‘Mortal Kombat’ & ‘Demon Slayer’ Continue Gritty B.O. Fight For No. 1; But Both Pics Hit The Mat Hard In Weekend 2

Warner Bros.; Sony

SUNDAY AM UPDATE: What’s upsetting about this weekend is how these two movies, Mortal Kombat and Demon Slayer, which had very notable openings and further revived the domestic B.O. last weekend, dropped precipitously this weekend, respectively at -73% and -70%.

Funimation/Aniplex is calling Demon Slayer‘s weekend 2 at $6.4M for No. 1, with a running total of $32.2M, and New Line’s Mortal Kombat is at No. 2 with a weekend 2 of $6.2M and a $34M 10-day total. No one was expecting this type of tumble. What does this say as the US has close to 70% of 40,7K screens reopened, and there’s talk of Los Angeles and San Francisco moving to the yellow tier, which could get theaters at 75% capacity? (It’s not as easy as that reads, more on that in a bit).

New Line

Essentially, what’s going on here is that there were two movies catering to niche audiences that overperformed last weekend. However, they had limited wide appeal. Both overindexed last weekend because of pent-up demand, as people sought to get out of the house after 13 months of largely lockdown, with both pics’ core audiences seeing them, hence the second weekend drops.

In regards to Mortal Kombat, movies based on hardcore videogames (not Sonic), have a tendency to plummet in weekend 2, i.e. Doom (-73%), 2001’s Tomb Raider (-59%). By comparison, New Line’s 1995 version of Mortal Kombat, which was rated PG-13, declined 56% in its second weekend, with $10.3M at 2,628 theaters. Mortal Kombat came in ahead of estimates last Sunday. It’s not out of the question for that to occur again.

We always knew Funimation/Aniplex’s Demon Slayer as an anime feature would be front-loaded, which is the B.O. nature of those pics. The distrib’s Dragon Ball Super: Broly in the second weekend following its MLK opening fell 69%. After a $22.3M 6-day opening, that movie stopped its domestic gross at $30.7M. Short runway there.


This weekend marks the anniversary of when 2019’s Avengers: Endgame ($357.1M) and 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War ($257.7M) respectively notched the top 1 and 2 openings of all-time. With no new tentpole in the marketplace over the last three days, that depletes the demand of moviegoing. Couple that with great weather across the nation, and President Biden’s new order that vaccinated folks can go outside without a mask. People decided to do other outdoor activities rather than head to the movies, per distribution sources.

As far as Mortal Kombat goes, I do believe that the whole simultaneous HBO Max of it all is a leg-killer for their titles at the box office. Why see the movie a second time in the theater when you can see it at home for free? It’s going to be really interesting to see how the Disney Premier of it all impacts Marvel’s Black Widow grosses. Will fans see Black Widow in theaters first and buy it on Disney Premier when they get home? Exhibition should be keenly aware of this, that money will be lost on their end and reaped by Disney.

Mortal Kombat‘s drop here at -73%, the steepest we’ve seen for a Warner Bros/HBO Max title during the pandemic since Wonder Woman 1984‘s second weekend drop of -68%, is not a case of the tide rising all boats, as AT&T Boss John Stankey would say. And even though Godzilla vs. Kong is off the studio’s streaming service right now after a 31-day play, the Legendary title, which counts a domestic cume of $90.3M, would have had a faster path to $100M if it wasn’t on HBO Max. Again, the whole theatrical-HBO Max day and date release plan is only in effect for this year, not next.

Exhibition-wise, we’re still not in a perfect state: Canada is only 18% open. No. 2 chain Regal is only 15% open, and this new California state health guideline of insisting that moviegoers show proof of vaccinations before theaters move to 75% next week is truly punishing to exhibition and impossible to enforce. California Governor Gavin Newsom sure isn’t policing a similar policy at LAX, where throngs are fearless about traveling.

On the upside, circuits AMC is 99% open, Cinemark 93%, Marcus 82%, and Harkins 97%. In certain areas of the country, these chains are operating at 75% to 80% capacity where local ordinances permit. The Chinese 6 in Hollywood is now open, along with the main Chinese Theatre, which reopened in time for GvK. 

