Weekend Box Office Report

Phil Crone

No major surprises at the top of the box office as "Abominable" takes advantage of a wide open family movie market to score No. 1 at the box office, grossing $20,612,100. Unfortunately, no one at DreamWorks is going to be writing home about that opening weekend, as it marks the lowest DreamWorks opening since 2006's "Flushed Away," which also happened to be 24 movies ago. Coupled with a production budget of $75M, "Abominable" will need to make hay across the Pacific; "Abominable's" story is based in China, and the film is a co-production with their former subsidiary in China, Pearl Studio.

A Star is Reborn

Consensus was largely difficult to find with FML other than one movie, which appeared in many most played lineups this weekend. That was the other new release for the weekend, "Judy." Based on the life of Judy Garland, the film is garnering awards buzz for star Renee Zellweger, making it one of the first "awards checklist" movies to hit theaters so far this year. Helping its cause was its theater count, which ballooned from an assumed 300 or so up to 461 by the weekend. Pricing was flummoxed early in the week, pricing "Judy" to need about $1.5M to run away with the Best Performer bonus. "Judy" ended up shattering that ceiling with an opening weekend of $2,910,160, which was good for $111,912/Bux and a resounding BP win by over $30k/Bux.

However, one could not live on "Judy" alone, and nailing the proper anchor this weekend was just as crucial has BP given that "Judy" cost just $15 in your lineup. The most popular option was "Ad Astra" x4/"Judy" x4, which was played by 310 FMLers. However, "Ad Astra" did not manage to finish in third place, where pricing had set it to finish, booting it out of your Perfect Cineplex in favor of another anchor.

Hustling Pays Off

Anchor options this weekend proved to be a battle of attrition with your winner surviving above thriving. The bottom three finishers in $/Bux this weekend also happened to be your three highest-priced movies, as "Abominable" opened well below expectations and both "Downton Abbey" and "ad Astra" fell harder than most adult fare does this time of year. "Hustlers" was never in a serious BP discussion, but at a solid seventh in $/Bux value all things considered was all it needed to take the first four slots of the PC along with four screens of "Judy." 64 FMLers were wise enough to have "Hustlers" outgrossing "Ad Astra," and they reaped the reward of a PC that earned $70,197,664 after including $13M in bonuses.

Send in More Clowns

Like in years past, October will be kicking off with a bang, this time with the much-anticipated "Joker." An origin story for the iconic villain, "Joker" is not part of the DC Extended Universe, but rather a new venture known as "DC Black," which will be more contained one-offs inspired by DC Characters. Which… I'm actually excited about. After keeping up with Marvel for a decade plus now, it'll be nice to just see a comic book movie have a start, middle, and end, ya know? Given the projected $85-105M opening BoxOffice.com is publishing, "Joker" will be available as a daily split in FML this week. Set your lineups by Friday Noon Eastern/9 AM Pacific and we'll see you here next week!