2ND MONDAY UPDATE: : In the end, Disney’s Maleficent Mistress of Evil cast a spell and won the weekend with $19.37 million, inching out Warner Bros’ Joker by $122,000 after the latter studio reported their final fourth-weekend figure at $19.248M. “A virtual tie” is how one insider claimed the race, and there are rivals in distribution who agree with that, but in the end there is a No. 1 film and a No. 2 film.
Maleficent 2 is down 48% in its second weekend for a running total of $66.2M. Global is at $295.6M and, as we said last weekend, break-even exists for this Angelina Jolie film around $400M worldwide.
Joker had a fantastic hold, off just 34% for a running total of $277.9M. To think in the beginning some were cautious not to comp Joker to Venom, and here the R-rated film is, blowing past that PG-13 Sony/Marvel pic’s final box office of $213.5M. Many tell us that the highest-grossing R-rated pic of all time’s endgame stateside is $340M, and north of $925M worldwide. Joker‘s Sunday was $5.56M, while Maleficient 2 cashed in $6.184M yesterday.
Paramount/Skydance/Fox’s Terminator: Dark Fate will lead the box office with $35M-$40M next weekend, with Joker having the best hold next to Maleficent 2, -35% to -50% (or $12.5M to $9.7M). Focus Features’ Harriet is looking at $8M-$9M, Warner Bros’ Motherless Brooklyn is seeing $5M-$6M, while Entertainment Studios’ Arctic Dogs will file $4M-$5M.
PREVIOUSLY, MONDAY AM: Like hanging chads in the state of Florida during a U.S. presidential election, the battle between Disney’s second weekend of Maleficent: Mistress of Evil and Warner Bros’ fourth weekend of Joker during one of the most boring box office weekends of the year isn’t over yet. Warner Bros believes there is a tie between both pics for No. 1 with $19.125M. Disney, while it hasn’t reported figures yet, sees a tie as of this morning as well. Industry calculations show Maleficent 2 ahead of Joker by a smidge, $19.12M to $19.05M. This sounds like the race will boil down to the mom-and-pop theater grosses which aren’t picked up by Comscore. We’ll see if Disney holds on to No. 1 later this morning, or if they concede.
One thing is certain and that is that the Angelina Jolie movie made more Sunday than Joker: an estimated $6.1M to $5.52M. Joker made more than the $5.28M that Warners was anticipating, while Maleficent 2 also earned more than the $5.52M that Disney was projecting yesterday.
Again, there’s nothing to be wowed about with the coincidence of a box office tie for No. 1. As we mentioned below, this type of stuff goes on during slow weekends, one of the last times being the three-way during Sept. 30-Oct. 2, 2017 among Kingsman: The Golden Circle, American Made and It.
Sunday AM Update: Refresh for chart and more analysis According to early morning industry estimates, Warner Bros./Village Roadshow/Bron Studio’s Joker has the edge over Maleficient: Mistress of Evil, $18.785M to $18.63M. Warners is reporting $18.9M for the Todd Phillips-directed pic, which continues to underscore what a zeitgeist movie it is from coast to coast in its fourth weekend.
Disney is reporting $18.5M for their Angelina Jolie pic. Yesterday and even last night, some believed it was a near photo finish between the two pics. But Warners and Disney are showing a $400K gap between the two pics, aimed at completely different audiences, R-rated and moms and girls. Worldwide, Joker is much higher than we anticipated, with a global running cume of $849M. Distribution sources now see Joker finaling at $340M in U.S./Canada. Globally, in her second weekend, Maleficient 2 stands at $293.5M.
For some reason, this happens during slow periods at the box office: near ties. One of the last notables times we had this was back during Sept. 30-Oct. 2, 2017, when Fox’s Kingsman: The Golden Circle ($16.975M), New Line’s It ($16.93M), and Universal’s Tom Cruise movie American Made ($16.758M) were wrestling in a three-way-tie. They finished in the 1-2-3 order I just gave you, with the latter title the prolific wide entry of the weekend.
MGM/UAR’s The Addams Family beat Sony’s Zombieland: Double Tap for third, $11.7M to $11.6M. The animated pic based on the Charles Addams IP now shines in weekend 3 with $72M.
