Universal’s body swap horror-comedy Freaky failed to break the curse of sub-$5 million openings at the domestic box office this weekend, grossing an estimated $3.7 million from 2,472 theaters – still good enough for No. 1, but considerably less than many industry onlookers had predicted. That middling result came despite a strong marketing push and a healthy social media footprint for the Blumhouse title, whose very on-brand Friday the 13th release date unfortunately coincided with a record-breaking rise in the number of new COVID-19 cases in the U.S.
That widely reported coronavirus spike may have suppressed turnout for Freaky’s opening weekend, even among the target older-teen, twentysomething and thirtysomething demos (63% of the opening weekend audience was in the 18-34 age bracket). It’s notable that Universal pulled out all the stops for the R-rated horror film on social media, with a widely circulated TikTok campaign as well as panels at events like this year’s virtual New York Comic Con. Freaky also scored a great 85% “Certified Fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes, which had further lifted hopes that the film might power its way to a strong opening, at least by pandemic-era standards.
Last weekend’s champ, Focus Features’ Let Him Go, slipped to second place in its sophomore frame with an estimated $1.8 million. The Kevin Costner-Diane Lane thriller has $7 million in North America after 10 days of release.
101 Studios’ The War With Grandpa continued its leggy run this weekend with an estimated $1.33 million from 2,145 screens in its sixth frame, a drop of just 12% from last weekend. The Robert De Niro comedy, which finished the weekend in third place, now boasts a total of $15.23 million in North America, making it one of the stronger theatrical performers to drop since hard top theaters began to reopen this summer.
In fourth place was the horror film Come Play, which grossed an estimated $1.1 million in its third weekend. The Focus Features release has $7.3 million to date.
Honest Thief slipped to fifth place in its fifth weekend of release with an estimated $800k. The Open Road title now has $12.38 million to date.
Outside the top five, Disney’s re-release of Guardians of the Galaxy opened to an estimated $406k from 1,560 theaters, giving the Marvel blockbuster a per-screen average of $260. On the Pixar front, the studio’s re-release of Toy Story grossed an estimated $222k in its sophomore frame.
The weekend also saw a crop of limited releases hit theaters. First up was Relativity Media’s Alice in Wonderland-Peter Pan mashup Come Away, which brought in a mild $108k from 475 screens. The fantasy title is notably the first release from Relativity under its new management, UltraV Holdings.
On the specialty front, Sony Classics released the well-reviewed indie dramedy The Climb on 408 screens and brought in just under $104k, while Neon opened the Kate Winslet-Saoirse Ronan drama Ammonite on 280 screens, where it grossed $85k.
North America’s No. 1 film Freaky grossed an additional $1.9 million from 20 territories including Australia, Russia and Mexico, bringing its global opening cume to $5.6 million.
Warner Bros.’ The Witches, which went straight to HBO Max in the U.S., brought in an estimated $1.8 million from 21 territories, lifting its overseas cume to $13.2 million. The Robert Zemeckis remake opens in Brazil on Nov. 19.
Finally, Tenet grossed an estimated $1.7 million in 53 territories this weekend, bringing its international total to $297.2 million and its global cume to $353.5 million.
Studio Weekend Estimates (Domestic)
FRI, NOV. 13 – SUN, NOV. 15
|2||Let Him Go||$1,800,000||-55%||2,458||4||$732||$6,887,465||2||Focus Features|
|3||The War With Grandpa||$1,326,303||-12%||2,145||-203||$618||$15,229,006||6||101 Studios|
|4||Come Play||$1,100,000||-39%||1,966||-247||$560||$7,316,540||3||Focus Features|
|5||Honest Thief||$800,000||-30%||1,843||-374||$434||$12,382,126||5||Open Road Films|
|7||Guardians of the Galaxy (2020 re-release)||$406,000||—||1,560||—||$260||$406,000||1||Disney|
|8||Toy Story (2020 re-release)||$222,000||-56%||1,360||-742||$163||$727,000||2||Walt Disney Pictures|
|1||True to the Game 2||$330,000||14%||281||34||$1,174||$700,000||2||Faith Media Distribution|
|2||Come Away||$108,000||—||475||—||$227||$118,236||1||Relativity Media|
|4||The Climb||$103,572||—||408||—||$254||$103,572||1||Sony Pictures Classics|
|6||The Empty Man||$81,000||-72%||506||-737||$160||$2,921,887||4||20th Century Studios|
|7||The New Mutants||$80,000||-37%||215||-112||$372||$23,736,495||12||20th Century Studios|
|8||Love and Monsters||$61,000||-43%||129||-48||$473||$1,032,585||5||Paramount Pictures|
|10||2 Hearts||$18,000||-68%||148||-231||$122||$1,337,751||5||Freestyle Releasing|
|11||After We Collided||$17,000||-72%||141||-204||$121||$2,377,465||4||Open Road|
|1||The Dark and the Wicked||$32,604||-50%||31||-37||$1,052||$110,865||2||RLJE Films|
|2||Coded Bias||$10,236||—||1||—||$10,236||$10,236||1||7th Empire Media|