SATURDAY AM UPDATE: The bowels of the summer box office have been reached, with Sony’s new C CinemaScore horror movie The invite lead with $6M to $7M in 3,114 cinemas. Like the late Andy Rooney, I get a lot of mail from sources. But in this case, it’s about why it’s important to be gentle when covering the box office: we’re still in the pandemic, we’re not back yet, it’s not good for our business to be mean, blah blah blah.
However, just randomly putting movies in theaters without any significant P&A expense does a disservice to the box office and exhibitors. This weekend will rank as the lowest-grossing weekend so far in the summer, with an estimate of $54 million across all titles (some have it even lower). If it helps anyone feel better, it’s not the worst weekend of the year. That belongs from January 28-30, when all titles grossed $34.9 million, per Box Office Mojo.
On one level, I understand: we are at the end of August. A majority of kids are back in school (Comscore says 32% of K-12 were out yesterday, with 38% of colleges on break), and Sony has traditionally had a horror movie during of this last part of the summer. don’t breathe was a wonderful success for them in late August 2016, opening at $26.4 million and ending its run at $89.2 million.
But let’s be honest, the more you spend, the bigger you get. Certainly, the diagnoses here on this period vampire thriller with a 29% critical rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a 53% Audience Score don’t justify a studio spending wads of cash to open it. But we’ve seen Sony do more with less: their August 2018 film Slender man, which had a D-, an 8% critic score and a 17% viewership on RT, opened to $11.3 million and had a 2.7 multiple for a domestic final match of 30.6 million dollars.
Chat on social networks The invite wasn’t horrible at being mixed-trend positive, according to RelishMix, with “fans gearing up and calling Vanilla Sky, Ready or Not, Twilight, the films of Meghan Markle and Jordan Peele too. Chatter wonders what those ingredients look like for a crazy vampire night out.
Let’s get away from the pandemic excuse that people don’t want to go home; it’s just a matter of product. Disney proved it last year when it opened a Marvel movie over Labor Day weekend with Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings to record holiday results of $94.6 million. Great movies will have people hanging out at any time of the year.
Yes, theaters need that, it’s a product. But put some umpf behind if we’re serious about the theatrical window and the longevity of this part of the business. The sad thing as exhibitors’ Covid bailout money runs out is that they’re desperate for anything and helpless in the face of a major studio dictating that the industry’s first major franchise title ‘summer, halloween is over, goes theater day and date. Let’s not be morons, this maneuver will siphon off the big ones. Enough of this broadest audience crap between streaming and theater. Peacock is hungry for paid subscriptions.
It’s not like PG-13 rated The invite is an older film: it’s aimed directly at the 18-34 crowd watching movies right now, with this demo accounting for 57% of the pic’s ticket buyers to date. Like the regular PG-13 horror title, The invite biased more women at 57%. Under 35s made up 70% of the crowd with displays of diversity showing 44% Caucasian, 23% Latino and Hispanic, 18% Black and 15% Asian/Other. The film directed by Jessica M. Thompson was the most accepted on the coasts and in the South. Seven of the top ten races were in Los Angeles, which leaned toward Latino and Hispanic moviegoers.
And not to blame Sony, but lately yeah you Lionsgate are guilty of shorting P&A on YA movie To fall, which opened to $2.5 million and stands at $5.9 million, and with 74% critical reviews on RT and 78% audience score, as well as B CinemaScore. With such results, it seems that there is still money on the table. This photo could potentially have brought in more. In sum, let’s stop with the box office cute economy slide rule games, and how we enjoy less BS, and really get into the theater. Can we do this, studios? Obviously, if it’s a bad movie, send it to the home market, like they did with movies like The Last Seduction II. Sending terrible movies domestically isn’t a brand new business model.
Given the lack of product this weekend, MGM/UAR went much further than expected at the Cannes Film Festival premiere of George Miller 3,000 years of nostalgia, which, on a 67% Rotten Tomatoes and B CinemaScore, opens at $2.9M in 2,436 cinemas. The guys showed up for this genius Idris Elba-Tilda Swinton romance, with 51% between 17 and 34 and 48% over 35. The diversity demos were 55% Caucasian, 16% Latino and Hispanic, 13% Black, and 16% Asian/Other. Pic’s ticket sales come from the major coastal cities, with AMC and Alamo owning the top ten tracks.
But, hey, Amazon, why don’t you go far on a Sylvester Stallone movie? When are you going to grow up, realize you’ve bought MGM, and start releasing big movie titles and doing box office reporting? I mean, like the kind of tent pole! ? Cherish and see the theater studio you bought, don’t waste it!
Why in God’s name is the film being put straight into service? Stallone’s latest movie Rambo: Last Blood opened at $18.8 million. It’s a diamond mine by pandemic box office standards. I agree with Warner Bros. Discovery boss David Zaslav on this one: why do you lose the patina (and future props) of a theatrical film by sending it straight to homes? Did it occur to you that maybe more toilet paper could be sold at a title with a theatrical window than just dropping it on the service? I mean, you cost a billion dollars of The Lord of the Rings: The Power of the Rings series next weekend (the rights alone have been scooped up by the streamer for $250 million). That alone should trigger an early Christmas season for the market site. On Rotten Tomatoes, audiences love it Samaritan at 82%.
RelishMix noticed the online conversation for the film and thinks Samaritan could have been a box office contender, with fans expressing “absolute adoration for Stallone, everything he represents in the film industry and the heroic characters he played,” to those who “are equally intrigued that this aging superhero project isn’t a Marvel or DC production and one that in itself appeals to fans in a unique way.
The goal is to get people to leave their homes, not stay at home.
Top 10 movies of the weekend:
1.) The invite (Sony) 3,114 locations, Fri. $2.6M3 days $6M to $7M/Week 1
2.) High-speed train (Sony) 3,513 (-268) theaters, Fri. $1.54M (-31%), 3 days $5.5M (-31%)/Total $78.1 million/Week 4
3.) Top Gun: Maverick (Per) 2,962 (-7) screens, Fri $1.35M (-13%), 3 days $4.9M (-17%), Together $691.3 million/Week 14
They need to increase that to $700 million. Let’s go!
4.) Dragon Ball Super: Super heroes (Cru) 2,941 theaters (-77), Fri. $1.3M (-88%) 3 days $4.83 million (-77%)/Total $31M/ Week 2
5.) The beast (Uni) 3,754 (+11) cinemas, Fri. $1.3M (-70%) 3 days $4.3M (-63%)/Total: $19.5M/Week 2
5.) DC League of Super Pets (WB) 3,284 (-253) theaters, Fri. $1,065M (-25%), 3 days $4.3M (-24%)/Total $74.1 million Week 5
seven. ) 3,000 years of nostalgia (UAR) 2,436 theaters, Fri. $1.16M3 days $2.9M/Week 1
8.) Minions: The Rise of Gru (Uni) 2,494 theaters (-160), Fri. $670,000 (-29%), 3 days $2.73M (-27%), Sum: $354.77M/Week 9
9.) Thor: Love and Thunder (Disney) 2,450 (-305) theaters, Fri. $694,000 (-35%), 3 days $2.65M (-35%)/Total $336.5M/Week 8
ten.) Nope (Uni) 1,909 (-472) theaters, Fri. $630,000 (-40%), 3 days $2.19M (-39%), Together $117.6M/Week 6
11.) Where the Crawdads sing (Sony) 2,216 theaters (-392), Fri. $650,000 (-28%), 3 days $2.15M (-31%)/Total $81.7M/Week 7