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411 Box Office Report: Five Nights At Freddy’s Falls Hard But Still Takes #1

November 5, 2023 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Five Nights At Freddys Bear Image Credit: Blumhouse/Universal

Five Nights At Freddy’s took a fully expected hit at the box office this weekend, but still held onto the top spot. The Universal video game adaptation took in $19.4 million in its second weekend for a fairly easy box office win. That represents a fall of 76% from its first weekend gross of $80 million, the highest sophomore drops of the year. By comparison, The Flash fell 73% in its second weekend, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania fell 70%, and Expend4bles fell 69%.

There are a couple of big reasons for this. The first we have to point out is that this is a horror film in the post-Halloween box office weekend, where new horror almost always suffers big falls. Halloween (66%) and Jigsaw (61%) were the last two horror films to be on top of the box office over Halloween; once spooky season is over, audiences are usually a bit horror-ed out.

The other big reason, of course, is the fact that the film was released day-and-date on Peacock. Traditionally such situations result in large second weekend drops because those who aren’t pressed to see the film opening weekend are more likely to check it out at home. NBCUniversal is able to make up that difference with a spike in subscriptions.

There will be people who believe Universal left money on the table here with the day-and-date strategy. And sure, maybe a little was, but in this case the studio is not crying over the situation. More to the point, they are ecstatic with FNAF’s performance on both metrics. On streaming, FNAF is a marked success for Peacock as it became their most-watched film or series ever in its first five days on the platform. And in theaters, it has grossed $113.6 million domestically and $217.1 million worldwide against a budget of just $20 million. It’s a great example of how, while obviously you don’t want to do this for your $250 million-budgeted epics, for some films it allows the studios and platforms to get the best of both worlds. FNAF is a megahit for Universal and should finish off its domestic run around $150 million. Expect more from this franchise on the way.

Taylor Swift continued to be a dominant force at the box office this weekend as The Eras Tour was down just 13% to $13.5 million. The pop megastar’s concert film continues to bring in the Swifties, and has now grossed a fantastic $165.4 million domestically and $231.1 million worldwide against a budget of just $10 million to $20 million. The film is now aiming for around $180 million or perhaps even a bit more by the end of its domestic run, well over double the previous highest-grossing concert film in Justin Bieber’s 2011 film Never Say Never ($73 million).

Killers of the Flower Moon had a good hold after last weekend’s dive, dropping just 25% this frame for a $7 million take. The Western epic has now grossed $52.2 million domestically and $109.1 million worldwide. That’s not even close to enough to make back its reported $200 million budget, but that’s not something Apple and Paramount are overly concerned about here. The film should be able to end its domestic run at around $70 million.

Sofia Coppola took the #4 spot this weekend as Priscilla grossed $5.1 million. The buzzy Priscilla Presley biopic marked Coppola’s best wide release box office start since 2006 when Marie Antoinette opened to $5.4 million.

While there are some weird comparisons being made between this film and last year’s Elvis, they are not remotely comparable movies. Elvis had the King of Pop’s name in the title and starred a major box office star in Tom Hanks. It also cost $85 million and had a huge marketing campaign behind it, courtesy of Warner Bros. Priscilla is a much smaller pic, distributed by A24, and is – like most films of its ilk – looking to make most of its money on home video.

In Priscilla’s case, there are some real upsides here. For one, the film is a critical hit with an 84% aggregate score on Rotten Tomatoes. While there is no CinemaScore, it is carrying indications of good word of mouth with a 71% positive and 50% recommend from PostTrak. There’s been some buzz for both Cailee Spaeny and Jacob Elordi around potential award nominations as well, though that will play out after the film has left studios.

The bottom line here is that Priscilla is unlikely to be profitable in theaters – but again, theaters aren’t where A24 ever expected to find profit with it. The film has $5.3 million (it opened very limited last weekend) thus far on a $20 million budget, and will likely close out its stateside run in the $12 million to $15 million range.

Coming in at #5 was Pantelion Films’ Radical. The Spanish-language drama grossed $2.7 million in its first weekend in the US, a strong result for a foreign film. The Eugenio Derbez-led film pulled off that number in just 419 theaters thanks to exceptional word of mouth among the Latino and Hispanic communities; it released in Mexico last month, which helped its buzz grow. To date, Radical has grossed $7.8 million worldwide, including of course the domestic total, which is a great number. We don’t know the budget and it’s likely to slip from theaters quickly in the US, but Pantelion is no doubt happy with this.

The Exorcist: Believer slid 34% in its fifth weekend to gross $2.2 million. The legacy sequel is doing fine so far, having grossed $63.2 million domestically and $125.5 million worldwide. The budget was $30 million (which, as previously noted, doesn’t factor in the $400 million paid for the rights to the full trilogy to come). As it stands, Universal is pretty happy with these results and the film is still on part to close out at around $70 million or so.

Angel Studios’ After Death didn’t replicate the strong holds of the studios’ Sound of Freedom. The documentary about the afterlife fell 60% in its second weekend to $2 million. That’s a bit high by documentary standards – but then again, documentaries don’t normally open at $5.1 million. The film is currently at $9 million domestically and will probably get to around $18 million or so, making it a profitable venture.

PAW Patrol: The Mighty Movie held on very well, down a mere 15% in its sixth weekend to $2 million. The animated film has now grossed $62 million domestically and $169.2 million worldwide against a $30 million budget. It will end its run around $68 million stateside.

Meg Ryan’s return to the romantic comedy genre was a quiet one as What Happens Later took in $1.6 million in its first weekend. Much like Priscilla, this was never focused on theatrical for its box office success. Bleecker Street, which released What Happens Later, gives its films short theatrical windows and then pushes them on VOD and that’s what’s going to happen here. The film cost just $3 million and its holiday romcom nature means that it will get plenty of home viewing play in the upcoming month or two, making it profitable.

John Cena’s action comedy Freelance held onto its spot in the top 10, down a solid 40% in its second weekend to $1.2 million. By no means is this time for Relativity Media to pop the champagne though, as we’re talking about a film that has grossed $4.2 million domestically and $5.5 million worldwide against a $40 million budget. This will be a money loser in a big way and should close out its domestic run around $6 million to $8 million.

We’ll have a new #1 next weekend as Marvel releases The Marvels in theaters. The Captain Marvel sequel has been hurt by its stars’ inability to promote it, and is looking to gross around $50 million in its first frame.

BOX OFFICE TOP TEN (Three-Day Domestic Numbers)
1. Five Nights At Freddy’s – $19.4 million ($113.6 million total, $217.1 million WW)
2. Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour – $13.5 million ($165.9 million total, $231.1 million WW)
3. Killers Of The Flower Moon – $7 million ($52.2 million total, $109.1 million WW)
4. Priscilla – $5.1 million ($5.3 million total, $5.3 million WW)
5. Radical – $2.7 million ($2.7 million total, $7.8 million WW)
6. The Exorcist: Believer – $2.2 million ($63.2 million total, $125.5 million WW)
7. After Death – $2 million ($9.2 million total, $9.2 million WW)
8. PAW Patrol: The Mighty Movie – $2 million ($62 million total, $169.2 million WW)
9. What Happens Later – $1.6 million ($1.6 million total, $1.6 million WW)
10. Freelance – $1.2 million ($4.2 million total, $5.5 million WW)