WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: Let Him Go Debuts in First Place, Come Play Falls to No. 2

Diane Lane (left) stars as “Margaret Blackledge” and Kevin Costner (right) stars as “George Blackledge” in director Thomas Bezucha’s LET HIM GO, a Focus Features release. Credit : Kimberley French / Focus Features

Last weekend, Focus Features had the No. 1 film in North America with horror newbie Come Play, which opened to $3.15 million over the Halloween frame. This weekend, the studio enjoyed its second No. 1 film in a row with Let Him Go, which debuted to an estimated $4.1 million on 2,454 screens. That was more or less in the ballpark (or perhaps slightly ahead) of expectations going into the weekend.

The Kevin Costner-Diane Lane-Lesley Manville thriller’s solid (under the circumstances) debut came amid a continued surge in COVID-19 infections across the U.S., which have now topped 120,000 new daily cases three days running, and a darkening picture in Europe, where many major markets have now shuttered theaters at least into December.

Like all major domestic releases these days, Let Him Go benefitted from a shortage of new product in the theatrical marketplace. For Focus, the film’s ascension marks the first time the specialty studio has enjoyed back-to-back weekend No. 1s in its 18-year history. The film also boasted the highest weekend gross in North America since Sept. 18-20, when Tenet took in $4.7 million in its third frame.

Let Him Go’s top-grossing DMAs were Dallas, Phoenix, and Houston, while the film’s audience predictably skewed older (66% of ticket buyers were over 35) and (slightly) female, which made up 52% of the opening weekend audience.

Let Him Go – Top DMAs – Opening Weekend

Rank DMA % DBO LOCS PTA
1 Dallas 5.5% 64 1,797
2 Phoenix 3.8% 38 2,092
3 Houston 3.4% 45 1,687
4 Los Angeles 3.1% 21 2,810
5 Salt Lake City 2.4% 44 1,301
6 Austin 1.8% 22 1,974
7 SF 1.8% 30 1,260
8 New York 1.8% 44 792
9 San Antonio 1.7% 19 2,223
10 Sacramento 1.7% 13 3,322

“We’re thrilled to have our second film open at No.1 in back-to-back weekends and equally excited to see audiences coming back to theaters to watch the caliber of storytelling from Kevin, Diane, and Lesley on the big screen,” said Focus president of distribution Lisa Bunnell in a statement.

Come Play fell to second place in its sophomore frame with an estimated $1.71 million from 2,213 screens, bringing its total to $5.64 million after 10 days of release. Overseas, the film scored $609k from nine markets, including openings in Lebanon, EUA, Qatar, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq. Its international total now stands at $1.36 million from 15 markets (some of which closed last week following the installment of new COVID-related restrictions).

Closely behind in third place was 101 Studios’ The War With Grandpa, which lost 17 screens but nonetheless improved upon last weekend’s performance with an estimated $1.51 million from 2,348 screens, a gain of 19%. The Robert De Niro comedy now has $13.42 million in North America.

Open Road’s Honest Thief held well in its fourth weekend, bringing in an estimated $1.13 million in fourth place for a domestic total of $11.16 million. In fifth place was Warner Bros.’ Tenet, which brought in $959k from 1,412 locations for a total of $55.1 million in North America.

Debuting just outside the top five was Disney’s 25th-anniversary re-release of the original Toy Story, which brought in an estimated $505k from 2,102 locations.

OVERSEAS

Warner Bros.’ The Witches, which went straight to HBO Max in North America, grossed an estimated $3.5 million overseas from 26 international markets, including debuts in Taiwan and Thailand. Top-grossing markets this weekend included Russia ($3.3 million), Mexico ($1.7 million), and Saudi Arabia ($959k).

Tenet brought in $2.1 million from 62 markets, bringing its international tally to $295.6 million and its global total to $350.8 million. The Christopher Nolan title has yet to open in 16 markets, including Argentina, India, Indonesia and the Philippines.

Domestic Box Office Weekend Estimates: November 6 – 8, 2020

TITLE WEEKEND LOCATIONS AVG. TOTAL WKS. DIST.
Let Him Go $4,100,000 2454 $1,671 $4,100,000 1 Focus Features
Come Play $1,730,000 2213 $782 $5,662,000 2 Focus Features
The War with Grandpa $1,512,656 2348 $644 $13,415,265 5 101 Studios
Honest Thief $1,125,000 2217 $507 $11,161,562 4 Open Road
Tenet $905,000 1412 $641 $55,100,000 10 Warner Bros.
Toy Story (Re-Issue) $505,000 2102 $240 $505,000 Re-Issue Disney
True to the Game $290,000 247 $1,174 $290,000 1 Faith Media Distribution
The Empty Man $277,000 1243 $223 $2,724,477 3 20th Century Studios
Spell $150,000 368 $408 $405,000 2 Paramount
The Informer $143,000 283 $505 $143,000 1 Vertical Entertainment
The New Mutants $110,000 327 $336 $23,567,399 11 20th Century Studios
Love and Monsters $100,000 177 $565 $920,000 4 Paramount
The Dark and the Wicked $65,000 68 $956 $65,000 1 RLJ Entertainment
After We Collided $62,000 345 $180 $2,345,626 3 Open Road
2 Hearts $61,000 379 $161 $1,301,374 4 Freestyle Releasing
The Call $16,131 53 $304 $504,152 6 Atlas Distribution
Twiceborn $236 1 $236 $10,826 4 Freestyle Releasing

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