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411 Box Office Report: Scream VI Sets Franchise Record With $44 Million Start

March 12, 2023 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Scream VI Image Credit: Paramount Pictures

Scream VI powered its way to the top of the box office this weekend, posting the highest opening numbers for the franchise to date. The latest entry in the slasher franchise topped the box office without breaking a sweat, scoring a $44.5 million opening weekend. That tops Scream 3’s $34.7 million total for the best in the franchise to date, and is almost 1.5 times the opening of last year’s Scream which was the fifth entry in the franchise.

Scream VI had a ton of buzz coming into the weekend, but this opening is still an overperformance. Most expected it to do in the $35 million to $40 million range, but it overindexed thanks to strong reviews (a 75% aggregated score on Rotten Tomatoes, on par with the fifth film) and a very strong word of mouth. The film stands at a B+ CinemaScore – very good for the genre, and on par with the highest entries for the franchise – and a 93% audience rating on RT.

Everything is good news here for Paramount Pictures and Spyglass Media Group. While Scream VI had a larger budget than 2022’s Scream ($35 million to 2022’s $24 million), it’s still well on its way to full hit territory. That’s amplified by the international box office, which added $22.6 million in 38 territories for a $67.1 million worldwide start. For comparison, 2022’s Scream opened to $18 million overseas in 50 territories.

The question at this point is not whether Scream VI will be a hit, but how big of a hit it will be. Scream 2022 had a 2.72 multiple, though that was in a weaker month of competition. Scream VI has some big box office competition coming up over the next two weeks, but it still seems like it has a solid potential to do $100 million domestically, which would make it the first to hit that mark since Scream 2. If it can top $103 million it would be the highest domestic-grossing entry in the franchise. Either way, it’s safe to say that Ghostface will probably be back for a seventh go-around.

Creed III weathered the stabs from Scream to gross $27.2 million in its second weekend, down a pretty solid 53%. That is the exact same second-weekend drop as the second film in the Rocky spinoff trilogy, and not far off from the first’s 49%. The Michael B. Jordan-directed film now stands at $101.4 million domestically and $179.4 million worldwide, both great numbers for a $75 million-budgeted film. The film is not far off from Creed’s $109.8 million domestic total or Creed II’s $115.7 million, and it should surpass those with ease before next weekend is done. At this point, it seems a sure thing to hit $150 million domestically and $175 million is not off the table.

Adam Driver’s latest film opened better than expected – but worse than it needed to – as 65 got off to a $10.5 million start. That’s a bit above the high single digits that was being predicted heading into the weekend. The sci-fi action film was largely doomed before audiences ever had a chance to see it, with Sony bumping it around the calendar before finally settling on this weekend.

It didn’t help that 65 is not exactly a beloved film. Critics yawned at it with a 36% RT aggregate score, and audiences were similarly lukewarm on it with a 64% audience score. That didn’t hurt word of mouth too much to be fair, but it didn’t boost it either. And with a $45 million budget, it needed better than this to have a chance at profit.

Don’t look at international numbers to save 65 either. Thus far it has grossed $8.5 million overseas for a $20.8 million worldwide start. It will at best finish around $35 million in the states, and there’s virtually no chance it makes enough in other territories to make up the difference on that budget plus marketing.

Ant-Man & The Wasp: Quantumania stabilized a bit in weekend four, as it was down 45% to $7 million. That brings the MCU film’s totals to $198 million domestically and $447.6 million worldwide. The film will be profitable for Marvel and Disney for sure, but with a $225 million domestic total it is going to be a disappointment for them.

Cocaine Bear continues to deliver the powdered goods, as it was down a solid 44% in its third weekend to $6.2 million. The wild action comedy has now grossed $51.7 million domestically and $65.7 million worldwide, a hit for Universal against $30 million production budget. The film is till well on course to top $60 million in the US, and could go as high as $65 million-plus.

Jesus Revolution is holding on well, down to $5.2 million in its third weekend. That’s a drop of just 39% and brings the faith-based drama to $39.5 million against a $15 million budget. This is a hit for Lionsgate and should be able to hit around $50 million domestically.

The Woody Harrelson-led Champions did middlingly well, getting off to a $5.2 million start. The sports comedy opened right about where it was expected to. The low bar for this comedy is allowing it to meet its goals, though it seems as if it will not be a big performer. The critic reviews were mild at 53% but the audience ratings were good (95% at RT, A CinemaScore), so it could hold on for a week or two, but its domestic total is probably around $15 million. No word on its budget.

Avatar: The Way Of Water’s was off 26% in its 13th weekend with $2.7 million. The sci-fi blockbuster film is now up to $674.7 million domestically – finally surpassing Titanic for the #7 spot on the all-time domestic list – and $2.294 billion worldwide. It is of course a massive hit, and should close out around $680 million domestically.

Demon Slayer: To the Swordsmith Village dropped as expected, down 83% in its second weekend. Anime always takes heavy falls, as it’s a very front-loaded genre. The animated action-adventure now has $14.1 million domestically and $45.3 million worldwide.

Puss In Boots: The Last Wish closed out the top 10 with $1.7 million in its 12th weekend. The animated sequel has now grossed $179.6 million domestically and $461.5 million worldwide, a major hit against a $90 million budget. It will likely top $183 million by the end of its run.

Next weekend will likely see a new #1 as Shazam! Fury of the Gods opens. The DC sequel is looking at around $35 million to $40 million.

BOX OFFICE TOP TEN (Three-Day Domestic Numbers)
1. Scream VI – $44.5 million ($44.5 million total, $67.1 million WW)
2. Creed III – $27.2 million ($58.7 million total, $100.5 million WW)
3. 65 – $10.5 million ($10.5 million total, $20.8 million WW)
4. Ant-Man & the Wasp: Quantumania – $7 million ($198 million total, $447.6 million WW)
5. Cocaine Bear – $6.2 million ($51.7 million total, $65.7 million WW)
6. Jesus Revolution – $5.2 million ($39.5 million total, $39.5 million WW)
7. Champions – $5.2 million total ($5.2 million total, $6 million WW)
8. Avatar: The Way Of Water – $2.7 million ($674.7 million total, $2.294 billion WW)
9. Demon Slayer: To the Swordsmith Village – $1.7 million ($14.1 million total, $45.3 million WW)
10. Puss in Boots: The Last Wish – $1.7 million ($179.6 million total, $461.5 million WW)