SUNDAY AM WRITETHRU after Saturday update: Post Covid, there’s a lot of studios that have been able to make horror work at the box office, including Paramount with Smile, Warner Bros with Evil Dead Rise, and Universal with M3GAN and The Black Phone.
But not Sony. Until now.
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Red Door is opening to $32.65M this weekend, the second best start in the Insidious franchise after Chapter 2′s $40.2M, entombing Indiana Jones in second place with $26.5M second weekend. Red Door also reps the best start in the last two years for a PG-13 horror movie. More pom poms for Sony: their Marvel Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse just outstripped Disney/Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 3 as the highest grossing movie of the summer, $357.6M to $357.5M.
For Blumhouse, Red Door is their 16th title to open at No. 1. While tentpoles get all the glory in the post-Covid marketplace, Blumhouse continues to deliver.
Sony gets props here for finally getting their hands around a franchise they’ve always had a financial stake in. I hear Sony Motion Picture Group Chairman and CEO Tom Rothman selected the brilliant, daredevil release date here in between Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny and ahead of the Tom Cruise summer box office cyclone, Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning. Talk about bravado: Typically studios avoid going in the wake of a big Disney movie, ala Marvel or Lucasfilm, however, rival studio brass often hear when the competition is coming up greatly short months before a pic’s opening. Either that or box office history was telling: despite its huge $100M+ opening, the less-than-fan-fave Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull only held onto to No. 1 for one weekend back in 2008, the pic unseated in weekend 2 by….Sex and the City, $57M to $44.7M.
Rothman was adamant that Red Door make its release date. Together with Sony Co-President Josh Greenstein, they knew they had a bigger hit on their hands with the latest installment of this jump scare movie than any other Insidious title.
What’s the difference between this Insidious and all others? It brings the original cast back together including Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne, Ty Simpkins, Leigh Whannell and Lin Shaye. Making that happen was Wilson himself who makes his feature directorial debut here.
Sony originally bought U.S. rights on the first film out of TIFF, but ended up making a distribution deal with Film District to release in the U.S. They handled the first two pics until they were absorbed by Universal’s Focus Features. Sony had foreign (except for UK and Spain) on Insidious 2 and 3. On Insidious: The Last Key, Sony got all foreign rights plus full ownership of the IP too. By Red Door, they nabbed all global rights.
The Insidious franchise is as alive as other long-running horror franchises; Saw V and the fifth Scream, putting up $30M starts.
Similar to Last Key, Insidious is able to overpower lackluster critical scores (36%) and so-so audience scores (3 1/2 stars, 72% on Screen Engine/Comscore’s Postrak) to deliver at the box office. No matter what the response is here, it’s clear moviegoers are bewitched enough to get in the car and go. It’s a total jump scare movie with great set pieces. Some 38% went to see Red Door because it’s part of a franchise they love, while another 38% went because they love horror movies. What encouraged the audience to go and see Red Door the most in the pic’s marketing campaign, more than its trailer? PostTrak audiences said it was Red Door‘s social media campaign.
Get out a load of this LA stunt on Instagram:
Red Door‘s social media universe across TikTok, YouTube views, Facebook, IG, and Twitter is weighed at 176.9M, which is ahead of Halloween Kills (147.3M), A Quiet Place II (170M), Halloween Ends (143.1M), Scream (126.2M) and Insidious: Last Key (114.7M). “Digital social awareness stats on Insidious tracks just above normal levels for a heathy set of five horror franchises by 4% across Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok combined — including Scream, Halloween, Quiet Place, previous Insidious’ and Annabelle — with a solid social network for the movie with 4.9M fans, plus the Blumhouse effect with 2.8M fans,” reports RelishMix.
Muy bien, Sony, for opening a movie in a summer marketplace sanS late night talk shows.
Red Door, like Last Key, was still female heavy at 52%, but a little less so, as the previous chapter drew 57%. The Insidious audience got a little older: 51% were under 25 vs. 68% on Last Chapter. Nonetheless, the tried-and-true 18-34 devoted moviegoing base showed up here at 67% in what was a very diverse crowd, with 41% Hispanic and Latino attending, 26% Caucasian, 16% Black, and 12% Asian.
Red Door played strongest in the South Central and West, and we hear that $1M is coming from PLFs. This despite the fact that Indy kept most of those screens and Imax. AMC Burbank is the highest-grossing theater in the U.S. for Red Door, with $44K so far.
