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‘Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard’ Hits $17M 5-day Debut In Dull Father’s Day Weekend (Which Is Starving For A Pixar Movie) – Update

·11 min read

Sunday AM Update: The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard is coming in higher over five days with $17M and a 3-day of $11.7M at 3,331 locations. It’s an OK result, and better than expected, but it’s not a result that has the town skipping about the return of the summer box office as the pandemic winds down, especially over what is typically a lucrative Father’s Day weekend.

Speaking of Father’s Day, wouldn’t it be nice to have a Pixar film in the marketplace instead of for free on Disney+? With NYC and LA permitting cinema capacities to rise to 100% this weekend, Luca, no matter how unknown the IP is, would have truly rained some cash on exhibition. Disney can’t act clueless here and claim they didn’t know capacity limitations would be this high. It was clear with Covid cases coming down and vaccinations increasing that LA and NYC would lift restrictions heading toward the Independence Day holiday. While it’s not ideal for exhibition that a Disney movie like Cruella is available on Disney+ Premier and in theaters, circuits will take whatever available cash is out there, and the Emma Stone movie has at least delivered a running total north of $64M (not great, but it’s money).

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Let’s get something straight about this dull moment in the box office right now: Don’t forget it’s all about product, as A Quiet Place Part II is showing as the tentpole of the season with $125.2M. NRG polls have consistently been showing that increasingly more people are comfortable with returning to the movies as the pandemic eases, and if you look around, people are everywhere — at restaurants, the beach, baseball games, etc. People wanna get out. So if audiences aren’t showing some sort of surge around a title at the box office, they unfortunately do not want to spend their disposable income and time to see that movie.

It’s that simple.

This weekend, there wasn’t a crowd thirsting to see a sequel to a 2017 late August action comedy that didn’t cross $100M domestic. I have to think Ryan Reynolds’ Free Guy in its novelty of a guy whose inside a videogame will do better at the B.O. with a bulk of Disney P&A behind it.

August ISpot, which tracks studios’ TV spot spending, showed last weekend that Warner Bros. shelled out $22.5M on In The Heights. The movie didn’t open to Crazy Rich Asians results, nor did it get eyeballs on Warner’s streaming service HBO Max. Again, it’s whether the title possess product-driven power or not. Get it? It’s not about cinemas being dead, or people falling out-of-love with the movies.

Total weekend B.O. is expected to gross around $47M for all movies, which is a plus next to last year, but off 18% from last weekend’s $57.2M Comscore reported weekend total.

Already, people are packing into cinemas here in Los Angeles: A Thursday night screening of F9 at the Burbank AMC was the most I’ve seen in a theater auditorium since February 2020’s Birds of Prey. However, it’s all about the share price and subscribers for Disney, not box office at the moment, and the entertainment conglom missed on 2Q Disney+ subs, brining in 103M subs to Wall Street’s estimate of 109M. That’s why we’re still seeing big product like Black Widow and Jungle Cruise hit the service day-and-date with theaters (and, yes, yes, overseas markets are still in a sling, which prevents the meaty tentpole profits we’re use to seeing).

Lionsgate is covering around a third of the $70M production cost on Hitman’s 2, and the P&A spend I hear is between $25M-$30M. The sequel’s weekend ticket sales are finding close to a third of its business from Imax and PLF screens. The Ryan Reynolds-Samuel L. Jackson movie’s strongest markets were in the South and the West with some OK numbers in NYC, Philly, Chicago, DC and Detroit. Los Angeles, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Seattle and Phoenix were better.

Sony Pictures Classics expanded their Martin Sheen-Luke Wilson sports drama 12 Mighty Orphans to 1,047 (+915) in weekend 2 in 174 markets, making $870K. Pic isn’t beloved by critics at 59% Rotten, but audiences liked it better with close to 80% positive in Comscore/Screen Engine PostTrak exits and a 75% definite recommend. Guys showed up, of course, at 53% and 80% over 25 with an older crowd actually coming out with 49% over 55+ (wow). Diversity demos were Caucasian 78%, Latinx 6%, 9% Black, and 7% Asian/other. Best markets were Mid and Southwest.

