Familiarity breeds contempt… except at the box office. These days, familiarity is what lures people out of their homes and into the theaters. That and an exclusivity away from streaming services, of course. The latter is likely what prevented The Matrix Resurrections from getting itself to at least $50 million before word-of-mouth and Omicron kept folks indoors to watch it on HBO Max. The latest entry in the Scream series appears it will only have to battle word-of-mouth, as its fans were eager for another taste of the knife over the holiday weekend.
(Photo by ©Paramount Pictures)
Scream (2022) or Scream 5, whichever you prefer, had one of the best Thursday previews for January ever, making $3.5 million. M. Night Shyamalan’s Glass made $3.7 million in 2019 and Bad Boys for Life made $6.3 million in 2020; two months before the pandemic began. A quarter century after the release of Wes Craven’s original, the 2022 chapter opened to $30.6 million, the 14th best January opening ever. Six of the higher January openings were also either sequels or the special edition of Star Wars. Scream’s $30.6 million is also the 15th best opening in general during the pandemic, a list populated by Marvel, sequels, Dune, and Jungle Cruise.
All things considered, this is a very good opening for the film. The last time they waited 11 years to produce a new entry, Scream 4 opened to $18.6 million in April 2011 and finished with just $38.1 million, a 2.04 multiple. Scream 3 opened to $34.6 million in February 2000 and had a 2.56 multiple up to $89.1 million. The first two films earned over $100 million, with the original having one of the best all-time December multiples of 16.21 after just a $6.3 million opening weekend. Aside from A Quiet Place Part II, no other horror film made it to $100 million last year. Halloween Kills came closest but suffered a historically bad fall after a $49.4 million start to earn just $92 million total. Old (2.86), Candyman (2.76), The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It (2.72), Spiral (2.65), and Malignant (2.46) all failed to hit the mark as well, so that may be one milestone this new entry won’t reach, even with a lack of any competition over the next two weeks. In fact, don’t be surprised if Spider-Man: No Way Home reclaims the throne during one if not both weeks. Still, a part five that could do double the business of the fourth film while Omicron remains a threat is not a bad thing for theaters.
(Photo by ©GKIDS)
A pleasant surprise made its way into the top 10 this week as GKids’ Belle from Mamoru Hosoda made $1.6 million. This is the acclaimed animation company’s widest release to date, in 1,326 theaters. Their Weathering With You opened in 1,020 theaters for two days (Jan. 15-16) in 2020 before scaling back to just 486 theaters, grossing $4.8 million in its first five days of release and ultimately earning just over $8 million. Belle is one of the contenders for Best Animated Feature at this year’s Oscars.
(Photo by ©Sony Pictures Releasing/©Marvel Entertainment)
Spider-Man: No Way Home shows no signs of slowing down. It made another $20.8 million this weekend, which makes it the seventh-best fifth weekend for a film starting in wide release. It trails only Avatar ($42.7 million), Titanic ($30.0 million), Frozen ($28.5 million), Black Panther ($26.6 million), Star Wars: The Force Awakens ($26.3 million) and The Sixth Sense ($22.8 million). By today, No Way Home should officially pass Black Panther by bringing its 32-day total to over $700 million. James Cameron’s Avatar is next at $749 million, where it would likely settle into being the third highest-grossing domestic release ever. It’s worldwide gross stands at $1.62 billion and is only $50 million away from surpassing Jurassic World for sixth all-time.
Sing 2 currently has bragging rights as the highest-grossing animated film released during the pandemic. It’s the only one to cross $100 million, and by today, it will be over $120 million and still climbing after another $8.3 million over the three-day. Universal’s release from last week, The 355, fell to $2.3 million for an estimated total of $8.9 million through Sunday. The studio has not done too badly during the pandemic. Freaky and News of the World are their only films not to reach $15 million, and those were released in November and December of 2020. Even Dear Evan Hansen barely got over the hump. The 355 will not be so lucky.
20th Century Studios, now the sidebar of Disney, will see both West Side Story and The King’s Man reach the $30 million category. The Matrix Resurrections, representing the end of the WB/HBO Max streaming experiment, is going to be the 10th film of theirs from 2021 (out of 17) not to gross $40 million, but it’s certainly the most noticeable one, as more than half of those likely would not have hit that mark even in a healthy environment. On the other hand, UA Releasing can also say they did not have too bad of a year. House of Gucci has bragging rights as one of the few original films to cross $50 million. The Addams Family 2 made its way to $56 million and was one of the most successful animated films of the year before Encanto and Sing 2 came around. Plus they are about to see Paul Thomas Anderson’s Licorice Pizza get over $10 million, making it just the second limited release (after The French Dispatch) to ultimately expand and get over that hump.
[box office figures via Box Office Mojo]