WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: Come Play Comes First Domestically as European Exhibitors Go Dark

Gillian Jacobs (left) stars as 'Sarah' and Azhy Robertson (right) stars as 'Oliver' in writer/director Jacob Chase's COME PLAY. Credit : Jasper Savage / Amblin Partners / Focus Features

Focus Features’ horror title Come Play finished its first frame atop the domestic box office with a better-than-expected $3.15 million from 2,183 screens, a welcome result in an otherwise frightening week for exhibitors.

Concerns are brewing at home and abroad with the Covid-19 pandemic intensifying in key cinema markets around the world, including a new daily record in the United States, just shy of a hundred thousand new cases, on Friday. In Europe, the steep rise of new infections has already caused a second round of cinema closures across major markets that include England, France, Italy, and Germany.

Cinemas in the North American market are mostly open, however, even if there is a dearth of new studio titles coming into the fold. This weekend’s timely release of Come Play produced a competitive $1,447 per-screen average. Without New York City and LA, the title’s top-grossing DMAs in its opening weekend are led by Dallas, Greater New York, and Chicago––respectively accounting for more than 3 percent of the weekend’s share.

Come Play – Top DMAs – Opening Weekend

RankDMA% DBOLOCSPTA
1Dallas4.1%681,345
2New York3.8%541,583
3Chicago3.2%561,326
4Houston2.9%491,397
5Los Angeles2.7%173,151
6Philadelphia2.5%371,554
7SF2.4%321,787
8Detroit2.2%381,350
9Atlanta2.0%421,109
10Salt Lake City1.8%42942

“We’re thrilled that audiences came out to celebrate Halloween making Come Play the #1 movie this weekend,” said Focus president of distribution Lisa Bunnell, in a statement. “We had a great partnership with our friends at Amblin to bring Jacob Chase’s new vision of horror to the screen.” 

Come Play earned an estimated $574k from twelve international markets, including Poland, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Hong Kong, Portugal, Greece, Croatia, Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, and Serbia. 

Open Road’s Honest Thief fell to second place in its third frame with $1.35 million from 2,360 screens for a domestic total of $9.5 million. Family comedy The War with Grandpa came in third with $1 million from 2,365 screens to reach a four-week running total of $11.2 million. Warner Bros.’ Tenet registered its first domestic weekend under $1 million, earning $885k from 1,601 locations. The Christopher Nolan thriller is the top-grossing new release in North America since the pandemic with $53.8 million. The Empty Man rounds out the weekend’s top-grossing new releases in the domestic market with a $56k haul from 2,051 screens in its sophomore frame for a $2.2 cume.

Halloween-themed reissues helped domestic exhibitors pad their programming in the face of limited new studio content. Family favorites like Hocus Pocus ($456k, 1,130 screens), The Nightmare Before Christmas ($386k, 1,222 screens), and Monsters, Inc. ($232k, 1,237 screens) all broke into the bottom half of this weekend’s domestic top ten chart. Event cinema engagements of John Carpenter’s 1978 horror classic Halloween, distributed by CineLife Entertainment/Compass International Pictures, brought in an estimated $274k from 781 screens over the weekend.

OVERSEAS

Strong results continue in Asia where domestic titles have already succeeded in markets like China, Japan, and South Korea. Chinese title The Sacrifice led its home market once again, grossing an estimated $29 million in its sophomore frame to hit a $107 million cume in China. IMAX receipts represent approximately 5.5% of the film’s total earnings in China.

Warner Bros.’ The Witches, which bypassed a domestic theatrical release in favor of a roll-out through streaming platform HBOMax, opened to $4.8 million from 17 overseas markets. Russia leads the pack with $1.6 million from 2,062 screens, followed by Mexico ($823k, 2,227 screens), Germany ($482k, 345 screens), Saudi Arabia ($466k, 30 screens), and Spain ($390k, 286 screens). The title expands to nine territories next weekend, including Singapore, Taiwan, and Thailand.

Tenet earned $3.3 million from 62 markets over the weekend, including a $277k debut in Brazil (1,000 screens). Top global markets for the title include China ($66.5M), North America ($53.8M), Japan ($24.1M), UK ($22.7M), and France ($22.5M).


Studio Weekend Estimates (Domestic)

FRI, OCT. 30 – SUN, NOV. 1

WIDE (1000+)

# TITLE WEEKEND   LOCATIONS   AVG. TOTAL WKS. DIST.
1 Come Play $3,150,000 2,183 $1,443 $3,150,000 1 Focus Features
2 Honest Thief $1,350,000 -43% 2,360 -142 $572 $9,535,262 3 Open Road Films
3 The War With Grandpa $1,081,416 -43% 2,365 20 $457 $11,289,621 4 101 Studios
4 Tenet $885,000 -32% 1,601 -200 $553 $53,800,000 9 Warner Bros.
5 The Empty Man $561,000 -57% 2,051 24 $274 $2,268,677 2 20th Century Studios
6 Hocus Pocus (2020 re-issue) $456,000 -14% 1,130 -147 $404 $4,828,000 5 Walt Disney Pictures
7 Nightmare Before Christmas (2020 re-issue) $386,000 -33% 1,222 -392 $316 $2,542,000 3 Disney / Touchstone Pictures
8 Monsters, Inc. (2020 re-release) $232,000 -53% 1,237 -638 $188 $726,000 2  
9 Alita: Battle Angel (2020 re-release) $128,000 1,060 $121 $128,000 1  

LIMITED (100 — 999)

# TITLE WEEKEND   LOCATIONS   AVG. TOTAL WKS. DIST.
1 Halloween (2020 re-release) $274,912 781 $352 $675,000 1 CineLife Entertainment
2 Spell $210,000 369 $569 $210,000 1 Paramount Pictures
3 The New Mutants $145,000 -49% 552 -278 $263 $23,390,160 10 20th Century Studios
4 2 Hearts $105,000 -67% 894 -784 $117 $1,187,797 3 Freestyle Releasing
5 After We Collided $100,000 -76% 546 86 $183 $2,241,955 2 Open Road
6 Love and Monsters $95,000 -56% 248 -132 $383 $740,598 3 Paramount Pictures

PLATFORM (1 — 99)

# TITLE WEEKEND   LOCATIONS   AVG. TOTAL WKS. DIST.
1 Mandy (2020 re-release) $19,169 29 $661 $19,169 1 RLJE Films
2 Possessor Uncut $12,859 -54% 88 -16 $146 $745,796 5 NEON
3 Infidel $9,100 -68% 69 -123 $132 $4,043,300 7 Cloudburst Entertainment
4 The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run $9,000 -71% 88 -6 $102 $4,776,842 12 Paramount
5 Twiceborn $159 -94% 3 -7 $53 $10,418 3 Freestyle Releasing

News Stories