Elsewhere, Sony-Screen Gems’ Black and Blue opened to $8.3M after a $3.2M Saturday, $200K above its Friday+previews, and STX’s Countdown clocked $9M after a Saturday that was +12% over Friday. Countdown did better than the $6M expected, but these aren’t exciting numbers. Yet, at the same time, neither studio was overspending to open these micro-budget pics, as we further expounded on below.
101 Studios’ The Current War: The Director’s Cut came in with $2.73M after a $1M Saturday, slightly up over Friday’s $948K. As we mentioned before, it’s a miracle that this Alfonso Gomez-Rejon-directed movie made its way to the big screen and wasn’t jettisoned to streaming, or unseen forever. 101 Studios literally rescued the $25M production in a quick claim. When Lantern was going through the bankrupt Weinstein Co. estate, they opted to keep overseas rights (which are now with Spyglass). The movie’s US rights were reverted back to the bankrupt Weinstein Co. estate, which were then reverted back to East/West bank. That’s when David Glasser’s 101 Studios stepped in to save the pic. P&A was very targeted with TV spots, digital, and radio geared toward high-brow crowds (85% of the crowd were college-educated or more). Not so much that the company would lose much on the film, but enough to be fine economically with the film after all ancillaries. Along the way, Gomez-Rejon trimmed 10 minutes for a 101 minute running time, ensuring his take on the war between Edison and Westinghouse over America’s electrical system. Pic received a Cinemascore of a B. Moviegoers at 82% felt the film impressed, that they though the pic was historically interesting (77% of the audience was drawn to the film because they felt the story sounded interesting). 55% male-drive attendees, 65% over 35, with 26% of the audience aged 25-34. Benedict Cumberbatch was a key draw for all, with Tom Holland appealing to the younger set.
Imax has Kanye West’s gospel feature Jesus is King at 372 runs in 134 markets, which did $862k, and that’s off 35 minutes of content. The film is sharing screens with Maleficent 2 and will come back to theaters throughout the season after Terminator: Dark Fate. The pic is billed as an experience, not so much a doc or pure concert film, but a blend of West and gospel that will stoke today’s churchgoers. I hear abroad, die-hard West fans flew from Melbourne to Sydney, Australia to see the film. West’s demos are diverse, spanning the twenty-to-thirty-something crowd. Sold-out shows over the weekend around the world in cities like, Chicago, LA, San Francisco, Boston, Dallas, London, Copenhagen, Helsinki, Mexico City, Guadalajara, Melbourne, Auckland, Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, Calgary, Edmonton, Ottawa, Alhambra, and Tempe.
Studio reported figures as of Sunday:
WEEKEND B.O. FOR OCT. 25-27
Saturday AM Update: So far, Joker is still king in the sluggish pre-Halloween stretch. But Disney’s Maleficent: Mistress of Evil made up some ground, and is only behind by $300K. Should the Disney dark witch pic post some solid matinees, it could pass Warner Bros./Village Roadshow/Bron’s R-rated DC laughing boy. Right now, Joker is looking at a $18.7M opening, and Maleficent 2 $18.4M.
This is typically one of the worst programmed weekends of the year, and that’s for a couple of reasons: Audience distractions with Halloween activities, despite the fact that they’ll still see a horror or Halloween-related film on this weekend; plus, we’re in the dead zone weekend between two tentpoles: Maleficent 2 (which was perceived from afar as one before it came up short last weekend with $36.9M) and next weekend’s Paramount/Skydance Media/Fox film Terminator: Dark Fate, which is eyeing $41M-$47M (still, that’s a number that can be counter-programmed against, and will be with such pics as Harriet, Arctic Dogs, and Motherless Brooklyn).
