Scream ended the four-week reign of Spider-Man: No Way Home atop the box office over MLK weekend, but could the post-holiday frame provide a much closer race between the two?
Through Wednesday, the horror franchise revival has amassed a healthy $37.5 million in its first 6 days at the box office. Some front-loading was apparent over opening weekend with an expected 24 percent drop from Thursday and Friday’s combined grosses to Saturday business. That’s a factor to keep in mind with projections for its second frame.
Still, Scream is already on course to exceed the final $38.2 million domestic gross of 2011’s Scream 4 before Friday, and a retention of many PLF screens in its sophomore frame — alongside minimal competition and positive word of mouth — should bode well for holding power.
The aforementioned 2011 predecessor slid more than 62 percent in its second weekend eleven years ago, when Easter landed at the time. A similar drop is reasonable to expect here given daily trends and the inflated weekend debut, but time will tell.
Among more recent horror releases, Halloween Kills sank over 70 percent in its sophomore frame (without any holiday boost), although its box office performance was also dented by poorer audience reception than Scream, a simultaneous streaming release, and competition from Dune.
Legs have also been the name of the game for No Way Home. The Marvel crossover epic continued its monumental run with another strong hold over the holiday weekend and looks to again provide welcome business for exhibition in its sixth frame.
Spidey will remain in IMAX, although some locations will be splitting showtimes between it and the re-issue of MGM and UAR’s No Time to Die this weekend to begin the 60th anniversary celebrations of the 007 franchise this year. Bond will be at an estimated 200 locations. The studio reports it will not be announcing grosses for the re-issue. (Update: UAR reversed its decision and will be reporting weekend grosses for No Time to Die.)
The latter development could lightly cut in Spidey’s weekend hold given the strength of the IMAX format in box office earnings for the Marvel Cinematic Universe blockbuster, but otherwise, we expect it to gain back much of the ground it lost to Scream one week ago when it comes to the box office charts. No Way Home returned to first place on the daily charts as of Monday (Martin Luther King, Jr. Day), with Scream claiming the top spot on Tuesday and Wednesday.
In terms of Spider-Man‘s place in the domestic history books, it won’t be making any additional moves quite yet after topping Black Panther ($700.4 million) and Avengers: Infinity War ($678.8 million) to claim fourth place all-time last week. By the end of this weekend, No Way Home looks to be knocking on the door of $720 million domestically. Avatar currently owns third place in the record books with $760.5 million.
As new releases go, it will be a fairly quiet weekend (again). At 1,903 locations, Universal’s Redeeming Love should be the standout among two wide openers as pre-sales have been strong in recent weeks thanks to the source novel’s dedicated fan base.
Whether that appeal extends to casual audiences will be tested on a slow weekend at the box office, especially with the target audience representing those most cautious (women over 35) to return to cinemas during the pandemic. Rotten Tomatoes critics’ reviews stand at 13 percent from 15 submissions as of Thursday afternoon.
Meanwhile, Gravitas Ventures will distribute The King’s Daughter at 2,170 locations. Tracking is considerably softer for the period film than for Universal’s romantic drama opening alongside it this weekend. We’re cautious in expectations given minimal marketing footprints and the state of the pandemic market. Reviews register at 20 percent from just five critics as of Thursday.
The Tiger Rising, from The Avenue, also bows this weekend at an estimated 850 locations based on Showtimes Dashboard data. We’re not currently offering forecasts on that title due to limited data and comparisons. It, too, has a low early critics’ score of 17 percent from 6 reviews thus far.
Overall, while sharp drops might typically be expected even from holdovers on a post-holiday weekend (and with NFL playoffs in mind), the lack of new competition entering the market should enable relatively soft declines by many films. The exception to that, other than Scream, should also be Belle, which delivered $1.65 million thanks to the anime property’s fan demand over MLK weekend, including a sharp decline from opening day (down 33 percent on Saturday) Distributor GKIDS has not reported daily grosses since Sunday.
Wide Release Forecast Ranges
The King’s Daughter
Opening Weekend Range: <$1 million
Opening Weekend Range: $2 – 5 million
Boxoffice projects between a 39 to 44 percent decline for this weekend’s top ten films from last weekend’s $68.4 million top ten aggregate.
|Film||Distributor||3-Day Weekend Forecast||Projected Domestic Total through Sunday, January 23||Location Count||3-Day % Change from Last Wknd|
|Scream (2022)||Paramount Pictures||$12,700,000||$51,600,000||3,666||-58%|
|Spider-Man: No Way Home||Sony Pictures / Columbia & Marvel Studios||$12,600,000||$719,600,000||3,705||-37%|
|Sing 2||Universal Pictures||$5,400,000||$128,000,000||3,434||-32%|
|Redeeming Love||Universal Pictures||$2,800,000||$2,800,000||1,903||NEW|
|The King’s Man||Disney / 20th Century Studios||$1,600,000||$31,200,000||2,360||-27%|
|The 355||Universal Pictures||$1,300,000||$10,800,000||2,609||-43%|
|American Underdog||Lionsgate / Kingdom Story Company||$1,100,000||$23,000,000||~2,150||-30%|
|Licorice Pizza||United Artists Releasing||$700,000||$10,800,000||772||-20%|
|West Side Story (2021)||Disney / 20th Century Studios||$675,000||$35,000,000||1,290||-27%|
|The King’s Daughter||Gravitas Ventures||$575,000||$575,000||2,170||NEW|
All forecasts are subject to revision before the first confirmation of Thursday previews or Friday estimates from studios or official sources.
Theater counts are updated as confirmed by studios. 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.
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