October 7, 2018

Behind the US/Worldwide Weekend Box Office – 10.7.2018


VENOM (Tencent/Columbia/Sony) easily set a new October opening record with a studio-reported $80M weekend, far ahead of Gravity‘s $55.8M.  However, Venom dropped 19% on Saturday, worse than Thor: The Dark World (1% increase), Doctor Strange (4% drop) and even Justice League (15% drop), although certainly far better than the 38%/41% plunges for Batman v. Superman and Suicide Squad.  In addition, the Sony weekend estimates assumes an extremely strong Sunday.  All of which is to say that the number may come down in finals tomorrow, and the Saturday drop suggests word of mouth that won’t sustain a lengthy run.  Nevertheless, this is a big win for Sony, which needed to expand its superhero footprint beyond Spider-Man.  Overseas, Venom opened in 58 markets with $125.2M, and France, Japan and China (not yet scheduled for release) to come.  It seems to be pointed toward a $500M worldwide gross, more than enough to justify the sequel planted in the end-credits.

A STAR IS BORN (MGM/Warners) hopes to be in theatres throughout awards season, with an audience that’s less front-loaded than Venom‘s.  It had a strong start at $42.6M (including preview screenings that started on Tuesday night), and dropped 5% on Saturday, with a reasonable Sunday projection.  It’s pursuing a gradual overseas release, and opened at $14M in 31 territories.

HOLDOVERS:  SMALLFOOT (Warners Animation) was solid with a 35% Weekend 2 drop to $14.9M, on its way to a moderate $70M in the US.  Overseas, it’s at a similarly middling $32.5M after an $11.7M weekend in 57 markets, with some major territories like China, the UK, France, Russia and Germany to come.

NIGHT SCHOOL (Perfect World/Universal) fell 55% on its 2nd weekend to $12.3M, also headed for $70M in the US.  It’s at $12M overseas after a $3.4M weekend in 21 territories.

THE HOUSE WITH A CLOCK IN ITS WALLS (DreamWorks/Reliance/Universal) dropped 43% on its 3rd weekend to $7.3M, and is also likely to join the $70M club in the US.  It’s at $13.6M overseas after a $2.2M weekend in 20 markets.

A SIMPLE FAVOR (Lionsgate) fell 48% in Weekend 4 to $3.4M and will end up around $55M in the US, a fair result for a moderately budgeted and marketed production.  Overseas, it’s reached $27.4M after a $4.1M weekend in 59 territories.

THE NUN (New Line/Warners) lost a lot of theatres in its 5th weekend of release and fell 52% to $2.6M, with $120M still in its US grasp.  It’s much bigger overseas, with $233.3M after a $7.2M weekend in 80 markets.

HELL FEST (CBS/Lionsgate) collapsed as low-budget horror normally does, down 60% in its 2nd weekend to $2.1M, and unlikely to hit $15M in the US.

CRAZY RICH ASIANS (SK Global/Warners) is nearing the end of its run, down 50% in Weekend 8 to $2.1M, and still reaching toward $175M in the US.  Considering that number, though, it’s been something of an underperformer internationally, with $56.8M after a $1.6M weekend in 38 territories, with no China opening on the schedule.

LIMITED RELEASE:  THE HATE U GIVE (20th) opened at 36 theatres with an OK $14K weekend per-theatre average.  FREE SOLO (NatGeo) expanded well to 41 with a $13K average.  COLETTE (Bleecker Street) widened to 107 and averaged $4300.  THE OLD MAN AND THE GUN (Fox Searchlight), now at 49, averaged $7900.  THE SISTERS BROTHERS (Annapurna) averaged $3800 at 54.  MONSTERS & MEN (Neon) expanded to 143, but only averaged $1200.  TEA WITH THE DAMES (IFC, also on VOD) averaged $1500 at 44.

NEXT WEEKEND:  Awards season continues with the wide release of FIRST MAN (Universal) and the NY/LA opening of BEAUTIFUL BOY (Amazon).  Other wide arrivals include BAD TIMES AT THE EL ROYALE (20th) and GOOSEBUMPS 2: HAUNTED HALLOWEEN (Columbia/Sony).

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."