Open Road Films

Open Road’s horror movie Separation posted $1.8M after a $680K Saturday at 1,751 locations which was up 1% over Friday’s $675K. Sunday looks to be $476K. Open Road targeted older horror fans, ages 35-44, with limited buys on such shows as Fear the Walking Dead, WWE Smackdown, and NBA Basketball on TNT. Open Road also paid for targeted social and digital ads, specifically on Fandango. The film’s producers hosted a Tik Tok influencer screening in Los Angeles last week with the cast and director William Brent Bell.

Social media chatter on Separation was light, according to RelishMix, with YouTube views at 9.7M and a low viral rate of 3:1. “Pages connected to the film and distributor have scattered posts since the campaign began on March 25. Another ten videos are posting on Facebook at 4.1M and a lightly activated cast at 600k adds to the SMU of 14.3M which is on the low end for the genre,” says RelishMix.

We will update you when Comscore sends their report, but the total B.O. for all pics at the domestic B.O. this weekend is looking like an estimated $24.2M, -57% from last weekend’s pandemic record of $56.3M.

The top 10 chart for April 30-May 2, Warners didn’t break out daily B.O. figures

1.) Demon Slayer (Fun/Ani) 1,870 theaters (+281)/Fri $1.81M/Sat $2.66M/Sun $1.9M/3-day $6.4M (-70%)/Total: $32.2M/ Wk 2

2.) Mortal Kombat (New Line/WB), 3,114 theaters (+41) /Fri, $1.85M, 3-day $6.2M (-73%)/Total: $34M/Wk 2

3.) Godzilla vs. Kong (WB/Leg) 2,573 theaters (-103),/ 3-day: $2.74M (-36%)/Total: $90.3M/Wk 5

4.) Separation (OR)  1,751 theaters, Fri $675K, Sat $680K, Sun $476K, 3-day $1.8M/Wk 1

5.) Raya and the Last Dragon (Dis) 1,810 theaters (-9), Fri $350K/Sat $605K/Sun $380k/ 3-day: $1.33M (-22%), Total: $41.5M/Wk 9

6.) Nobody (Uni) 2,056 theaters (-196) Fri $360K/Sat $560K/Sun $340K/3-day: $1.26M (-28%)/Total $23.3M/Wk 6

7.) The Unholy (Sony) 1,538 theaters (-297) /Fri $305K/Sat $465K/Sun $295K/$1.06M (-27%)/Total: $13.1M/Wk 5

8.) Scott Pilgrim vs. The World (re) (Uni) 152 theaters, Fri $340K/Sat $230K/Sun $150K/$720K /Total: $32.4M/Wk 560

9.) Tom & Jerry (WB) 1,209 theaters (-334), 3-day: $515K (-29%)/Total: $44.2M/Wk 10

10.) Together Together  (BST) 659 theaters (-6), Fri $95K, Sat $132,7K, Sun $85K, 3-day: $313K (-41%) Total: $1.02M/Wk 2/

SATURDAY AM UPDATE: Though the numbers aren’t as big as their opening weekends, an interesting tale continues at the weekend box office during the pandemic with New Line’s Mortal Kombat and Funimation/Aniplex’s Demon Slayer bound for a photo-finish of $6.1M each in their second weekends. Really, it’s too close to call No. 1 right now.

Mortal Kombat had the slight upper hand yesterday with $1.85M, -80%,  and 8-day total of $29.7M at 3,114 locations (+41 from last weekend). The second weekend for the Simon McQuoid-directed pic will be off a steep 74%. Demon Slayer did $1.81M on its way to a second weekend drop of -71% at 1,879 venues (+281). The manga feature adaptation’s 10-day total by EOD tomorrow looks to $33.9M.

Demon Slayer ended its first week with $27.7M while Mortal Kombat grossed $27.85M in its first seven days. That said, I hear Demon Slayer beat Mortal Kombat throughout the week on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, despite the Midway video game feature reboot winning last weekend with $23.3M over the Japanese IP’s $21.1M.

