EXCLUSIVE: Last year, Sony ruled the Independence Day box office frame with Marvel’s Spider-Man: Far From Home, and this year the studio again can tout that it won the holiday period with their reissue of the 1984 classic Ghostbusters, which grossed $550,000 over the three-day weekend, and $656K since its re-opening July 1.
And if you want to get technical, it’s been 36 years since Ghostbusters rode atop the weekend box office, the last time being September 14-16, 1984. It was also the second time that Ghostbusters ruled an Independence Day frame at the B.O, with the Columbia Pictures release having won both June 29-July 1 and the July 6-8 period that year, according to Box Office Mojo. The movie opened on June 8 of that year to $13.6M at 1,339 theaters, and it stayed at the top spot for seven weeks straight, with another three No. 1 wins (for a total of 10 weeks at No. 1).
Even though the major circuits AMC, Regal and Cinemark (except for a handful of Dallas-area venues) haven’t reopened in full as state and local authorities keep cinemas shut down due to COVID-19, Ghostbusters played at 622 locations in a weekend where drive-in cinemas continue to account for 90% of box office business, per sources.
Sony’s recent rereleases of the Bill Murray-Dan Aykroyd-Harold Ramis pic include a Fathom Events offering in October that minted $370K, and a 30th anniversary edition in 2014 that grossed $3.5 million over three weeks starting with Labor Day weekend. All in, the lifetime gross of the Ivan Reitman-directed movie counts $243.2M. Through three movies, including the 2016 femme reboot with Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones, the Ghostbusters franchise counts $687.7M.
Jason Reitman directed the next installment, Ghostbusters: Afterlife, which was originally scheduled to come out this summer before the COVID-19 shutdown. It is now scheduled to open on March 5, 2021. Ivan Reitman, the franchise’s producer and director of the 1984 and 1989 versions, is back as producer.
Sony also had bragging rights for the No. 2 spot this holiday weekend with Jumanji: The Next Level, which drew an estimated $300K in the No. 2 spot. Before the major circuits shut down and the major studios stopped reporting box office, Sony was left in the No. 1 spot at the 2020 domestic market share with $463M, thanks to the spillover of Next Level, Little Women and its January hit Bad Boys for Life.
Last year, Sony rang up an Independence Day stretch six-day box office-opening record with Spider-Man: Far From Home, which made $185M at the domestic box office (and that was with a 7.1 Ridgecrest, CA earthquake in the SoCal marketplace) and ultimately $1.1 billion worldwide. God knows exhibition would love to see a piece of that action once again and fast. Up next for Sony is the TriStar romantic comedy The Broken Hearts Gallery, executive produced by Selena Gomez, on August 7.
IFC continued to supply drive-ins with fresh genre product and saw its Sundance acquisition, AGBO Studios’ Relic, rank third this weekend with $282,600. The IFC Midnight movie repped the directorial debut of Natalie Erika James and stars Emily Mortimer, Bella Heathcote and Australian theater legend Robyn Nevin. Nevin plays Edna, an elderly and widowed matriarch who goes missing. Her daughter Kay (Mortimer) and granddaughter Sam (Heathcote) travel to their remote family home to find her. Soon after her return, they start to discover a sinister presence haunting the house and taking control of Edna. The pic has a 97% fresh score on Rotten Tomatoes, and was produced by Anna McLeish and Sarah Shaw of Carver Films, Jake Gyllenhaal and Riva Marker of Nine Stories, and executive produced by Anthony Russo and Joe Russo alongside Mike Larocca of AGBO. The pic goes next weekend on digital platforms and more theaters.
Amazon also made available its STX acquisition My Spy, which is currently playing on Prime Video.
Below’s top 10 is based on industry estimates, not studio-reported:
1..Ghostbusters (Sony) 622 theaters, 3-day: $550K, 5-day: $656K/lifetime cume: $243.2M/Wk no. 1 of re-release
2…Jumanji: The Next Level (Sony) 220 (+139) theaters, 3-day: $300K (+230%), lifetime cume: $317.3M/wk. 30
3. Relic (IFC) 69 theaters, 3-day: $282,6K/Wk 1
4..Jurassic Park (Uni) 252 (+20) theaters, 3-day: $235K (+24%),lifetime cume: $404.7M /wk no. 1,413
5..Jaws (Uni) 219 theaters (+56), 3-day: $195K (+57%), lifetime cume: $264.2M/wk. no. 2,351
6..Deadpool (20th) 327 theaters, 3-day: $193K, lifetime cume: $363.1M/wk no. 230
7. Jungle Book (Dis) 392 theaters, 3-day: $171K, lifetime cume: $364.1M/wk no. 221
8…Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Dis), 3-day: $123K, lifetime cume: $936.7M/wk no. 238
9..The Hunt (Uni) 109 (+13) theaters, 3-day: $111K (-26%), cume: $10.6M (revised)/Wk 17
10..My Spy (AMZ) 104 theaters 3-day: $107K, cume: $4.3M/lifetime cume: $307K/Wk 3 [includes $200K Canadian release money from before COVID-19 shutdown].