‘Civil War’ Brings Audiences Together With $11M+ Second Weekend Win – Sunday AM Box Office Update

SUNDAY AM WRITETHRU A24’s Civil War is winning the box office skirmish against three wide entries with a second weekend of $11.1M after a $3.25M Friday and $4.6M Saturday. This catapults the Alex Garland political thriller into A24’s top 5.

That’s a -56% second frame ease which is a great hold for a movie that provoked a divided audience response with a B- Cinemascore. Many felt it would be more frontloaded with exits like that. A24’s trick: They know how to generate the chime-in factor and sources tell me kudos are due to their marketing team of Graham Retzik and Zoe Beyer, maestros of entrancing the 18-34 crowd via social media and a guerrilla push.

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Civil War earned $1.9M on Imax screens around the globe taking its running total for the large format exhibitor to $8.5M; $2M of that from offshore venues. The film will open on 25 Imax screens across the Middle East this Thursday. Civil War will keep some Imax screens in U.S./Canada for weekend 3.

Meanwhile, everything else is largely coming in under its projections resulting in a blah $68M weekend. Not the lowest year to date, but generally an awful number you don’t want to see the overall marketplace at — and we have diversified product, which is what studios and exhibition whine we should have. And not just any kind of product, but movies with great reviews and great audience responses. What gives? Why? It’s the same old, same old post pandemic excuse: Many cheap out on their marketing, avoiding solid box office figures so they can slide a title into home entertainment windows and profit ASAP. We’re clearly in a world now where profitability and the optics of success mean two different things.

Universal’s B CinemaScore, but 82% certified fresh vampire movie, Abigail, starring Melissa Barrera will at least hit $10M after a $4M Friday. The opening here is a little bit higher than Radio Silence’s Ready or Not ($8M) which was a Searchlight release and did a 3.6x multiple off a B+ CinemaScore. It will be interesting to see how this one legs out. In addition, Abigail‘s opening is right near the start of Dev Patel’s genre action movie Monkey Man three weekends ago which did $10.1M; that’s already north of $21M. The R-rated horror movie was 50/50 male-female, with 64% over 25. Sixty-one percent were between the prime moviegoing audience of 18-34 with Caucasians numbering 40%, Latino and Hispanic at 29%, Black 17% and Asian at 9%. The Radio Silence directed horror pic played best in the South and Northeast with PLFs delivering 19% of the gross. AMC Burbank is the highest grossing venue in the country with $30K+. Before P&A, Abigail cost $28M. I’m told that Barrera’s Gaza politics weren’t seen as a hindrance in keeping audiences at bay and no marketing monies were dialed back because of that. The actress showed up at last Wednesday’s premiere in Westwood and we spotted her literally getting mobbed by paparazzi and fans in Michael Jackson fashion.

Says Universal Domestic Distribution Chief Jim Orr this AM, “Abigail took a very nice bite out of the domestic box office this weekend with audience and critical reaction scores that point to a longer run at the domestic box office than the genre normally provides.  Alisha Weir is simultaneously charming and terrifying as our ballerina, enthralling audiences around the world.”

Lionsgate’s A- CinemaScore, 88% PostTrak Guy Ritchie directed, mouthful of a title, The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare is coming in at singles digits with $9M after a $3.7M Friday — in fourth. The Henry Cavill movie is getting inched out by weekend 4 of Legendary/Warner Bros’ Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire which is looking to come in at $9.455M. The movie was financed by Black Bear. Lionsgate per sources paid a minimum guarantee in the teens with a low $20M marketing commitment. Lionsgate also took a distribution fee, which I understand isn’t uncommon on some indie pick-ups even if the distributor put out an MG. Lionsgate also gets some backend. While a single digit opening isn’t the sexiest thing in the world, the m.o. here is for theatrical to recoup the studio’s P&A, then PVOD and home entertainment will cover the MG and hopefully get the movie to breakeven or black at least in Lionsgate’s ledgers.

Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare drew 59% men with 44% between 18-34 and 54% of the audience over 35. Biggest demo was 25-34 which showed up at close to a third. Diversity demos were 56% Caucasian, 20% Latino and Hispanic, 9% Asian and 8% Black. Pic played even across the country but best in the South, South Central & West with the AMC Burbank the No. 1 venue with $24K-plus. PLFs contributed 18% of the gross.

The Sony Crunchyroll Toho movie, Spy x Family Code: White made $2.2M Friday for what’s looking like a $4.875M weekend at 2,009. Clearly not everything Crunchyroll does is Dragon Ball Z in fifth. The pic gets an A CinemaScore and 92% PostTrak. Guy leaning at 57% with 76% of the audience between 18-34 and 25-34 showing up the most at a near 50%. Diversity demos were 41% Caucasian, 26% Asian, 22% Latino and Hispanic and 8% Black. Spy x Family Code: White played on the coasts with NYC AMC Empire drawing $20K-plus, the best venue for the pic in the nation. The anime title shared Imax screens which delivered 14% of the gross.

Bleecker Street’s second weekend of Nathan and David Zellner’s Sasquatch Sunset which world premiered at Sundance and counts 71% fresh in reviews expended in weekend 2 from nine theaters last weekend to 856 locations saw $453K and a running total of $566K. Rotten Tomatoes audiences are only at 37% for this Jesse Eisenberg-Riley Keough Big Foot movie with decent grosses in Toronto, Denver, LA, NYC, Raleigh and San Antonio, Chicago and not a ton else going on.

