The weekend box office has thrown up a few surprises this time around. Universal and Blumhouse’s Five Nights at Freddy’s is the big winner. It grabbed an $80 million haul at the domestic box office against a $20 million budget. This means it is a huge commercial success.
It also ties with Marvel Studios’ Black Widow for the biggest opening weekend for a day-and-date streaming release. Five Nights at Freddy’s was released on the same day on the Peacock streaming service at no extra charge to monthly subscribers on the Premium tier. NBCUniversal has indicated the film has been the most-watched and biggest subscription driver to its Peacock platform since it was released.
Critics hate it, but audiences seem to love it with an A- CinemaScore in exit polls and another $52 million at the international box office, taking the total to $132 million.
Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour concert film passed the $200 million mark at the worldwide box office this weekend, a first for a concert film, and earned a further $14.7 million domestically in its third weekend in second place coming at the same time as the news that Taylor Swift has now passed into the ranks of billionaire.
Unfortunately, there is bad news for Martin Scorsese. Killers of the Flower Moon is a flop. A critical darling and an A- CinemaScore can’t help it. Audiences seem to know it is coming to streaming soon and is the longest of long movies in an era of long movies. So they are voting to catch it at home, if at all.
In its second weekend, a steeper-than-expected 61% fall means a $9 million domestic haul. With $40 million domestically and $88 million worldwide, the ten-day take is well below where it needs to be for a movie with a $200 million budget.
Christian documentary After Death opened in fourth this weekend with $5.9 million. Exorcist: The Believer is making money. Its budget was only $30 million so a $59.5 million domestic total will see that movie into profit.
John Cena-led action comedy Freelance has received practically no marketing or buzz, and that was felt in its $2.1 million debut in seventh place. Lionsgate’s Expend4bles fell out of the top ten and the totals of just over $50 million mean the $100 million budget is placing it in loss territory.
The emerging story of this period seems to be that movies with sub-$75 million budgets can still turn a nice profit for studios. We may be about to see the runaway budgets of recent years being reigned in as studios wake up to the realization that the problem is mainly with their out-of-control costs.
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