Sunday, June 13 2021
Horror Sustains the Box Office
Holdover horror hits made it a happier weekend for exhibitors faced with two under-performing openings. Driven by Paramount/Platinum Dunes' R rated horror sequel "A QUIET PLACE PART 2" & WB/NL's R rated horror sequel "THE CONJURING: THE DEVIL MADE ME DO IT," ticket sales for all films hit $55.8M, per Comscore, down just 15.7% vs. last weekend's sizzling $66.2M. Weekend saw 76% of North American cinemas open vs. 75% week earlier.
“IN THE HEIGHTS” Not Quite Up to Expectations
Exhibs expected WB's PG-13 musical drama "IN THE HEIGHTS" to dance into first place with $19-22M, but it wound up close second to "AQP2" with $11.4M at 3,456 locations ($3,300), per Comscore. Moviegoers didn't care about "HEIGHTS" being 96% Certified Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. They also didn't echo Hollywood insiders' enthusiasm for Lin-Manuel Miranda's first stage musical -- which has much lower profile with moviegoers than his mega-hit "HAMILTON."
"HEIGHTS" Tracking Showed So-So Interest
Tracking for "HEIGHTS," as noted here mid-week, wasn't showing first choice scores to support robust projections for $20M+ launch. Average first choice was in single digits and just equal to norm. Top demos were also in single digits: -25f (3 points over norm) & +25f (2 points over norm). Also inflating expectations: in Fandango poll of 1,300+ U.S. moviegoers 96% said "HEIGHTS" was first film they wanted to see post-pandemic.
Was Day & Date on HBO Max a Factor?
Unknown factor in "HEIGHTS" underperforming is day & date streaming launch on HBO Max mandated by AT&T. Could be that adult audience typically interested in films based on stage musicals was happy staying home and seeing it "free." Unlike Disney+ premium pricing -- $29.99 for big titles like "CRUELLA" & "RAYA AND THE LAST DRAGON" -- HBO Max subscribers don't pay extra for WB's day & date theatricals.
“PETER RABBIT 2” Also Opened Soft
Also less lively than expected: Sony/MRC's PG live action/animated family comedy "PETER RABBIT 2: THE RUNAWAY." Exhibs figured $14-16M. Instead, it opened third to $10.4M at 3,346 locations ($3,108). "PR2" did $10.7M Int on 14,100+ screens in 21 markets for $57.9M Int cume. That includes China launch to $7.8M on 10,500+ screens. With China's four-day Dragon Boat Festival holiday Monday, weekend should get to $11.1M. Global cume: $68.3M.
“PR2” Pre-Release Tracking Was Weak
First choice tracking scores Friday for "PR2" were in weak single digits with average two points below norm and weren't pointing to knock-out opening. Best demo: -25m (one point below norm). Also no help: +25f demo that includes moms-with-kids scored three points below norm). Rotten Tomatoes: modest 68% Fresh.
“A QUIET PLACE 2” Retains Top Spot at the Box Office
With soft openers, "AQP2" reclaimed #1 spot with $11.7M (-40%) in weekend 3 with $109M/Dom. That makes it first pandemic release to crack $100M. Overseas "AQP2's" done $75.8M, bringing global cume to $184.8M.
“THE CONJURING 3” Rounds Out the Top 4 at $10M
WB/NL's "THE CONJURING: THE DEVIL MADE ME DO IT" slipped to #4 in weekend two with $10M (-58%) at 3,237 theatres ($3,095). Cumes: $43.8M/Dom + $68m/Int = $111.8M/WW.