In what turned out to be a real fight, SPIDER-MAN: NO WAY HOME took back the top spot on the box office charts from SCREAM, which had debuted last week at number one. Most experts were predicting that SCREAM would continue as number one for a second consecutive week, but it wound up grossing only $12.4M, a scary drop of 59% from last weekend.
On the other hand, Spidey continues to produce, earning another $14.1M this weekend, a slide of only 30% from last weekend. Because SCREAM holds a very respectable 83% audience favorability rating on Rotten Tomatoes, it was thought positive word of mouth would hold it in first place for a second weekend. Both Paramount and exhibitors were disappointed with the slide, especially after its over-performing opening week gross of $39M. It seems that SCREAM’s results will do little to sustain exhibitors during the current lean times with slim pickings offered by the studios.
Case in point, this weekend’s two wide-opening pictures REDEEMING LOVE and THE KING’S DAUGHTER grossed only $3.7M and $750K respectively. While Universal’s REDEEMING LOVE was able to finish in 4th place, THE KING’S DAUGHTER only rose to an 8th place finish, with a meager per-screen average of $346. Both pictures had favorable audience scores on Rotten Tomatoes, 94% for REDEEMING LOVE and a 79% for THE KING’S DAUGHTER, and were theatrical exclusives. The real problem seems to have been a half-hearted marketing campaign to build audience awareness and interest.
The total weekend gross was $46.9M, which adds up to only 36% of the same weekend results from 2019, which was the MLK holiday weekend three years ago. As soft as the box office is now, there are no new wide-release films opening next weekend. After MORBIUS was moved out of its 1/28 opening to land on 4/1, it was hoped that another movie with commercial appeal would move up to fill the void. CYRANO announced a 1/28 opening, only to move again within days of that announcement. We’ll have to hunker down until 2/4 when both JACKASS FOREVER and MOONFALL arrive. Both are tracking well and prognosticators are predicting opening weekend results in the mid-$20M’s for each.