October comes to a close this weekend with one wide opener and several notable expansions contending for the top ten, but the frame will again belong to Dwayne Johnson and Warner Bros./DC’s Black Adam.
Hot off a $67 million domestic and $140 million global box office bow, Adam will go relatively unchallenged in its second frame as it retains a full premium screen footprint and looks to build on a very encouraging 90 percent audience score.
Not unlike the Venom films of recent Octobers, this comic book adaptation is winning over general audiences and so far proving the critics’ score mostly irrelevant toward commercial potential. Staying power looks to be respectable over the course of its first few weekends before Black Panther: Wakanda Forever arrives on November 11.
If anything were to dampen the second weekend hold, it could be the timing of Halloween. This is the first time the holiday has landed on a Monday in six years, and audience habits might not necessarily be the exact same as they were back then.
Such context is important to keep in mind with not just Black Adam, but all other films in the market as celebrators of all ages may be planning Halloween parties and other festivities over the weekend since Monday is a school and work day.
Lionsgate will look to capitalize on the peak of Halloween season, though, with Prey for the Devil opening at an estimated 2,900 locations. The PG-13 religious horror pic could sneakily draw teenagers and young adults ahead of Monday’s holiday despite tracking that has been somewhat soft to date.
Part of that is because of the amount of competition for horror fans in theaters right now. While there isn’t a behemoth-level grosser on the level of past genre films like the It franchise in 2017 and 2019, Paramount’s Smile remains a formidable opponent that also stands to benefit from its sustained word of mouth going into Halloween.
Tracking and pre-sales for Prey also may not wholly figure in potential back-loading if horror fans and teens opt more for a Friday night, Saturday, or early Sunday showing in advance of the spooky Monday holiday. Such behavior could skew traditional box office patterns for this type of release.
Not to be forgotten, of course, are Universal’s hybrid release of Halloween Ends and Cinedigm Entertainment’s grassroots sensation, Terrifier 2. The latter expands to a studio-projected 1,537 locations this weekend after what has already been an unexpectedly strong sleeper run.
Holdover-wise, look for Ticket to Paradise to begin legging out on its own 89 percent audience score after a healthy counter-programming debut of $16.5 million against the DC pic last weekend.
Meanwhile, one of the most notable weekends of the theatrical recovery era for prestige films is on deck as MGM & UAR’s Till goes wide at 2,000-plus theaters this weekend (from 104 last), Focus Features’ Tár reaches an estimated 1,000 from 141 a weekend ago, and Searchlight Pictures’ The Banshees of Inisherin‘s second frame extends its platform release from 4 to 50 venues.
Additionally, Focus Features will release Armageddon Time in platform style at 7 theaters this weekend.
In general, prestige titles have not yet fully recovered to pre-pandemic-like performances, so there is some conservatism behind forecasts for a relative handful of them occurring at the same time this weekend. Still, the platform and limited earnings from this crop so far have indicated that positive steps forward are being taken compared to how similar films played out in the market one year ago.
Roadside Attractions is also in on the frame with Call Jane going at an estimated 1,000 venues, though we are not offering forecasts for that film at this time.
Prey for the Devil
Opening Range: $5 – 10 million
Weekend Forecast & Location Count Projections
Current projection ranges call for a 32 to 37 percent decrease from last weekend’s $110.2 million top ten aggregate.
|Film||Distributor||3-Day Weekend Forecast||Projected Domestic Total through Sunday, October 30||Location Count Projection (as of Wed)||3-Day % Change from Last Wknd|
|Black Adam||Warner Bros. Pictures||$30,400,000||$113,400,000||~4,402||-55%|
|Ticket to Paradise||Universal Pictures||$10,100,000||$32,600,000||~3,543||-39%|
|Prey for the Devil||Lionsgate||$7,800,000||$7,800,000||~2,900||NEW|
|Halloween Ends||Universal Pictures||$4,400,000||$60,900,000||~3,300||-45%|
|Till||MGM & United Artists Releasing||$3,900,000||$4,700,000||~2,000||+982%|
|Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile||Sony / Columbia Pictures||$3,000,000||$33,000,000||~3,000||-30%|
|Terrifier 2||Cinedigm Entertainment Group||$2,400,000||$8,200,000||1,537||+37%|
|The Woman King||Sony Pictures||$1,300,000||$64,800,000||~1,400||-31%|
*All forecasts are subject to revision before the first confirmation of Thursday previews or Friday estimates from studios or official sources.
Theater counts are unofficial projections if presented with “~”.
The above table does not necessarily represent the top ten as some studios do not finalize weekend location counts and/or an intent to report box office returns prior to publishing.