Saturday AM: Refresh for updates New Line’s The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It is beating Paramount’s second weekend of A Quiet Place Part II, with an estimated $23.5M to $22M but there shouldn’t be any doubts: It’s a solid weekend at the box office, especially as the pandemic calms. Even No. 3 title, Disney’s Cruella is doing well, on its way toward a $11.4M second weekend, -47%, after a $3.28M Friday, -57%.
Conjuring 3 made $9.84M on Friday to A Quiet Place 2‘s $6.2M (-68%). A Quiet Place 2‘s second weekend hold of -54% is very respectable for a horror movie. By the end of its second weekend the John Krasinski directed sequel will stand at $91.1M
By the end of the summer, I’m sure there will be countless pieces written about whether this availability of a film in the home and in theaters at the same time is good or not for the business; remember making clean copies of these available on the web subjects these films to piracy. Conjuring 3 is playing for free to HBO Max subscribers, while Cruella is available to Disney+ premier subscribers at $29.99. What’s clear this weekend, is that there’s a theatrical appetite by audiences, and the abundance of product at the multiplex makes for great business even though 73% of all domestic theaters are in operation with Canada’s Ontario movie theatres shuttered, Manitoba having 3% open, with British Columbia and Alberta being 6% and 3% open. Canadian aorta exhibitor Cineplex only has 33 of its 162 locations open in the Great White North.
In the wake of A Quiet Place 2 and Cruella‘s success last weekend, Paramount and Disney respectively made headlines on Friday afternoon, the Melrose lot dating the genre pic’s follow-up movie from Jeff Nichols for March 31, 2023 and the latter announcing that a sequel to the Emma Stone feature is already in the works with original pic’s director Craig Gillespie and scriber Tony McNamara.
Meanwhile, the weekend’s second wide entry, Universal’s DreamWorks Animation’s sequel Spirit Untamed made an estimated $2.4M yesterday at 3,211 theaters for what looks to be a $7M 3-day in fourth place. CinemaScore audiences gave the movie an A. We’ve seen better from animated family fare during the pandemic: Uni shelled out for P&A on Croods: A New Age which translated into a $9.7M 3-day, $14.2M 5-day on its way to $58.3M domestic take, while Warner Bros.’ Tom & Jerry did $14.1M over its first Friday-Sunday. Heck, even Disney’s Raya and the Last Dragon‘s opening weekend of $8.5M was higher than Spirit Untamed, and it didn’t have Cinemark in the mix. In all fairness of comparisons, those movies appealed to both boys and girls, while Spirit Untamed is largely aimed toward girls with a big 68% female audience and 45% under 17. Diversity demos were 52% Caucasian, 25% Latino, 13% Black and 10% Asian/other. Best region for Spirit Untamed was the South, with Comscore/Screen Engine PostTrak moviegoers giving the pic 87% overall positive score and a 66% definite recommend.
Fifth place belongs to United Artists Releasing/MGM/Miramax’s 5th weekend of Wrath of Man which grossed $335K yesterday (-38%) for a projected 3-day of $1.2M, -44%, for a $24.6M running total.
Out all of the films in the Conjuring franchise, including spinoffs Nun and the Annabelle trilogy, Conjuring 3 has posted the second lowest opening in the series, ahead of 2019’s Annabelle Comes Home which did $20.2M over its Friday-Sunday, and $31.1M. Like with any horror franchise, one can argue fatigue, however, New Line kept the production budget low on the latest Ed and Lorraine Warren paranormal escapade at an estimated $40M. Conjuring 3 earned a B+, which is a notch below the A- grades of Conjuring 1 and 2, but higher than any of the Annabelles (which did in order B, B, B-) and much higher than The Nun, which even at a C CinemaScore boasts the biggest opening in the James Wan and Peter Safran produced franchise.
Comscore/Screen Engine PostTrak scores weren’t far behind CinemaScore’s for Conjuring 3 with a 78% positive score and 58% definite recommend with the crowd leaning female at 53%, 56% under 25 with 61% between 18-34 years old. Diversity demos were great across the board with 34% Hispanic, 29% Caucasian, 23% Black, & 14% Asian/other. Best parts of the country for the Michael Chaves-directed threequel was West and Southwest. I hear Imax and PLF drove over 20% of Friday’s business for Conjuring 3, which didn’t have any Thursday night previews rolled in.
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