Final Sunday AM after 7:49AM post: Glass, like a horror movie, was front-loaded in regards to its $14.6M Saturday being down 9% from its $16M opening (which included previews). This is a different path from M. Night Shyamalan’s previous film Split which saw a 13% spike between the two days going from $14.6M to $16.5M.
This puts Glass at a 4-day that’s under $50M at $47M per Universal. Some think the Blumhouse/BVI production can still hit $50M in four days which would be spot on at the low-end of Uni’s projections. We deep-dived in the previous update how rival major studios had high expectations for Glass as they saw a 4-day between $57M-$70M and avoided competing against the film. The problem here? Rivals and exhibitors were working off Split‘s gas, however, Universal always knew internally that the opening was well below that and tried to manage expectations. Quite often we think that a studio is playing it safe when they low ball estimates heading into the weekend, or that it’s a PR game whereby they low ball so that they can later trumpet what will ultimately be a huge opening. That wasn’t the case here. Uni knew what they had with Glass.
Glass,if it sticks to the studio’s projections, will be the the third best MLK opener behind American Sniper ($107.2M) and Ride Along ($48.6M), and Shyamalan’s third best opening over 3-days with $40.5M. There’s a lot of No. 1 back-slapping records going around, but there is a deflated feeling. Overseas is $48.5M from BVI, with Glass at $89.1M worldwide through Sunday, $95.5M counting domestic’s full MLK four-day run. Said one film finance source assessing Glass’ box office results, “When a picture makes money it is tough to call it crappy. Disappointing and profitable at the same time is what I think.”
Theaters in Boston and Pittsburgh closed after the 9PM shows last night due to Winter Storm Harper, but that’s only an estimated -1% to -2% ding on the overall box office we hear for all titles. Let’s face it: Shyamalan can be a polarizing filmmaker to some with his ambitious endings, and by financing his own titles allows him to make the movie that he wants. Audience and critical scores were down here between Split and Glass (76% to 35% on Rotten Tomatoes), and positive exit scores going from a 78% to 70%, and B+ to B. Some believe that Glass faltered in that they didn’t bring in females and Hispanics in a way that Split did. Females numbered 52% on Split, with 29% under 25. Glass drew 54% males, and there were a greater amount of older fans, with 65% over 25 vs. Split‘s 55% over 25. Hispanics numbered 23% on Split, 19% on Glass. Split also ignited excellent word of mouth at Fantastic Fest prior to its release, and it was only recently in the last two weeks that the media got to see Glass.
Overall, the 4-day MLK weekend per ComScore at $155M for all films is expected to be down from last year’s $196.6M by 21% when the top three spots of the chart were controlled by holiday holdovers over 4-days: Jumanji 2 ($35.1M), The Post ($23M), and The Greatest Showman ($16.1M).
Aside from the records we mentioned above, Uni is taking pride in Glass being Shyamalan’s 5th No. 1 opener of his career, Blumhouse’s 11th No. 1 and the production company’s fourth best 3-day after Halloween ($76.2M), Paranormal Activity 3 ($52.5M) and Paranormal Activity 2 ($40.6M). Imax screens drew $3.85M or 9.5% of the weekend’s ticket sales. Glass played best on both coasts, especially the west, overperforming in the South and the West.
Business for The Upside grew 53% between Friday to Saturday from $4.1M to $6.4M. The four-day weekend is looking at $19.5M for a running total of $47.8M by end of tomorrow. A great hold here, and the film will certainly best the $66M domestic figure many were projecting. Compared to the first 11 days of Kevin Hart’s The Wedding Ringer ($40M, with a $64.4M final domestic), Upside is pacing 20% ahead of that R-rated MLK-launched 2015 comedy.
