SATURDAY AM: Refresh for more analysis and chart Before a big tentpole comes into the marketplace, there’s typically a lull at the box office, but it’s an even bigger lull when the major studios don’t have any new wide entries. Everyone is waiting for Warner Bros. The Batman and many sources tell me it’s bound easily for a $100M+ opening, in fact $115M+, and the advance ticket sales are there to prove that. This despite the 3-hour running time, and from what I hear (I haven’t seen it yet) is a more noir, detective story by Matt Reeves than all the action set pieces in a Christopher Nolan movie. iSpot shows Warner Bros. having spent already $28M+ in U.S. TV spots (that’s even a big number from that data agency’s POV) across such shows as the Winter Olympics, NFL, Good Morning America, NBA games and Big Brother: Celebrity Edition. Note, Warners’ hasn’t weighed in on these industry projections at the time of writing, but note, they’ll safely lowball. That said, no one sees it below $100M.
Until then, Sony’s Tom Holland-Mark Wahlberg movie, Uncharted, is maintaining a great hold in its second weekend with $23M, after a second Friday of $6M, -61% from last Friday+previews. By Sunday, the Ruben Fleischer-directed take on the Sony PlayStation videogame looks to stand at $83.1M.
United Artists Releasing/MGM’s second weekend of Channing Tatum’s Dog also has a nice hold, -43%, with a second weekend of $8.5M, and a ten-day cume by Sunday of $29.2M.
So if everything is holding so well, why does the weekend box office still suck with an anticipated weekend of $58.8M for all films? The eighth weekend of the year in pre-pandemic 2020 grossed $102.6M per Box Office Mojo (led by second weekend of Sonic the Hedgehog at $26.1M) while the weekend at the same point in time in 2019 pulled in $128M, led by How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World). Again, we need more major studio-supported and driven product, more meat to fill the gap between the events films and specialty box office. This weekend’s wide release of Dave Grohl horror comedy Studio 666 in 2,306 theaters won’t cut it with an estimated $1.8M after a $725K; unfortunately a niche movie like this doesn’t have the major studio spend. At this point in time two years, Disney had 20th Century Studios’ upscale family movie Call of the Wild further bolstering the box office with a $24.7M opening, even though that title was a hallow victory given its $135M production cost.
UAR has finally released the feature take of original musical, Cyrano, from Joe Wright, which is looking at $1.25M in 10th from 797 theaters in 160 markets. UAR sought to protect this movie, and wait for the right time to release it, given older audiences’ funk over heading to the movies during Omicron. Overall, the specialty marketplace is still greatly challenged. All of this gives you an idea of the ground we need to make-up with the specialty audience: Wright’s Anna Karenina over the 3-day portion of Thanksgiving weekend in 2012 grossed $896K at 66 theaters, while Atonement in its second weekend at 117 theaters in early December 2007 pulled in $1.8M. Cyrano counted 86% certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, with those RT audiences who saw it giving it a 86% rating. UAR saw best markets from NY, LA, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, Phoenix, DC, San Diego, Dallas, Seattle, Austin, Sacramento, and more.
In addition, the movie like other Wright titles didn’t take off at the Oscar noms with only a nom for Best Costume Design. That’s not to say that UAR didn’t campaign extensively for this, screening the movie very early during awards season with a world premiere at Telluride.