The early-to-mid December period is living down to sour expectations as the pandemic continues to tie the hands of cinema owners. Most studios are intentionally sitting out another weekend when it comes to new releases of any kind, which will guarantee Universal’s The Croods: A New Age a third weekend crown in a marketplace with less than 40 percent of theaters open in North America.
The animated sequel has thus far tallied over $21 million domestically through the end of Wednesday, its 15th day in release, surpassing Unhinged‘s $20.83 million domestic haul to become the third highest box office performer in North American during the pandemic-impacted era. Only The New Mutants ($23.83 million through Wednesday) and Tenet ($57.6 million through last Sunday) have achieved more so far.
Croods will easily surpass the former two of those comps in the long run, and likely by the end of this weekend. Tenet is likely out of reach, though (especially considering Universal’s plan for a PVOD release of A New Age on December 18).
This weekend will at least still see the limited release of Bleecker Street’s Wild Mountain Thyme in an estimated 450 locations, though, providing cinemas that are able to remain open at the moment with fresh content. Lionsgate is also opening Wander Darkly, but an official location count hasn’t been reported. Both films will simultaneously release for on-demand streaming this weekend.
Meanwhile, Netflix’s The Midnight Sky is also getting a limited release in an undisclosed number of locations. The George Clooney-led film currently ranks 11th among the top booked shows by exhibitors for the coming week, according to The Boxoffice Company’s Showtimes Dashboard.
On the re-release front, Warner Bros. will put the original 2017 Wonder Woman in a projected 900-plus locations, while New Line Cinema’s Elf will expand again in its fifth frame. The latter played in 550 locations last weekend and looks to add at least 200 more venues on Friday as it continues to draw respectable business (relatively speaking).
Exhibitors will be thankful next weekend when the first mainstream title from a major studio since the Croods sequel over Thanksgiving will arrive. Sony announced earlier this week that it’s moving forward Monster Hunter, a video game adaptation starring Milla Jovovich, by one week to a December 18 wide release — including an IMAX run. Lionsgate will also distribute the Hilary Swank-led thriller Fatale on the same date.
All of this, of course, leads up to Wonder Woman 1984‘s highly-publicized day-and-date release on Christmas Day (December 25), alongside Universal’s News of the World, Roadside Attractions’ Pinocchio, and Focus Features’ Promising Young Woman — all on the same day as the DC sequel.
|Film||Distributor||3-Day Weekend Forecast||Projected Domestic Total through Sunday, December 13||% Change from Last Wknd|
|The Croods: A New Age||Universal Pictures||$2,900,000||$24,100,000||-35%|
|Half Brothers||Focus Features||$380,000||$1,250,000||-46%|
|Elf (2020 Re-Issue)||New Line Cinema (Warner Bros.)||$275,000||$1,460,000||-14%|
|The War with Grandpa||101 Studios||$230,000||$17,900,000||-27%|
|All My Life||Universal Pictures||$220,000||$700,000||-41%|
|Wonder Woman (2020 Re-Issue)||Warner Bros. Studios||$175,000||$175,000||NEW|
|Come Play||Focus Features||$160,000||$9,200,000||-30%|
|Wild Mountain Thyme||Bleecker Street||$140,000||$140,000||NEW|
|Tenet||Warner Bros. Studios||$130,000||$57,800,000||-28%|
All forecasts subject to change before the first confirmation of weekend estimates from studios or alternative sources.
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