Sunday AM Writethru: Following Saturday post, The Father figures have been updated with Monday’s numbers. There’s lots of good news ahead at the box office, but we’re not quite there yet.
The No. 1 box office market, Los Angeles (over $900M in 2019), won’t begin to really wake up until next weekend. Then the industry’s only headache is waiting for capacity restrictions to increase well beyond the current 25%, which NYC and LA are currently capped.
Of the 5.8K theaters in U.S. and Canada, only 51% are currently open this weekend; this despite the fact that Disney is saying that 80% of the domestic marketplace is able to operate in regards to total grossing capacity. The New York DMA, including the recently reopened NYC five boroughs last weekend, is only 44% opened. But there are parts of Canada which are alive, i.e. Quebec at 73%, Saskatchewan at 55%, and Yukon, Northwest Territories, Nunavut at 100%. Toronto’s province, Ontario, is only opened at 20%.
While the B.O. is still in repair, Disney’s second weekend of Raya and the Last Dragon, which is also available on Disney+ for an extra $30 to subscribers, is leading this weekend with $1.5M Friday, $2.6M Saturday, and an expected $1.4M today for a total second weekend of $5.5M, -35% at 2,163 locations (+118) and a 10-day gross of $15.8M. Friday was off 42%. Nancy will have more, but Raya made $11.5M in its second overseas weekend for a combined $17M WW, taking its global total to $52.6M.
While we were very nervous about this new day and date theatrical Disney+ model, those with knowledge of Disney’s distribution maneuvers believe that it was merely an experiment. It is not apt to shake-up the entire future of theatrical releasing, and day and date streaming releases aren’t part of their long term plans for the Burbank, CA lot to make bank on their slate. Word is that Disney heard the message loud and clear from exhibitors like Cinemark, Harkins, and others who refused to play Raya, and clearly the movie is suffering from those chains absence in its box office equation. The biggest ouch here for Raya? Not having Canada’s Cineplex.
Meanwhile, the New York DMA continued to be the No. 1 box office market in the country in its second weekend of reopened cinemas in NYC. While Friday and Saturday combined last weekend earned $768.9K on its way to a $1.07M weekend, the last two days were down 33%, grossing $517.9K combined per stats we received from sources. We can largely say that’s due to the bevy of family fare in the marketplace, plus capacity restrictions. NYC, along with LA, are the theater average capitals for arthouse films. While major studios can contend with multiple showtimes with capped capacities, it’s a different story for independent films which truly rely on as many seats possible from a handful of shows. The overall weekend’s other top markets at the domestic B.O. were (in 2 days grosses) Salt Lake City ($422K), Dallas-Fort Worth ($375K), Phoenix ($309K), Chicago ($263k), Houston ($210K), San Francisco ($205K), Detroit ($194K), Minneapolis ($168K) and Seattle ($159K).
On the upside for NYC, we hear that the 70MM of Warner Bros’ Tenet at the AMC Imax Lincoln Square sold out every showtime, a good sign of life that moviegoing is returning. This Christopher Nolan-directed feature will open in around 13 Los Angeles locations next Friday including the AMC Citywalk at Universal Studios.
Warner Bros.’ Tom & Jerry is estimated to have grossed $1M in its third Friday, -37%, $1.9M on Saturday for a 3-day WB reported of $4.1M, -38% at 2,454 theaters (-109), and a running total of $28.2M. The pic is currently on WarnerMedia’s subscriber streaming service HBO Max for another 15 days before theaters have it exclusive in the pic’s second-month run.
Lionsgate’s Chaos Walking in weekend 2 is ranking 3rd with a $647K Friday, $1M Saturday, and $601K today for a 3-day of $2.25M at 1,995 sites (+15), -40%, and a running total of $6.9M by Sunday.
Fourth is going to Focus Features’ Boogie in weekend 2 with $220K Friday, -50%, $320K Saturday for a 3-day of $730K, -39%, at 1,272 theaters (+20) for a 10-day running today of $2.27M.
And fifth goes to the family pandemic sleeper that won’t stop, Universal/Dreamworks Animation’s Croods: A New Age, which is seeing a Friday in weekend 16 of $120K, -41%, $240K on Saturday, a 3-day of $520K, -34%, at 1,440 theaters (-164) and a running total of $54.3M.
Sony Classics didn’t report figures on their expansion of The Father on Sunday AM, rather reported Monday. The movie has been in limited release since Feb. 26; this weekend repped its second in NYC, third frame overall. The Anthony Hopkins-Olivia Colman awards season contender was booked at 865 venues and did well for an arthouse film during the pandemic with $433,6K according to SPC. Industry estimates figured (revised) $97.5K Friday, $135K on Saturday (+38%). Per theater average was $501. To date, The Father has accumulated a total domestic B.O. of $477,6K.
