November 12, 2023

Behind the US/Worldwide Weekend Box Office – 11.12.2023


OPENINGS:  THE MARVELS (Marvel/Disney) fulfilled the ghastliest projections assigned to it, setting a new low for the MCU with a $47M US opening, and it was similarly dismal overseas, with $63.3M from 51 territories.  The internet is already bursting with theories that include “No one liked Captain Marvel in the first place” and the effects of the SAG strike, and all of them may have some validity.  In any case,  audience polling indicates that word of mouth will be unenthusiastic, and that Marvels may not get much past $250M worldwide on well over $300M in production/marketing costs (production estimates range from $200M to $275M alone).  This is bad news for Disney on its own terms, of course, but looking forward it suggests serious difficulties for the MCU as a keystone of the conglomerate in the near future.  Deadpool 3 is probably as close to a sure thing as the mega-franchise has, but after that the studio has the first feature with the new Captain America, the relatively unfamiliar Thunderbolts, and Blade, which has been suffering through a severely bumpy production.  With Star Wars fumbling to regain a big-screen presence, and Pixar not what it once was, Disney is suddenly facing some existential issues.

THE HOLDOVERS (Focus/Universal) expanded to the lower range of wide release at 778 theaters with a fair $3.2M.  It will hope to stay aloft through awards season via critical praise and prizes.  No international openings yet.

Even the Christian audience didn’t show up for the musical JOURNEY TO BETHLEHEM (Affirm/Sony), which launched with a discordant $2.4M, and seems unlikely to sustain a run into the holidays.

RADICAL (Pantelion/Lionsgate) widened to barely-wide release at 534 theaters with $1.8M, down 34% from last week despite playing at 27% more theaters (put another way, its weekend per-theater average was down 52%).  It also has $7.8M overseas.

The low-budget horror entry IT’S A WONDERFUL KNIFE (RLJE) was only able to slice its way to $605K at 923 theaters.

ANATOMY OF A FALL (Neon) was the latest arthouse darling to fail in expansion, with $470K at 583 theaters, a dim $800 average.

HOLDOVERS:  FIVE NIGHTS AT FREDDY’S (Blumhouse/Universal) continued to drop steeply, down 53% to $9M in its 3rd weekend.  Even if it doesn’t reach $150M in the US, it’s wildly profitable already.  Overseas, it has $124.7M after a $15.4M weekend in 76 markets.

After last week’s surprisingly strong hold, TAYLOR SWIFT: THE ERAS TOUR (Variance/AMC Theaters) fell 57% to $5.9M in its 5th weekend.  As with Freddy‘s, it’s hugely profitable, although it now seems unlikely to hit $200M in the US.  The international total is $68.4M after a $2.5M weekend in 53 territories.

PRISCILLA (A24) expanded its theater count by 42%, but lost 5% to $4.8M (its per-theater average was down 45%).  It’s now at 2361 theaters, and the question is how much wider it will be able to go in order to mask the per-theater declines.  It hasn’t yet opened overseas.

KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON (Paramount/Apple) dipped 32% to $4.7M in its 4th weekend, and may reach $75M in the US.  It also has $77.2M internationally after a $6M weekend in 65 territories.  A $175M worldwide total will leave it at least $100M in the red, and the idea that Flower Moon is some kind of $300M bauble for Apple whose financial success is of no concern is, of course, ridiculous.  (The recent hike in the monthly subscription rate for Apple’s TV service demonstrates that the company expects profits in its businesses.)  What remains to be seen is whether Scorsese’s film can earn enough big awards to earn its keep, and whether it overperforms on Apple+ compared to their original films that don’t have full theatrical releases.

PAW PATROL: THE MIGHTY MOVIE (Nickelodeon/Paramount, also on VOD) lost just 13% to $1.8M in its 7th weekend, heading to $70M in the US and with one more weekend before it faces direct competition from Disney’s Wish.  The overseas total is $124.2M after a $3.3M weekend in 65 markets.

THE EXORCIST: BELIEVER (Morgan Creek/Blumhouse/Universal) fell 45% to $1.2M in its 6th weekend, and it may run out of steam before reaching $70M in the US.  Appropriately enough, it also has $66.6M overseas.

LIMITED RELEASE:  DREAM SCENARIO (A24) debuted with an OK $36K per-theater average in 6 NY/LA arthouses.  ALL DIRT ROADS TASTE OF SALT (A24) doubled its theaters to 6 and averaged $1700.  COMMON GROUND (Area 23a) averaged $1500 at 6.

NEXT WEEKEND:  The latest franchise reboot is THE HUNGER GAMES:  THE BALLAD OF SONGBIRDS & SNAKES (Lionsgate).  The week’s franchise sequel is TROLLS BAND TOGETHER (DreamWorks Animation/Universal), which already has $58.9M overseas.  NEXT GOAL WINS (Searchlight/Disney) makes its belated debut in limited release.

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."