‘Encanto’ Leads Lackluster Post-Holiday Weekend, But Good Times With ‘Spider-Man’ Are Ahead

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As is typical, the weekend following the Thanksgiving stretch is a downer, and even duly so over Omicron headlines, coupled with a Disney animated movie that isn’t as mass-appealing as its predecessors, read Encanto which is looking at a $13M estimated second weekend, -52%. That second weekend estimate is lower than the pre-pandemic second weekend takes of Disney’s The Good Dinosaur ($15.3M) and Tangled ($21.6M).

No, streaming-obsessed Wall Street analysts: This isn’t an opportunity for you to tap-dance on the future worthiness of theatrical.

spider-man no way home

This year will have one more huzzah, as reported earlier this week, and that’s Sony/Disney-MCU’s Spider-Man: No Way Home which broke first-day ticket presales records for the pandemic for both the No. 1 and No. 3 circuits, AMC and Cinemark. More importantly for both exhibitors, No Way Home also repped their second best day of presales after Avengers: Endgame which translated into an all-time domestic opening record of $357.1M. On Fandango, the first day of Spider-Man: No Way Home beat the initial 24-hour sales of Black Widow, Avengers: Infinity WarSpider-Man: Far From HomeStar Wars: The Last JediRogue One: A Star Wars Story and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. While presales aren’t an exact indicator of opening weekend performance, the expectation here is that No Way Home will wind up as one of the top five openings of December when it hits theaters on Dec. 17.

AMC Boss Adam Aron attributed the circuit’s advance ticket sales for the Jon Watts-directed movie to the chain’s sell-out of Spider-Man NFTs.

While Encanto hasn’t spurred throngs of families at the theater, there’s also heavy anticipation with Illumination/Universal’s Sing 2 which according to industry estimates, not Universal, siphoned around $1.5M from Encanto last Saturday off 5PM previews. And even though Village Roadshow’s The Matrix Resurrections will be in theaters and on HBO Max on Dec. 22, the last of WarnerMedia’s pandemic titles this year, expect that movie to feasibly rival the $41M of Dune, which so far owns the best 2021 domestic debut for the Burbank studio.

Anecdotally in New York here, Omicron isn’t curbing holiday tourism with crowds in town for this past week’s Rockefeller tree lighting. Also, there wasn’t an empty seat at the Shubert theater Thursday night for Aaron Sorkin’s adaptation of To Kill a Mockingbird. People are getting out and enjoying themselves with masks on.

Even though all films are totaling an estimated $51M this weekend, -47% from last weekend, the top movies are showing solid holds, i.e. MGM/United Artists Releasing’s House of Gucci is -48% with a second weekend of $7.4M with a running total of $34.3M, Sony’s Ghostbusters: Afterlife will hit $101.3M by Sunday, while Warner Bros./Legendary’s Dune propped by its return to Imax auditoriums is dipping 14% in weekend 7 with an estimated $1.78M at 1,217 theaters, the pic’s running total tomorrow at $104.5M.

Getting a big shout for the weekend is Fathom Releasing’s faith-based Christmas With the Chosen in 1,642 theaters and 194 markets which rivals are raising their eyebrows at. The movie, comprised of new and classic Christmas songs from the set of The Chosen opened Wednesday and is expected to gross $8.5M in five days, $3.5M of that Friday-Sunday. The South and the Midwest were big with top markets being Dallas, Houston, Detroit, Phoenix, Minnesota, Denver, Cleveland, Orlando, Sacramento, and St. Louis.

UAR/MGM’s second weekend of Paul Thomas Anderson’s Licorice Pizza at three theaters in NYC and one at LA’s Regency Village is eyeing $215K, -38%, for a running ten-day total of $753K; the movie celebrating a very robust screen average of $53,9K. Anderson and the film were respectively named Best Director and Picture by the National Board of Review.

IFC Films has Paul Verhoeven’s erotic nun movie Benedetta which has 83% certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes and an estimated $139K for the weekend at 202 theaters or $688. The movie which made its world premiere at Cannes, didn’t post very strong numbers.

Focus Features’ Nathalie Biancheri genre movie Wolf is also not faring well in 308 theaters with $110K or $358 per theater. Critics weren’t wowed with the Lily-Rose Depp and George MacKay movie at 42% Rotten about a wolf trapped in a boy’s body. While undergoing therapy with other animal-bound peers, Jacob meets Wildcast (Depp) and falls head over paws, ultimately facing a challenge as to whether he’ll renounce his true self for love.

Weekend’s Top 10

1.) Encanto (Dis) 3,980 theaters, Fri $3M (-73%)/ 3-day $13M (-52%), Total $58.2M/Wk 2

2.) Ghostbusters: Afterlife (Sony) 4,059 (-256) theaters, Fri $2.7M (-72%)/3-day: $9.5M (-60%)/Total: $101.3M/Wk 3

3.) House of Gucci (UAR/MGM) 3,477 theaters, /Fri $2.18M (-62%)/3-day $7.4M (-48%)/Total: $34.3M/Wk 2

4.) Eternals (Dis) 3,165 (-890) theaters, Fri $1M (-65%)/3-day $3.8M (-52%)/Total $156.3M/Wk 5

5.) Christmas With the Chosen (FTM) 1,642 theaters Fri $1.25M/3-day $3.5M/Total $8.5M/Wk 1

6.)Resident Evil: Raccoon City (Sony) 2,803 theaters, Fri $760K (-61%)/3-day $2.5M (-53%) Total $13M/Wk 2

7.) Clifford the Big Red Dog (Par) 3,261 (-31) theaters, Fri $425K (-78%)/ 3-day $1.75M (-65%)/Total $45.6M/Wk 4

8.) Dune (WB/Leg) 1,217 (-49) theaters, Fri $510K (-36%)/3-day $1.78M (-14%)/ Total $104.5M/Wk 7

9.)King Richard (WB) 2,654 (-648) theaters, /Fri $375K (-73%)/3-day $1.27M (-61%)/Total $13.4M/Wk 3

10.) Sword Art Online Progressive (FUN) 840 theaters, Fri $471K, 3-day  $1.25M/Wk 1

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