Next weekend we have Luca Guadagnino’s Zendaya sexy tennis romcom, Challengers, which will have 276 Imax screens, as well as Lionsgate’s Unsung Hero and Roadside Attraction’s Boy Kills World. Hopefully that makes for more action than this weekend.

Chart is updated with Sunday figures:

1.) Civil War (A24) 3,929 (+91) theaters, Fri $3.25M (-70%) Sat $4.6M Sun $3.1M 3-day $11.1M (-56%), Total $44.8M/Wk 2

2.) Abigail (Uni) 3,384 theatres, Fri $4M Sat $3.7M Sun $2.4M, 3-day $10.2M/Wk 1

3.) Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire (Leg/WB) 3,658 theaters (-189), Fri $2.33M (-40%) Sat $4.3M Sun $2.8M 3-day $9.455M (-39%)/Total $171.6M/ Wk 4

4.) Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare (LG) 2,845 theaters, Fri $3.7M, 3-day $9M/Wk 1

5.) Spy x Family Code: White (Crunch) 2,040 theaters, Fri $2.2M, Sat $1.5M, Sun $1.1M, 3-day $4.875M/Wk 1

6.) Kung Fu Panda 4 (Uni) 2,955 (-149) theaters, Fri $1.1M (-19%) Sat $2.1M Sun $1.3M 3-day $4.6M (-17%), Total $180M/Wk 7

7.) Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire (Sony) 3,109 (-241) theaters, Fri $1M (-26%) Sat $2M Sun $1.2M 3-day $4.4M (-23%), Total $102.9M/Wk 5

8.) Dune: Part Two (Leg/WB) 2,014 (-387) theaters, Fri $800K (-33%) $1.2M Sun $830K 3-day $2.9M (-33%), Total $276.5M/Wk 8

9.) Monkey Man (Uni) 2,641 (-396) theaters, Fri $680K (-46%) Sat $920K Sun $600K 3-day $2.2M (-46%), Total $21.6M/Wk 3

10.) The First Omen (20th) 2,430 (-945) theaters, Fri $530K (-54%) Sat $730K Sun $440K 3-day $1.7M (-55%) Total $17.7M/Wk 3

UPDATED, Friday midday: Mish mosh at the box office with A24’s second weekend of Civil War at $3.5 million Friday and $11M+ for the weekend, and Universal and Radio Silence’s R-rated vampire pic Abigail with $4M today (that includes $1M previews)/$11M vying for No. 1.

Lionsgate’s Guy Ritchie WWII period action pic The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare is eyeing $3.9M-$4.3M Friday (including $1.45M previews) and $9M-$11M at 2,845 theaters, but many see the movie, which is 92% with Rotten Tomatoes’ audiences, in third place.

Godzilla and King Kong are so damn happy that ‘Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire’ is bound to be the second highest-grossing pic stateside in the Legendary Monsterverse
Godzilla and King Kong are so damn happy that ‘Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire’ is bound to be the second highest-grossing pic stateside in the Legendary Monsterverse

Fourth belongs to Legendary/Warner Bros’ Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire at 3,658 locations with a Friday of $2.3M and fourth weekend of $8.5M, off 45%, for a running total of $170.66M. By Sunday, if those figures hold, the latest Legendary Monsterverse title will be pacing 8% behind 2014’s Godzilla, the only installment to click past the $200M mark stateside with $200.6M. It will also officially make New Empire the second highest-grossing installment in the Monsterverse at the domestic B.O., overtaking Kong: Skull Island‘s $168M.

Fifth this weekend is Sony’s Crunchyroll anime title Spy x Family Code: White with $2M today and a $5M opening. RT critics are 96% fresh on the title while audiences give it a perfect score.

FRIDAY AM: Lionsgate is calling their all-in previews for Guy Ritchie’s The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare at $1.45M, however that includes around $600K in advance shows from last weekend in addition to Thursday’s cash. Which means Universal’s Radio Silence vampire movie, Abigail, won Thursday previews with $1M. Meanwhile, Sony Crunchyroll’s anime movie Spy x Family Code: White did $670K from shows that began at 4PM.

The weekend crown is expected to be a game of rock, paper, scissors between Abigail and A24’s second weekend of Civil War at about $12M+ apiece. Civil War led Thursday among pics in regular release with $1.6M, -14% from Wednesday, for a first week of $33.1M at 3,838 theaters.

Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare started its Thursday previews at 6PM. Abigail started her previews at 5PM in 2,800 last night and will expand to 3,384 locations today. Both movies are R-rated with good reviews on Rotten Tomatoes respectively of 71% and 83% fresh however, the Ritchie movie is expected to log in the mid single digits. Both are sharing PLFs this weekend.

Civil War is sharing Imax screens with Spy x Family Code: White, the latter which will do in the single digits.

Legendary/Warner Bros’ Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire booked at 3,847 saw a third Thursday of $893K, -3% from Wednesday for a week of $19.7M and a running total of $162.1M.

Sony’s Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire at 3,350 finished week 4 with $7.3M after a $372K Thursday, -1%.

Universal/DreamWorks Animation’s Kung Fu Panda 4 at 3,104 sites finished week 6 with an estimated $7.2M, running total of $175.3M after a $423K Thursday, +6% from Wednesday.

Legendary/Warner’s Dune: Part Two at 2,401 finished week 7 with $5.9M, after a $365K Thursday, -7% from Wednesday and a running total of $273.6M.

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