SATURDAY AM: See, streamers, people do like to go to the movies: Sony’s Uncharted is overperforming past its mid $30M projections over 4-days with a $45M take. Even though the movie stars Spider-Man: No Way Home‘s Tom Holland, this videogame adaptation was never expected to be a Marvel movie. Rather, what Sony has here is a nice franchise start and buddy movie. Some rivals are even seeing a $50M 4-day for Uncharted.
Box office analytics firm EntTelligence spots 1.2M admissions for Uncharted with 50% of the audience coming during prime hours of 6PM to 9PM on Friday and over 17% seeing the movie after 9PM.
The PG-13 movie is coming in ahead of previous Presidents Day action film, Kingsman: The Secret Service, which even though it was R, did $41.7M over the four day holiday in 2015. On a 3-day basis, at $40M, it’s under 2001 videogame feature adaptation, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider ($47.7M), an IP that Paramount was able to squeeze another sequel out of with Angelina Jolie.
Audiences like Uncharted better than critics on Rotten Tomatoes, 88% to 39% Rotten. CinemaScore stands at a respectable B+ while Comscore/Screen Engine shows 79% overall positive score and a 61% recommend while kids under 12 say the movie was well worth their time with a huge 96% and a 57% recommend. Guy skewing movie here, natch, at 65% with 48% under 25, 75% under 35, with the diversity demos showing 43% Caucasian, 26% Latino and Hispanic, 15% Black, and 16% Asian/other. Imax and PLF rep 37% of the Ruben Fleischer directed movie so far, with Imax charting seven out of the top ten runs. Best markets of play were West, Southeast and Canada. Last weekend, Uncharted made $22M in 15 offshore territories.
Holland’s other movie on the box office charts, Spider-Man: No Way Home, is looking at a solid 10th weekend of $9.1M over 4-days taking its total to $772.1M. Already the third highest grossing movie at the domestic box office after Star Wars: Force Awakens ($936.7M) and Avengers: Endgame ($858.3M), some industry estimates believe this Jon Watts directed MCU title ends its run at $800M.
MGM/United Artists Releasing’s Channing Tatum movie Dog, with an A- CinemaScore and PostTrak 82% positive/66% recommend, is also coming in ahead of projections with a $14.4M start over 4-days. EntTelligence shows Dog pulling in 360k moviegoers yesterday with 52% of patrons coming before 7PM. Pic is leaning toward 55% female, 69% over 25, 47% over 35 and 32% over 45. The 3-day of $12.3M is just under last weekend’s older female skewing movie Death on the Nile. West, Midwest and South are strong markets with smaller cities like St. Louis, Austin, Nashville, Portland, Cleveland, Charlotte popping.
While the top of the box office is great, as is typical during the pandemic, total tickets sales for the 4-day holiday are estimated to be at $107M, which is 41% off from the last Presidents Day weekend when the business was truly alive back in February 2020 with when Sonic the Hedgehog led with a $70M start. What’s missing from the box office is the middle, which means more counterprogramming and movies, and that overall low weekend number may be more indicative of pandemic supply, and the studios spacing out there movie at this point in time, then demand. Compared to two movies this weekend doing over $13M over 4-days, there were five movies grossing over $13M during Presidents Day holiday 2020: Sonic ($70M), Birds of Prey ($19.7M, weekend 2), Fantasy Island ($13.7M, weekend 1), The Photograph ($13.2M, weekend 1), and Bad Boys for Life ($13.1M, weekend 5). The 10th ranked movie that weekend was the Will Ferrell and Julia Louis Dreyfus Searchlight comedy Downhill opening to $5.1M, whereas in 10th this weekend it’s LD Entertainment financed horror movie The Cursed with a $1.8M opening which is being handled by NEON through a service deal.
EntTelligence notices that compared to last year’s Presidents Day weekend when NYC and LA were closed, this year there are approximately 4x more showtimes, 5.5x more seats for the public to purchase, a dramatic reduction in blocked seats, and the average available ticket price has gone up by $1.
The Cursed, written and directed by Sean Ellis, is set in rural 19th-century France where a mysterious, possibly supernatural menace threatens a small village. John McBride, a pathologist, comes to town to investigate the danger – and exorcise some of his own demons in the process. Boyd Holbrook, Kelly Reilly and Alistair Petrie. Rotten Tomatoes is at a 74% fresh critics’ rating, but audiences don’t agree with a 58% positive, 36% recommend on PostTrak. Men at 58% showed up, with 18-34 moviegoing core repping 62%. Diversity demos were 57% Caucasian, 20% Latino and Hispanic, 11% Black, and 12% Asian/other. Any business for Cursed came from the South and the coasts.