The distributor of the biggest surprise this weekend, Funimation with Dragon Ball Super: Broly, isn’t reporting grosses this morning. Box office sources have said that the movie has been hard to project since the number of theaters keeps changing. Broly started off with 1,250 theaters on Wednesday (including PLFs and Imax), dropped those after one day (they had to go to Glass), and are now around 470 sites. Broly led the Wednesday and Thursday box office. To give you an idea of its strength, the pic only made $400K less than Glass previews at $3.7M on Thursday. Wow. ComScore is calling the 3-day for the movie at $8.7M, 4-day at $9.7M and the six-day run at $20.5M. PostTrak was five stars and a 91% in the top two boxes with a 78% recommend. The crowd was 77/23 Male and 58% under 25 with a massive 63% falling between two quads 18-34 years old. Diversity demos were broad at 36% Caucasian, 29% Hispanic, 21% African American, & 14% Asian/Other. Broly rolled well in the West & South but was really solid everywhere. Showtimes as we mentioned before varied: Some locations are playing the pic partially with full schedules at other theaters. Domestic end result here could be well north of $50M.
On the awards side, Universal/DreamWorks/Participant Media’s Green Book won the PGA award for best film last night boosting its chances for a best picture Oscar win. Uni jumped the theater count by 170 venues to 912 for a $2.2M 3-day (+5%) in weekend 10, $2.76M 4-day for a running total of $42.4M.
Annapurna’s If Beale Street Could Talk will reach close to an $11M running total by end of Monday after a great play on the East Coast with top markets being New York, San Francisco, Washington DC, Atlanta, and Philadelphia for the weekend. Most distributors with awards contenders can’t wait for the trampoline effect at the box office after Tuesday’s Oscar noms. Weekend six of Beale Street earned $1.6M, -32% with a $2M four-day.
WEEKEND B.O. FOR jAN. 18-21
UPDATED, Saturday AM second writethru: M. Night Shyamalan’s Glass, which he reportedly financed himself at a cost in the low $20 millions, looks to be posting a three-day total of $42.8M and a four-day of $50.3M.
That is at the low end of Universal’s projections and a bittersweet start for this Split sequel and long-awaited follow-up to the filmmaker’s cult 2000 pic Unbreakable.
There are positive things to say about the opening of Glass this weekend, and we’ll get to that. But let’s begin with the fact tracking services and rival studios over-inflated projections for the film at an astronomical $60M-$70M. True, Universal, never saw it there, but rivals had their reasons to get excited.
After the surprise three-day opening of Shyamalan’s Split, which doubled its tracking projections from the $20Ms to a $40M three-day, many anticipated a sequel to a legacy pic like Unbreakable would create another mushroom effect at the box office. And, by the way, if any rival studio smelled blood this weekend (if they knew that Glass would be wobbly in its start), they would have piled wide entries onto the marquee. Any given MLK weekend is an opportunity for a studio to make money off kids on school break, counter-program to varying demos, book films that are in the spirit of the holiday (example: the uber-wide break on Fox’s Hidden Figures, which hit No. 1 with $27.5M over MLK 2017), or dump bombs in a last-ditch effort to make as much money as possible (i.e. Paramount’s Monster Trucks).
But none of that occurred. Rivals were seriously threatened by Glass and avoided competing head-on with it (except for Funimation’s event film Dragon Ball Super: Broly which was going after a die-hard fanboy/family crowd; that pic is poised to make $17.8M between Wednesday and Monday).
Most distributors planted their wide releases away from Glass, with STX reaping the greatest Upside by launching the Kevin Hart movie to a great $20.3M last weekend, on its way to a fantastic $18.6M four-day. (Some thought The Upside would end its run at $60M domestic; it’s definitely going past that number.
Essentially, the competition believed in Glass‘ puffy projections, and well, now there’s a slight feeling of deflation in the air this weekend. Heading into Friday, RelishMix saw a healthy social media universe for Glass at 147 million followers across all platforms, besting the average 83M results for a thriller movie. Glass’ viral video rate of 38:1 was also on par with that of a superhero film — the signs were there indicating moviegoers’ interest. Uni’s marketing was great, building up the pic’s lore along the way, with three character teaser trailers of James McAvoy’s The Beast, Samuel L. Jackson’s Mr. Glass and Bruce Willis’ David Dunn in July before the studio dropped the official trailer timed to San Diego Comic-Con. Cool one-sheets played on the glass motif. RelishMix points out the social media campaign for Glass was indeed working with positive online chatter from Shyamalan fans who loved the fact Glass is connected to Unbreakable.
