October 22, 2023

Behind the US/Worldwide Weekend Box Office – 10.22.2023


OPENINGS:  What are we to make of the $23M start for KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON (Paramount/Apple)?  As serious 3+hour historical epics go, while it’s a small fraction of Oppenheimer‘s $82.5M launch, it’s better than the $22M 5-day opening for House of Gucci, and the $18.4M for 2013’s Scorsese/DiCaprio The Wolf of Wall Street (although that film opened into the rich holiday corridor and had earned $63.1M by its 2nd weekend).  Flower Moon can fairly be said to have had a solid kick-off in terms of its target audience, but its prospects of earning back its huge $300M or so in production/marketing costs are slim.  (The $21M from 63 international territories didn’t bode well for an overseas rescue.)  The aggressive spin has been that a 9-figure loss here would be perfectly fine, because it’s Apple putting up the money (Paramount is a distributor-for-hire), and that’s pocket change for them, easily justifiable as a marketing expense for their streaming service, where Flower Moon will end up.  All of that is possible, but it seems like a rickety structure for the future of adult-oriented dramas.  One thing that will certainly matter for Flower Moon will be its fate in awards season, which begins in earnest in a few weeks.

A holiday re-release of THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS (Disney) found an audience to the tune of $4.1M.

HOLDOVERS:  Among the experimental aspects of the TAYLOR SWIFT: THE ERAS TOUR (Variance/AMC Theaters) release was removal from the market after opening weekend, to return the following Thursday.  If that was meant to cushion the Weekend 2 drop, it didn’t really work, as Eras Tour fell 67% to $31M, worse than the drop for Justin Bieber: Never Say Never (54%), and consistent with the 67% for Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds.  Nevertheless, Eras Tour continued to add to its coffers as the highest-grossing concert movie in history, now at $129.8M in the US and likely to top $150M.  International results for Weekend 2 haven’t been reported as of yet.

THE EXORCIST: BELIEVER (Morgan Creek/Blumhouse/Universal) took another sizable hit, down 49% to $5.6M in its 3rd weekend, and on its way to an OK $70M in the US.  It’s running steady overseas, with $53.4M to date.

PAW PATROL: THE MIGHTY MOVIE (Nickelodeon/Paramount) dipped 35% to $4.5M in its 4th weekend, and should reach $70M+ in the US.  It’s much bigger internationally with $92.3M.

SAW X (Lionsgate, also on VOD) lost 37% to $3.6M in its 4th weekend, and it may reach $60M in the US.  Things are slower overseas with $31.1M thus far.

THE CREATOR (20th/Disney) dropped 40% to $2.6M in its 4th weekend, and may not hit $45M in the US.  It’s only a bit higher overseas with $53.9M.

A HAUNTING IN VENICE (20th/Disney) was down 44% to $1.1M in its 6th weekend, still on track for $45M in the US.  The international total is higher with $72M.

THE BLIND (Fathom) fell 49% to $1M in its 4th weekend, and may run out of steam before hitting $20M in the US.  It hasn’t been released overseas.

LIMITED RELEASE:  Like so many indies of this era, DICKS: THE MUSICAL (A24) couldn’t sustain an expansion to near-wide release, averaging $1100 at 345 theaters.  ANATOMY OF A FALL (Neon) widened to 14 with an $11K average.  SOUL MATES (Faith Media) averaged $500 at 201.  THE PERSIAN VERSION (Sony Classics) opened with an $8700 average at 9.  COMMON GROUND (Area 23) expanded to 19 with a $1K average.  DIVINITY (Utopia) averaged $3300 at 3.

NEXT WEEKEND:  Halloween brings with it FIVE NIGHTS AT FREDDY’S (Blumhouse/Universal, also on Peacock).  Limited releases begin for awards hopefuls THE HOLDOVERS (Focus/Universal) and PRISCILLA (A24).


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."