Other highlights this weekend: Focus Features provided arthouses something to feast on and that’s the Edgar Wright directed MRC documentary The Sparks Brothers which made $110K on Friday,$87K on Saturday, and a projected $68K today in 534 theaters for a 3-day of $265K or $497 per theater. The docu, which is on a 30-day theatrical window, saw some notable results at the Alamo Brooklyn, Alamo Downtown LA, Alamo South Lamar Austin, AMC Burbank, East Hampton Cinema NY, AMC Century City. Sparks Brothers made its world premiere at Sundance.

Roadside Attractions has on a 17-day window the Sundance docu Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go for It, which is booked at 227 theaters. The pic made $24,4K on Friday, $29,2K yesterday and a projected $22K today for a 3-day estimated debut of $75,7K or $334 per location.

According to box office sources in regards to improvement to the exhibition marketplace: Forty-three states are now allowing theatres to operate without capacity restrictions. Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Michigan, New Mexico, Oregon, Washington, and Puerto Rico are still enforcing auditorium limitations or social distancing guidelines. Number 1 movie circuit AMC is increasing their auditorium capacity cap to 100% in those areas of the U.S. where they allowed, and 75% where social distancing is still being enforced. Over 77% of 5,8K cinemas in U.S./Canada remain open. That translates into 85% of 44K domestic screens in operation.

In Canada, cinemas in Ontario remain closed until late July, including B.O. capital Toronto. On the other hand, Edmonton and Calgary Theaters can reopen to north of a third capacity. British Columbia threw up their doors last Tuesday for 50% capacity. Many movies are feeling the lack of the Great White North in their domestic grosses, which can generate 7%-10% on average. Good news on Canada: 95% of Quebec cinemas are open, along with 73% in Alberta and British Columbia. Saskatchewan also has close to 70% of all movie theaters with the lights back on.

Studio reported figures:

  1. Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard (LG) 3,331 theaters, $3.05M Fri/$4.1M Sat/$4.4M Sun/ 3-day $11.67M/Total $17M/Wk 1

  2. A Quiet Place 2 (Par) 3,392 (-123) theaters, $2.76M Fri (-27%)/$3.56M Sat/$3.05M Sun/3-day $9.4M (-22%)/Total $125.2M/Wk 4

  3. Peter Rabbit 2 (Sony) 3,346 theaters $1.9M (-53%) Fri/ $2.3M Sat/$1.86M Sun/3-day $6.1M /Total $20.3M/Wk 2

  4. Conjuring 3 (NL) 3,280 (+43) theaters $1.675M Fri/$1.98M Sat/$1.49M Sun/3-day est. $5.15M (-50%)/Total $53.6M/Wk 3

  5. Cruella (Dis) 3,110 (-197) theaters $1.5M (-29%) Fri/$1.9M Sat/$1.7M Sun/3-day est. $5.1M/Total $64.7M/Wk 4

  6. In the Heights (WB) 3,509 (+53) theaters $1.365M Fri/$1.62M Sat/$1.22M Sun/3-day est. $4.2M (-63%)/Total: $19.66M/Wk 2

  7. Spirit Untamed (Uni) 2,967 (-427) theaters $480K Fri/$620K Sat/$500K Sun/3-day: $1.6M (-38%)/Total: $13.8M/Wk 3

  8. 12 Mighty Orphans (SPC) 1,047 (+915) theaters $236,6K Fri/$317,4K Sat/$316K Sun/3-day $870K (+246%)/Total: $1.25M/Wk 2

  9. House Next Door (Hidden Empire Film Group) 530 theaters (+110) $156,5K Fri/$217K Sat/$212K Sun/3-day $585,5K (-42%)/Total $1.99M/Wk 2

  10. Wrath of Man (UAR) 707 (-500) theaters/$113K Fri/$171K Sat/$163K Sun/3-day $448K (-33%)/Total $26.8M/Wk 7

Friday AM Update: Lionsgate/Millennium Media’s The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard took in $1.4M on Thursday, which against the pic’s Wednesday+ previews day of $3.9M is a 64% decline. That puts the pic’s running total at $5.3M and puts the sequel on track for a $13M-$15M five-day opening. We’ll update you as it’s still early.

