best opening for Paramount this year after Transformers: The Last Knight ($44.6M), and it’s a decent start in marketplace that’s been unkind to comedies: Universal’s African-American female romp Girls Trip holds the best bow for a comedy this year with $31.2M, and it took STXfilms’ A Bad Moms Christmas five days to make what Daddy’s Home 2 is making in three. Daddy’s Home 2 does carry an estimated $69M production cost, higher than A Bad Moms Christmas at $28m, and like that film will need to rely on the holiday season to leg out; a bump for all titles over Thanksgiving is expected. Daddy’s Home churned a 3.89 multiple at the domestic B.O. in the wake of The Force Awakens two years ago. It has a slight advantage in getting ahead of Justice League, which will earn $100M-$120M next weekend, if not more.
A Bad Moms Christmas is looking at $4.2M today, -23% from a week ago, for a second weekend of $11.5M, down only 31%, and a domestic total by Sunday of $39.9M.
1ST UPDATE, Friday 7:23 AM: 20th Century Fox’s Kenneth Branagh-directed remake of Murder on the Orient Express got off to a solid start last night with $1.6M at 2,775 theaters, a preview figure that’s up there with Arrival‘s $1.45M a year ago and Girl on the Train‘s $1.23M. Showtimes began at 7PM. Tracking had Branagh’s latest directorial coming in the $20Ms, but more sober minds believe it’s high teens with a shot at $20M.
The pic is squarely aimed at an over 35 audience, specifically females, and moves to 3,341 locations today. Murder on the Orient Express features an all-star cast including Johnny Depp, Daisy Ridley, Josh Gad, Michelle Pfeiffer, Judi Dench and Branagh, to name a few. Murder has a 64% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The opulent movie carries a reported production cost of $55M before P&A.
Paramount’s PG-13 comedy Daddy’s Home 2 also earned a solid $1.5M last night at 2,800 theaters from showtimes beginning at 5PM. Tracking has the sequel opening in the low $20M range. Before P&A, Daddy’s Home 2 cost a reported $69M. The first movie in 2015 played in the wake of Star Wars: The Force Awakens and was the best of the Christmas crop that season debuting to $38.7M and legging out to $150.4M off a B+ CinemaScore.
Comps to Daddy’s Home 2 are Dumb and Dumber To which earned $1.6M in previews, a $14.2M Friday and a three-day of $36.1M three years ago. There was also Horrible Bosses 2 at that time which bowed over Thanksgiving and earned a $1M Tuesday preview, $4.3M opening Wednesday and a three-day of $15.5M.
Exit polls per ComScore/Screen Engine’s PostTrak for Daddy’s Home 2 last night earned a 78% overall positive with men under 25 loving it the best at 86%. However, so far, they’re not the dominant audience watching the movie at 18%. Over 25 females and males turned out at 32% each and their so-so reviews are pulling this pic’s grades down right now with the ladies only enjoying it at 74% positive. Daddy’s Home 2 has a 7% Rotten Tomatoes rating. Critics hate comedy sequels, and they hated the first 2015 release too giving it a 31% Rotten. There’s a more promising set of exit polls for Daddy’s Home 2 showing that families are giving this movie 4 1/2 to five star ratings. General audiences 3 1/2 which is still very good.
Both Daddy’s Home 2 and Murder on the Orient Express will fall in line behind Disney/Marvel’s Thor: Ragnarok who will continue to lord over the box office in his second weekend with an estimated $60M. Last night Ragnarok made a robust $7M, +15% from Wednesday for a first week’s haul of $155M. Crossing the two century mark stateside is definitely part of Ragnarok‘s weekend destiny.
Also continuing to counterprogram Ragnarok this weekend is STXfilms’ A Bad Moms Christmas which grossed $1.9M last night, +19% over Wednesday for a nine-day running total of $28.4M. The movie looks to pull in older females with an estimated $10M while Daddy’s Home 2 hopes that more under 25ers attend.
Fox Searchlight is also opening their hot-buzzed fall festival title Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri at four sites including Regal Union Square and AMC Lincoln Square in New York as well as the Landmark West L.A., and Arclight Hollywood. The pic carries a 95% certified fresh Rotten Tomatoes rating.