Lionsgate’s attempt to revive the raunch R-rated comedy with the Asian American title Joy Ride is coming up greatly short with $5.85M. The opening is not far from Universal’s Asian American comedy last summer, Easter Sunday (though that was rated PG-13), which did $5.4M and ended its run at $13M. Despite all great intentions by Lionsgate to build a heartfelt fun comedy for diverse audiences (they rode the Adele Lim-directed and cowritten comedy to SXSW to light the fuse), Joy Ride is not Crazy Rich Asians. That latter movie greatly appealed to older audiences, and this is a little too blue for them. There was also a greater share of Asian moviegoers who attended Crazy Rich Asians, 38% to 26% on Joy Ride. While the film has clocked 91% certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes with critics, if you read deep on the reviews– some critics (i.e. New York Magazine/Vulture) weren’t impressed by Joy Ride, yet the pic got a fresh stamp from Rotten Tomatoes (go figure). The complaint by some critics is the pic isn’t as gutsy in its humor, and goes for the warm fuzzies too quickly; it’s Bridesmaids all over again. Audiences concur with a B- CinemaScore (PostTrak is at 79% positive and four stars).
RelishMix says on social media, “Convo runs mixed-raucous on Joy Ride, as comedy connoisseurs are comping the film to Bridesmaids and Rough Night.”
Joy Ride turned out 58% women, 61% between 18-34. Joy Ride played strongest in the East and West, with latter driving 36% of the gross versus the norm of 25%. AMC Century City is the highest-grossing theater in the country with $22K to date.
Stats on Joy Ride social awareness social media levels are running well under genre norms at 33.5M for comedy and comedy-diverse titles, which include Girls Trip (71.1M), Night School at 214.4M, and Crazy Rich Asians, which opened with a social media universe count of 115.9M.
Furthermore, Warner Bros. conquered and made sure Crazy Rich Asians played to a broad audience beyond its core Asian American demo with a D-Day marketing campaign. Unfortunately, Lionsgate has the reputation of greatly spending on marketing only when the film test scores indicate there’s a potential for big box office. Again, that’s not to say they didn’t put their best foot forward on the film: After SXSW, Lionsgate screened Joy Ride early on for exhibitors at CinemaCon, where the pic was the centerpiece of the studio’s session.
Joy Ride‘s misfire here isn’t about the death of comedy on the big screen. Sony showed that R-rated, dirty comedies have a pulse with the Jennifer Lawrence vehicle, No Hard Feelings, which opened to $15M and is looking at running cume of $40.3M in weekend 3.
Sound of Freedom –the film everyone is talking about– will peg third place with $16.9M and a running six-day total of $38.9M by EOD Sunday. Aside from right-wing groups funding ticket sales here, and Angel Studios energizing its faith-based followers, the Jim Caviezel action thriller is pulling in a huge Latino and Hispanic crowd at 30%, along with 57% Caucasian, 5% Black, and 9% Asian/other. Women are dominant here at 58%, with older people showing up big at 57% over 45 and 37% over 55. This is exactly how a faith-based movie plays. Strongest markets are South, South Central, and the middle of the country. Highest-grossing theater in the nation? Regal Thoroughbred in Nashville with $53K. How often do we see that? Hardly. This is all very reminiscent of American Sniper, but on an indie scale and level. I don’t mean in terms of gross, but in stoking red state moviegoers, which Hollywood doesn’t do often enough, leaving money on the table with what is perhaps the missing link in the post-pandemic box office.
Total weekend box office is at $128.4M, off 46% from last year’s $239.1M, when Marvel Studios/Disney’s Thor: Love and Thunder topped the chart.
On the arthouse side, A24’s Celine Song directed Past Lives is doing quite solid for the sector, making $1M in weekend 6 at 776 theaters for a running total of $8.3M. The pic has a shot at reaching $10M. Though lower than the $17.6M of A24’s 2019 Chinese Awkwafina drama The Farewell, Past Lives‘ cash is great for the specialty box office right now. Arthouses will gladly take it.
Other specialty highlights:
CMC Films has the Mandarin language movie Lost in the Stars from Rui Cui and Xiang Liu. Pic did big in NYC, Vancouver, Seattle, LA and Toronto for an $820K opening weekend or $13,2K per theater at 62 locations and 26 markets.
Trafalgar has the documentary, ODEZA: The Last Goodbye Cinematic Experience booked in 529 locations in 160 markets. Hearing solid numbers in Minnesota, NY, LA, Seattle, San Diego, Chicago and Denver for $760K, all from a Friday night play.