While Demon Slayer was on Imax, PLFs and Dolby screens last Thursday before ceding them to Mortal Kombat last weekend, the Funimaton/Aniplex movie got those bookings back for this weekend’s run.

Warner Bros/Legendary’s Godzilla vs. Kong is in third place with a $730K Friday, -38%, and a fifth weekend of $2.5M, -41% with $90.1M by Sunday. The pic is booked at 2,573 theaters (-103).

‘Separation’ Open Road

In fourth place is Open Road’s genre pic Separation directed by William Brent Bell. The movie clocked $675K on Friday, heading toward a $1.6M opening at 1,751 theaters. Critics loathed this horror movie at 11% on Rotten Tomatoes and audiences weren’t high on it either giving it 42% overall positive on Comscore/Screen Engine’s PostTrak and a very low 27% recommend. Pic drew a nearly even audience of 51% male to 49% female with the 18-34 demo repping 61% of the ticket buyers. Diversity demos were 38% Caucasian, 28% African American, 25% Hispanic, and 9% Asian/other. I hear the movie’s best markets were in the East and South Central parts of the U.S. Dialing into that more: Los Angeles was the pic’s top DMA, followed by NYC, Dallas, San Francisco, Houston, Chicago, Phoenix, and Sacramento.

Written by Nick Amadeus and Josh Braun, Separation tells the terrifying consequences of divorce: a young girl finds solace in her artist father and her dead mother. The pic was filmed in NYC; produced by Bell, Jordan Yale Levine, Jordan Beckerman, Russ Posternak, Jesse Korman and Clay Pecorin. EPs are Seth Posternak, Russell Geyser, Jane Oster, James Masciello, Matt Sidari and Open Road’s Tom Ortenberg.

Fifth place is currently going to Disney’s Raya and the Last Dragon which earned $350K (-13%) in its 9th Friday for a weekend that’s estimated to be around $1.46M at 1,810 locations (-9), -16%, for $41.7M running total.

Universal’s R-rated Bob Odenkirk action film Nobody ranks 6th place with $360K on Friday (-29%) in weekend 6 for an expected 3-day of $1.24M, -29%, and a running total of $23.3M.


Uni also has the 10th anniversary re-release of Edgar Wright’s Scott Pilgrim vs. the World which is a Dolby Cinema cut. They’ve got this 2010 movie booked at 152 locations (all of them Dolby Vision screens) which did $340K yesterday for a 3-day of $700K putting the pic’s domestic lifetime cume at $32.3M by end of Sunday. The re-release, I hear, had great grosses in Los Angeles, Orlando, Phoenix and New York. The movie originally had an A- CinemaScore, and an 82% certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, however, with a production cost of $60M back in the day before global P&A, and a domestic opening of $10.6M, and final domestic of $31.5M and $47.7M WW, the all-star movie which touted a cast of Michael Cera, Chris Evans, Brie Larson, Kieran Culkin, Anna Kendrick, Alison Pill, Aubrey Plaza, Jason Schwartzman, Mae Whitman, and Brandon Routh, was considered to be a big dud theatrically.

Far outside the top 10 is Focus Features’ limited release of Ben Sharrock’s Limbo in 208 theaters in 76 markets which grossed $31K on Friday, bound for a $100K 3-day for a per screen of $481. The movie, which is 93% certified fresh, follows Omar, a promising young musician. Separated from his Syrian family, he is stuck on a remote Scottish island awaiting the fate of his asylum request. The title has a 21-day theatrical window.

Searchlight isn’t reporting B.O. figures still for Oscar Best Picture winner Nomadlandbut we hear the Chloe Zhao-directed movie is in 800 theaters and did about $90K yesterday for a $300K weekend taking its running total B.O. to around $3M.




This article was printed from https://deadline.com/2021/05/mortal-kombat-demon-slayer-second-weekend-box-office-battle-1234748112/