This is the first weekend that one can verifiably say was negatively impacted by Hollywood’s labor strikes. In August, Warner Bros. cited the impact of the actors’ strike as its reason for pushing back the release date of DUNE 2 from 11/2/2023 to 3/15/24.
Eventually, A24 stepped into the void to release its biopic PRISCILLA. Even the most enthusiastic Elvis fans would not claim that PRISCILLA had anywhere near the box office potential of DUNE 2, which was projected to earn $60M-$70M in its opening.
And despite Taylor Swift going a long way towards propping up theatres through October, she was unable to save the weekend, which will go down as one of the worst of the year. All films grossed $63.4M, compared with the first weekend of November last year which also flagged with a paltry $61.1M.
FIVE NIGHTS AT FREDDY’S came in first again, for the second consecutive weekend, by earning $19.4M. The fact that a horror film dropped after Halloween is not surprising but FREDDY’S historic drop of 76% from its strong opening weekend is almost historic.
In fact, it’s the biggest week-two drop of any wide-release film this year, eclipsing even THE FLASH which dropped by 72% in its second frame. FREDDY’S box office may have been further impacted by its availability on Peacock, which viewers may have seen as the easiest way to check out the demonic animations.
The good news for Universal and Blumhouse is that a low cost of production ($20M) and sizeable opening weekend ($78M domestic) have already guaranteed a profit, now with a ten-day total of $113.6M domestic and $217.1M worldwide.
TAYLOR SWIFT: THE ERAS TOUR finished in second place this weekend, earning an additional $13.5M and a decline of only 13% from last weekend. This is the last weekend of the four-week commitment that exhibitors agreed to in order to show the film, which has now grossed $165.9M domestic and $231.1M worldwide.
Many will continue playing the concert film since it is still the second highest-grossing movie in theatres and is showing at 3,604 locations across the U.S. and Canada. As Thanksgiving approaches, holiday releases will take center stage but many cineplexes will find at least one screen to play THE ERAS TOUR for the rest of the month.
KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON took third in its third weekend with a gross of $7M, a modest 25% drop after suffering a 60% decline last weekend. Scorsese’s 3 ½ hour epic has only managed $52.3M domestic in its first 17 days and seems likely to fade away from this point as eight new titles arrive over the next 2 ½ weeks.
FLOWER MOON didn’t open as well as expected or hold as well as hoped and is now struggling to stay relevant after only rising to third place in one of the worst weekends of the year. While FLOWER MOON is considered to be a strong contender for awards consideration, it is way behind its most direct competitor OPPENHEIMER in terms of box office results.
By this point in OPPENHEIMER’s run, Christopher Nolan’s WWII epic had grossed $229M after a second-weekend drop of only 43% and a third-weekend drop of 38%.
A24’s PRISCILLA took fourth place with $5.1M in its opening weekend. The Priscilla Presley biopic was written, directed, and produced by Sophia Coppola, the daughter of Francis Ford Coppola. Despite living in her father’s long shadow, Sophia has forged a formidable career of her own with PRISCILLA as her eleventh feature.
She won an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for the 2003 romantic comedy LOST IN TRANSLATION, which also received Best Picture and Best Director nominations. In 2017, she received the Best Director award at the Cannes Film Festival for THE BEGUILED, making her the first American woman and second woman overall to win the award.
Here again, with PRISCILLA, Coppola seems most comfortable when she takes the key roles of writer, director, and producer, which she has done in eight of her eleven films.
PRISCILLA is based on Priscilla Presley’s 1985 memoir “Elvis and Me”, and stars Cailee Spaeny in the title role and Jacob Elordi as Elvis, with the real-life Priscilla Presley serving as an executive producer. The movie follows her life and relationship with Elvis.
Some will compare it to Baz Luhrmann’s ELVIS which was released two summers ago. In fact, the two movies are radically different, considering that ELVIS was a big-budget ($85M) production from a major studio (Warner Bros.) and featured well-known stars (Austin Butler and Tom Hanks).
The soundtrack is another notable difference between the two films, with ELVIS featuring several Presley tunes performed on grand stages in Las Vegas and PRISCILLA containing none of The King’s music. Coppola’s husband Thomas Mars and his band ‘Phoenix’ acted as musical supervisors to the film, with the band ‘Sons of Raphael’ writing its original music. Critics have given it an 84% score on Rotten Tomatoes.
On low-grossing weekends, a movie in limited release can sometimes nudge itself up the charts to rival major releases. This weekend, the comedy RADICAL from Pantelion Films took fifth place despite playing in only 419 theatres and grossing $2.7M. Its story takes place in Matamoros, Mexico, and focuses on a sixth-grade class whose academic performance is among the worst in the entire country.
A new teacher is brought in to improve things, but at a loss on how best to improve their situation, he instead focuses on building strong personal connections with the students. This uplifting film has done extremely well in Hispanic communities and received glowing reviews on Rotten Tomatoes with a 94% critics’ score and 99% audience score.
WHERE ARE WE AS OF 11/2
After 43 weeks, the year-to-date box office stands at 126% compared with this same point in 2022, and 84% of the total from 2019.