Bleecker Street has the Richard E. Grant and Julie Delpy thriller The Lesson at 268 theaters, 89 markets. Soft numbers I hear with a $157,7K opening and $588 theater average. Pic follows a young author who takes a tutoring position at the estate of a legendary writer. Out of its Tribeca Film Festival premiere, it’s 83% certified fresh with critics.
IFC Films rolled out the Mark Duplass and Sterling K. Brown comedy Biosphere at 48 theaters. It crashed with a $700 per theater and $34K opening. Pic has its opening at TIFF last year, and it’s 80% certified fresh with critics on Rotten Tomatoes.
Chart updated with Sunday figures.
1.) Insidious: The Red Door (Sony/Blum) 3,188 theaters Fri $15.22M, Sat $10.1M Sun $7.3M 3-day $32.65M/Wk 1
2.) Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny (Dis) 4,600 theaters, Fri $7.6M (-68%) Sat $10.9M Sun $8M 3-day $26.5M (-56%)/Total $121.2M/Wk 2
Indy‘s second weekend hold isn’t far from No Time to Die’s (-57%) and it’s actually higher than that film at $23.7M. Pic’s ten-day gross here is pacing 22% ahead of No Time to Die (which finaled at $160.8M) and 3% behind Mission: Impossible – Fallout (final $220.1M), both older guy leaning action movies. Some are estimating that Dial of Destiny ends its stateside run at $165M, which would be lower than 1984’s Temple of Doom ($179.8M) and The Last Crusade ($197.1M). Current global on Dial of Destiny is $248M.
3.) Sound of Freedom (Angel) 2,850 theaters, Fri $4.9M, Sat $6.7M Sun $5.3M 3-day $16.9M, Total $38.9M/Wk 1
4.) Elemental (Dis) 3,440 (-210) theaters, Fri $2.9M (-18%) Sat $3.8M Sun $2.9M 3-day $9.6M (-21%), Total $109.1M/Wk 4
5.) Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (Sony) 3,023 (-382) theaters, Fri $2.3M (-32%) Sat $3.1M Sun $2.5M 3-day $8M (-33%) Total $357.6M /Wk 6
6.) Joy Ride (LG) 2,820 theaters, Fri $2.6M Sat $1.8M Sun $1.4M 3-day $5.85M/Wk 1
7.) No Hard Feelings (Sony) 2,686 (-522) theaters, Fri $1.6M (-27%) Sat $2.1M Sun $1.4M 3-day $5.25M (-33%), Total $40.4M /Wk 3
8.) Transformers: Rise of the Beasts (Par) 2,475 (-377) theaters, Fri $1.38M (-27%), Sat $2M Sun $1.55M 3-day $5M (-32%) Total $146.7M/Wk 5
9.) The Little Mermaid (Dis) 2,080 (-350) theaters, Fri $1.1M (-29%) Sat $1.4M Sun $1M 3-day $3.5M (-34%) Total $289M Wk 7
10.) Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken (Uni/DWA) 3,408 (+*) theaters, Fri $850K (-64%), Sat $1.1M Sun $850K 3-day $2.8M (-49%)/Total $11.6M/ Wk 2
FRIDAY AFTERNOON UPDATE: Sony/Stage 6 Films/Blumhouse’s Insidious: The Red Door is looking to scare Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny away from No. 1 after putting up the franchise’s best previews last night with $5M. Right now, it’s looking like $13.25M today (including previews) for the Patrick Wilson starring and directed horror fifthquel with a $26M take at 3,188 theaters. Indy is seeing $8M in its second Friday, -66%, for a weekend swing between $24M-$26M at 4,600 locations, -59%. Too close to call at this point per both studios: Insidious is front-loaded and Indy could pull in families on Saturday (However, many rivals are already calling Red Door the winner). Still, even if Red Door falls to No. 2, another great opening by a horror film post-pandemic, especially for Sony which hasn’t had a big win in genre for quite some time, not to mention a beefy cash cow given the Wilson and Rose Byrne pic’s $16M production cost before P&A.
At the highest end of its projection now, Indy‘s running total could rise to $120.7M by EOD Sunday.
Coming in 6th place is Lionsgate’s new entry Joy Ride with a low tank of gas at $2.6M today (including $1.1M previews) and an estimated $5.6M 3-day at 2,820. This despite great reviews, promptly out of its SXSW premiere, of 91% certified fresh.
Angel Studios’ Jim Caviezel thriller, Sound of Freedom, is ringing $4.75M in its fourth day of release, a 3-day of $15M, and 6-day haul of $36.3M at 2,850 theaters. Hollywood might have a problem with right-wing groups snapping up tickets and handing them out to moviegoers, but exhibition is over the moon with the dough.
