Sunday AM Update and writethru: The domestic box office isn’t going to get interesting until next weekend, when Paramount’s A Quiet Place Part II and Disney’s Cruella launch the summer season.
From that point on, we largely won’t have any weekends where the major studios are taking a break from releasing wide entries, which is the case this weekend, as Lionsgate’s Spiral: From the Book of Saw repeats in its second frame with $1.38M on Friday, -63%, and an expected 3-day of $4.55M, and a running total of $15.8M. The second weekend for Spiral reps a 48% decline at 2,991 theaters (+180), which actually is pretty good for a horror movie which, in pre-pandemic times, can drop -60% or greater. However, these are still low numbers.
Lionsgate is exclaiming that Spiral, even in its most minimal grosses here, is putting the entire franchise over $1 billion through nine films. The sequel is EP’ed by longtime collaborator Daniel J. Heffner, who is the EP of the Saw franchise. Spiral earned $2.67 million from 21 offshore territories, taking its foreign cume to $6.72M and global to $22.5M.
All the action this weekend is overseas, where Universal’s F9 is heading to $162.4M this weekend in 8 markets, charged by China, where it’s the second-biggest opener for the studio, and the Fast franchise, with $135.6M. F9 parks itself at US theaters on June 25. Spiral should ultimately hit $30M at the domestic B.O.
In addition, Funimation/Aniplex’s Demon Slayer has officially become the second-highest grossing anime film at the domestic B.O. behind Warner Bros.’ 1999 film Pokemon ($85.7M), overtaking 2000’s Pokemon 2 ($43.7M) with $43.956M through Friday. The Haruo Sotozaki directed feature ranked 6th this weekend, with $1.33M in its 5th frame, -32%, with a running total of $44.9M by today at 1,800 locations (-130). A $50M final domestic gross is within reason. Warner Bros/Legendary’s Godzilla vs. Kong at 2,552 theaters made $1.4M in its 8th frame, for a running total of $96.9M in 5th place.
Heading into summer, we’re still not at a level where the entire U.S./Canadian exhibition infrastructure is open, with currently 4,1K theaters out of 5,88K with the lights on. Some of those in distribution circles will argue that the domestic marketplace is already oversaturated. However, it truly does hurt not having Canada entirely online, with major provinces Alberta, Manitoba and Ontario reportedly closed until early July. The country typically reps north of 7% of the domestic B.O.
On the bright side, 96% of No. 2 chain Regal is open, with 515 locations online and 20 sites permanently closed. No. 1 circuit AMC counts 590 theaters open and 50 permanently closed, while No. 3 chain Cinemark counts 316 theaters in full operation and around 20 fully closed.
Maryland has lifted all capacity restrictions for theaters, and Washington D.C. will follow on June 11 and Massachusetts next weekend. This weekend, capacity restrictions were lifted in NYC, but social distancing rules still applied at 6 feet. Local NATO officials are lobbying for at least 3 feet in the near future as mask rules stay in effect.
No. 2 for the weekend is MGM/United Artists Releasing/Miramax’s Guy Ritchie movie Wrath of Man, with a third Friday of $818K, -22% at 3,007 locations, on its way to a 3-day of $2.9M, -21% for a running total of $18.78M. The pic is headed for $25M stateside.
No. 3 belongs to Bron/New Line’s Angelina Jolie action thriller Those Who Wish Me Dead, which did around $560K on Friday for an estimated second weekend of $1.8M, -35%, and a $5.5M running total. The pic is getting a PVOD release in Canada, given how big parts of the country remain under lockdown.
Disney’s Raya and the Last Dragon, which is also available on Disney+ Premier at $29.99, is ranking 4th this weekend with an estimated $1.66M, -2%, in its 12th session at 2,375 (+90) and a running total of $48.3M. For all the great weekend-to-weekend holds this movie is experiencing, which underscores how families are starving to get out of the house as the pandemic winds down, make no mistake that this animated film could have performed significantly better at the B.O. had Disney kept it on a pure theatrical domestic window and had Cinemark onboard in its first weekend.
The total running box office here for Raya is what Disney normally would make in an opening weekend for an animated film. True, NYC theaters were online during Raya‘s first weekend, and LA didn’t come alive until weekend 3. But there’s B.O. money being left on the table, and it’s not clear how successful (or not) the Disney Premier release was, dollar-wise, even though the studio pockets all that money and doesn’t have to share it with exhibitors.