1.) Uncharted (Sony) 4,275 theaters, Fri $15.4M/3-day $40M/4-day $45M/Wk 1
2.) Dog (UAR) 3,677 theaters, Fri $5M/3-day $12.3M/4-day $14.4M/Wk 1
3.) Spider-Man: No Way Home (Sony) 2,956 (-344) theaters, Fri $1.7M (-11%)/3-day $7.46M (-1%)/4-day $9.1M/Total $772.1M/Wk 10
4.) Death on the Nile (Dis) 3,280 theaters, Fri $1.76M (-65%), 3-day $6.5M (-49%)/ 4-day $7.6M/ Total $26.3M/Wk 2
5.) Jackass Forever(Par) 3,071 theaters (-582), Fri $1.47M (-49%)/3-day $5.2M (-36%)/4-day $6.1M//Total: $47.6M/Wk 3
6.) Marry Me (Uni) 3,643 (+1), Fri $1.08M (-64%)/3-day $3.64M (-54%)/4-day $4.2M/Total $17.3M/Wk 2
7.) Sing 2 (Uni/Ill) 2,476 (-355) theaters, Fri $590K (-12%)/3-day $3.05M (-1%)/4-day: $4.09M/Total: $148.6M/Wk 9
8.) Scream (Par) 1,907 (-712) theaters Fri $515K (-37%)/ 3-day $2M (-31%) /4-day $2.4M/Total: $77.4M/Wk 6
9.) Blacklight (Briar) 2,772 theaters Fri $470K (-62%)/ 3-day $1.86M (-46%)/4-day $2.1M/Total $7.46M /Wk 2
10.) The Cursed (LD) 1,687 theaters Fri $594K/3-day $1.6M/4-day $1.8M/Wk 1
FRIDAY AM: Sony’s Uncharted, based on the 15-year-old Sony PlayStation video game created by Amy Hennig and Naughty Dog, grossed $3.7M in Thursday night previews that began at 4 p.m.
That’s a solid number that bests the pre-pandemic previews of such mid-February hits as Sonic the Hedgehog ($3M, from showtimes that began at 5 p.m.), Kingsman: The Secret Service ($1.5M, 7 p.m.) and even with March PG-13 adventure movie Kong: Skull Island ($3.7M). Industry projections earlier this week had the PG-13 Tom Holland-Mark Wahlberg pic in the mid-$30Ms over the four-day Presidents Day weekend, possibly $40M, but these preview figures provide great hope for better returns.
Critics on Rotten Tomatoes have thumbed down Uncharted at 39% Rotten, but it’s not a movie for them: It’s a pure, breezy, fun popcorn film. If all goes well for Sony, the studio might have a new franchise on it hands from this Ruben Fleischer-directed film. Uncharted, which took Fleischer around two years to make from pre-production to finish, carried a production cost of $120M before P&A.
Kingsman: The Secret Service, which was R-rated, played over the Presidents Day/Valentine’s Day weekend in 2015 and minted $41.7M over four days and $36.2M over three. Sonic the Hedgehog, a long-awaited PG movie based on a classic Sega character, greatly soared in its 2020 Presidents Day frame debut with $58M over three days, $70M over four, but no one is expecting Uncharted to do those types of numbers.
There’s plenty of optimism at the pandemic box office this weekend with 22% K-12 schools off today and another 8% of colleges, heading toward 87% K-12 on break Monday along with 32% colleges off, according to Comscore. The U.S. now is averaging 136,100 new Covid cases daily, per Johns Hopkins University, which reps a 44% decline from last week. New Covid cases have dropped to about a sixth of the peak of more than 800K daily cases a month ago.
MGM/United Artists Releasing has the buddy canine comedy Dog, starring Channing Tatum, which saw $1.26M in Valentine’s Day sneaks and Thursday previews starting at 4 p.m. The movie, which Tatum also co-directed, is 80% Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes and has an outlook of $12M over four days with an eye on women and Latino and Hispanic audiences.
Among movies in regular release, 20th Century Studios/Disney’s Death on the Nile won the week with an estimated $18.7M after a $726K Thursday, -25% from Wednesday at 3,280 theaters. Universal’s Jennifer Lopez-Owen Wilson romantic comedy Marry Me ended week 1 with $13.1M, boosted earlier in the week by a No. 1 lead over Valentine’s Day with $3M at 3,642. Thursday was close to $500K, down 18% from Wednesday. Paramount’s Jackass Forever took second at 3,653 theaters with a $12.1M second week, after $676K on Thursday, -10% from Wednesday, for a running total of $41.5M. Sony’s Spider-Man: No Way Home ended its ninth week with $11M after a $590K Thursday, -5% from Wednesday, sending its total domestic cume to $762.9M at 3,300. Briarcliff Entertainment’s Liam Neeson action movie Blacklight saw a first week of $5.3M at 2,772 theaters after a $223K Thursday, -26%.