AMC‘s second concert movie theatrical release, Renaissance: A Film by Beyonce, hoping to liven up what is typically a dull frame at the box office –the post Thanksgiving/early December downer corridor– with what’s look like a $30M, maybe $40M global opening.
The second movie ever to be distributed wide by an exhibitor arrives moments after their first title Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour, which was a very bright spot at the fall box office with $250M WW, winds down on screens, and winds up in homes on Dec. 13 for digital purchase.
Sources have said for quite some time that despite the mammoth success of the Renaissance concert with ticket sales close to $600M per Live Nation back in August, which is the eighth highest-grossing concert tours of all time and the second highest-grossing concert tours by a women; the singer’s appeal is vastly different from Swift’s. Hence, an opening weekend stateside similar to Eras Tour (the best this fall season at $92.8M domestic) was never to be expected for Renaissance. If the movie, which is hot with Black audiences and older women, is lucky, it will be lead the box office with a $20M domestic start, and possibly $20M abroad. We saw the disparity in the first day presales of both concert movies: Renaissance rang up an estimated first day of presales of $6M to Eras Tour’s $37M (that latter figure ultimately swelled to $65M).
Presales we hear for Renaissance are behind that of Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story ($10.5M) and slightly ahead of that of In the Heights ($11.5M) heading, all compared before their opening weekends. We hear that Renaissance presales at AMC and Regal theaters, which have a big footprint with Black moviegoing audiences, look very robust, while No. 3 circuit Cinemark does not.
Still before Swift, an opening for a wide release concert movie stateside between $15M-$20M is very good. 2011’s Justin Bieber: Never Say Never opened to $29.5M, while Michael Jackson’s This Is It saw $23.2M. Heck, U2’s Rattle & Hum back in their heyday of 1988 saw a first weekend of $3.8M in 1,391 theaters–low by then and today’s benchmarks. Sources reiterate that Swift’s Eras Tour is “a unicorn” given the fact that it was a very hot, sold-out live tour with the movie arriving in theaters at the end of its U.S. leg and before the start of its European tour.
Beyonce will have the command of PLFs and Imax screens at the box office though they’ll be shared with Toho International’s Godzilla Minus One. She’ll be booked in 2,539 theaters, with another 2,780 abroad in 94 territories. Previews stateside begin Thursday at 7PM. The movie similar to Eras Tour will play Thursday-Sunday at movie theaters. Big markets for the pic in weekend one will be Mexico, UK, South Africa, Kenya, Australia and Germany.
No reviews yet on Rotten Tomatoes for Renaissance, but Deadline’s Katie Campione gave the movie directed by Beyonce a thumbs up saying, “The film captures all the spectacle and energy that makes Beyoncé’s Renaissance World Tour feel legendary.”
The 32-Grammy winner directed the movie which is both concert and documentary with a 2 1/2 hour running time.
The biggest opening for a movie in early December belongs to the Warner Bros.’ 2003 Tom Cruise pic The Last Samurai, at $24.2M, while Disney’s third weekend of Frozen 2 in early December 2019 counts the most amount of money for a film at No. 1 with $35.1M. After Disney’s Wish‘s lackluster domestic start with $19.6M 3-day, $31.6M 5-day, don’t expect it to lead this weekend. Meanwhile, industry estimates expect the No. 1 movie over the Thanksgiving holiday, Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes to ease -55% in weekend 3 with a gross around $13M. The Lionsgate release became the 23rd movie in 2023 to cross $100M yesterday in U.S./Canada.
Godzilla Minus One, Toho’s first U.S. theatrical release on its own, is eyeing a 3-day between high single digits to $10M+. The Takashi Yamazaki directed and written feature which is a Japanese reboot of the classic lizard franchise has already grossed over $19M in Japan.
Angel Studios also has the sci-fi movie The Shift opening in 2,400 locations which is expected to be in the low single digits. Pic stars Neal McDonough and Sean Astin. Logline: After meeting a mysterious stranger, a man must escape a ” dystopian ” world to return to his wife.
How low can this weekend be? All films a year ago grossed $52.7M per Box Office Mojo. The first weekend of December 2019, which saw Frozen 2 leading the chart with $35.1M, clocked all titles at $90.3M; low by pre-Covid box office standards.