The strong October continues to scare up profits.
Last week’s champs cruised to easy holdover wins, and a batch of new arrivals did middling business. The overall haul was enough to set this as one of the top-5 October weekends ever. Halloween releases and Oscar lures will be the norm for the balance, and big numbers are sure to continue rolling in.
Sony benefitted from the #1 film and one of the top debuts, to see the studio earning $1 billion for 2018 (the fourth studio to reach that so far this year). It is the second year in a row for Sony to hit that landmark, after a few years falling short.
(Of note: Off the chart the debut of “Gosnell: The Trial Of America’s Biggest Serial Killer” opened on 673 screens, finishing at #12; the screen average would have it placed in the top-10.)
1. VENOM – $35.7 Million
Despite widespread scorn from the entertainment media – including this writer spreading the hatred — fans are still turning out. Strong weekday turnouts led to a decent second weekend. It drops -55% which is about as expected for standard comic films. Two weeks ago it appeared Sony would have a tough decision on extending what was looking to be a weak franchise attempt. It has drawn an impressive $140 million already, and kick in another $235 million overseas — the studio will be making more of these down the road, for sure.
2. A STAR IS BORN – $28m
Bradley Cooper’s remake of the frequently remade story has all kinds of momentum behind it. The very early favorite for the Academy Award it is also drawing audience attention. Taking a slight drop of -35% since its debut last week the film earned a strong $7,550 per screen, better than all the debuts.
3. FIRST MAN – $16.5m
Universal was hoping for a better return on their Oscar-bait entry based on the first moon landing. The studio estimated a better return near $20 million, as it positioned the release to capitalise on the raves from recent film festivals. This is a tepid response, and the fact that it earned a lower than expected grade from audiences (the CinemaScore was “B+”) it may not leave the launch pad as hoped for.
(I truly do apologize for delving into film critic prolix like thaat.)
4. GOOSEBUMPS 2: HAUNTED HALLOWEEN – $16.22m
Arriving right at the projected level Sony is hoping this will draw the kids throughout the month. There is a logjam of sorts with kids offerings, so there could be a tough stretch ahead.
5. SMALLFOOT – $9.3m
The animated yarn about yetis is holding rather well. A slender drop of -35% sees the total building up nicely for the Warners, and in the end should do better than some of the other recent kid titles.
6. NIGHTSCHOOL – $8.03m
Kevin Hart’s comedy is beginning its decline while earning slightly better than the recent adult comedies. With a $60 million total it will bee one of the better performers in the category from the past few years.
7. BAD TIMES AT THE EL ROYALE – $7.22m
Fox tried to promote this stylish adult drama to a successful opening, but the crowded field meant there was little attention to be shared. Estimates were to see it possibly approaching a $10m opening, but the Saturday returns actually saw it dip 10%, despite more showings available than Fridays.
8. THE HOUSE WITH A CLOCK IN ITS WALLS – $3.97m
Giving way to the newcomers the other Jack Black childrens title has had a respectable, if not blockbuster, run while earning $62 million.
9. THE HATE U GIVE – $1.76m
This genre young adult drama from Fox expanded into 248 screens, drawing a hefty screen average of over $7,000. The critical praise has been strong and there is some hope it could garner some awards season attention and get a lengthy run in theaters.
10. A SIMPLE FAVOR – $1.38m
The female thriller managed to hang on long enough to nab $50 million in total for its run.