EXCLUSIVE: Searchlight’s absurdist genre comedy got off to a promising start with $1M+ in Thursday night previews, we hear. That number is up there with recent comps such as Barbarian, which did $850K on its Thursday night before a $10.5M opening, and The Northman, another Anya Taylor-Joy movie, which posted $1.35M before a $12.2M start.
The opening weekend estimate for director Mark Mylod’s The Menu, which also stars Ralph Fiennes, Nicholas Hoult, John Leguizamo and others, is around $8M. If this movie gets to $10M, it would be a nice oasis for counterprogramming in the face of Disney and Marvel Studios’ mammoth sequel Black Panther: Wakanda Forever ,which is expected to do a second weekend in the $70M range. That preview number for The Menu includes some cash from Wednesday and previews that began at 5 p.m. Thursday. The pic is 91% certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes and currently has a good audience score of 83%.
Wakanda Forever posted a $7.5M Thursday, -8% from Wednesday, for a first week of $220.7M. The pic crossed $400M worldwide Wednesday.
She Said, Universal’s movie about the New York Times reporters who exposed movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, isn’t expected to do much this weekend, in the low single digits. Previews from 1,600 theaters that began at 5 p.m. were only $160K. Remember, despite any low grosses from these arthouse-type films in the post-pandemic era, their awards-season chances won’t be slowed. I mean, some of the big awards contenders don’t even report their box office grosses. She Said is 85% certified fresh critics score on Rotten Tomatoes and has a 92% audience score from the few who’ve seen it.