October 17, 2021

Behind the US/Worldwide Weekend Box Office – 10.17.2021


OPENINGS:  All the box office action is coming from franchises, with the latest being HALLOWEEN KILLS (Blumhouse/Universal, also on Peacock), which started at $50.4M.  The Peacock part of this story is probably being overstated by pundits (very few Peacock users subscribe to the tier where they would have access to the movie), and Kills was considerably below the $76.2M opening of its 2018 predecessor.  Nevertheless, a $100M+ US box office will provide plenty of profit for all concerned on a relatively low investment.  Halloween Kills isn’t in wide international circulation yet, and has $5.4M to date.

The downside of the current box office is illustrated by THE LAST DUEL (20th/Disney), which was aimed at an older audience that simply isn’t showing up these days.  Even in normal times, Last Duel may have had a challenging road as a 2.5-hour medieval drama.  But big names (Ridley Scott, Matt Damon, Adam Driver, Ben Affleck) would at least have resulted in something more respectable than a $4.8M US start.  (By way of comparison, Scott’s Kingdom of Heaven, not one of his hits, opened with $19.6M in 2005.)  Things weren’t better overseas, where Last Duel launched with $4.2M in 37 markets.  Disney may have been contractually restricted from bringing Last Duel straight to streaming, as it was a 20th title inherited via merger, and it’s likely to lose tens of millions.

HOLDOVERS:  NO TIME TO DIE (UA/MGM) continued to be respectable rather than exciting, down 56% from last week’s opening to $24.3M.  That’s a steeper drop than Spectre (52%) or Skyfall (54%), although better than Quantum of Solace (60%).  (The 2nd weekend for Casino Royale was Thanksgiving, so the dynamic was different.)  No Time To Die is headed for $170M in the US, which would put it into the same neighborhood as Casino Royale ($167.4M) and Quantum ($168.4M).  Overseas, as usual with Bond No Time‘s numbers are bigger, with $348.3M to date after a $54M weekend, and with China 2 weeks away.

VENOM: LET THERE BE CARNAGE (Marvel/Columbia/Sony) dropped 48% to $16.5M in its 3rd weekend, on its way to a US total very similar to the $213.5M for the first Venom.  It expanded its international release to 44 territories and has $115.6M after a $62.3M weekend.

THE ADDAMS FAMILY 2 (UA/MGM, also on VOD) dipped 29% to $7.1M in its 3rd weekend, and should reach $60M in the US.  It has $16.2M overseas.

SHANG-CHI AND THE LEGEND OF THE 10 RINGS (Marvel/Disney) lost 18% to $3.5M in its 7th weekend, and may reach $230M in the US.  It’s slower overseas with $196.2M.

LAMB (A24) expanded its footprint by 48% to 865 theaters, but still dropped 46% to $500K for the weekend, and may not see $5M in US theaters.  It’s barely been released overseas.

LIMITED RELEASE:  The Indian-language sector continues to be very strong, as HONSLA RAKH opened to $700K in just 100 theaters, and MOST ELIGIBLE BACHELOR opened with nearly $500K at 195.  In the more traditional arthouse market, BERGMAN ISLAND (IFC) wasn’t able to do much with its rave reviews, averaging $500 in 115 theaters.  MASS (Bleecker Street) expanded to 37 and averaged $700.  HARD LUCK LOVE SONG (Roadside) opened at 172 and averaged $200.

NEXT WEEKEND:  DUNE (Legendary/Warners, also on HBO Max) finally reaches the US after several weeks of overseas release where it’s earned $129.3M, and the animated RON’S GONE WRONG (20th/Disney) will aim at the family audience.  Wes Anderson’s THE FRENCH DISPATCH (Searchlight/Disney) is the latest awards hopeful to test theatrical waters.


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 and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."