As predicted, ETERNALS won the weekend with $27.5M in ticket sales, a drop of 61% from its opening last week. CLIFFORD THE BIG RED DOG took second place by grossing a better than expected $16.4M for Friday-Saturday-Sunday and $22.0M after including results from Wednesday and Thursday, its initial two days in theatres. DUNE took third place with $5.5M in its fourth week, a drop of only 29% when compared with last week’s results. All pictures added up to $70.5M this weekend, 65% of the $109M earned in the same weekend in 2019. This will be the highest 2021-2019 weekend comp for the industry until 12/17.
The next two weeks are the Thanksgiving play period, usually one of the most lucrative two-week stretches of the year. Unfortunately, this year’s lineup of new releases will come up short compared to the 2019 slate.
THANKSGIVING RELEASES 2019 VS. 2021
FROZEN 2 produced $477M in its North American run which began on 11/22. This is likely to come in at 50% more than the total for all five movies that will debut over the next two weeks! Paramount’s decision to push TOP GUN: MAVERICK to next year, coupled with earlier releases for this season’s blockbusters DUNE, NO TIME TO DIE, VENOM: LET THEIR BE CARNAGE, and ETERNALS have left the cupboard bare for Thanksgiving when it would be expected that moviegoers should be most available to flock to theatres. Christmas 2021 – 2019 comps also look difficult, so Exhibition will have to run things very tight for the next six weeks, with no improvement expected until 12/22 at least.