Paramount’s A Quiet Place Part II won Thursday with $1.53M at 3,515 theaters, putting its running domestic total at $115.8M. The pic remains the one event film of the summer to beat. Over three days, it could be a close call on No. 1 between Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard and the fourth weekend of A Quiet Place Part II.

Social media analytics corp RelishMix noticed that The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard is a strong social media universe pull of 238 million across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube, 68% above the mixed-genre norm. The YouTube viral reposting rate is 19:1. The social media campaign for the sequel began a year ago and was re-booted nine weeks ago with the official movie page on Facebook counting 180K fans from the first installment with 45 new videos posting at a high cadence and healthy views of 19.8M, along with another 49.1M views on YouTube. A bulk of the social media firepower comes from Ryan Reynold’s presence with 74.3M fans, over half of them from Instagram. His posts there, per RelishMix, can clock 3.4M-6M views. Samuel L. Jackson has 24.7M followers, Salma Hayek counts 21.3M social media followers, and Antonio Banderas has 8.6M.

Reports RelishMix on the social media buzz, “Positive leaning chatter speculates future installments including the Hitman’s Wife’s Cousin’s Brother’s Uncle’s Mother’s Brother-in-law’s Nanny — plus the delight of Morgan Freeman and Samuel L. Jackson in the same movie. Covid references have diminished as masks rules are lifted and interests grows for the algorithm of Ryan Reynolds + Salma Hayek + Samuel L Jackson + a track by Britney Spears, ‘Hit Me Baby One More Time’ = Perfect recipe for a great movie.”

Previous Thursday: Lionsgate got out early with the Millennium Ryan Reynolds-Samuel L. Jackson action comedy sequel The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard with an official Wednesday debut plus last weekend paid sneaks; all totaled they’ve accumulated $3.9M at 2,940 locations. The whole reason why Lionsgate went early is to collect as much cash as possible before Universal’s F9 comes in next weekend, which is expected to soak up $50-$65M. Distributors and exhibitors are encouraged by the presales they’re seeing for both F9 and Black Widow.

Lionsgate had two sets of sneak previews over the weekend, with about 275 locations in a Atom Tickets/Snapchat sponsorship and another 1,500 locations which both amounted to $1.8M. Tuesday previews amounted to around $815K. The balance yesterday was $1.3M. Industry projections are in the teens for Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard over 5 days with a possible shot at $20M. The theater count will increase on Friday to 3,331. Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard is on a 42-day theatrical window, I hear, versus Lionsgate’s Spiral which was on an 18-day window. While Lionsgate was never planning on this, but with Juneteenth becoming a federal holiday (June 19), and many businesses giving employees’ Friday off, it’s possible that some people will find their way to the movies. CinemaScore audiences gave the sequel a B to the first installment’s B+. Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard adds Morgan Freeman and Antonio Banderas. PostTrak audience exits showed 75% positive with a 53% definite recommend which is much better than what critics thought at 26% on Rotten Tomatoes (the first movie wasn’t beloved by critics either at 43% Rotten). Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard pulled in 56% guys, 60% over 25 with 57% between 18-34 years old. Diversity mix was 43% Caucasian, 30% Latinx, 14% Black, & 13% Asian/Other. The sequel saw an uptick in its Latinx crowd vs. the first movie which only had 21% Hispanic. I hear that Imax and PLF repped 20% of ticket sales to date.

The first Hitman’s Bodyguard opened to $21.3M during the third weekend of August in 2017 and went on to make $75.4M domestic, $101.1M WW off a reported $30M production cost. Lionsgate has skin in the game I hear on the sequel. It’s not a distribution deal with the distributor taking U.S. rights, UK and Latin American territories. UK and Mexico are also opening this weekend for the sequel.

Paramount’s A Quiet Place 2 took second place on Wednesday with $1.53M, down 10% from Tuesday at 3,515 locations. Pic’s running total stands at $114.3M. The pic in its third session last weekend toppled Warner Bros.’ In the Heights for the No. 1 spot, $12M to $11.5M.

Sony’s Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway did $975K yesterday, -20% at 3,346 for a running total of $13.2M.

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