Warner Bros. gave a theatrical release to its animated pic Scoob!, which was scheduled to hit theaters a year ago today, but was sidelined to HBO Max then because of the pandemic. The Tony Cervone-directed animated feature made $850K at 2,500 theaters.
Other highlights from this weekend: Bleecker Street and Topic Studio’s Toni Collette drama Dream Horse, which made its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival last year, grossed around $260,7K on Friday at 1,254 theaters, on its way to a reported FSS of $844,2K for a $673 theater average. Rotten Tomatoes was 91% fresh from critics, with solid PostTrak exits of 81% positive and a 57% recommend. Females turned out at 62%, with 85% over 25, 66% over 35 and 45% over 45 years old. Diversity breakdown was 70% Caucasian, 16% Hispanic, 6% Black and 8% Asian/other. The most active business came from the West and Midwest.
Other limited releases include NEON’s Spanish-language, Michel Franco-directed drama thriller New Order at 236 locations, which made $50K on Friday for a distributor reported 3-day of $130K ($551 theater average). Focus Features had the Luke Holland directed documentary Final Account at 308 sites, which opened to $45K for a $150K weekend ($486 theater average).
IFC is reporting $129K weekend for the Robert Robert Connolly-directed Eric Bana Australian thriller, The Dry at 186 venues, a $629 theater average. The pic was a PVOD day-and-date, slotting the No. 1 spot on iTunes over the weekend. The pic debuted in its native Australia on New Year’s and grossed $3.5M in its first four days, repping the 5th best debut at the Australian box office by a native filmmaker. The Dry ranked after the Australian openings of Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby ($6.5M U.S.), George Miller’s Happy Feet ($6.1M), Miller’s Mad Max: Fury Road ($5M), and Luhrmann’s Australia ($4.1M).
Arianna Bocco, President, IFC Films said in a statement, “We are so thrilled for the amazing team behind The Dry. Robert, Eric, Bruna, Steve and the whole team behind The Dry have crafted a film and performances that have translated across the ocean to American audiences.”
We’re building the top 10 chart for May 21-23, 2021, daily estimates as provided by distributors:
1.) Spiral (LG) 2,991 theaters (+180) Fri $1.4M/Sat $1.9M/Sun $1.2M/3-day $4.55M (-48%)/Total: $15.8M/ Wk 2
2.) Wrath of Man (UAR) 3,007 theaters /Fri $818K/Sat $1.28M/Sun $834K/3-day $2.9M (-21%)/Total: $18.8M Wk 3
3.) Those Who Wish Me Dead (WB) 3,379 theaters (+191)/3-day $1.8M (-35%)/ Total: $5.5M/Wk 2
4.) Raya and the Last Dragon (Dis) 2,375 theaters (+90), Fri $414K/Sat $725K/Sun $523k/ 3-day: $1.66M (-2%), Total: $48.3M/Wk 12
5.) Godzilla vs. Kong (WB/Leg) 2,552 theaters (+68),/3-day: $1.43M (-6%)/Total: $96.9M/Wk 8
6.) Demon Slayer (Fun/Ani) 1,800 theaters (-130)/Fri $368K/Sat $558,5K/Sun $403,5K/3-day $1.33M (-32%)/Total: $44.9M/Wk 5
7.) Mortal Kombat (New Line/WB), 2,386 locations (-79) / 3-day $935K (-30%)/Total: $41.2M/Wk 5
8.) Scoob! (WB, re) 2,500 locations, 3-day $850K/Wk 1
9.) Dream Horse (BST) 1,254 theaters, Fri $260,7K/Sat $330,2K/Sun $253,2K/3-day: $844,2K/Wk 1
10.) Finding You (RSA) 1,447 theaters (+135) Fri $215K/Sat $285K/Sun $171K/3-day: $670K (-27%)/Total: $1.9M/Wk 2
Final Account (FOC) 308 theaters Fri $46K/Sat $55K/Sun $49K/3-day: $150K/Wk 1
New Order (NEON) 236 theaters Fri $50K/Sat $49K/Sun $31K/3-day: $130K/Wk 1
The Dry (IFC) 186 theaters Fri $36,5K/Sat $49,5K/Sun $43K/3-day: $129K/Wk 1