FRIDAY AFTERNOON: It could be a weekend that’s too close to call between Universal’s 25+ skewing Knock at the Cabin and Paramount’s older female leaning 80 for Brady respectively looking at $15M and $14M.
As one distribution source says, matinees are for 80 for Brady to dominate while evenings are for Knock at the Cabin. Who wins No. 1 could boil down to Saturday night when the fall-off for genre movies occur vs. the overindexing of 80 for Brady.
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Here’s what’s intriguing about an early February winter weekend: Exhibitors are offering discount pricing for 80 for Brady working in partnership with Paramount. The studio knew from their focus groups that the pic’s older audience appreciate a good value. Circuits rallied around the idea by offering a myriad of value pricing schemes including sneak previews at “$8 for 80.” AMC earlier this week announced that they’re offering matinee pricing on every single showtime for 80 for Brady. Regal and Cinemark are doing all day matinee pricing for the pic, too. And this is for the whole run of the movie, not just opening weekend. Matinee pricing is in effect for the No. 1 theater chain for all shows beginning before 4PM at AMC. Some chains, like Marcus Theatres are doing $8 for 80 all through the entire pic’s run. Again, this is a means to dynamite the older female crowd out which has been reluctant to come back during the pandemic. It will be interesting to see how the admissions vs. the box office lands for Knock at the Cabin and 80 for Brady, the former having upcharge tickets on its Dolby and PLF plays. According to EntTelligence, heading into the weekend, Knock at the Cabin has an average national ticket price of $12.17 while 80 for Brady has $9.77. While we saw exhibition upcharging for premium tentpoles like Batman on opening weekend, here’s a scenario of dynamic pricing where they are down-charging on 80 for Brady.
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TOP 6 PICS
1.) Knock at the Cabin (Uni) 3,643 theaters, Fri $5.6M, 3-day $15M/Wk 1
2.) 80 for Brady (Par) 3,912 theaters, Fri $5.1M, 3-day $14M/Wk 1
3.) Avatar: The Way of Water (Dis) 3,310 theaters, Fri $2.2M (-39%), 3-day $10.3M (-35%), Total $635.9M /Wk 8
4.) Puss in Boots: Last Wish (Uni) 3,290 theaters, Fri $1.7M (-29%), 3-day $7.9M (-25%) , Total $151.2M/Wk 7
5.) Chosen Season 3 (Fath) 1,546 theaters, Fri $2.05M, 3-day $7M, Total $8.6M/Wk 1
6.) BTS: Yet to Come in Cinemas (Tra) 1,125 theaters, Fri $1.7M, 3-day $4.6M, Total $7.4M/Wk 1
FRIDAY AM: Universal’s M. Night Shyamalan R-rated thriller Knock at the Cabin opened its doors last night to $1.45 million in previews off showtimes that began at 5 p.m. That number is just under the preview figure of Shyamalan‘s Old, which did $1.5M before a $16.8M opening. Knock at the Cabin‘s previews makes sense as the tracking outlook for the movie is between $15M-$17M at 3,643 theaters. It also has the fuel from PLF and Dolby ticketing. The pic cost $20M before P&A.
While Old‘s opening was at a time when moviegoers were making their way back to the cinema from the pandemic, when it comes to Shyamalan the theatrical business of his films boils down to his endings. Old put many off with a C+ CinemaScore and critics at 50% Rotten, the pic legging out to $48.2M. That was a different scenario from his recent Universal highpoints, Split ($40M opening, $138.2M domestic) and Glass ($40M opening, $111M domestic), which were connected to his 2000 thriller Unbreakable.
Knock at the Cabin, based on Paul Tremblay’s bestseller The Cabin at the End of the World, may have a better chance at the box office as it currently stands at 69% fresh with RT film reviewers.
Paramount’s older-female skewing 80 for Brady, which was acquired from Fifth Season and had a budget of $28M, posted $750,000 in previews that began at 3 p.m. Thursday at 3,000 locations. Counting all of the movie’s advance screenings, including sneaks and Tuesday and Wednesday advances, 80 for Brady‘s total preview cash is at $1.27M.
Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Sally Field and Rita Moreno star as a group of friends who make it their lifelong mission to go to the Super Bowl and meet NFL superstar Tom Brady.
Although 65% fresh with critics, the pic has the potential to over-index, the base level opening being around $10M; rival studio sources have the pic’s opening in the teens. Book Club, which starred Fonda and Candice Bergen, was a sleeper for Paramount, opening to $13.5M and legging out to $68.5M. If Paramount can do that again with 80 for Brady, that’s a great result for a movie aimed at the over 55 demo during the pandemic. A Man Called Otto recently had a wide-break debut of $12.8M, with the pic’s running total being $48.8M. Preview comps here for 80 for Brady are Ticket to Paradise ($1.1M), Book Club ($625K) and Man Called Otto ($635K).
Outside of the two previews, it was an interesting Thursday for titles in regular release, meaning 20th/Disney/Lightstorm’s Avatar: The Way of Water didn’t top the day. Instead, it was Fathom’s Chosen Season 3 Finale at 1,940 theaters which led the day with $1.67M.
Avatar 2 was second with $1M, down 6% from Wednesday, bringing its seventh week to $20.7M and running total to $625.6M. Now the 10th-highest-grossing movie stateside of all time, Avatar 2‘s next notch is No. 9 placeholder Jurassic World, which counts $653.4M. The James Cameron sequel looks to make around $10M in weekend 8.
In third, it’s Trafalgar’s concert movie BTS: Yet to Come with a second-day Thursday gross of $730K, -66% from its opening day Wednesday of $2.1M. Its running total is $2.8M.
Sony’s A Man Called Otto saw $589K on Thursday, a fifth week of $9.5M and running total of $48.8M.
Universal/DreamWorks Animation’s Puss in Boots: Last Wish posted $570K yesterday, a sixth week of $13.1M and running total of $143.3M.