For the second consecutive weekend, SMILE finished #1 at North American box offices by grossing $17.6M. Paramount’s well-timed horror flick has taken full advantage of moviegoers’ need for a pre-Halloween scare. SMILE has sold $50M in tickets over its first 10 days, and is on track to earn $80M for its total run.
We predict continued success for the psychological thriller, even with direct competition arriving next weekend when Universal’s HALLOWEEN ENDS will open in theatres and stream on Peacock. SMILE was able to repeat as box office champion because it dropped only 22% from its opening weekend numbers and a weak performance from LYLE, LYLE, and CROCODILE, its most significant box office competitor this weekend.
In fact, LYLE, LYLE, and CROCODILE grossed only $11.5M in its opening weekend, leaving exhibitors to fret over the state of family films in the current market. Critics on Rotten Tomatoes were lukewarm about LYLE, giving it a 68% Tomatometer score, while audiences were more generous with a 93% rating.
Prior to the weekend, it seemed that a $20M opening could be expected. LYLE is the first significant family film to open since last summer when MINIONS: THE RISE OF GRU earned $107M in its debut weekend beginning 7/1 and DC LEAGUE OF SUPER-PETS earned $23M over its first three days beginning on 7/29. Weak results from this important genre are sapping energy from the recovery after two years of the pandemic blues. With an estimated production budget of $50M, Sony may struggle to turn a profit from LYLE.
20th Century’s AMSTERDAM finished third with a disastrous $6.5M. This crime drama from writer/director David O. Russell features a star-studded cast including Christian Bale, Margot Robbie, Chris Rock, Mike Myers, Rami Malek, Taylor Swift, and Robert De Niro. AMSTERDAM was seen as Russell’s opportunity to get back to his career-high points with SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK, which earned $132M in 2012, and AMERICAN HUSTLE, which earned $150M in 2013.
AMSTERDAM’s production budget swelled to $80M, in large part due to its A-List cast. With a 3-day box office total of only $6.5M and Rotten Tomatoes reviews sitting at 33% from critics and 61% from audiences, there is no chance for this film to come anywhere near profitability.
Sony’s THE WOMAN KING finished in fourth place, with a weekend gross of $5.3M, down by only 22% from last weekend. The historical drama starring Viola Davis is the one movie that has managed to stay strong over the past four weeks, now with a total of $54M. It has also drawn widespread acclaim from both critics and audiences. DON’T WORRY DARLING finished in fifth with $3.5M.
This week’s Indie Watch focuses on a limited opening for Neon’s TRIANGLE OF SADNESS, which grossed $210K at only ten theatres, a hefty $21K average per location. This wickedly funny Palme d’ Or winner tells the story of a tawdry relationship between power and beauty played out on a luxury cruise helmed by an unhinged captain played by Woody Harrelson. Its stylish plot and humor could translate to breakout results through wide expansion in the weeks to come.