Audience exits on Screen Engine/Comscore’s PostTrak were strong at 84% positive and a 54% recommend. Guys showed up at 52%, with 76% over 35, with the single largest demo being 55+ at 39%. That’s very good news, as some in distribution circles have been concerned about the older demo returning to the cinemas as Covid quells. Clearly, The Father shows they want to come back. Diversity breakdown was 78% Caucasian, 11% Hispanic, 5% Black, and 6% Asian.
Sony, big and small, is shielding its box office figures from rival distributors in Comscore. However, big Sony has been very good about reporting numbers on Sunday AM. The Father, directed by Florian Zeller, is 99% certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes and armed with four Golden Globe noms, two SAG noms for Hopkins in lead and Colman in supporting, and six BAFTA noms. Hopefully, this doesn’t become the new norm with Oscar contenders, whereby distributors begin hiding box office results to protect the pic’s reputation during awards season.
Also breaking into the top 10 was Telugu’s Anudeep K.V.-directed and written comedy Jathi Ratnalu, which made an estimated $460K at 130 locations. The pic follows three prisoners who get released and plan for a happy life outside. Events take a new turn and bring in a twist. Can they find happiness and love now? I hear figures were OK in New York, Dallas, San Francisco, Detroit, Seattle, and Austin.
Speaking of not reporting box office numbers, two-time Golden Globe winner Nomadland from Searchlight is estimated to have grossed $117,5K in its sixth weekend at 400 sites (-220), which reps a 42% decline and a running total of $1.529M. Weekend breakdown for the Chloe Zhao directed movie is $33K Friday, $48,5K Saturday and $36K today.
Big Sony has the Stephen Basilone-directed Long Weekend at 814 sites, with an OK 71% fresh Rotten Tomatoes rating for this romantic comedy. Sony saw a Friday of $87K,$96K Saturday, $62K Sunday for a 3-day of $245K in the No. 11 spot. Bad exits here at 55% and a 32% definite recommend on PostTrak. Fifty-eight percent females bought tickets, 81% over 25, with the single largest demo being 45-54 year olds at 24%. Diversity demos were 67% Caucasian, 12% Hispanic, 13% Black and 8% Asian.
As we told you first, slowly today Cinemark is throwing open the doors to its Long Beach, CA site, followed by theater reopenings in Orange, Placer, Contra Costa and San Bernardino counties. The No. 3 chain will continue to eye reopenings in the near future in LA, and by March 15, 90% of its national circuit will be open. AMC is reopening its Burbank and Century City hubs Monday.
Some distributors speculate that we’ll be around 4.2K theaters by the time Disney’s Black Widow opens on May 7. As we always said, it’s going to be a gradual box office comeback, not an elevator lift. However, May brings a tremendous amount of hope, with Black Widow, Paramount’s A Quiet Place Part II, 20th’s Free Guy, Sony’s Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway and Disney’s Cruella. It’s that type of cluster of films which is required to lure moviegoers back, not one singular film, ala Tenet.
Weekend of March 12-14:
1.) Raya and the Last Dragon (Dis) 2,163 theaters (+118), 3-day: $5.5M (-35%), Total: $15.8M/Wk 2
2.) Tom & Jerry (WB) 2,454 theaters (-109), 3-day: $4.1M (-38%)/Total: $28.2M/Wk 3
3.) Chaos Walking (Lionsgate) 1,995 theaters (+15), 3-day: $2.25M (-40%)/Total: $6.9M/Wk 2
4.)Boogie (Focus) 1,272 theaters (+20), 3-day: $730K (-39%) /Total: $2.27M/Wk 2
5.) The Croods: A New Age (Uni) 1,440 theaters (-164), 3-day: $520K (-34%)/Total: $54.3M/Wk 16
6.) The Marksman (Open) 1,105 theaters (+55)/3-day: $465K (-7%)/Total: $13.6M/Wk 9
7.) Jaithi Ratnalu (Telugu) 130 theaters, 3-day: $460K/Wk 1
8.) The Father (SPC) 865 theaters, 3-day: $433,6K /Total: $477,6K/Wk 3
9.) The Little Things (WB) 1,303 theaters (-145), 3-day: $400K (-27%), Total: $14.2M/Wk 7
10.) Wonder Woman 1984 (WB) 1,139 theaters (-78)/3-day: $400K (-20%)/Total: $44.95M/Wk 12