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Sunday, September 25 2022

STYLES FANS PUT "DARLING" ATOP CHART

YOUNGER WOMEN DROVE WB/NEW LINE'S PSYCHOLOGICAL THRILLER "DON'T WORRY DARLING" TO TOP OF THIS WEEKEND'S BOXOFFICE CHART WITH BETTER TICKET SALES THAN ANALYSTS ORIGINALLY EXPECTED, BUT LESS THAN THEIR LATE-IN-THE-GAME UPGRADED ESTIMATES. FUELING ITS SUCCESS WERE HARRY STYLES'S -25F FANS. ALSO BOOSTING WEEKEND TICKET SALES WAS OVER-PERFORMING "AVATAR" REISSUE FROM DISNEY/20TH CENTURY. OVERALL MARKETPLACE, PER COMSCORE, WAS $60.2M, UP 14.6% FROM PRIOR WEEKEND & UP 25.9% FROM 2021, COMSCORE'S YEAR TO TAKE TALLY SHOWS 2022 WITH $5.62B, UP 133.1% FROM 2021'S $2.41B.

"DARLING" DEBUT COOLER THAN LATE BUZZ

."DARLING" ARRIVED TO $19.2M AT 4,113 THEATRES ($4,668), WHICH WAS BETTER THAN HOLLYWOOD HANDICAPPERS ORIGINALLY EXPECTED, BUT LESS THAN REVISED BUZZ EARLY THIS WEEKEND WHEN $15-18M LAUNCH THAT ANALYSTS FIRST HAD IN MIND WAS UPGRADED TO OVERLY ENTHUSIASTIC $20-25M. THEN $21M EMERGED AS MOST LIKELY OPENING NUMBER. WB WAS ALWAYS EXPECTING $17M. EXHIBITORS WERE THINKING $18-20M, SO OPENING HIT THEIR MID-POINT. "DARLING," WHICH REPORTEDLY COST $35M TO PRODUCE, ALSO DID $10.8M INTERNATIONALLY, PER COMSCORE, MAKING ITS WORLDWIDE TOTAL $30M.

ONLY -25F EXCITED TO SEE "DARLING"

"DARLING" WASN'T SHOWING SEXY TRACKING SCORES. ONLY DEMO REALLY EXCITED TO SEE IT WERE -25F, WHOSE FIRST CHOICE SCORES WERE IN DOUBLE DIGITS WITH SEVEN POINTS OVER NORM. IT'S SAFE BET THESE ARE HARRY STYLES FANS. ALL OTHER DEMOS WERE BELOW NORM FOR FIRST CHOICE. ADULT WOMEN WERE ONE POINT UNDER NORM. YOUNGER MEN WERE FOUR POINTS UNDER NORM. AND ADULT MEN WERE FIVE POINTS UNDER NORM. AS FOR CRITICS, THEY HATE "DARLING" WITH 38% ON ROTTEN TOMATOES. BUT RT'S AUDIENCE SCORE IS 80%, INDICATING FILM'S GENERATING DECENT WORD OF MOUTH.

LOW AWARENESS DESPITE HEADLINES

.ALTHOUGH SOME ANALYSTS ARE SAYING MEDIA COVERAGE OF "DARLING'S" MANY CONTROVERSIES HELPED BY BOOSTING AWARENESS OF FILM, TRACKING SHOWS THIS WASN'T CASE. AVERAGE TOTAL AWARENESS OPENING DAY WAS 10 POINTS BELOW NORM. -25F WERE ONLY DEMO WITH TOTAL AWARENESS SCORES OVER NORM & THEY WERE JUST THREE POINTS ABOVE. "DARLING" DEBUT IS FURTHER PROOF AUDIENCES ARE BACK IN THEATRES. WE'D LIKELY BE SEEING MORE PEOPLE AT MOVIES IF STUDIOS HADN'T DECIDED TO MOSTLY SIT OUT LATE SUMMER & EARLY FALL WEEKENDS.

"AVATAR" REISSUE BEATS LATE BUZZ

DISNEY/20TH CENTURY'S RE-RELEASE OF JAMES CAMERON'S "AVATAR" OPENED THIRD TO OVER-PERFORMING $10M AT 1,860 LOCATIONS ($5,376). IT WASN'T ON TRACKING, WHICH DIDN'T HELP MEDIA PUNDITS' PREDICTIONS. EARLY BUZZ WAS FOR $10-12M, BUT CLOSER TO OPENING THAT GOT CHOPPED WAY BACK TO $5-7M. EXHIBITORS WERE AT LOW END OF THAT RANGE WITH $5M. ORIGINAL RELEASE OF "AVATAR" DID $760.5M DOMESTIC & $2.85B WORLDWIDE, MAKING IT ALL-TIME TOP GROSSING MOVIE GLOBALLY. "AVATAR" REISSUE ALSO DID $20.5M INTERNATIONALLY THIS WEEKEND, PER COMSCORE, MAKING ITS WORLDWIDE CUME $30.5M.

REISSUE AUGURS WELL FOR SEQUEL

SO MANY MOVIEGOERS HAVE ALREADY SEEN 2009 "AVATAR" IN THEATRES OR HOME ENTERTAINMENT THAT REISSUE'S BEST SELLING POINT WAS TO BE ABLE TO SEE IT IN IMAX OR 3D WITH LASER PROJECTION & STATE OF ART SOUND. CRITICS ON RT ARE 82% & AUDIENCES ARE ALSO 82%. RE-RELEASING "AVATAR" WAS GREAT MARKETING IDEA BY DISNEY/20TH CENTURY TO START GETTING MOVIEGOERS READY FOR CAMERON'S SEQUEL, "AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER," OPENING 12/16 IN IMAX & 3D. SHORT SCENES FROM SEQUEL ARE INCLUDED AT END OF REISSUE PRINTS, GIVING AUDIENCES FIRST LOOK AT WHAT'S AHEAD. REISSUE'S OVER-PERFORMING DEBUT AUGURS VERY WELL FOR SEQUEL.