THE BATMAN repeated last week’s first-place performance, by grossing $66M in its second weekend, a drop of only 51%. Gotham City’s superhero has performed at or above expectations while receiving an 85% critics score and 89% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes. Other studios steered clear of THE BATMAN’s wake, taking the week off from major new releases. UNCHARTED finished second with $9.3M and fell only 17% from last weekend.
The surprise of the weekend was the third-place finisher, BTS PERMISSION TO DANCE ON STAGE from the Korean K-POP boy band sensation. The concert event distributed in the U.S. by Trafalgar Releasing took in $6.8M from only two Saturday showtimes at 797 theatres. Another unique feature of the release was the premium $35 sticker price for all seats, contributing to a massive per-location average of $8,600.
After years of exhibitors striving to establish themselves as venues for premium alternative content, this BTS concert event has broken through like no other. While the elevated ticket price played an important part, the fact that screenings at several theatres were completely sold out leads one to believe that even exhibitors underestimated the appeal, and did not make enough seats available to meet the demand. Even if the distributor keeps the majority of the gross, which is past business practice for this type of content, the $35 ticket price still leaves enough for theatres to make this a very profitable venture.
London-based Trafalgar Releasing should be commended for selecting a weekend when the traditional studios turned their back on exhibitors, delivering no new wide releases to compete with THE BATMAN in its second weekend. While Fathom Events have done a stellar job at delivering a steady stream of alternative content for years, no single event appears to have broken through like this weekend’s BTS PERMISSION TO DANCE ON STAGE. Certainly, event cinema distributors will line up to take their shot at generating this weekend’s success by offering interesting, nontraditional programming to theatres.
The overall weekend gross came in at $102.4M, which adds up to only 49% of the same weekend in 2019 when Captain Marvel debuted at a $153M opening weekend box office.