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HomeReviews Film‘Boy and the Heron’ Eyes $10M Opening, Beyonce Tumbles – Deadline

‘Boy and the Heron’ Eyes $10M Opening, Beyonce Tumbles – Deadline

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FRIDAY PM: While the first weekend of December gets a bad rep for being slow, the second weekend is often slower, so don’t be surprised if all films total around $38M on par to the same frame a year ago. Hayao Miyazaki‘s The Boy and the Heron, as expected, will lead all movies with an anticipated $10.7M opening after a $5.4M Friday at 2,205 theaters, which includes $2.39M previews. The movie currently has an 88% Rotten Tomatoes audience rating.

'The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes' weekend box office.

Lionsgate

Second place goes to the fourth weekend of Lionsgate’s The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes with a Friday of $2.5M (-38%), 3-day of $8.75M (-38%), running total of $134.9M by Sunday EOD at 3,665 theaters. That domestic running total through 24 days is -7% behind Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald at the same point in time, and which opened in the same pre-Thanksgiving weekend back in 2018. That Harry Potter spinoff sequel finaled at $159.55M in U.S./Canada.

Third is Toho’s Godzilla Minus One at 2,540 theaters with a second Friday of $1.8M (-62%), second weekend of $6.4M (-44%) and running total of $23.4M by Sunday.

Universal/Dreamworks Animation‘s Trolls Band Together will see a fourth Friday of $1.3M (-23%), 3-day of $6M (-23%) for a running total of $82.88M at 3,447 theaters.

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AMC’s second weekend of Renaissance: A Film by Beyonce at 2,539 theaters is looking at a second Friday of $1.6M, -86%, and 3-day of $5.2M, -76%, running total of $28.2M. Maybe this movie should have played weekdays? That’s quite the steep drop next to Taylor Swift: Eras Tour which fell -64% in weekend 2. Renaissance‘s second frame percent wise is also worse than Hannah Montana and Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert (-67%), Justin Bieber: Never Say Never (-55%), and Michael Jackson’s This Is It (-43%).

Bleecker Street’s Waitress the Musical is looking at a Friday of $700K at 1,214 theaters and 3-day of $2.25M.

FRIDAY AM: After one Japanese title delivered at the sleepy December box office last weekend, that being Godzilla Minus One, here’s another that’s set to dominate: Studio Ghibli and Gkids’ Hayao Miyazaki toon The Boy and the Heron is looking at a No. 1 bow with $10M+ after $2.39M Thursday and early-access previews.

The comp here is quite literally last weekend’s Japanese live-action title Godzilla Minus One (read the review), which saw previews of $2.1M before minting a $4.7M Friday, and 3-day of $11.4M at 2,308 theaters.

The Boy and the Heron played at 1,774 theaters in U.S. and Canada with showtimes starting at 5 p.m. Thursday. The pic is booked at 2,205 theaters this weekend, including Imax and PLF. It’s the first Studio Ghibli film to be presented in Imax. There were awards-qualifying preview engagements that began on Thanksgiving in New York and Los Angeles, and those figures are going to be rolled into daily grosses on a prorated basis during the next two weeks, per Gkids.

RELATED: ‘The Boy And The Heron’ Producer & Studio Ghibli Co-Founder Toshio Suzuki On Hayao Miyazaki’s Most Personal Work

Although Miyazaki retired in 2013, he returned to make this movie, which is billed as “a semi-autobiographical fantasy about life, death and creation.” In the pic, a young boy named Mahito yearns for his mother and ventures into a world shared by the living and the dead. There, death comes to an end, and life finds a new beginning.

Miyazaki’s last film, The Wind Rises, made $5.2M stateside via Disney. The current highest opening weekend for a Studio Ghibli film is 2012’s The Secret World of Arrietty, which bowed with $6.4M via Disney and finaled at $19.2M stateside. The Boy and the Heron easily will surpass that pic’s opening footprint of 1,522 theaters to become the widest opening ever for a Studio Ghibli film as well as the widest opening for a Gkids release. The Boy and the Heron is screening in subtitled and English-dubbed prints. The big-name dubbed version features Christian Bale, Dave Bautista, Gemma Chan, Willem Dafoe, Karen Fukuhara, Mark Hamill, Robert Pattinson and Florence Pugh.

RELATED: ‘The Boy And The Heron’ Cinematographer Atsushi Okui On Adding Dark Aspects To The Animation To “Bring Forth The Darkness” In The Main Character

The Boy and the Heron is 95% certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes and has grossed more than $84M abroad, $56.1M one of that in its native Japan, where it reached Miyazaki’s highest opening ever there sans any promotion back in July.

The pic premiered internationally as the Opening Night Gala Presentation at the Toronto International Film Festival, a first for a Japanese or animated film. It recently won the New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Animated Feature and was honored among the National Board of Review’s Top 10 Films of 2023.

‘Godzilla Minus One’

Speaking of Godzilla Minus One, the highest-grossing Japanese live-action title stateside led Thursday with $1.25M (-8% from Wednesday) and a first week of $17M at 2,308 theaters. The pic’s second weekend looks to be $5M-$6M in a tossup race for third place with AMC’s second frame of Renaissance: A Film by Beyoncé.

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That concert docu from the 32-time Grammy winner (read the review) paused showtimes Monday through Wednesday but returned Thursday with $1.145M to claim the day’s No. 3 spot. She’s also looking at around $6M. Running cume for Renaissance is $23.1M.

The Hunger Games: The Ballad Of Songbirds and Snakes trailer

Lionsgate

Don’t underestimate Lionsgate’s The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes (read the review), which placed second Thursday with $1.148M (-3% from Wednesday) and took in a third week of $19.5M at 3,691 theaters with a running total of $126.2M. Projections for the fourth frame of the Francis Lawrence-directed prequel starring Rachel Zegler and Tom Blyth is around $8M.

Fourth place goes to Bleecker Street’s feature take of Broadway musical Waitress, which did $672K at 1,214 theaters.

Fifth place is Apple Original Production’s Napoleon via Sony (read the review), which made $609K Thursday, -13% from Wednesday, for a second week of $10.2M at 3,500 theaters and running total of $48.9M.

RELATED: ‘Poor Things’ Trailer Spotlights A Reanimated Emma Stone & A Prosthetics-Modified Willem Dafoe

Yorgos Lanthimos’ Venice Film Festival Golden Lion winning Poor Things, starring and produced by Emma Stone (read the review), is bowing in four markets in a total of nine theaters – New York (AMC Lincoln Square, Regal Union Square and Brooklyn’s Alamo Drafthouse), Los Angeles (AMC Century City, AMC The Grove, AMC Burbank 16), San Francisco (AMC Metreon, Alamo Drafthouse Mission) and Austin (Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar). This is quite the spicy adult-themed movie from Disney’s Searchlight, and it will be interesting to see how arthouse audiences embrace the pic, which has spurred hot buzz among awards bloggers and media. The movie about a Frankenstein-like girl who finds her sexual independence across Europe is 93% certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. Emerald Fennell’s Saltburn, which many also found to be audacious in its sexy content, posted a first weekend of $322K at seven theaters for a $46K theater average. Can Poor Things top that?

Saltburn, which posted an amazing -9% third weekend, post-Thanksgiving hold, ended its third week with $2.9M after a $256K Thursday and a running total of $7.6M. The Amazon MGM movie hits Prime on December 22 (read the review).

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