Super Bowl weekend is traditionally a deflated one (no pun intended) at the box office, a frame that regularly sees sharp drops and only toss-away new releases from studios looking to counter-program — or simply release a film they aren’t high on in a corridor with minimal competition.
To some extent, that trend will apply this year as the theatrical market remains stricken by the ongoing pandemic.
Warner Bros. should easily remain atop the box office with The Little Things in its second weekend, coming of a $4.7 million debut one week ago. Although a far cry short of what the film could have achieved in a normal marketplace (and without a simultaneous streaming release to HBO Max subscribers), the film courted the best R-rated opening weekend of any film during the pandemic era.
As with Tenet and Wonder Woman 1984, the studio isn’t reporting daily box office figures for Little Things, so there isn’t much indication yet of how word of mouth is impacting post-opening box office returns. Although it faces no new competition this weekend, Sunday should be expected to see a big decline for the adult male-leaning thriller.
Meanwhile, The Croods: A New Age is in position to retain the second place spot yet again after climbing past Wonder Woman 1984 two weeks ago. The animated film, in its 11th weekend of theatrical play, continues to represent a small beacon of success for theaters open during this time as families are still turning out to see it where safe and able to do so. The movie has been available on PVOD since mid-December.
In fact, the Croods sequel could feasibly be on its way to remaining the second highest grossing domestic release of the pandemic so far until more high profile content arrives in March. With $43.9 million earned through last Sunday, it remains ahead of Wonder Woman 1984‘s $39.2 million haul through the same point. Although the latter has played for fewer weeks, the superhero sequel earned over $500K less than A New Age last weekend and looks to again trail the film during Super Bowl weekend.
In general, we’ve seen exceptional holds for most films on a weekly basis during the pandemic. While audience traffic is far from normal, the appeal of moviegoing remains demonstrable. The Super Bowl will undoubtedly put a bigger dent in weekend grosses than we’re accustomed to seeing these days, but it’s possible the average declines won’t be as sharp as they historically are on this sporting weekend.
Notably, family- and female-driven titles should see modest drops in comparison to films such as Little Things, The Marksman, Monster Hunter, and News of the World. Sundays in the pandemic have already hosted lower foot traffic than usual due to theaters eliminating early and late shows relative to Saturdays, but the effects of the big game will likely still be felt.
|Film||Distributor||3-Day Weekend Forecast||Projected Domestic Total through Sunday, February 7||Location Count||% Change from Last Wknd|
|The Little Things||Warner Bros. Studios||$2,650,000||$9,150,000||~2,170||-44%|
|The Croods: A New Age||Universal Pictures||$1,550,000||$45,775,000||1,935||-15%|
|Wonder Woman 1984||Warner Bros. Studios||$950,000||$40,750,000||~1,860||-25%|
|The Marksman||Open Road Films / Briarcliff Entertainment||$850,000||$8,950,000||2,018||-32%|
|Monster Hunter||Sony / Columbia||$500,000||$11,800,000||1,467||-32%|
|News of the World||Universal Pictures||$400,000||$10,900,000||1,537||-26%|
|Promising Young Woman||Focus Features||$200,000||$4,650,000||923||-25%|
|The War with Grandpa||101 Studios||$100,000||$19,750,000||530||-29%|
|Our Friend||Gravitas Ventures||$85,000||$565,000||627||-37%|
All forecasts subject to change before the first confirmation of weekend estimates from studios or alternative sources.
Forecasts above do not necessarily represent the top ten, but rather films with the widest theatrical footprint based on studio confirmations entering the weekend.
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