Welcome to another weekend box office during the pandemic. A lot of new movies premiered, but Ryan Reynolds’ Free Guy remained on top.
Free Guy Nears $60 Million
Free Guy continued to dominate U.S. gross sales this weekend, bringing in approximately another $18.8 million its second weekend out in theaters.
The movie’s relative success (and everything is relative during pandemic times) is probably in part because of positive word of mouth about the film. It’s also probably in part because theaters didn’t have to compete with it being released via streaming platform.
Don’t Breathe 2, which also premiered two weekends ago, dropped from second to fourth place and brought in approximately $5 million. Who’s in the second spot this weekend? The animated kids feature, PAW Patrol: The Movie, which is a slightly different demographic than the Don’t Breathe sequel.
Other Movies Premiering Didn’t Do So Well
Several other movies premiered this weekend that didn’t get those sweet PAW Patrol or Free Guy numbers. The Protégé, The Night House, and Reminiscence all came out and didn’t fare so well at the box office.
The Protégé came in sixth and made approximately $3 million despite a cast that included Michael Keaton and Samuel L. Jackson. The movie’s ranking, however, could in part be because of its lackluster reviews.
The Night House, the new horror movie from David Bruckner, did about as well as The Protégé. The Hugh Jackman-starring Reminiscence, however, only brought in about $2 million. Unlike the other two films previously mentioned, Jackman’s sci-fi noir film was also immediately released on HBO Max. That dual release undoubtedly hurt its sales.
PAW Patrol, however, was also simultaneously released on Paramount+, so who knows what these numbers suggest about the state of the theater business. A lot of people are staying home because they don’t want to get or potentially spread Covid. But there are still people — including a non-trivial amount of families with kids — that are comfortable braving the theater, even if the same movie is available on their television screen (assuming they subscribe to the correct streaming service).
The Rest of the Top 5
The two remaining movies rounding out the Top 5 with Free Guy, PAW Patrol, and Don’t Breathe 2 includes Jungle Cruise, which came in third, garnering around $6 million to PAW Patrol’s $13 million. In fifth place is the Aretha Franklin biopic Respect, starring Jennifer Hudson, which made almost $4 million its second weekend out.
The fickleness of these numbers leads me to conclude that we really can’t conclude anything. Unprecedented times, and all that. Hopefully some day we’ll get a box office weekend that reminds us of the before times. That day, however, is not today.
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