August 29, 2021

Behind the Weekend Box Office – 8.29.2021


OPENINGS:  Horror has been one of the more reliable genres at the pandemic box office, and CANDYMAN (MGM/Universal) opened with a solid $22.4M, buoyed by unusually good reviews (85% on Rotten Tomatoes).  That offset a weaker showing overseas, where it earned $5.2M in 51 markets.

HOLDOVERS:  FREE GUY (20th/Disney) enjoyed its final pre-Shang Chi weekend, and with no direct competition it slipped just 27% to $13.6M in its 3rd seekend.  Depending on the effect of next week’s blockbuster arrival, it could reach as high as $140M in the US.  Overseas, it’s at $100.3M after a $37.3M weekend in 47 territories that was sparked by a $23.9M opening in China, which instantly became the film’s top overseas territory.

PAW PATROL: THE MOVIE (Nickelodeon/Paramount, also on Paramount+) fell 50% from last week’s premiere to $6.6M, and may see $45M in the US.  It has $37.8M overseas after a $10.3M weekend in 46 markets.

JUNGLE CRUISE (Disney) declined by just 21% in its 5th weekend to $5M, on its way to $115M in the US.  It has $86.9M overseas after a $2.7M weekend in 49 territories (with no China release yet scheduled).

DON’T BREATHE 2 (Columbia/Sony) dropped 44% to $2.8M in Weekend 3, and it might get to $30M in the US.  It’s at $10.7M internationally after a $1.6M weekend in 28 markets.

RESPECT (MGM, also on VOD) lost 42% to $2.2M in its 3rd weekend, headed for $25M in the US.  It has $3.4M overseas.

THE SUICIDE SQUAD (DC/Warners, also on HBO Max) dipped 40% to $2M in its 4th weekend, and probably won’t get past $60M in the US.  Overseas, it has $101.8M after a $4.6M in 73 territories (but not China).

THE PROTEGE (Lionsgate) was down 43% from last week’s opening to $1.7M, on its way to $10M in the US, with negligible release overseas at this point.

THE NIGHT HOUSE (Searchlight/Disney) fell 57% to $1.2M from last week’s premiere, and probably won’t hit $10M in the US.  It’s at about $700K overseas.

REMINISCENCE (Warners, also on HBO Max) dropped 58% to $800K from last week’s opening, and may not get past $6M in the US, with $3.8M overseas, a resounding flop even by pandemic standards.

LIMITED RELEASE:  TOGETHER (Bleecker Street) opened faintly at 250 theaters with just $100K, a $400 per theater weekend average.

NEXT WEEKEND:  All eyes will be on SHANG-CHI AND THE EGEND OF THE 10 RINGS (Marvel/Disney), the first Marvel movie to open exclusively in theaters since the pandemic began.  It was a curious decision to open a presumed blockbuster on one of the historically lowest-grossing weekends of the year, and the one prediction that seems safe is that Shang-Chi will smash the current 4-day Labor Day Weekend record of $30.6M currently held by the 2007 version of Halloween.


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."