EXCLUSIVE w/chart: As more theaters have inched toward opening as COVID-19 safety restrictions are eased in states like Texas, Georgia, and Tennessee, a top 10 box office chart has emerged, and we just got our hands on the last two weekends.
First of all, it’s still pretty grim out there and this gives you an idea of where we are now, and where we can build from as more states open up. There were around 600 theaters (out of the nation’s 5K) open over the May 29-31 frame (which was originally set to play Disney’s Artemis Fowl which fled to the streaming service), and 728 theaters are expected to be back online this Friday.
Next, there’s been some fake news going on out there that IFC’s The Wretched has been leading at the box office, notching No. 1 and breaking horror records. So not true: Universal/Dreamworks Animation’s Trolls World Tour has been leading, and that’s been evident for the last two weekends, including the Memorial Day frame. Also, as decent as Wretched has been faring, it’s not breaking any records. We’re not in a fully operational box office marketplace, duh, so how the heck are we suppose to be calling records? A handful of media outlets automatically assumed that The Wretched was leading at the box office, including Box Office Mojo, because IFC is largely the only notable distributor reporting box office (all the major studios as well as Comscore halted back in late March when exhibition shutdown).
In fact, Universal’s films from earlier this year have been ruling the top portion of the chart with Blumhouse’s The Invisible Man, The Hunt in the respective No 2 and 3 spots over May 29-31; and Memorial Day weekend May 22-25. Dolittle slotted 4th over Memorial Day weekend. Trolls World Tour‘s raw box office data gross shows $2.6M through Sunday, and the last reported figure on its domestic PVOD was close to $100M at the end of April (no doubt, higher now).
Out of the 600 locations that were open last weekend, 55% were hardtop locations, while Drive-Ins repped 45% of that count.
Drilling down what theaters and markets had some sort of a pulse last weekend:
Among the top chains, 125 theaters were independents, roughly 50 were from Co-Opeartive Theatre of Ohio, with about 30 each from such circuits as Cinema Service in Dallas, the Theatre Service Network and Tri-State Theatre Service. The leading DMA markets were Salt Lake City (about 30), followed by Denver and Dallas-Fort Worth with 15 each. Nashville, Des Moines, and San Antonio with each counting a dozen theaters open, while ten theaters apiece are open in Indianapolis, Atlanta, Sioux City, Phoenix, Sioux Falls, and Lexington, KY.
Also, Uni’s Focus Features’ The High Note played last weekend in about 50 locations making $87,8K in sync with the pic’s PVOD 48-hour rental. Similar to Trolls World Tour, the day and date release received a premium marketing push from NBCUniversal’s Symphony program across the corp’s subsidiaries with prominent advertising placement in The Voice finale, America’s Got Talent, Jimmy Fallon’s The Tonight Show, World of Dance, SNL and more. The pic’s cast also made appearances on The Today Show, Late Night with Seth Meyers, The Kelly Clarkson Show, and Access. The pic’s campaign was launched in February when Ross stopped by on Oprah Winfrey’s WW Vision Tour and offered viewers a sneak peek of her singing from the film. The movie trailer, which dropped on Feb. 28, racked up more than 56M views.
Other spokes of High Note‘s marketing included a TikTok #TheHighNote Dance challenge where the film’s choreographer recreated a TikTok dance version to Tracee Ellis Ross’ song “Stop For A Minute”, generating over a half billion views and trending at No. 4 on TikTok before the pic’s opening. Ross also partnered with the PushBlack charity, which is dedicated to raising black voices, and Fandango to donate 500 codes of the pic so that families in African American communities could watch High Note.
High Note repped the first time that Ross sang professionally and the pic’s track “Love Myself” was released on the star’s Instagram on May 15 where it clocked 750K tune-ins from her friends and fans including Michelle Obama, Janelle Monáe, Lena Waithe, Debra Messing, Kerry Washington, her mother Diana Ross.
Note, that this is raw box office data below. It will be interesting to see if an official chart finally emerges after July 4th weekend following Solstice Studios’ opening of Russell Crowe road rage movie Unhinged.
While we’re waiting for Los Angeles and New York City to open theaters, Cinemark CEO Mark Zoradi said today that Warner Bros. and director Christopher Nolan remained “optimistic” about hitting the July 17 opening date for Tenet. This week California Governor Gavin Newsom is expected to issue guidelines for movie theaters reopening during phase 3. Last we reported, NATO New York is working with its state government to get movie theaters into a phase 3 reopening (instead of phase 4 alongside Broadway theaters). Zoradi also mentioned this morning on Cinemark’s Q1 earnings call that he’ll gradually open the circuit in waves between June 19-July 10.
Box office from the weekend of May 29-31:
- Trolls World Tour (Uni) 176 theaters 3-day: $337,8K (-44%), cume: $2.6M/Wk 8
- The Invisible Man (Uni) 102 theaters, 3-day: $320,8K (-17%), cume $66.7M/Wk 14
- The Hunt (Uni) 64 theaters, 3-day: $217,5K (-9%), cume: $7.4M/Wk 12
- Jumanji: The Next Level (Sony), 56 theaters, 3-day: $186,8K (-8%), cume: $322.6M/Wk 25
- The Wretched (IFC), 75 theaters, 3-day: $175,6K (-19%), cume: $835,8K/Wk 5
- Sonic (Par), 89 theaters, 3-day: $171,3K (-8%), cume $147.8M/Wk 16
- Bad Boys for Life (Sony), 52 theaters, 3-day: $126,6K (+5%), cume: $207.4M/Wk 20
- Bloodshot (Sony), 89 theaters, 3-day: $114,3K (+15%), cume $10.7M /Wk 12
- Onward (Dis) 33 theaters, 3-day: $102,4K (-54%), cume: $61.7M/Wk 13
- The High Note (Foc) 50 theaters, 3-day: $87,8K/Wk 1
Box office from the weekend of Memorial Day weekend, May 22-25:
- Trolls World Tour (Uni) 190 theaters 4-day: $656K, 3-day: $604K, cume: $2.09M/Wk 7
- The Invisible Man (Uni) 100 theaters, 4-day: $444K, 3-day: $386,9K, cume $66.2M/Wk 13
- The Hunt (Uni) 45 theaters, 4-day: $279,5K, 3-day: $237,8K, cume: $7.07M/Wk 11
- Dolittle (Uni) 54 theaters, 4-day: $250K, 3-day $237K, cume: $76.98M/Wk 19
- Onward (Dis) 52 theaters, 4-day: $240K, 3-day: $221,6K, cume: $61.5M/Wk 12
- The Wretched (IFC), 59 theaters, 4-day: $236,3K, 3-day: $216K, cume: $598,9K/Wk 4
- Jumanji: The Next Level (Sony), 54 theaters, 4-day: $217,8K, 3-day: $203,3K, cume: $322.4M /Wk 24
- Sonic (Par), 72 theaters, 4-day: $203,2K, 3-day: $185,8K, cume $147.6M /Wk 15
- Call of the Wild (Dis/20th), 28 theaters, 4-day: $135K, 3-day: $124,1K, cume: $62.5M/Wk 14
- Bad Boys for Life (Sony), 34 theaters, 4-day: $131,3K, 3-day: $121,1K, cume: $207.2M /Wk 19