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411 Box Office Report: Old Claims #1 With $16.5 Million As Snake Eyes Bombs

July 25, 2021 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas

It was a rough weekend at the box office for G.I. Joe, as Old claimed the top spot while Snake Eyes fell completely flat. Old took #1 with a $16.5 million start, performing at the low end of its expectations. That number is well below the $40.3 million start of M. Night Shyamalan’s last two films in Glass and Split, as well as the $25.4 million opening for his 2015 thriller The Visit. In fact, it is the lowest start for of all of Shyamalan’s directorial efforts, coming in slightly below the $18 million opening of Lady in the Water 15 years ago.

In fairness, Old was never expected to hit Glass heights, or even those of The Visit. The film about a family who winds up on a beach where everyone begins to age rapidly was a more modest effort with a less marketable cast than most of the director’s movies. Still, an opening closer to $20 million was what Universal Pictures was hoping for. Instead, the film had an opening that matched its meh reviews, which currently stand at a 52% aggregate score on Rotten Tomatoes. Shyamalan’s films have tended to rely either on star power or positive buzz, and Old had neither. The lackluster word of mouth won’t help; audiences gave the film a C+ CinemaScore which is the director’s worst score since The Last Airbender earned a C.

While all of that is bad news for the film, there is some good news. For one, Shyamalan’s films tend to do well overseas, and it got off to an okay $6.5 million international start for a $23 million worldwide opening weekend. Second, this one didn’t cost too much at an $18 million budget. That means that Universal is sure to see some profit here. The movie is likely to hit at least $45 million in the US, and international grosses will pull it further ahead. So while it may be slightly disappointing, it’s not a failure by any financial measure.

The same can’t be said of Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins which was D.O.A. with a $13.4 million opening. That’s horrible for a film that was projected to do in the mid to high $20 million range and perhaps higher. And to be frank, even a $25 million start would have been bad for a film that cost a reported $110 million plus marketing. The reasons for Snake Eyes’ failure are myriad; you can blame the poor reviews (42% on RT), the low word of mouth for an action blockbuster (B- CinemaScore), and the tepid reaction to the trailers and other promotional material. You can even blame the spike in the COVID Delta variant, which would appear to have some impact as the box office was down across the board. (Worth noting: both Old and Snake Eyes were exclusively theatrical releases.)

But key here is the fact that no one really has a desire for a G.I. Joe franchise reboot, and that includes this prequel. The franchise based on the action figures has never been huge business, but even the poorly reviewed G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra pulled in $54.7 million in its opening weekend in 2009. And while the sequel G.I. Joe: Retaliation opened lower, it had longer legs and grossed $375.7 million worldwide. Don’t expect much in the way of legs for this film, nor will international save it. In 37 markets overseas, it pulled in just $4 million for a $17.4 million worldwide start. This film will probably be lucky to hit $40 million domestically by the end of its run, and Paramount will be taking a big write-down on it.

Black Widow stabilized this weekend after last weekend’s fall. The MCU film brought in $11.6 million, down a much more reasonable 55% in its third weekend than the 67% second-weekend drop. The action film is now at $154.8 million domestically and $314.9 million worldwide, doing decently against its $200 million budget. Widow also has Disney+ Premier Access money coming in and it will obviously be a hit by the time its box office run is done. It should be targeting $180 million to $190 million domestically, and the international numbers will jump when China opens itself back up for outside films.

Space Jam: A New Legacy saw Black Widow’s drop last weekend and said “hold by beer.” The live-action/CGI hybrid sequel took in $9.6 million, tumbling 69% in its second frame. That’s not good, but it does fall in line with Widow as well as the F9 second weekend drop of 67% in its second weekend. Some are suggesting that this means whether a film is on streaming or not, the bulk of those who are going to the theaters to see big movies are doing so in the first weekend. Further films will have to bear that data out, though it is notable that overall box office legs have been strong since reopening even when some films drop hard in their second frame.

For Space Jam, this news isn’t good. The movie cost $150 million and the drop means it’s now at $51.4 million domestically, with $94 million worldwide. While as mentioned last week this franchise is here in big part for the licensing value, Warner Bros. does want the theatrical totals to be good and these aren’t great. At this point the movie looks likely to close out its domestic run at around $85 million or so, and will need a boost in overseas numbers to be profitable even if you do count some revenue from HBO Max in.

F9: The Fast Saga dropped 40% to $4.6 million in its fifth weekend. The ninth film in the Fast & Furious franchise now stands at $163.3 million domestically and is the first Hollywood blockbuster since the pandemic hit to gross $600 million-plus worldwide, with the total sitting at $621.1 million. F9 is delivering quite well and should end its domestic theatrical run at around $180 million. It cost $200 million in production budget.

Escape Room: Tournament of Champions also fell hard in its second weekend, down 61% to $3.4 million. The horror sequel is now at $16 million domestically and $24 million worldwide, fine numbers against a $15 million budget. Tournament of Champions should close out around $25 million domestically and international grosses will help make it a winner for Sony/Columbia.

The Boss Baby: Family Business was down 43% in its fourth weekend to $2.7 million. The animated family sequel is now at $50.1 million domestically $61.2 million overseas. It still has a long way to go to meet its $82 million production budget and will need international money to do it, as domestically it should end its run around $60 million.

The Forever Purge was down 44% in its fourth weekend to $2.3 million. The fifth film in the Purge franchise now stands at $40.3 million domestically and $57.5 million worldwide, delivering as needed against an $18 million budget. In the US it should be able to top $47 million and could conceivably hit $50 million, making it a profit for Universal.

A Quiet Place Part II finally took a hit, down 44% in its ninth weekend with $1.3 million. The horror sequel has already made its money in theaters and is now driving subscriptions for Paramount+. It has grossed $157.5 million in the States and $263.5 million worldwide, excellent numbers against a $61 million budge. It should end off at around $165 million domestically.

The documentary Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain held onto a top 10 spot in its second weekend. The Morgan Neville-directed scored $830,000, down 58% from last weekend. It now has $3.7 million and is making a case for independent film making still having strength at the box office. No word on its budget, but it is almost certainly profitable for CNN Films and Focus Features.

Next weekend sees a trio of films arriving, with Jungle Cruise likely to lead the weekend. The Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson/Emily Blunt film is targeting a $25 million to $30 million opening, while the Matt Damon-led crime drama Stillwater is aiming for a high single digits start. A24’s buzzy Arthurian film The Green Knight could open at any point depending on its theater count, but considering the studio’s usual releases a mid-single digits start would fit if it goes wide.

BOX OFFICE TOP TEN (Three-Day Domestic Numbers)
1. Old – $16.5 million ($16.5 million total)
2. Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins – $13.4 million ($13.4 million total)
3. Black Widow – $11.6 million ($154.8 million total)
4. Space Jam: A New Legacy – $9.6 million ($51.4 million total)
5. F9: The Fast Saga – $4.6 million ($163.3 million total)
6. Escape Room: Tournament of Champions – $3.4 million ($16 million total)
7. The Boss Baby: Family Business – $2.7 million ($50.1 million total)
8. The Forever Purge – $2.3 million ($40.3 million total)
9. A Quiet Place Part II – $1.3 million ($157.5 million total)
10. Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain – $830,000 ($3.7 million total)

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Box Office, Old, Snake Eyes, Jeremy Thomas