Yet if Glass had a Beast –one which rivals didn’t anticipate– it was critics: Shyamalan’s latest pic carries a 35% rotten to Split‘s 76% certified fresh. Split was an about-face for Shyamalan with film reviewers. After eviscerating his movies for well over a decade, they finally embraced him with Split. Before then, the last Shyamalan movie to be hailed by critics was 2002’s Signs. With Glass, reviewers returned to knocking Shyamalan, complaining about the pic’s twists and how he wound up the trilogy. We’ll see if the Shyamalan fans resist and come out tomorrow night: Split saw a 13% spike between its Friday and Saturday grosses ($14.6M to $16.5M) off a B+ CinemaScore. Glass earned a B, which isn’t Shyamalan’s worst (Unbreakable, The Last Airbender and The Village all earned C’s, while he hit rock bottom with The Happening which earned a D. The Sixth Sense is still the filmmaker’s best with A-).
All of this said, there’s plenty of great things to say about Glass’ performance this weekend even though the competition and tracking fumbled the forecast.
First, if the current four-day projection holds up, it will be the second best MLK opening after 2015’s American Sniper (an anomaly at $107.2M) and ahead of Universal 2014’s Ride Along ($48.6M). On a three-day basis, it’s Shyamalan’s third-best opening of all time after Signs ($60.1M) and The Village ($50.7M). Among Blumhouse productions, Glass will be its third best three-day after Halloween ($76.2M) and Paranormal Activity 3 ($52.5M).
Even though Glass didn’t face competition, it’s opening (outside of Aquaman‘s $67.8M start over December 21-23) is higher than the starts for popular IP features Mary Poppins Returns ($23.5M) and Bumblebee ($21.6M).
Most of all, Glass was made at a responsible cost in the low $20Ms, with the initial financial burden being the filmmaker’s before Uni made a negative pick-up with BVI taking overseas (Disney obviously thought Glass was going to be big, why else would they take overseas?). Film finance sources believe Glass should be in the black feasibly. Split, even though it was much cheaper at $9M, carried an $80M global P&A and yielded a $68M+ profit after all ancillaries. Odds are that Glass won’t be that great, but profit enough.
So even though Glass is coming in under expectations, it’s still large enough to be considered something of an event at the MLK box office.
Other highlights this weekend: As we already wrote, Aquaman with $306M is Warner Bros/DC’s sixth title to cross that mark. Clint Eastwood’s The Mule by Monday will be less than $3M shy of $100M. Warners has to get that donkey up that hill, and when it does it will rep Eastwood’s sixth $100M-grosser as a director, and fifth as an actor.
Bravo, Sony: For a second weekend in a row you’re controlling the center of the box office chart like a chess board with the unsinkable Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and the low-cost A Dog’s Way Home ranking back-to-back. They say there’s too much family counter-programming on the charts; but your films are clicking.
Before Tuesday’s Oscar nominations, 20th Century Fox can celebrate Bohemian Rhapsody crossing $200M at the domestic box office. (Can it pass A Star Is Born‘s $204M stateside take? The Freddie Mercury biopic will be at $202.6M by Monday.)
And the town called Disney’s Mary Poppins Returns a double, not a home run for the studio, but by Monday the pic should reach $160M-plus, still the fifth highest-grossing musical of all time on the domestic charts ahead of La La Land ($151.1M) and pacing 40% ahead of The Greatest Showman through 34 days (final cume on that Fox musical was $174.3M).
BOX OFFICE FOR JAN. 18-21
UPDATED, Friday midday: As we expected based on last night’s preview figures, Universal/BVI/Blumhouse’s Glass is headed for a $50 million-$52 million four-day weekend, and a $44M three-day. Both figures are higher than what its predecessor Split made (even though it didn’t launch on an MLK weekend), which was $40M over three days and $42.9M over four.
Today, with last night’s $3.7M, looks to be between $16M-$17.5M. Essentially, Thursday previews rep 22% of Glass‘ first-day gross, marking a greater share than Split‘s Thursday results.
Early Post-Trak exits for Glass weren’t through the roof with 3 1/2 stars and a 49% definite recommend. Men and women over 25 were out in numbers at 38% and 30%, respectively, but women under 25, who repped 15% of the crowd, enjoyed the movie the most at 84% positive.
