WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: Honest Thief Fends Off The Empty Man to Remain Atop Domestic Charts; The Sacrifice & Demon Slayer Power IMAX in China and Japan

Photo Credits: Open Road ("Honest Thief"); Disney / 20th Century Studios / Anastas N. Michos ("The Empty Man"); Disney / Pixar ("Monsters, Inc."); 101 Studios ("The War with Grandpa"); Warner Bros. ("Tenet"); United Artists Releasing ("The Addams Family")

It’s another slow weekend at the domestic box office as the natural and business effects of the pandemic continue to impact moviegoing. On the bright side, though, strong holds remain the theme of this time as most titles across the board posted soft declines.

With the re-opening of some New York state theaters, the domestic footprint of cinemas that have returned to operations is approximately 86 percent. Major markets like New York City, Los Angeles, and San Francisco remain mostly offline.

Leading the way again is Honest Thief with another $2.35 million estimated frame, down just 35 percent from its opening one week ago. Open Road’s thriller starring Liam Neeson has registered an estimated $7.5 million through its first 10 days of domestic play, providing the latest anchor for exhibitors.

Open Road also released After We Collided in 460 locations this weekend alongside its digital debut. The film pulled an estimated $420K from theatrical box office in its first weekend of play.

Posting another solid hold itself, 101 Studios’ The War with Grandpa eased 25 percent from last week to add $1.88 million by the end of this frame. The studio estimates a $9.7 million North American tally through Sunday’s end, marking its third weekend in release.

On the Tenet front, Warner Bros. provided their weekly update on the Christopher Nolan epic with a report that it added $4.6 million globally this weekend. Of that, $1.3 million came from North America — down just 15 percent from last frame. The $3.3 million overseas weekend represents a 37 percent decline from last weekend.

Tenet‘s domestic haul now stands at $52.5 million through Sunday’s end, while the worldwide gross has climbed to $341.4 million (including $289 million overseas).

On the new release front, Disney’s inherited 20th Century Studios horror/thriller pic, The Empty Man, bowed to an estimated $1.265 million this weekend. Although well-timed for Halloween next week, the film has received virtually no promotion (a trailer was only released one week before opening). Under those terms, this kind of debut was about as well as could be expected.

Also on the Disney front, the studio continued its trend of archival re-releases with of Pixar’s Monsters, Inc. this weekend. The modern classic earned $494K this weekend, relatively modest compared to the studio’s other recent re-issues. On that front, The Nightmare Before Christmas also added $577K this weekend (down 56 percent from last), while Hocus Pocus tacked on another $530K (down just 30 percent).

Meanwhile, Freestyle Releasing’s 2 Hearts eased 39 percent for a $320K sophomore frame, reaching $990K in its first 10 days. The New Mutants dropped 39 percent to $286K, reaching a $23.15 million total domestically.

Outside the top ten, Paramount’s Love and Monsters eased just 22 percent to $212K in its second frame. The film is playing at only 380 locations due to its simultaneous PVOD release. Through 10 days of play, it’s earned $574K at the box office.

Weekend estimates from the studios are listed in a chart below.

IMAX Updates

China Film Group’s The Sacrifice, China’s widest ever national release with 180,000 daily showtimes, grossed an estimated $3.2 million from 672 IMAX locations this weekend. With that contribution, IMAX has now reached an all-time October box office record in China despite 75 percent capacity restrictions.

IMAX reports Japan’s breakout Demon Slayer: The Movie (Mugen Train) added another $2.04 million this weekend from 38 screens. That marks just a 10 percent decline from its IMAX record debut last week and represents the second highest box office weekend ever for an IMAX title in Japan. By comparison, the film’s second weekend IMAX gross was 6 percent higher than Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker‘s $1.92 million. Demon Slayer has earned $5.6 million from IMAX alone after just 10 days.

Meanwhile, the aforementioned Tenet scored another $453K from 254 IMAX screens globally. The company’s cume on the title is $39.1 million.

Studio Weekend Estimates (Domestic)

FRI, OCT. 23 – SUN, OCT. 25

WIDE (1000+)

# TITLE WEEKEND   LOCATIONS   AVG. TOTAL WKS. DIST.
1 Honest Thief $2,350,000 -35% 2,502 77 $939 $7,476,274 2 Open Road Films
2 The War With Grandpa $1,882,672 -25% 2,345 85 $803 $9,719,719 3 101 Studios
3 Tenet $1,300,000 -19% 1,801 -200 $722 $52,500,000 8 Warner Bros.
4 The Empty Man $1,265,000 2,027 $624 $1,265,000 1 20th Century Studios
5 Nightmare Before Christmas (2020 re-issue) $577,000 -63% 1,614 -580 $357 $2,156,000 2 Disney / Touchstone Pictures
6 Hocus Pocus (2020 re-issue) $530,000 -30% 1,277 -363 $415 $4,372,000 4 Walt Disney Pictures
7 Monsters, Inc. (2020 re-release) $494,000 1,875 $263 $494,000 1  
8 2 Hearts $320,000 -39% 1,678 -5 $191 $989,822 2 Freestyle Releasing

LIMITED (100 — 999)

# TITLE WEEKEND   LOCATIONS   AVG. TOTAL WKS. DIST.
1 After We Collided $420,000 460 $913 $420,000 1 Open Road
2 The New Mutants $286,000 -39% 830 -463 $345 $23,153,714 9 20th Century Studios
3 Love and Monsters $212,000 -22% 380 -7 $558 $574,275 2 Paramount Pictures
4 Infidel $27,250 -67% 192 -279 $142 $4,022,872 6 Cloudburst Entertainment
5 Possessor Uncut $26,000 -63% 104 -84 $250 $713,040 4 NEON

PLATFORM (1 — 99)

# TITLE WEEKEND   LOCATIONS   AVG. TOTAL WKS. DIST.
1 The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run $29,000 -39% 94 -37 $309 $4,759,385 11 Paramount
2 Twiceborn $2,745 -41% 10 4 $275 $9,363 2 Freestyle Releasing

Jesse Rifkin contributed to this report

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