October 24, 2021

Behind the US/Worldwide Weekend Box Office 10.24.2021


OPENINGS:  DUNE (Legendary/Warners, also on HBO Max) launched in US theaters at $40.1M, the highest start for a film also premiering on HBO Max.  (And while Warners had previously preserved Thursday night for theatrical-only, the studio allowed Dune to hit HBO Max nationwide simultaneous with its first East Coast screenings.)  The film should also benefit from being the first big-budget arrival in the past month that won’t face direct competition in its 2nd weekend, although it’s likely to hit a brick wall in Weekend 3 when Eternals opens.  With the HBO Max factor in play, Dune will hope to reach $125M in the US.  Overseas, it’s at $180.6M after a $47.4M weekend in 75 territories, which included a $21.9M opening in China.  A worldwide $350M total wouldn’t have been considered a success in 2019 for a movie with Dune‘s mammoth budget, but times have changed.

RON’S GONE WRONG (20th/Disney) could only manage $7.3M, and probably would have gone straight to streaming if it hadn’t been covered by the pre-Disney merger Fox pay-TV agreements that require a theatrical window.  It might see $20M in the US, and also launched at $10M overseas.

HOLDOVERS: HALLOWEEN KILLS (Blumhouse/Universal, also on Peacock) plunged 71% to $14.5M in its 2nd weekend, which is front-loaded even for the horror genre (its 2018 predecessor fell 59% in Weekend 2).  Still, a $100M US total would be quite profitable for the low-budget thriller.  Halloween Kills also has $17.8M overseas.

NO TIME TO DIE (MGM) dropped 50% to $11.9M in its 3rd weekend, and now seems headed to a $155M US total, which would be the lowest of the Daniel Craig Bond films.  It’s reached $405.6M overseas after a $33.1M weekend in 72 markets, with China opening next week.

VENOM: LET THERE BE CARNAGE (Marvel/Columbia/Sony) dropped 45% to $9.1M in its 4th weekend, and should top $200M in the US before it’s done, similar to the $213.5M for the first Venom.  However, so far it isn’t close to its predecessor’s $642.6M international total, with $170.6M after a $38.3M weekend in 53 territories.

THE ADDAMS FAMILY 2 (UA/MGM, also on VOD) lost 39% to $4.3M in its 4th weekend, on its way to $60M in the US.  It also has $18.7M overseas.

THE LAST DUEL (20th/Disney) didn’t benefit from word of mouth, down 56% to $2.1M in its 2nd weekend, and en route to a disastrous $15M US total, with an additional $9.2M overseas.

SHANG-CHI AND THE LEGEND OF THE 10 RINGS (Marvel/Disney) will soon make way for stablemate Eternals and should get past $225M in the US, for the moment the highest-grossing film of 2021 in this market.  In its 8th weekend, it was down 40% to $2M.  Internationally, it has $196.6M without the benefit of a China release.

LIMITED RELEASE:  THE FRENCH DISPATCH (Searchlight/Disney) gave arthouse cinema its best news of the pandemic era with a robust $25K weekend per-theater average at 52 houses for a $1.3M weekend total.  The film itself will face a challenge next weekend with a scheduled expansion to 600 theaters, but that result suggests that the indie audience may be coming out of its hibernation.  BECOMING COUSTEAU (Picturehouse) wasn’t in that league with a $350 average at 319.  MASS (Bleecker Street) widened to 59 with a $400 average.

NEXT WEEKEND:  Halloween is typically a quiet weekend at the box office, and that’s likely to be particularly so this year with the festive day on Sunday.  The arrivals are thrillers LAST NIGHT IN SOHO (Focus/Universal) and ANTLERS (Searchlight/Disney).


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."