Despite hitting theaters amid the continued Omicron explosion in North America (which resulted in a total shutdown of cinemas in Ontario and Quebec), Scream powered its way into the box office record books this weekend with an estimated $30.6M over the three-day frame and a projected $35M over the four-day from 3,664 locations (including Thursday night previews, where the film grossed an estimated $3.5M). That gives it the highest-ever horror debut over Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend, surpassing Universal’s supernatural horror hit Mama, which took in $28.4/$32.1M in 2013.
Scream – a reboot/sequel that stands as the fifth film overall in the long-running meta slasher series – benefitted from being the first major franchise release of 2022, while also successfully tapping into two key demos: 1) thirty- and forty-something adults who fondly recall watching the original trilogy in theaters in the late ‘90s and early ‘00s and were enticed by returning stars Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox and David Arquette; and 2) younger audiences who have become familiar with the iconic franchise on streaming services and elsewhere and who were lured by the new film’s fresh-faced young cast and Paramount’s no-holds-barred marketing campaign, which included numerous social posts by the film’s well-followed stars.
The new Scream also likely benefitted from a sturdy average on Rotten Tomatoes, where the film currently stands at 75% — a particularly good rating for a horror movie. Positive reviews are important for a franchise like Scream, which has been praised over the last 25 years for appealing to audiences’ intelligence and which perhaps wouldn’t weather negative critical notices as well as some other horror brands. Solid reviews were also important given that so much time has passed since the last installment, Scream 4, which hit theaters nearly 10 years ago (it was also the final entry directed by the late Wes Craven).
Word-of-mouth is also critical, and on that front, Scream appears to be generating some good overall buzz, at least judging by exit surveys and online audience ratings. The Cinemascore is a B+ – matching Scream 2’s series-high grade – and on Rotten Tomatoes, the sequel’s Audience Score currently stands at an excellent 85% based on over 1,000 responses. That could bode well for the film’s long-term run, particularly with no other major horror releases on the near horizon.
Distributor Paramount produced the film in tandem with Spyglass Media Group, which purchased the rights to the Scream series from the now-shuttered Weinstein Company in November 2019. Scream‘s success this weekend effectively gives the studio another lucrative franchise to milk, and – clearly sensing a shifting of the tide following Spider-Man: No Way Home’s blockbuster run over the holidays – it chose to release the film exclusively in theaters, a gambit that clearly paid off this weekend.
In the scheme of the franchise, Scream’s three-day opening is the third-best of the series, behind Scream 3 ($34.71M) and Scream 2 ($32.93M). Notably, it far outperformed Scream 4, which opened to $18.69M in April 2011.
Scream also opened to an estimated $18M overseas from 50 markets through Sunday, including $3.4M in the U.K. (where it opened at No. 2), $1.8M in France (No. 2), $1.5M in Australia (No. 2), $1.3M in Russia (No. 2) and $1.1M each in Germany and Mexico (both No. 2). That brings the slasher sequel’s three-day opening globally to $48.6M.
Falling out of the top spot for the first time in its fifth weekend was Sony’s Spider-Man: No Way Home, which surpassed Avengers: Infinity War’s lifetime total ($678.8M) on Friday and is on track to surpass Black Panther’s lifetime tally ($700.4M) on Monday to become the fourth highest-grossing movie domestically of all time. This weekend, the web-slinger sequel grossed an estimated $20.8M over the three-day period (down 36%) and a projected $26M over the four-day, which would bring its domestic total to $703.9M through Monday.
Overseas, No Way Home grossed an estimated $33.4M from 63 markets, bringing its international total to $926.3M and its global tally to $1.625B. This weekend, the MCU blockbuster became the highest-grossing film ever in Mexico, where its total now stands at $72M. The film’s global IMAX tally crossed the $100M mark this weekend – making it just the 11th film to do so – with the worldwide IMAX total reaching $100.5M through Sunday.
