SATURDAY AM: Refresh for more analysis and chart Before a big tentpole comes into the marketplace, there’s typically a lull at the box office, but it’s an even bigger lull when the major studios don’t have any new wide entries. Everyone is waiting for Warner Bros. The Batman and many sources tell me it’s bound easily for a $ 100M + opening, in fact $ 115M +, and the advance ticket sales are there to prove that. This despite the 3-hour running time, and from what I hear (I haven’t seen it yet) is a more noir, detective story by Matt Reeves than all the action set pieces in a Christopher Nolan movie. iSpot shows Warner Bros. having spent already $ 28M + in US TV spots (that’s even a big number from that data agency’s POV) across such shows as the Winter Olympics, NFL, Good Morning America, NBA games and Big Brother: Celebrity Edition. Note, Warners’ hasn’t weighed in on these industry projections at the time of writing, but note, they’ll safely lowball. That said, no one sees it below $ 100M.
Until then, Sony’s Tom Holland-Mark Wahlberg movie, Uncharted, is maintaining a great hold in its second weekend with $ 23M, after a second Friday of $ 6M, -61% from last Friday + previews. By Sunday, the Ruben Fleischer-directed take on the Sony PlayStation videogame looks to stand at $ 83.1M.
United Artists Releasing / MGM’s second weekend of Channing Tatum’s Dog also has a nice hold, -43%, with a second weekend of $ 8.5M, and a ten-day cume by Sunday of $ 29.2M.
So if everything is holding so well, why does the weekend box office still suck with an anticipated weekend of $ 58.8M for all films? This weekend alone is -38% from last weekend. The eighth weekend of the year in pre-pandemic 2020, post Presidents Day weekend, grossed $ 102.6M per Box Office Mojo (led by second weekend of Sonic the Hedgehog at $ 26.1M) while the weekend at the same point in time in 2019 pulled in $ 128M, led by How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World). Again, we need more major studio-supported and driven product, more meat to fill the gap between the films and specialty box office events. This weekend’s wide release of Dave Grohl horror comedy Studio 666 from Open Road Films in 2,306 theaters won’t cut it with an estimated $ 1.8M after a $ 725K; unfortunately a niche movie like this doesn’t have the major studio spend. At this point in time two years, Disney had 20th Century Studios’ upscale family movie Call of the Wild further bolstering the box office with a $ 24.7M opening, even though that title was a hallow victory given its $ 135M production cost.
Studio 666 was not for critics at 56% Rotten, and audiences were at 70% positive and a 49% recommend. The numbers speak for themselves. Guys at 56% bought tickets with a little over half the crowd being 25-44, 72% between 18-44 and diversity demos standing at 71% Caucasian, 17% Latino and Hispanic, 3% Black and 10% Asian / other. Pic did 47% of its business on the coasts versus the 40% average. A majority of runs didn’t do a lot of business, I hear. AMC Woodland Hills and Regal Sherman Oaks saw grosses boosted with personal appearances by Foo Fighters and Director BJ McDonell. They landed among the top theaters alongside AMC Burbank, AMC Century City, AMC Alderwood – Seattle, AMC Westminster – Denver, Marcus Ronnie’s 20 Cinema, St. Louis; Regal Opry Mills Stadium 20, Nashville; AMC Empire 25, NYC and AMC River East, Chicago.
Social Media analytics firm RelishMix spotted 97.9M social media universe for Studio 666 “In line with horror genre norms” and booted by Foo Fighters’ SMU of 22.6M on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and TikTok which “did the heavy lifting for all videos, plus the social for the band members at 4.1M.” Studio 666 videos were fed intoThe Foo Fighters’ YouTube channel with 3.3M subscribers and were well boosted plus Sony UK on the mix for international. “Reposting runs moderate but building across movie channels and fan channels at a total of 27.2M views for the 6 owned posts including additional earned videos – 1.1M from Instagram video views and 123K on TikTok.”
Ahead of opening, says RelishMix, “convo for Studio 666 ran snarky mixed-positive with fans of Foo Fighters ready for a fun experimental film event while some wonder if this is shot as a Spinal Tap-style mockumentary, a Tenacious D film, or a spoof of band movies like Hard Day’s Night and Help with Dave Grohl’s inspiration being The Beatles. Plus, there was a discussion on the level of filmmaking commitment to crafting a function story cast with the band members and amusing cameos like Lionel Ritchie and Whitney Cummings as the neighbor. ”
UAR has finally released the feature take of original musical, Cyrano, from Joe Wright, which is looking at $ 1.25M in 10th from 797 theaters in 160 markets. UAR sought to protect this movie, and wait for the right time to release it, given older audiences’ funk over heading to the movies during Omicron. Overall, the specialty marketplace is still greatly challenged. All of this gives you an idea of the ground we need to make-up with the specialty audience: Wright’s Anna Karenina over the 3-day portion of Thanksgiving weekend in 2012 grossed $ 896K at 66 theaters, while Atonement in its second weekend at 117 theaters in early December 2007 pulled in $ 1.8M. Cyrano counted 86% certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, with those RT audiences who saw it giving it a 86% rating. UAR saw best markets from NY, LA, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, Phoenix, DC, San Diego, Dallas, Seattle, Austin, Sacramento, and more.
In addition, the movie like other Wright titles didn’t take off at the Oscar noms with only a nom for Best Costume Design. That’s not to say that UAR didn’t campaign extensively for this, screening the movie very early during awards season with a world premiere at Telluride. Even this weekend, you can’t stumble upon a website or a social media feed where there isn’t Cyrano advertisement.
Star Haley Bennett has championed this movie extensively on her social media handles, well before the release during Q4 of last year. Of the 25M + social media pull across YouTube views, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, RelishMix observes that star Peter Dinklage at 4.6M and Bennett at 365K “drive the Cyrano train ”. Bennett and Dinklage starred the workshop workshop at Goodspeed in Connecticut, the former being a catalyst in getting Wright attached to direct. The production was shot during the fall of 2020 during Covid in Sicily.
The 1997 re-release of Francis Ford Coppola’s 1972 blockbusters, The Godfather, made $ 1.2M in its entire limited run and this weekend at 156 runs in 46 markets, the 50th anniversary cut is on its way to earning $ 815K for a $ 5.2K theater average after a $ 425K Friday, which is pretty good. Some rival distributors believe the movie could clear $ 1M over the weekend after strong numbers in NYC, LA, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Orlando, San Diego, Nashville and Las Vegas. Box Office Mojo has the lifetime domestic gross for The Godfather at $ 134.96M, and this weekend would take it to $ 135.8M.