Disney’s first Fox release under the combined regime, the faith-based DeVon Franklin produced Breakthrough notched second place in its opening day yesterday with an estimated $1.7M at 2,764 runs behind New Line/DC’s Shazam! which took No. 1 in his second Wednesday with $1.96M (-39% from Tuesday at 4,306) for a running total of $101.5M in its 13th day of release.
Disneynature also bowed in limited release their Penguins documentary from directors Alastair Fothergill (Disneynature’s Chimpanzee, Blue, Bears, and Monkey Kingdom) and Jeff Wilson with the pic notching tenth place with an estimated $494K at 1,815. Both Warner Bros. and Disney will report their figures later this morning. Both Breakthrough and Penguins earned A CinemaScores, which is pretty standard for a faith-based film and a Disneynature doc.
Universal’s Little took third place on Wednesday with $1M from 2,667, -51% from Tuesday.
Yesterday there were 21% K-12 schools off and 4% colleges per ComScore, numbers which will swell to respectively 74% and 29% by Good Friday. Tuesdays are bargain days at the cinema, and that’s why we’re seeing daily drops for Shazam! and Little. As we mentioned, due to Disney/Marvel’s Avengers: Endgame dominating the box office next weekend, studios are only pushing through counter-programming this Easter weekend instead of the tentpoles that they’ve typically programmed over the holiday in the past (which included such hits as Batman v. Superman, Furious 7 and Fate of the Furious). New Line’s The Curse of La Llorona previews tonight at 6PM before expanding to 3,400 locations on Friday. It would not come as a shock to see this James Wan produced horror movie open to $20M and beat Shazam! for the stop spot (the DC guy should do around $15M in his third weekend). The going tracking range for La Llorona is between $15M-$17M.
Breakthrough‘s opening day is just $200K shy of Franklin’s March 2016 Miracles From Heaven which posted $1.88M on its first Wednesday for an ultimate $18.3M 5-day. Many are expecting Breakthrough to make $13M-$17M over that same number of days. While many are making a lot of hoopla out of Breakthrough being the first Fox release under Disney, it was a movie steered by Fox’s marketing and distribution and Fox 2000 development. It’s a small win for the labels, and arguably Dark Phoenix and subsequent movies such as Ford v. Ferrari are more the litmus tests as to how these combined studios work together. If Breakthrough overindexes into the $20M range, that would be impressive, but it’s not expected. What is interesting about Breakthrough is that it’s Fox released faith-based film and the studio hasn’t pumped those out as frequently in recent years when compared to Lionsgate, Sony’s Affirm Films or PureFlix (Fox does have a Fox Faith label which was very active in the mid aughts).
Disneynature typically opens their movies on a Friday. The last one to do so was Fothergill’s co-directed Earth which opened to $4M at 1,804 theaters back in April 2009, a week and half after Easter (the pic chalked up a $14.4M five-day opening). The difference between opening days here would largely boil down to a decreased marketing spend on Penguins, especially with tracking pegging it to a $5M-$7M five-day projection.
Bleecker Street’s Teen Spirit, which earned the second-best theater average last weekend at $10,9K to Gunpowder & Sky’s Her Smell at $12,3K, expands to 684 locations nationwide with previews tonight. The Max Minghella feature directorial debut opened in four NY and LA locations last weekend to $43,6K.