FRIDAY EVENING: We told you earlier the Greta Gerwig directed Barbie is crossing $500M today. As of Tuesday, the film became the highest ever at the domestic box office for a female director, besting Frozen II‘s $477.4M, which was co-directed by Jennifer Lee. Barbie is crossing $1.13 billion worldwide today, also delivering another box office record to Gerwig, as the pic became the highest grossing live-action pic from a female filmmaker on a global basis, besting Captain Marvel‘s $1.13 billion, that title co-directed by Anna Boden.
Barbie crosses the half billion point stateside in 22 days, faster than Top Gun: Maverick (30 days) and Super Mario Bros Movie (31 days). Barbie is only one of 20 titles to ever cross half billion at the domestic box office. She’s set to lead the U.S./Canada box office with $30M this weekend.
Meanwhile, as expected, Amblin/Universal’s The Last Voyage of the Demeter is deep-sixing with $6.5M. Critics loated it at 45% Rotten. Audiences haven’t even expressed if they liked it or not on Rotten Tomatoes, which is an ugly sign. RelishMix reports that social media metrics for the period horror pic are tracking under under horror genre norms by 15% at 118.5M across Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and TikTok combined. It also doesn’t help that the cast can’t promote on an original film on social media. This is a problem that Meg 2 and Teenage Mutant Turtles didn’t face as they were known pieces of IP; they can be sold strictly off their trailers.
RelishMix’s report on Demeter‘s online chatter before opening: “It runs mixed-leaning-positive, as horror fans are applauding Dracula’s ‘badass’ makeover and thrilled that vampires are getting their fangs back, shedding their softer, more cuddly recent depictions. The R-rating is also adding to the anticipation, promising a darker, more intense experience. Aisling Franciosi, has won some hearts from her previous work (GOThrones) — where are a few grumbles about the vampire’s big reveal in the trailer and the film’s dark cinematography, but this isn’t dampening the general enthusiasm — with some jabs about the CGI, while most threads steer positive.”
Here’s the chart:
1 Barbie (WB) 4,178 theaters – Fri $10M (-38%), 3-day $30M (-43%), Total $522.6M/Wk 4
2) Oppenheimer (Uni) 3,761 theaters, Fri $5M (-40%), 3-day $16.8M (-42%), Total $262.2M/Wk 4
3) Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem (Par) 3,950 theaters, Fri $3.9M (-57%), 3-day $14.1M (-50%), Total $71.1M/Wk 2
4) The Meg 2 (WB) 3,604 theaters, Fri $3.5M (-71%), 3-day $12M (-60%), Total $53.5M/Wk 2
5) Last Voyage of the Demeter (Amb/Uni) 2,715 theaters, Fri $2.65M 3-day $6.5M/Wk 1
FRIDAY AM UPDATE: The only new wide release this weekend is Amblin’s period Dracula horror pic The Last Voyage of the Demeter being distributed by Universal. It made $750K last night in previews from showtimes that began at 5PM in 2,350 theaters in what is expected to be an underwhelming 3-day single digit million result for the $45M feature production. The R-rated pic expands to 2,715 theaters today.
That preview result is in the vicinity of last August’s vampire horror movie, The Invitation, which did $775K in previews, a $6.8M opening and $25.1M final domestic.
Why is this period horror film on the calendar? Because it’s from horror filmmaker André Øvredal. He excited the early August box office back in 2019 with Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. That movie from the shuttering CBS Studios label did an amazing $2.3M in previews for what turned out to be a $20.9M No. 2 opening in the face of the second weekend of Hobbs & Shaw. The sleeper PG-13 horror pic did close to $69M in U.S./Canada and $104.5M WW on what was a $25M production cost.
You’ll remember, Sony’s Gran Turismo moved off this date and opted for two weeks of sneaks before an Aug. 25 launch in an effort to build word of mouth for the feature take of the Sony Playstation game. No bother, as Warner Bros’ Barbie is expected to reign supreme in weekend 4 with $31.8M as she heads for half-billion stateside today. The Greta Gerwig-directed feature take of the Mattel toy has already cracked the $1 billion worldwide box office mark with just under $32M from China. Barbie did $7.1M yesterday at 4,178 theaters, -3% from Wednesday, for a running total through three weeks of $492.6M.
Universal’s Oppenheimer is also expected to ease -40% in its fourth weekend with around $17.5M at 3,612 theaters. The Christopher Nolan directed three-hour drama in Imax and 70M made an estimated $3.6M yesterday, -3% from Wednesday for a three-week total of $245.4M.
With more theatrical release date changes expected for the rest of 2023, one distribution head wisely remarked this week, “Watch Barbie and Oppenheimer play through Thanksgiving.”
Some box office trivia: Oppenheimer became the highest grossing film at Hollywood’s TCL Chinese Theatre in the venue’s 97-year history hiting $1.53M on Wednesday. That beats the previous record at the venue set by 2015’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens which earned $1.51M after 15 weeks of release. Oppenheimer has been extended at the TCL Chinese Theatre in IMAX 70mm film through the end of August.
“It’s been a historic run for us at the TCL Chinese with weeks of sold-out shows. We’ve added 6am shows for the last four weekends to satisfy audience demand,” says Brett Fellman, executive with the TCL Chinese Theatres.
Paramount’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem should also be down around 40% for a near $17M second weekend. Through its first nine days, the Nickelodeon/Point Grey animated pic did $57M at 3,858 theaters. Turtles did $2.7M yesterday, even with Wednesday.
Warner Bros’ The Meg 2: The Trench is eyeing a 60% decline in weekend two for $12M. Week one for the surprise No. 2 pic last weekend is $41.4M. Thursday was $2.1M, -3% from Wednesday, in fourth place for the day at 3,503.
Disney’s Haunted Mansion, booked at 3,740 theaters, made an estimated $1M, +2% from Wednesday for a two-week running total of $47.2M.
The Tamil language action comedy Jailer from Nelson Dilipkumar opened in 375 theaters on Wednesday doing an estimated $961K, followed by $627K yesterday for a two-day of $1.58M. Logline: A retired jailer goes on a manhunt to find his son’s killers. But the road leads him to a familiar, albeit a bit darker place. Can he emerge from this complex situation successfully?