Super Bowl weekend is well-known as one of the slowest of the year for moviegoing. In each of the past ten years, the box office on Super Bowl weekend has ranked in the bottom ten weekends of the year except 2020 when the pandemic scrambled normal patterns.
Knowing this, studios have been reluctant to release any of their top-tier movies this weekend to compete with The Big Game, the most-watched broadcast of the year. This becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy since moviegoers are not given much reason to head out to the movies.
Occasionally, some brave studio provides counter-programming against the Super Bowl, usually focusing on female audiences. This weekend last year, Warner Bros. opened Magic Mike’s Last Dance, earning $8.3M over its first three days. This year, Focus Features brought out LISA FRANKENSTEIN as a diversion for those uninterested in football.
All films grossed $37.9M over the past three days compared with last year’s Super Bowl weekend total of $53.9M. ARGYLLE held on to the first place for the second consecutive weekend with $6.5M, a decline of 63% from its debut last weekend. After ten days, ARGYLLE has earned $28.8M in the domestic market, which is somewhat behind results from other recent Apple releases.
- KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON (10/20/23) – $41.0M @ 10 days, $67.8M total
- NAPOLEON (11/22/23) – $40.7M @ 10-days, $61.5M total
- ARGYLLE (2/2/24) – $28.8M @ 10-days, $42M-$48M total (estimated)
Profitability for these pictures is challenged by each one having a production budget of $200M. Nonetheless, we expect Apple will continue to make a select number of new movies that premiere in theatres. It would be nice for Apple if some of them could turn a profit from their box office, perhaps by beginning with lower production costs.
LISA FRANKENSTEIN from Focus Features finished in second place with an opening weekend box office of $3.8M. The goth horror comedy was directed by Zelda Williams, as her feature-length directorial work. The screenplay was written by Diablo Cody, who won an Academy Award in 2008 for Best Original Screenplay for JUNO. The storyline follows a goth teenager named Lisa Swallows, who visits the grave of a young Victorian man and, much to her surprise, witnesses his corpse re-animate and rise from the ground.
Together, they set out to find the missing parts of his body. Despite Diablo Cody’s Oscar pedigree, critics have not been thrilled with this effort, giving it only a 49% score on Rotten Tomatoes. Moviegoers were somewhat more intrigued, handing out an 81% rating. The good news for Focus Features is that the movie’s tightly controlled production budget of $13M makes it much easier to turn a profit from its theatrical run, requiring only $35M from the worldwide box office.
The BEEKEEPER from Amazon/MGM finished in third place with $3.5M, a drop of 34% from last weekend. This brings its totals to $54.7M domestic and $131.2M worldwide after 31 days. This is a success by any standard, including profitability since only $34M was spent to produce it. There is a reason why Jason Statham appeared in five movies last year, having a worldwide appeal that has turned him into a reliably bankable star.
Finishing in fourth place was THE CHOSEN: SEASON 4 EPISODES 1-3 with an additional $3.2M in its second weekend, a drop of 47%. The Fathom Events release has brought in $12.6M. On Thursday, Fathom will replace EPISODES 1-3 with the next set in the series, EPISODES 4-6. The event cinema specialist is continuing its experiment to use theatres to premiere shows from the upcoming season of its popular TV series. While these are not earth-shattering grosses, theatre owners are more than happy to present these offerings to loyal fans of the series, especially when overall business is as slow as it has been.
WONKA finished in fifth place, with an additional $3.1M. After 59 days, its total box office rises to an impressive sum of $205.2M domestically and $581.3M worldwide. Warner Bros has been rewarded handsomely for casting Timothee Chalamet in the iconic role of Willy Wonka. On March 1st, WB will follow up with its release of DUNE: PART TWO, another much-anticipated movie starring Chalamet. At that point, he will be in the enviable position of starring in two #1 movies within three months.
Where Are We as of 2/8
After the first five weeks of the year, the 2024 box office has come in at 87% compared with the same weeks in 2023, and 65% compared with 2019.