Universal and Sony also reported their Q3 earnings, with each studio showing positive financial momentum. Universal and Sony have taken different approaches to film releasing during the pandemic, with Universal more active in streaming and Sony doubling down on traditional theatrical releases.
Universal opened its biggest titles day & date in theatres and on Peacock, the in-house streaming service for its parent Comcast NBCUniversal. Box office results have suffered for franchise titles such as BOSS BABY 2 and HALLOWEEN KILLS, with steep declines in their second and subsequent weeks in theatres. The benefit to Peacock is hard to pin down since Comcast does not report results for individual titles on Peacock. Their lack of reporting detail may indicate a less-than-stellar performance online.
Sony has followed a traditional course, maintaining a theatrical release for its most important movies. In Q3, the results were lukewarm for mid-tier titles, including ESCAPE ROOM: TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS and DON’T BREATHE 2. Sony’s Q4 outlook is promising, with a $91M opening of VENOM: LET THERE BE CARNAGE already in the books. After that, the buzz is building around the 11/18 debut of GHOSTBUSTERS: AFTERLIFE, followed by SPIDER-MAN: NO WAY HOME on 12/16. Like VENOM 2, these titles are theatrical exclusives and are likely to rise to the top of the box office charts.