Apart from Avatar: The Way of the Watera brutal weather system named Storm Elliott takes the joy of North American box office holiday movies.
The bomb cyclone brought freezing temperatures, high winds, snow and ice to much of the country. Traditionally, the Christmas aisle is one of the most lucrative times of the year for Hollywood studio and theater owners. This year is an exception, between Storm Elliott and lingering concerns about COVID-19, influenza and the RSV virus.
In a disappointment for the year-end box office, Christmas weekend revenues could fall by up to 50% from 2019 – before the pandemic hit – and, more worryingly, 33% from of 2021. Hollywood will have a better idea of the landscape on Monday. Another disappointment: it’s never great when Christmas Eve falls on a Saturday and Christmas on a Sunday. In other words, the studios are already looking to next week to make up for lost ground.
20th century and Disney Avatar 2 will easily win the four-day holiday weekend in North America with an estimated Friday-Monday gross of $82 million (rivals have more) at 4,202 theaters. The big budget mast ended Sunday with a domestic total of $253.7 million and $855.4 million worldwide. By the end of Monday, the global number will approach or cross 900 million worldwide after two weeks of release. Abroad, The way of the water raised $168.6 million over the Christmas weekend (three days) for a foreign total through Sunday of $601.7 million.
DreamWorks Animation and Universal’s Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, which opened midweek and received an A CinemaScore, will have no trouble placing No. 2 with a projected four-day vacation of $17.8 million and a six-day opening of 24.7. million from 4,099 theaters. The family photo was looking for a launch in the $30-35 million range. Its performance underscores lingering concerns about the strength of the family market as the industry recovers from the pandemic.
Abroad, the last wish earned a total of $32.5 million for an expected worldwide run-up of $57.2 million through Monday.
by TriStar Whitney Houston: I want to dance with someone and Paramount Babylon also have trouble. Both films debuted on Friday.
I want to dance with someone is expected to open between $6 million and $7 million for all four days from 3,625 theaters (Sony insiders think that number could climb higher). Whitney Houston’s biopic won an A CinemaScore from audiences after garnering rave reviews.
Paramount is full of stars Babylon, which received a C+ CinemaScore, is shaping up to be a major disappointment unless it bounces back next week. Damien Chazelle’s vintage Hollywood film, set north of three hours – similar to Avatar 2 — is slated for a four-day, $5.3 million opening from 3,343 theaters.
At the specialized box office, The whale expands to a total of 603 theaters over Christmas. The A24 movie is expected to gross around $1.4 million over the four-day weekend.
Among the novelties, the famous Sarah Polley women who talk opened Friday in eight rooms. The MGM and UAR film, like many other titles, is undoubtedly being impacted by freezing temperatures in key markets such as New York. The film is screening a $53,000 premiere over four days for a local average of $6,664.
Sony Pictures Classics Life opened at three locations in New York and Los Angeles for an estimated four-day gross of $17,300 and an average of about $7,078.
The figures will be updated on Monday.
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