Universal’s Sing 2 held well in its fourth weekend, dropping 29% to an estimated three-day gross of $8.27M and four-day projected at $11.02M, good for third place. The animated sequel, which was made available on PVOD a week-and-a-half ago, has taken in $122.11M through Monday. Overseas, Sing 2 grossed an estimated $8.44M from 54 territories, bringing its international tally to $96.29M and its worldwide gross to $215.65M. Future openings include Germany (Jan. 20), the U.K. & Ireland (Jan. 28) and Japan (Mar. 18).
Last weekend’s sole wide release, Universal’s The 355, finished in fourth place with an estimated $2.34M over the three-day and a projected $2.81M over the four-day, bringing the international action-thriller to $8.89M through Monday.
Disney/20th Century Studios’ The King’s Man grossed an estimated $2.3M over the three-day and a projected $3M over the four-day period, which would result in a $29.4M total for the action prequel through Monday. Overseas, the film took in an estimated $10.2M from 44 territories (including a $2.2M opening in Russia), giving it an international tally of $63.8M and a global total of $92.5M through Sunday.
The only other new wide release this weekend, GKIDS’ Belle, opened in sixth place with an estimated $1.65M over the three-day weekend and a projected $2.04M over the four-day from 1,326 locations. The anime directed by Mamoru Hosoda garnered excellent reviews, with a Rotten Tomatoes score of 95% and an identical Audience Score. The weekend tally appears to include grosses from the film’s exclusive IMAX sneak peek on Wednesday as well as Thursday night previews.
Lionsgate’s American Underdog grossed an estimated $1.6M over the three-day weekend (down 31%) and a projected $1.87M over the four-day, which would bring its domestic total to $21.34M through Monday. The inspirational sports biopic finished in seventh place.
Disney/20th Century Studios’ West Side Story took eighth place with a three-day estimate of $900k and a four-day projection of $1.2M. The film’s domestic total through Monday would be $34.1M. Internationally, the Steven Spielberg musical grossed an estimated $1.6M over the three-day weekend from 16 territories, for an international total of $23.7M and a global total of $57.5M through Sunday.
Though United Artists did not provide Sunday and Monday projections for Licorice Pizza, BoxOffice Pro estimates a three-day gross of $850k and a four-day of $1M, good enough for ninth place. That would put the Paul Thomas Anderson comedy at around $9.7M through the end of its eighth weekend.
The Matrix Resurrections rounded out the top 10 in its fourth weekend with an estimated $815k over the three-day frame, while BoxOffice Pro projects $955k over the four-day. That would bring the total for the Warner Bros. sci-fi sequel to $36.77M through Monday. Overseas, Resurrections grossed an estimated $11.1M from 78 markets, including China, where it opened at No. 1 with an estimated $7.5M. The film’s international total is $104.2M while its global total is $140M through Sunday.
Sunday’s Studio Weekend Estimates: January 14-16, 2022
|Title||Estimated weekend||% change||Locations||Location change||Average||Total||Weekend||Distributor|
|Spider-Man: No Way Home||$20,800,000||-36%||3,925||-87||$5,299||$698,724,074||5||Sony Pictures|
|The King’s Man||$2,319,000||-28%||2,510||-530||$924||$28,683,614||4||20th Century Studios|
|West Side Story||$948,000||-31%||1,460||-830||$649||$33,767,804||6||20th Century Studios|
|The Matrix Resurrections||$815,000||-56%||1,725||-1,150||$472||$35,815,526||4||Warner Bros.|
|Ghostbusters: Afterlife||$785,000||-30%||1,202||-299||$653||$126,124,249||9||Sony Pictures|
|Venom: Let There be Carnage||$380,000||1,435||$265||$213,018,437||16||Sony Pictures|
|A Journal for Jordan||$186,000||-69%||665||-1,185||$280||$6,247,286||4||Sony Pictures|
|Drive My Car||$78,086||85%||65||36||$1,201||$508,054||8||Janus Films|
|The French Dispatch||$19,000||-31%||35||-10||$543||$16,083,400||13||Searchlight|