Weekend Wrap Up - look at this week’s Industry Updates

May 24, 2021

With no new wide-releases this past weekend, it is no surprise that Spiral leads the box-office once again, earning $4.5M. That is a holdover of 52% from last weekend, better than expected for a horror movie’s sophomore debut. Before the pandemic, horror movies would usually drop 60% or more in their second weekend. Yes – this weekend was a quiet one (with an estimated total of $21M), but there are two more points to hold up: 1. Spiral is the first film in the Sawfranchise to hold the number one spot at the box office for two weekends in a row, and 2. Spiral’s gross puts the entire Saw franchise at $1 billion in worldwide ticket sales


The domestic market is just keeping the wheels spinning until Cruella and A Quiet Place II put some gas in the tank (not a plastic bag) this Friday, May 28. The industry has high hopes that the Disney and Paramount movie combo will kick-off the summer blockbuster season. While the pandemic has muddied everyone’s forecasts, one thing is certain: theaters will have a much more robust summer versus that of 2020. With about 3,700 theaters in play this weekend, drive-ins are no longer the sole venues propping up the box-office. Not to say that they will not continue to have a strong presence. Four of the five highest grossing locations for this weekend’s number 3 title, Those Who Wish Me Dead, were drive-ins.


Looking ahead, Memorial Day weekend typically means theaters will have more people in seats – people who have at least one dose of the vaccine (at least 61% of adults). Coupled with little competition and looser capacity restrictions, we can be optimistic about a good turnout.


While we wait, moviegoers overseas are being treated to early releases of films that will not hit our shores until later this summer. More than a month before its June 25 domestic release, Universal’s F9 has been making headlines in a number of eastern markets including China, Russia, Korea and Egypt. After a pandemic-record opening day of $3.4M in South Korea last Wednesday, the latest entry of the Fast & Furious franchise collected an international opening of $162.4M. That beats Godzilla vs. Kong’s $121M to set a new pandemic high. Like Godzilla vsKongF9’s global release strategy is more staggered than usual: the U.K. debut is set for June 24, July for other European markets, and August for Japan. 


Speaking of the U.K., they recently reopened indoor theaters with 50% capacity on May 17 after being shut-down since last fall. Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway, which will not hit American theaters until June 18, greeted U.K. moviegoers on their first weekend back – to the tune of $10M. This is the best Fri-Sun in the UK since the pandemic. The U.K. market is not only key for this film (being the biggest market after the U.S. for 2018’s Peter Rabbit), but it is also a lynchpin for No Time To Diekeeping the current October 8 release date. Should the European market continue this momentum, No Time To Die’s box-office will be well worth the wait for MGM studios.

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