Weekend Box Office Report
From Way Downton
Last weekend, STX Entertainment scored their largest opening weekend ever with "Hustlers." This weekend, the good news keeps on rolling for smaller distributors, as Focus Features just scored its largest opening ever and just its second box office winner in its 19 year history with "Downton Abbey." The continuation of the Masterpiece Theater mega-hit was a difficult movie for tracking to pinpoint, with comps few and far between and an audience you don't normally see make itself known on social media. As a result, "Downton Abbey" smashed the $20-25M expectations it had entering the weekend, but FML Pricing would not be fooled again after "Hustlers," leading to a mid-pack $/Bux finish for "Downton Abbey" that didn't translate to Perfect Cineplex inclusion.
While "Downton Abbey" ate up the majority of the headlines this weekend, "Ad Astra" proved to be the new release FML was abuzz over. The sci fi thriller starring Brad Pitt had failed to generate any palpable buzz in pre-release tracking, but with an IMAX push and strong reviews, "Ad Astra" had upside from its $15M projections. Coupled with favorable pricing, "Ad Astra" was the most used movie in FML this weekend and anchored six of the seven most played lineups in the FML League, including the Most Played Cineplex of "Ad Astra" x4/Double Feature x1/"Dora & The Lost City of Gold" x3, which was played by 339 players. However, was it enough to take the PC? Not quite, as you always have to watch out for the bottom of the slate.
Early estimates had the MPC in the driver seat, but "Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark" was lurking thanks to a slightly better than expected hold in the amount of theaters it was in. Despite being out for seven weeks, "Scary Stories" has kept its niche audience to itself for its entire run, resulting in a solid 44% drop to $955,498. That was good for $86,863/Bux and a close win over "Ad Astra" for the BP. That gave us a PC of "Ad Astra" x4/Double Feature x1/"Scary Stories" x3, which grossed $95,140,839 after including $11M in bonuses. Well done to the 15 players who nabbed the PC this weekend!
Messin' With Sasquatch
With the much-anticipated release of "Joker" next weekend, few challengers are lining up this weekend to head-to-head with it, save DreamWork's "Abominable." Somehow our third Yeti movie in the last year or so, "Abominable" looks to be the highest opener of the group, outdoing last year's "Smallfoot." Set your lineups by Friday Noon Eastern/9AM Pacific and we'll see you here next week!