FRIDAY AFTERNOON: 20th Century Studios/Disney’s A Haunting in Venice is looking to perform slighty better than expected with a $5.3M Friday, inclusive of previews, and a 3-day of $14M.
That’s a slightly better start than Death on the Nile’s $12.8M opening, but not as glamorous as 2017’s Murder on the Orient Express‘ $28.6M among Kenneth Branagh’s Agatha Christie Hercule Poirot adaptations. Pic is playing at 3,305 theaters.
A Haunting in Venice isn’t really scaring that much excitement up on social media either per RelishMix with social media universe across Facebook, X, YouTube, Instagram and TikTok at 79.1M — 59% under horror and previous Branagh Agatha Christie norms. The campaign per RelishMix skews 25+ “running off of the 20th Studios social network at 44.8M fans and cross promoting on Death on the Nile pages in lieu of launching unique official pages for the film.”
Adds RelishMix in regards to chatter online, “Social buzz on Haunting prior to opening runs mixed-leaning-positive on this third installment, spinning into horror. Fans are exclaiming, ‘Mixing horror and a Hercule Poirot murder mystery? Let’s see.’ and curious about by the casting of Tina Fey, although she’s in Hulu’s Only Murders in the Building. Kenneth Branagh’s consistent portrayal of Poirot coupled with his transition into horror directing gets mixed curious, sentiment from praise to skepticism. Amidst the chatter, some are referencing dim cinematography and past Agatha Christie disappointments.” Oy vey.
A Haunting in Venice‘s take is enough to beat the expected second weekend take of New Line’s The Nun 2 at 3,743 theaters which is staring down an estimated $4M and $12.8M second weekend, a -61% decline, standard for a horror movie and running ten-day total of $54.5M.
In third, it’s Sony’s third weekend of The Equalizer 3 at 3,528 theaters with a third Friday of $2.1M, 3-day of $7.3M, -39%, and running total of $73.7M.
Fourth is Focus Features’ second weekend of My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3 at 3,678 theaters which is seeing a second Friday of $1.2M, 3-day of $4M, -60% for a ten-day of $17.8M.
Warner Bros.’ Barbie in her ninth weekend at 3,012 is seeing a Friday of $915K, 3-day of $3.6M, -37% and a running total of $625.8M.
FRIDAY AM: 20th Century Studios’ A Haunting in Venice, directed by and starring Kenneth Branagh, scared up $1.2M in previews. The weekend outlook for the feature adaptation of Agatha Christie’s novel Hallowe’en is $12M+, similar to what Branagh’s take on the author’s Death on the Nile did on its first weekend last year, $12.8M.
Comps for the expected older-female-skewing A Haunting in Venice include 2019’s Doctor Sleep, which did $1.4M on its Thursday before a $14M opening weekend; the 2018 Jennifer Lawrence Russian spy flick Red Sparrow ($1.2M Thursday previews and $17M opening); and last year’s Ticket to Paradise ($1.1M previews, $16.5M opening) and Death on the Nile ($1.1M previews).
As we mentioned, working in A Haunting in Venice‘s favor is that it’s the best reviewed of Branagh’s Hercule Poirot movies at 77% certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes vs. 61% for Murder on the Orient Express and Death on the Nile. The downside is that Haunting isn’t tricked up with stars like Murder was; the only big names here outside Branagh are Oscar winner Michelle Yeoh and 30 Rock‘s Tina Fey.
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A Haunting in Venice could win the weekend if New Line’s The Nun 2 takes an enormous tumble deeper than 60%.
Haunting is booked at 3,305 theaters and also has the benefit of Imax and PLF ticket upcharges. Previews are composed of Imax Wednesday fan screenings as well as showtimes that began at 6 p.m. Thursday.
Death on the Nile and Murder on the Orient Express earned B CinemaScores, so we’ll see how Branagh’s latest comes in. The third movie here, given its less-starry cast, cost a reported $60M before P&A versus Death on the Nile‘s $90M.
The Nun 2 ends its first week at 3,728 theaters with $41.7M after a $1.7M Thursday, -15% from Wednesday.
Sony’s The Equalizer 3 at 3,965 ends Week 2 with $16.6M after a $936K Thursday, -14% from Wednesday, for a running total of $66.4M.
Focus Features’ My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3 at 3,650 ends Eeek 1 with $13.8M after a $735K Thursday, -11%.
Warner Bros’ Barbie, booked at 3,281 theaters — and on PVOD and digital sellthrough now — saw an eighth week of $7.5M after a $390K Thursday, -16% for running total of $622.1M. This weekend she takes over The Avengers ($623.3M) as the 11th-highest-grossing movie ever at the domestic box office.
Yash Raj’s Jawan saw a Thursday of $367K, -20%, bringing its first week to $8.3M and a running total of $9.7M.