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October 10, 2021

Behind the US/Worldwide Weekend Box Office – 10.10.2021

 

OPENINGS:  In the US, NO TIME TO DIE (UA/MGM) opened at $56M, at the low end of expectations–and “expectations” are usually already set low so that the press will report that a film has “overperformed”–and below the last three Bond films (Quantum of Solace $67.5M, Skyfall $88.4M, Spectre $70.4M).  Obviously the pandemic is a factor here, particularly because the Bond franchise is centered on older viewers who are still not fully back at theaters.  Nevertheless, No Time To Die was surprisingly front-loaded (it had a 22% Friday-to-Saturday drop, compared to 16% for Venom: Let There Be Carnage, which has a much younger audience that would normally be expected to show up early), and that suggests problems with word of mouth.  If No Time To Die ends up around $175M in the US, it’s going to need a huge performance overseas to earn back its massive $350M+ production and marketing costs.  To date it has $257.3M internationally after a $89.5M weekend in 66 markets, with China still to come.  (Unlike other franchises, Bond is only moderately big in China, where Spectre earned $83.5M.)

In the technically-wide-release category, LAMB (A24) opened at 583 theaters with $1M, which isn’t much but also is in sort of a category of its own as a brooding subtitled Icelandic dark fable.  It’s reportedly on a short theatrical-only window.

HOLDOVERS:  When Black Widow dropped by 68% in its 2nd weekend, its day-and-date release on Disney+ was taken as the end of Hollywood civilization as we know it.  Yet VENOM: LET THERE BE CARNAGE (Columbia/Marvel/Sony) fell 65% to $32M despite its loudly-proclaimed theatrical-only release, and those precious 3 percentage points seem to have redeemed the industry’s entire conventional release strategy, as the pundits aren’t concerned by Carnage‘s drop at all.  Carnage actually had a steeper fall than the first Venom (56%), and despite opening $10M higher than its predecessor, it now seems likely to fall behind that film’s $213.5M US total.  Carnage also has $43.9M overseas to date, after a $24.8M weekend in 13 territories.  (The first Venom had an impressive $642.6M international total.)

THE ADDAMS FAMILY 2 (UA/MGM, also on VOD) had a moderate $42% drop to $10M, and may reach $60M in US theaters, compared to $103.1M for the first Addams cartoon.  It has $4.6M overseas.

SHANG-CHI AND THE LEGEND OF THE 10 RINGS (Marvel/Disney) dipped 31% to $4.2M in its 6th weekend, on its way to $225M in the US.  It has $189.1M overseas, and may never reach China.

THE MANY SAINTS OF NEWARK (New Line/Warners, also on HBO Max) plunged 69% to $1.5M, and probably won’t get much past $10M in US theaters, while the fragmentary reports available suggest it performed at only a mildly higher level on HBO Max.  (However, it apparently lifted reruns of The Sopranos quite a bit.)  It also has $2.9M overseas.

FREE GUY (20th/Disney, also available for digital purchase) dropped 43% to $1.3M, in its 9th weekend, and should reach $125M in the US, with $206.4M overseas.

DEAR EVAN HANSEN (Universal) stumbled to $1M in its 3rd weekend, a 60% drop, and may see $17.5M in the US when it’s done.  It hasn’t begun its international release.

LIMITED RELEASE:  MASS (Bleecker Street) launched at 4 theaters with a soft $3600 weekend per-theater average.

NEXT WEEKEND:  HALLOWEEN (Universal, also on Peacock) isn’t expected to hit the $76.2M heights of its predecessor’s opening.  THE LAST DUEL (20th/Disney) may have a tough time, aimed as it is at older audiences and with mixed reviews thus far.



About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on screened.com and the-burg.com. In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."