Sunday AM Writethru: After Saturday post Any doubts about the health of the overall domestic box office continue to wane. Disney/Marvel’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of Ten Rings reigns atop the tallies in its third weekend, scoring $21.7M, the second-best third weekend result for a September release after Warner Bros.’ It ($29.75M).
That’s a great -37% hold after a Friday of $5.8M, -40%, and the Destin Daniel Cretton-directed feature looks to stand by EOD Sunday at $176.9M. Shang-Chi is currently the second-highest grossing Hollywood movie during the pandemic after Black Widow ($183.2M). However, don’t worry; the Simu Liu movie will topple the Scarlett Johansson MCU film for that title sooner than later.
There’s really not a lot to brag about in regards to the rest of newcomers on the chart, largely aimed at skittish older adults during the pandemic. That said, none of them are really lighting rods in regards to generating chatter on social media. However, Searchlight’s The Eyes of Tammy Faye did have a pulse. Tammy Faye and Open Road’s Copshop have theatrical windows, but Warner Bros’ Cry Macho does not given its day and date availability on HBO Max.
Clint Eastwood’s western Cry Macho is not his best, with 53% on Rotten Tomatoes, and therefore not his best at the box office, with an estimated $1.6M on Friday and $4.5M three-day at 3,967 theaters in third, and that’s with a theatrical day-and-date and HBO Max release.
Cry Macho will slot third, after 20th Studio/Disney’s Free Guy, with $5.2M, coming into 2nd place during its weekend 6, -10%. What would the film’s grosses look like without HBO Max taking eyeballs away? That’s the long-beaten million-dollar question of 2021. However, we can’t proclaim that older demos are back in full in theaters during the pandemic, not to mention given the audience reactions here of a “B” CinemaScore and 73% positive on Screen Engine/PostTrak.
We can’t expect the latest from the 91-year old filmmaker and actor to make that much more, even with a theatrical window. Eastwood, I hear, pulled this movie off a year ago with great deftness. Eastwood’s previous pre-pandemic release in which he both starred and directed, The Mule, earned a 71% on Rotten Tomatoes, an A- CinemaScore, and opened to $17.5M in the middle of December 2018, and legged out to $103.8M domestic boosted by year-end moviegoing. With Cry Macho, Eastwood counts his 50th year directing and his 25th picture he both directed and starred in, the first being Play Misty for Me, released in 1971. Overall, his 60-year canon has grossed $4.3 billion, $3.8B of that being Warner Bros. releases.
Of Cry Macho‘s turnout, 79% were over 35, 62% over 45 and 36% over 55. The pic leaned a bit female at 51%, with a diversity demos of 66% Caucasian, 14% Latino, 8% Black and 12% Asian/other.
Of Cry Macho‘s top 20 grossing theaters in the US, seven locations were in Phoenix, six were in Texas, with a mixture of other West/Midwest theaters. Los Angeles held the top overall marketshare with ~6%, followed by Phoenix with ~4% share. Other top markets include Dallas, Salt Lake City, Houston, New York, and San Francisco.
Open Road’s Gerard Butler feature Cop Shop at 3,005 theaters pulled in $950K. The pic is posting $2.31M over three days. The pic has a glowing 80% from critics on RT, but didn’t impress audiences, with 62% positive and a 39% recommend on PostTrak. How much in P&A was spent here? Because this Open Road release is just under its pandemic release openings, Liam Neeson’s Honest Thief and The Marksman, which respectively debuted to $4.1M and $3.1M. Per-theater grosses weren’t that strong, even with eight of the top ten runs coming from the West Coast. Those 54% over 35 showed up, as well as 34% over 45 with 60% guys leading and a diversity breakdown of 57% Caucasian, 18% Latino, 15% Black, and 10% Asian/other.
RelishMix notes, “Awareness on social runs moderate at 34% of the genre norm for action thriller, with a light content load of late boosted trailers on YouTube and on Facebook, and moderate activity across key performance indicators. With a film market-style genre film and with a target audience that have clear expectations, chatter tone and volume runs light and mixed for an ultra-violent, ultra-action romp and plugs for the recent Joe Carnahan Boss Level over on Hulu.” Joe Carnahan and Frank Grillo have done their part to spread the word with the former inviting superfans to meet him to talk about movies:
Searchlight, Freckle Films and Madison Well’s The Eyes of Tammy Faye, hot off a great reception at its TIFF premiere, but an even less-so result from critics, who’ve grilled it at 67% fresh, did $250K on Friday and is coming in with $675K over three days at 450 theaters for a $1,5K theater average, which doesn’t scream that older arthouse crowds are back.
