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411 Box Office Report: Scream Wins Top Spot With Strong Debut

January 16, 2022 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Scream Image Credit: Paramount Pictures

Scream has returned to hit franchise territory as it topped the box office over the weekend. The fifth film in the slasher franchise notched $30.6 million over the three day weekend with a projected $36 million including the Monday holiday to claim #1. The opening is return to form for the slasher franchise, which financially stumbled a decade ago when Scream 4 opened to just $18.7 million. In fact, the four-day weekend will come close to the final domestic gross for the fourth film, which ended with $38.2 million in 2011 (but did well overseas to the tune of $96 million worldwide).

Scream had a lot of buzz going for it coming into the weekend. The last several years has seen a reappraisal of Scream 4 in horror circles, and this franchise has always had very dedicated fans. Despite some trepidation about it being the first film not to be directed by the late Wes Craven, directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett have built a good reputation on the backs of 2019’s Ready or Not and their involvement in the first V/H/S.

That faith was bolstered by a strong initial word of mouth and critical reaction; Scream has the best reviews for the franchise (a 75% aggregate score on Rotten Tomatoes) since Scream 2 in 1997. And the audience score is quite good, with CinemaScore notching a B+ which matches the first two films and the early audience RT score standing at a franchise-best 85%. It has added $18 million from 50 markets overseas for a $48.6 million

All that positive word of mouth hopes to result in some decent legs for this film. Scream 4 did not leg out with a sketchy 2.04 multiple, but the daily holds throughout the weekend here are stronger. They’re also far stronger than the last big slasher, October’s Halloween Kills which was deeply front-loaded en route to a lousy 1.86 multiple (though that was also a day-and-date release on Peacock). If Scream can manage a 3.0, which seems quite doable, that would put it in the $90 to $95 million domestic range which would be the best domestic total since Scream 2. And regardless, this is a hit for the studio on a budget of just $24 million (plus marketing). We probably haven’t seen the last of Ghostface.

Spider-Man: No Way Home was down one spot to #2 in its fifth weekend, still no slouch with $20.8 million over three days. The film was down just 36% in and now stands at $698.7 million domestic and $1.625 million worldwide. It will pass Black Panther on Monday to claim the #4 all-time domestic spot and is currently #13 worldwide, with more climbing to go. It still looks likely for around $735 to $740 million by the end of its run, a mega-hit against a $200 million budget.

Sing 2 continued its strong run, down a mere 29% to $8.3 million in its fourth weekend. The animated sequel has climbed to $119.4 million domestically and $215.7 million worldwide, looking pretty solid against its $85 million production budget. This despite arriving on VOD last weekend, proving that the box office demand for this is still strong. It is still taking aim at around $140 million in the US by the time it leaves theaters.

The 355 had a rough start last weekend, which means a standard hold wouldn’t exactly be good news. And a standard hold is exactly what it got, as the ensemble action film was down 49% to $2.3 million. That brings this film to $8.4 million domestically and $11 million worldwide, bad numbers that reportedly cost $75 million. Don’t blame this on the pandemic; bad marketing and poor reviews made this a failure no matter what the theater conditions were going to be. It’s not likely to make it far past $12 million stateside.

The King’s Man continues to enjoy good holds, even if those won’t likely bring it across the profit line. The action prequel brought in $2.3 million, off just 28% in its fourth weekend. That brings its totals to $28.7 million domestically and $92.5 million worldwide. The worldwide numbers do continue to climb and that’s something 20th Century Studios is being forced to rely on here, especially considering this likely cost upward of $100 million. Domestically it is looking at around $35 million for a final number.

GKIDs’ Belle had a decent start, as the anime film grossed $1.64 million in its opening weekend and a projected $2.04 million through Monday. The Studio Chizu animated movie’s start may pale in comparison to recent anime openings like My Hero Academia: World Heroes ($6.2 million in October) and Demon Slayer The Movie: Mugen Train ($22.8 million last April), but this film also doesn’t have the franchise fanbase of those films. Plus, GKIDs isn’t worried about that because much like those films, Belle is already a hit elsewhere. The film has grossed $58.3 million overseas, largely in Japan, for a $59.9 million worldwide total thus far. This is a big hit and any US money is just extra profit.

American Underdog eased 31% in its fourth weekend, down to $1.6 million. The Zachary Levi-starring sports drama now stands at $21.1 million, a decent number for what was likely not an expensive movie. It should close out at around $25 million to $28 million.

West Side Story was off 31% in its sixth weekend with $948,000. The musical has now grossed $33.8 million domestically and $57.5 million, making it a failure against a reported $100 million budget. Barring a major boost during award season, the final domestic take hit at around $40 million.

Paul Thomas Anderson’s Licorice Pizza inched down a mere 10% in its sixth weekend, bringing in $883,000. The period dramedy now sits at $9.6 million domestically and $13.8 million worldwide as it slowly starts to expand its footprint. The film reportedly cost about $40 million so it has a long way to go to make back its budget, but award season might help.

The Matrix Resurrections slipped 56% in its fourth weekend to $815,000. That brings the revival sequel up to $35.8 million domestically and $140 million worldwide, continuing its trend of domestic weakness but international strength. It’s still going to lose a lot of money, as the budget was reportedly $190 million. The domestic take now looks likely to end at $40

Next weekend will see Spider-Man and Scream battle it out for a second weekend, as neither of the new releases will be much competition. Gravitas Ventures is releasing their period mermaid fantasy film The King’s Daughter, and Universal is putting out the Western romance Redeeming Love. The first has had no promotion and the second’s has been minimal; it would be a shock for either of them to get more than $10 million, and low to mid-single digits is more likely.

BOX OFFICE TOP TEN (Three-Day Domestic Numbers)
1. Scream – $30.6 million ($30.6 million total, $48.6 million WW)
2. Spider-Man: No Way Home – $20.8 million ($698.7 million total, $1.625 billion WW)
3. Sing 2 – $8.3 million ($119.4 million total, $215.7 million WW)
4. The 355 – $2.3 million ($8.4 million total, $11 million WW)
5. The King’s Man – $2.3 million ($28.7.1 million, $92.5 million WW)
6. Belle – $1.6 million ($1.6 million total, $59.9 million WW)
7. American Underdog – $1.6 million ($21 million total, $21 million WW)
8. West Side Story – $948,000 ($33.7 million total, $57.5 million WW)
9. Licorice Pizza – $883,000 ($9.6 million total, $13.8 million WW)
10. The Matrix Resurrections – $815,000 ($35.8 million total, $140 million WW)