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While many film critics have turned their attention to Sundance this week and only a few new films qualify as wide releases it gives another opportunity for films to hang around the top ten for another week. Two, actually, since next week has been abandoned by Sony and Morbius. Therefore we’ll be seeing where Spider-Man climbs next and whether Scream is setting an early bar for 2022 or it is just another frontloaded horror film.
(Photo by ©Sony Pictures Releasing/©Marvel Entertainment)
Guess who is back on top? As Scream took its horror weekend drop, Spider-Man: No Way Home just waited six days and catapulted back into the #1 spot for a fifth time with $14.1 million. This weekend brings its total up to $721 million, which does not move it up the all-time chart. It is still $28 million away from knocking Avatar back, and that will happen at some point. This is also the third straight week that No Way Home actually bested the corresponding weekend of Avengers: Endgame. Of course, that all-timer had historic first and second weekends. (Spider-Man: No Way Home had the second best opening Friday of all-time.) But with this weekend’s haul across the globe, Sony’s Marvel film leapt over both 2019’s The Lion King and Jurassic World with $1.675 billion to become the sixth-highest-grossing film worldwide ever, and it will likely settle comfortably into that slot as Avengers: Infinity War’s $2.04 billion appears out of reach.
(Photo by Gravitas Ventures)
Gravitas Features put out their widest release to date this weekend with The King’s Daughter. Filmed back in 2014, it was initially under the banner of Paramount, but they canceled the release, and here it is seven years later in 2,170 theaters. It grossed $750,000. That is a per-theater-average of just $345. Last month, we saw STX’s National Champions open to a $251 PTA in 1,197 theaters, but The King’s Daughter and its 24% Tomatometer score joins a higher class of low box office returns as it now belongs to the following league of films released between 2,000-2,999 theaters that could not pull off a four-figure PTA:
Delgo ($237), PLAYMOBIL: The Movie ($281), The King’s Daughter ($345), Profile ($359), Jem and the Holograms ($570), The Empty Man ($646), Rules Don’t Apply ($667), Rock the Kasbah ($731), Collide ($740), We Are Your Friends ($758), Friend Request ($778), Life Itself ($814), Victor Frankenstein ($883), Major League: Back to the Minors ($899), The Real Cancun ($933), The Adventures of Pluto Nash ($941), The Rocker ($947), P2 ($978), and Morgan ($996).
Both The Empty Man and Profile were also released in pandemic times, and as hard as it has been for major studio releases to get past the $30 million line, it is even harder for independent releases to find an audience beyond streaming at this point.
(Photo by ©Paramount Pictures)
The decline in Scream’s numbers began to show last weekend into the holiday, as it finished with a solid $33.8 million. Weekend two has dropped 59% from $30 million (from last Fri-Sun) down to $12.4 million, which should surprise no one. Eight of the 13 films from last year opening to $30 million or higher fell 60% or more (A Quiet Place Part II fell 59.5% from a $47.5 million holiday weekend). 2021’s other most successful horror entries had lower openings than Scream but greater than 50% drops as well, including The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It (57.1%), Candyman (53.2%) and Old (59.3%).
Scream is the 15th film in January to ever reach $50 million in its first 10 days; that alone already sounds like a victory. All 15 of those films reached $80 million, though that appears unlikely for this requel. Among the list, Ride Along 2 ($12.4 million) and Cloverfield ($12.7 million) had the lowest second weekends; both were still higher than Scream, though they were also boosted by $35 million and $40 million openings. Scream right now looks like it could be more in the realm of Mama and Insidious: The Last Key, which would put its final gross between $67-72 million. That’s much better than Scream 4, but not much more than Candyman and The Conjuring 3. It’s still likely good enough to put it among the top five domestic grossers into mid-April if recent box office history is any indication.
Universal’s Redeeming Love is not slaying any box office records, nor is it providing much hope for non-IP titles. But $3.7 million for a film with no major star power, putting it in the same range as Antlers, Last Night In Soho, and this month’s The 355 in its opening weekend is… something. The faith-based crowd gave up over $23 million to the holiday release of American Underdog, which was a bigger hit with critics, who gave it a 75% on the Tomatometer. Redeeming Love so far is the lowest-scored wide release of 2022 at 11%, and it’s the worst-reviewed wide release since last April’s Separation (7%). Universal’s The 355 (25%) grossed another $1 million this weekend, driving its total to $11 million. Lucky for them, they also have the highest-grossing animated film during the pandemic, Sing 2, still in the top three. It grossed another $5.7 million to bring its total to over $128 million.
93% Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)
76% Scream (2022)
72% Sing 2 (2021)
11% Redeeming Love (2022)
41% The King's Man (2021)
24% The 355 (2022)
75% American Underdog (2021)
20% The King's Daughter (2022)
91% West Side Story (2021)
91% Licorice Pizza (2021)
Erik Childress can be heard each week evaluating box office on Business First AM with Angela Miles and his Movie Madness Podcast.
[box office figures via Box Office Mojo]