The film earned a B+ CinemaScore, and was more dominant in the big cities and the coasts in regards to grosses, with two theaters in Austin, TX making their way into the top ten run alongside NY and LA theaters. Some decent numbers in the NY and LA run, I hear, but the rest of the grosses weren’t good. Upsetting, as Jessica Chastain shines here in this Michael Showalter-directed satirical biopic (and Andrew Garfield, too). Some have critiqued to me about the marketing: Did anyone know that this movie was opening? Indeed, a dilemma for all arthouse distributors as we enter Q4 and awards season: How much are we gonna spend?
That said, RelishMix noticed prior to opening that out of the three wide entries, Tammy Faye had some movement, and that’s because you have to give it up to Chastain who has been a relentless promoter for the movie. Not just now because she’s starring in it, but also in its ramping up as she produced the movie. Chastain counts 6.2M on her social media channels, and has been giving fans a preview of the pic, from BTS to its splash at TIFF. Overall, a social media universe across Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube views of 62M+ per RelishMix which is “normal for indy drama” with “content cadence quickening” before the pic’s opening. Chastain’s Instagram post for the NYC premiere, garnering just under 300K views:
Universal had its limited release of Blue Bayou in 477 theaters, earning $120K on Friday, $315K for the weekend, for a theater average of $661. The movie is 72% fresh on RT. Directed by Justin Chon, the pic follows a Korean-American man raised in the Louisiana bayou who works hard to make a life for his family. He must confront the ghosts of his past as he discovers that he could be deported from the only country he has ever called home. Chon stars with Alicia Vikander.
Movie analytics firm EntTelligence reports that Cry Macho predominantly saw an afternoon and early evening turnout on Friday and Saturday for its older crowds, with 88% of all patrons showing up before 8PM. Meanwhile those early birds took advantage of inexpensive ticket pricing of $10.77 on average, while specialty films Blue Bayou and Tammy Faye each hovered around $13 per ticket, as they included a more evening-centric audience.
Overall weekend box office is estimated at $47.5M, -61% from the same weekend in 2019 and +252% from the same frame last year when NYC and LA were still closed.
1.) Shang-Chi (Dis) 4,070 (-230) theaters Fri $5.8M (-40%)/Sat $9.8M/Sun $6.1M/3-day $21.7M (-37%), Total: $176.9M/Wk 3
2.) Free Guy (20th) 3,288 theaters (-377)/Fri $1.33M (-10%)/Sat $2.4M/Sun $1.47M/3-day $5.2M (-10%)/Total $108.6M/Wk 6
3.) Cry Macho (WB) 3,967 theaters/Fri $1.6M/Sat $1.7M/Sun $1.2M/3-day $4.5M/Wk 1
4.) Candyman (Uni) 2,820 (-459) theaters/Fri $1.03M (-26%)/Sat $1.59M/Sun $880K/3-day $3.5M (-26%)/Total $53.1M/Wk 4
5.) Malignant (NL) 3,485 theaters Fri $835K (-58%)/Sat $1.19M/Sun $655K/3-day $2.68M (-51%)/Total: $9.8M/Wk 2
6.) Copshop (Open Road) 3,005 theaters/Fri $950K/Sat $850K/Sun $510K/3-day $2.31M/Wk 1
7.) Jungle Cruise (Dis) 2,265 theaters (-500)/Fri $487K (-13%)/Sat $1M/Sun $558K/3-day $2.09M (-11%)/Total $112.6M/Wk 8
8.) Paw Patrol (Par) 2,269 (-551) theaters/Fri $375K (-23%)/Sat $810K/Sun $565K/3-day $1.75M (-24%)/Total $37.1M/Wk 5
9) The Eyes of Tammy Faye (Sea) 450 theaters/Fri $250K/Sat $245K/Sun $180K/3-day $675K/Wk 1
10.) Don’t Breathe 2 (Sony) 1,003 (-705) theaters, Fri $185K (-44%)/Sat $310K/Sun $170K/3-day $665K (-42%)/Total:$31.3M/ Wk 6
11.) Cardcounter (Foc) 584 (+4) theaters Fri $140k/Sat $180K/Sun $120K/3-day $440K (-58%)/Total $1.9M/Wk 4