Both wide entries this weekend, Screen Gems’ Black and Blue and STX’s Countdown, were made for responsible budgets, respectively at $12M and $6.5M. But it’s clear not much was spent on P&A (or that it was controlled and targeted), as these pics aren’t creating a stir, respectively with $8.5M and $7.9M. While Universal and Blumhouse will spend to open their low-budget fare, (around $44M global average for fresh IP), rivals (such as Orion, Screen Gems and STX) typically spend the least amount of P&A possible to simply hit a $10M+ final domestic, so their ancillary deals can kick in. This results in lackluster grosses and titles which aren’t creating vibe on the chart. But in their ledgers after all downstreams, there’s apparently some black. That’s why these low-budget horror movies keep getting made. On the other hand, know that when a studio has something great, they’ll spend on it. Critics blasted Black and Blue and Countdown, respectively at 46% and 23% on Rotten Tomatoes. Countdown received a C+ CinemaScore and 3 stars on Comscore/Screen Engine’s PostTrak. Black and Blue did a bit better at 4 stars and 80% positive.
On Countdown, I hear P&A was below $15M. The pic’s first trailer was on Hustlers, with a digital push in the pic’s initial phase of marketing four weeks out. Then TV spots were added two weeks ago. The notion here is that with the female 17-24 crowd, the best time to get their attention is in the few days prior to a PG-13 horror pic’s opening. They decide at the last minute if they’re going to the movies, then go in packs. Countdown‘s opening is just ahead of Hell Fest‘s $5.1M last year, and that ended its run at $11.1M. It’s also ahead of Orion’s The Prodigy, which opened ahead of $5.8M, and ended its domestic run at $14.8M. Countdown drew 51% females, 76% under 35 years old. Males over 25 made up 29% of last night’s crowd, while females under 25 accounted for 27%. Thirteen-to-seventeen year olds who repped 15% of the crowd gave the pic its best grades of 82%. The mix was 45% Caucasian, 25% Hispanic, 16% African American and 14% Asian/Other. Countdown over-indexed slightly in the Mid-West and South.
Director Deon Taylor’s done better at the box office (The Intruder played in the immediate wake of Avengers: Endgame and opened to $10.855M, and ended its run at $35.4M domestic). Also, Screen Gems used to do much better with these African American thrillers (No Good Deed opened to $24.2M and ended its run at $52.5M). Why so short here, Sony especially, with good exits? Females showed up at 52%, with 75% over 25, with the single largest quad being 25-34 years old at 29%. African Americans led at 47%, Caucasians at 28%, Hispanics at 16%, and Asian/other at 9%. Black and Blue played best on the East and South. RelishMix, which points out the small social media universe on this pic of near 92M, says most of the chatter is that moviegoers “are bored” with this type of cop thriller. Pic’s social star is the moderately activated Tyrese Gibson, who, up until the past 12 days, was pretty quiet about this title on his social assets. Also, it’s worth noting that his reach of near 44M followers makes up 48% of the film’s reach, with Sony’s official pages/feeds accounting for another 38%.
Cracking the top 10 in weekend 2 was A24/New Regency’s Robert Eggers’s black and white spooky movie The Lighthouse, jumping from 8 to 586 runs for $3.75M. Pic posted some great numbers in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Denver, Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. Pic is 91% certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.
Much like Natalie Portman’s tormented western Jane Got a Gun willed itself to existence on the screen, it’s a miracle to see The Current War in existence on the big screen. Not much was expected here from this frosh 101 Studios release, which is opening to $2.88M in 9th. Critics weren’t kind at 57% Rotten, but audiences were better at 81% positive. Those who showed were 52% Male and 93% over 25, with 57% over 45 years old. Caucasians turned at 78%, followed by 9% Asian/other, 7% Hispanic and 6% African American. There were some halfway respectable numbers on the coasts, mostly in the major markets.
In an off-tentpole weekend, Imax has Kanye West’s gospel feature Jesus is King at 372 runs in 134 markets. The film is sharing screens with Maleficent 2. The pic is billed as an experience not so much a doc or pure concert film. I hear overseas die-hard West fans flew from Melbourne to Sydney Australia to see the film. West’s demos are diverse spanning the twenty-to-thirtysomething crowd. Pretty good numbers in New York, LA, Chicago, Dallas, San Francisco, Phoenix and Austin for a $1.8M opening. change Jesus figure to $862k
Warner Bros.’ Bruce Springsteen concert pic Western Stars didn’t fly with $530K in 537 theaters and 126 markets, even though it had a 90% RT rating. Best markets were New York, New Jersey (natch) and Chicago, Philly and Boston. But I hear numbers weren’t great and pic’s grosses are bound to drop in non-core runs.