Disney/Pixar’s Elemental is seeing a fourth Friday of $2.6M, -24%, for a fourth weekend of $8.4M, -31%, and running total by Sunday of $107.9M.
Sony’s Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse has an estimated sixth Friday of $2.3M, -32%, for a 3-day of $7.5M, -38%, for a running total of $357.1M.
FRIDAY AM: Sony/Stage 6 Films/Blumhouse’s fifthquel Insidious: The Red Door nearly locked out Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny yesterday at the box office. The Patrick Wilson starring and directed PG-13 horror film scared up $5M in previews at 2,806 locations that began showtimes at 4PM. That amount of money is very close to what Indy grossed, early estimates showing around $5.2M for the day in an awful week that ended at $94.5M for the $300M-plus grossing Disney/Lucasfilm finale sequel. Insidious is big with women under 25, Indiana Jones with older men.
Red Door posted the best previews ever for an Insidious movie beating 2018’s Insidious: The Last Key ($1.98M), and the $1.6M which Insidious: Chapter 2 and 3 earned apiece.
Indy with its PLFs and Imax screen holds is expected to ease around -60% per industry estimates with $24M — but don’t underestimate the vibrant power of The Red Door which tracking has around $22M. It’s going to be a fun July 4 hangover weekend before Paramount/Skydance light the wick on Mission Impossible – Dead Reckoning – Part One on Wednesday. That said, remember horror movies are front-loaded and apt to drop on Saturday. That said, Insidious: The Last Key saw a -13% dip on its first Saturday against Friday (which included previews).
2013’s Insidious Chapter 2 owns the highest opening for a movie in the 13-year-old horror franchise with $40.2M. However, the fourthquel, Insidious: The Last Key, did great off its $10M production cost with a $29.5M start.
Already, Indiana Jones‘ first week at 4,600 theaters is ahead of No Time to Die‘s $75.2M (the pic finaled at $160.8M). Remember, the 007 finale opened at a time when everyone was still skittish about returning to cinemas during the pandemic.
Critics were never big on Insidious movies: The first one was 66% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, but the last one, 2018’s Insidious: The Last Key notched 33%. Still the franchise has never been cursed by reviews to the point where it can’t be a cash cow; Red Door costing $16M before P&A. Critics gave the latest chapter here, which also stars series star Rose Byrne, a 45% Rotten, while RT audiences currently have it at 72% — which is higher than the original film (62%) and Last Key (50%).
Lionsgate and Point Grey’s Joy Ride also held previews last night and Wednesday at 6PM which amounted to $1.1M. The Adele Lim-directed raunchy R-rated Asian American comedy is looking at $7M-$9M at 2,820 locations. Comps: R-rated Girls Trip back in 2017 did $1.7M in previews — but Joy Ride isn’t expected to follow that pic’s box office path which had a $31.2M opening. Joy Ride‘s extended preview here are higher than last summer’s Jo Koy Asian American comedy, Easter Sunday, which was PG-13 and made $500K for a $5.4M opening weekend.
What else is going on: Angel Studios’ Jim Caviezel thriller Sound of Freedom after posting a $11.5M July 4 opening day plus lopping on another $2.5M in crowdfunded dollars fell like a rock on Wednesday with $3.6M with -69%, but held steady on Thursday with an estimated $3.5M at 2,634 theaters, -5% from Wednesday, for a running Tuesday-Thursday total of $21.3M. It wouldn’t be shocking if the pic’s total gets to $30M by Sunday. The box office phenomenon here is that there’s a lot of right-wing group money pouring into the crowdfunded pic, with moviegoers getting free tix. Still, it’s business for movie theaters.
Disney/Pixar’s Elemental was third on Thursday at 3,650 with $2M, +4% from Wednesday, but second for the week with a third sesh of $22M (ahead of Sony’s Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse‘s $21.2M fifth week). Elemental stands at $99.4M in running cume, while Spidey is at $349.6M. The latter’s Thursday was $1.75M, -6% from Wednesday at 3,405 theaters.
Fifth Thursday was Sony’s Jennifer Lawrence R-rated comedy, No Hard Feelings, with an estimated $970K, -11% from Wednesday, for a second week of $13.3M, and running total of $35.1M. The movie has already surpassed the domestic gross of Sony’s R-rated bawdy Scarlett Johansson comedy, Rough Night, which finaled at $22.1M.
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