A brutal weather system called Storm Elliott takes the glee out of the holiday movies at the North American box office.
The bomb cyclone has brought freezing temperatures, strong winds, snow and ice to much of the country. Traditionally, the Christmas season is one of the most lucrative times of the year for Hollywood studios and theater owners. This year is an exception, between Storm Elliott and ongoing concerns about COVID-19, the flu and the RSV virus.
A bummer for the year-end box office, Christmas weekend revenues could be down 57 percent from 2019 — before the pandemic hit — and, even more worryingly, 40 percent from 2021. the reason is the fact that Christmas Eve falls on a Saturday and Christmas on a Sunday.) Put another way, studios are already looking forward to next week to make up for lost ground.
20th century and Disneys avatar2 remained #1 on Friday with $19.5 million from 4,202 theaters for a domestic total of $217.2 million. The big-budget tentpole is expected to bring in an $88 million to $90 million Friday-Monday gross. While it’s a strong number, the James Cameron-directed sequel falls a bit more than expected into its second weekend as Mother Nature has her way.
DreamWorks Animation and Universals Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, which opened mid-week, will have no trouble landing at No. 2 with an expected four-day holiday gross of $17.4 million and a six-day opening of $24 million in 4,099 theaters. The family photo was looking to launch in the $30 million to $35 million range.
from Tristar Whitney Houston: I want to dance with someone and Paramount’s Babylon are also struggling. Both films open Friday.
I want to dance with someone grossed an estimated $2 million Friday from 3,625 theaters for a muted four-day gross of $6 million to $8 million (Sony insiders believe that number could run higher). The Whitney Houston biopic earned an A CinemaScore from audiences after rave reviews.
Paramount is packed with stars Babylon, which received a C+ CinemaScore, looks like a major disappointment unless it recovers next week. The movie, which runs north of three o’clock – similar to avatar2 — opened on Friday to $1.5 million from 3,343 theaters for an expected $5 million four-day debut.
At the special checkout, The whale expands to a total of 603 cinemas during Christmas. The A24 movie is expected to make $1.4 million for the four-day weekend.
Among the new offerings, Sarah Polley is praised Women talk open Friday in eight theaters. The MGM and UAR movie, like many other titles, is undoubtedly affected by freezing temperatures in key markets like New York.
Figures will be updated on Sunday.