UPDATE FOR SATURDAY MORNING: Disney rushed in and booked its 20th Century Studios horror picture Barbarian after the exit of New Line’s adaptation of Stephen King’s Salem’s Lot in what has been a profitable post-Labor Day weekend pre-pandemic. The pre-pandemic period follows the Labor Day weekend. This film, which Zach Cregger both filmed and wrote, recounts the story of a woman who is staying at an Airbnb and comes to the realization that the house she has rented is not what it appears to be. The film made $3.8 million on Friday (including $850,000 in revenue from Thursday night previews), and it is projected to make approximately $9 million, with possible earnings in the double digits at 2,340 locations.
Why did Disney choose to keep this movie in theatres as opposed to sending it to Hulu? They were blown away by the test screening ratings, and they were confident that the critics would adore it as well (they graded it 92% certified on Rotten Tomatoes), so they decided to take a chance on it. Two weeks ago, we smacked Sony in the face for their lack of support of The Invitation, which had a start of $6.8 million (and is currently running at a total of $18.6 million). However, the reality with horror films more often than not is not that studios go lean on P&A in their investment in these movies (less than $20 million) with the hope of achieving a higher upside. They do not spend money on the walk-up if it does not have adequate heating. Disney is banking on positive word of mouth to boost the box office for this picture based on the Barbarian franchise. Tonight will determine whether Barbarian’s total prize pool is greater than $10 million. The film received a C+ from CinemaScore and a 70% positive audience score on Comscore/Screen Engine’s PostTrak. Additionally, 54% of viewers said they would recommend the film to others. 59% of males ages 18–34 attended an R-rated movie, and 74% of those males were in that age range. The diversity mix consisted of 16% black people, 25% Latinos and Hispanics, 16% Caucasians, and 14% other Asians. The beaches and the Southwest were the most lucrative regions for the Barbarian’s business. New York and Los Angeles contained nine of the top ten movie theatres, and PLFs were responsible for thirty percent of all ticket sales (excluding Imax).
Meanwhile, Disney’s Star Studios’ Brahmastra Part One: Shiva, which I’m told is similar to a Marvel movie over in India, is booked at 810 theatres in 172 markets and seeing $1.9M today (including Thursday night previews of $700K that started at 5 PM), and a 3-day of $3.5M to $4.5M in revenue. Brahmastra Part One: Shiva is being distributed by Disney’s Star Studios. PostTrak has a 70% satisfaction rating and a 60% recommendation rate. Prints were in Hindi, Malayalam, Telugu, and Tamil. The participation rate for males was 55%, and 71% between the ages of 18 and 34, while the participation rate for Asian and other audiences was an astounding 88%. The majority of the business, nine out of the top ten runs, came from the Northeast as well as Canada. Exceptional ticket sales in New York City, Chicago, Dallas, San Francisco, Seattle, Boston, and Austin; in addition, Toronto and Vancouver deliver.
The faith-based film starring Kirk Cameron and directed by Kevin Peeples, Fathom’s Lifemark is also debuting in the top ten. It is playing in 1,560 theatres across the US. Login: David’s comfortable world is thrown upside down when his birthmother unexpectedly reaches out to him, desiring to meet the 18-year-old son she’s only ever held for a moment. Login: We had decent runs here in Dallas, Atlanta, Houston, Phoenix, Charlotte, Nashville, Kansas City, and San Antonio for $855k on Friday, and we calculated that we would make $2.2 million over three days.
Still, low single digits on these new openers are putting the weekend at an expected $39.9M for all movies, which will end up being the second lowest grossing weekend of 2022 to date following the weekend of January 28-30, which only made $34.9M.
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