On CinemaScore, Split received a B+ back in January 2017, with 53% women being the lead ticket buyers, with 55% over 25 with the under 18 bunch giving the pic an A-.
STX/Lantern’s The Upside looks like $3M today, down 57% from a week ago, putting it on track for a $13M-$14M four-day frame and $42.3M 11-day gross. Aquaman is eyeing $10M-$11M over four days and will hit $305M by EOD Monday. It’s the sixth DC title to fly past the three-century mark at the domestic B.O.
Funimation’s Dragon Ball Super: Broly has a raw gross that’s close to $1M already for the day. The anime pic could earn $5M over three days and $6M over four, with a six-day stretch of $16M.
UPDATED, Friday AM: Universal is calling the Thursday night for M. Night Shyamalan’s Glass at $3.7M at 3,200 theaters, which would make it the director’s top preview night ever beating The Last Airbender‘s $3M and coming in way ahead of Split‘s $2M previews. Showtimes started at 7PM. The pic will expand to 3,841 locations.
At this level, sources are expecting that the four-day run for Glass is somewhere in the $50M-range.
Among regular films in release, Funimation’s Dragon Ball Super: Broly was No. 1 for the second day in a row with $3.3M, for a two-day total of $10.4M. In PostTrak exits, Broly has five stars with men at 84% leading the way. Broken down that includes guys over 25 (44%) and under 25 (39%). A diverse turnout here with 35% Hispanic, 36% Caucasian, 19% African American and 7% Asian.
STX/Lantern Entertainment’s The Upside ended the week with $28.3M after a Thursday that drew $1.6M, -1% from Wednesday, second for the day. Warner Bros.’ Aquaman is expected to sail past $300M during the course of this weekend. After four weeks of play, the DC superhero has accumulated $294M. He made $1.1M last night, -15% from Wednesday.
PREVIOUSLY, THURSDAY PM EXCLUSIVE: Universal/BVI/Blumhouse’s thriller Glass is looking at between $3.5M-$4M in early Thursday night previews per Deadline sources. As we always say, these figures can fluctuate by tomorrow morning.
Should Glass stay solid, it will rep the best preview night ever for Oscar-nominated Sixth Sense director M. Night Shyamalan, beating his previous $3M high with The Last Airbender (from 10pm and midnight shows in 2010) and Split‘s $2M from Jan. 19, 2017. Fandango had advance ticket sales for Glass well ahead of Split which posted an opening day of $14.6M (previews repped 14% of that figure), and three-day of $40M. There’s an outside chance Glass hits $5M by end of tonight, in which case the PG-13 film is just under The Nun‘s $5.4M Thursday night which yielded a $22M Friday (previews repped 25%) and a three-day of $53.8M. Four-day here for Glass could be in the $50M vicinity.
Four-day projections recently ranged from $57M-$63M with some betting $70M. Glass carries a production cost in the low $20M range, completely financed by Shyamalan. Glass was a negative pick-up by Universal with BVI taking overseas rights since they originally released Unbreakable over the Thanksgiving frame in 2000. Glass’ tracking heading into the weekend indicated a strong interest across all demographics, particularly males between the ages of 17-34.
Reason why we bring up The Nun here, even though it was R-rated, is because both Glass and that Conjuring universe title registered low Rotten Tomatoes scores respectively with 35% and 26%. In the last three years, a bulk of horror films’ ticket sales were bolstered by great RT scores, however, The Nun proved that a great brand can still drive business, and buck any critical shortfall. Split surprised many when it opened; projections were in the low-to-mid $20M (off a 76% certified fresh score), and Unbreakable is a Shyamalan cult movie that counts a slew of fans.
In Glass, James McAvoy reprises his Split role as Kevin Wendell Crumb, a man who suffers from an extreme case of Dissociative Identity Disorder, with 23 personalities. He becomes imprisoned at a mental hospital with Samuel L. Jackson’s evil, brittle-boned Mr. Glass and Bruce Willis’ good guy strong man David Dunn, and they have to fight their way out.