Saturday AM industry estimates:
BOX OFFICE FOR oCT. 25-27
Midday Update: It’s Joker all-the-time. As we told you previously, the Warner Bros./Village Roadshow/Bron Studios feature will lead its fourth weekend at the B.O. , but midday estimates have it pegged for $17.7M, -39%, for a running total of $276.3M. Worldwide should be at $825M by end of weekend. The Todd Phillips directed movie is already the highest grossing R-rated pic of all-time, beating Deadpool with profit north of $464M.
Disney’s Maleficent: Mistress of Evil is second with an estimated $15.9M, -57% for a 10-day of $62.8M.
Sony’s Zombieland: Double Tap is seeing $12.2M, -54% in weekend 2, for 10-day of $47.6M.
MGM/UAR’s The Addams Family still strong in weekend 3 with $10M in 4th place, -39%, for a running total of $71M.
Sony/Screen Gems Black and Blue is seeing $8.3M in 5th after a $2.7M Friday including last night’s $675K.
Outside the top five, STX’s Countdown is making roughly what it cost: $6.4M for the weekend after $2.4M Friday including last night’s $515K previews.
101 Studios’ Current War: Director’s Cut is seeing 1M today, for a $2.9M opening.
Previous 8:33 AM: It was a small night for previews, but it’s a small weekend for wide entries with two thrifty budgeted movies. Sony/Screen Gems’ R-rated Deon Taylor-directed Black and Blue starring 007’s Naomie Harris as a rookie New Orleans police officer who witnesses her fellow cops committing a murder drew $675,000 at 1,962 venues that began screenings at 7 PM. The pic expands to 2,062 screens today. Black and Blue is expected to open in the mid-single digits, maybe $10M.
Black and Blue‘s Thursday night cash falls under Taylor’s previous thriller The Intruder from May ($865K, 5 PM shows, 2,073 theaters), but higher than his Lionsgate/Code Black title Traffik ($225K, 7 PM, 900 locations). Intruder, which played in the immediate wake of Avengers: Endgame during the first weekend of May, opened to $10.9M and finaled at $35.4M domestic, $36.5M globally off a $5M net budget. Black and Blue cost a reported $12M net.
STX has the $6.5M horror production Countdown, which made $515K last night from 7 PM shows, on par with such horror pics as 47 Meters Down Uncaged ($500K) and Hell Fest ($435K). Both those pics opened to $8.4M ($22.2M final) and $5.1M ($11.1M final), respectively, and Countdown is expected to open in the same single-day range.
Countdown, directed and written by Justin Dec and produced by Sean Anders, John Morris, John Rickard and Zack Schiller, tells the story of a nurse (Elizabeth Lail) who downloads an app that tells her she has three days to live. With time ticking away and death closing in, she must find a way to save her life before time runs out. The film also stars Talitha Bateman (Annabelle: Creation), Peter Facinelli (Twilight franchise), P.J Byrne (Green Book, Rampage), Jordan Calloway (Riverdale) and Tichina Arnold (Everyone Hates Chris). Countdown is PG-13, so under 25 girls are the target here. Pic is booked at 2,675 theaters.
Meanwhile, Warner Bros/Village Roadshow/Bron Studios’ Joker is expected to rule supreme with $19M-$20M in its fourth weekend. Throughout its weekdays, it beat Disney’s Maleficent: Mistress of Evil on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday. However, the pic ends its third week with $40.7M, just behind Maleficent 2’s $46.8M. Maleficent 2 is poised to see a $15M-$16M second weekend, off 58%, for a 10-day total of $62.8M.
Sony’s Zombieland: Double Tap looks to take third again with $12M, -55%, for a 10-day take of $47.4M. The Ruben Fleischer-directed movie made $36.4M in its first week.
101 Studios has Alfonso Gomez-Rejon’s The Current War: The Director’s Cut which is eyeing a low-single-digit debut at 1,022 locations. The pic made its world premiere at the 2017 Toronto Film Festival and stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Thomas Edison and Michael Shannon as George Westinghouse in their battle to control the nation’s electricity system. The film has had a long and twisty road, becoming a casualty of The Weinstein Company’s bankruptcy scandal and rescued by David Glasser’s 101 Studios.