L.A. Box Office Blasts Off To $1.55M; Kelly Marie Tran & Carlos Lopez Estrada Welcome ‘Raya’ Fans As Pic Ranks No. 1 Again – Update

Anthony D'Alessandro
·10 min read

Monday Update: Updated weekend box office figures for how spectacular Los Angeles did in its first weekend back after a year of shutdown during Covid: $1.55M from 75 theaters, which reps 8.8% of the $17.6M weekend box office. That figure is based off 75 theaters polled in Comscore, and reps a 743% explosion from the market last weekend when largely drive-ins fueled business.

L.A. was easily the No. 1 box office market this past weekend with out of the top 10 theaters in the nation being from the DMA, i.e. AMC Burbank, AMC Dine-in Disney Springs in Orlando, AMC Citywalk in LA, AMC Century City, the Van Buren 3 Drive-In, AMC Orange, AMC Empire in NYC, AMC Dine-In in Ontario Mills, the Mission Tiki Drive-in in LA, and Mountain Grove 16 in the DMA as well.

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Meanwhile, New York was the No. 2 weekend box office market with 89 theaters polled collecting $844,3K, repping a 17% decline. It was the third weekend that NYC theaters were in operation, and note there weren’t really any major studio wide releases. This Friday we have Universal’s R-rated Bob Odenkirk action movie Nobody and Wednesday March 31 is Legendary/Warner Bros. theatrical and HBO Max release of Godzilla vs. Kong followed by Screen Gems’ The Unholy on April 2.

SUNDAY AM Final Update: Moviegoing exploded over the weekend in Los Angeles, according to industry reports, with the box office capital restoring itself to the No. 1 rank for a $1.05 million take over Friday and Saturday from 75 polled theaters. Amazing.

Compared to NYC’s first weekend of reopening cinemas, March 5-7, L.A. is already pacing 41% ahead of the $744K which cinemas in the five boroughs minted over its first Friday and Saturday. NYC’s first weekend B.O. finaled at $1.07M, and L.A. by the end of today will be well ahead of that number. The City of Angels is also besting the Big Apple’s $611K B.O. this weekend, making it the second- ranked market.

Compared to Friday and Saturday last weekend, the L.A. DMA (which included mostly drive-ins prior to hard-tops reopening during the pandemic) did $107.2K, for a total weekend of $183.8K. Overall L.A.’s current weekend B.O. to date is +879% versus March 12-13.

NYC theaters had been closed down due to pandemic state government regulations for 50 1/2 weeks, while L.A. had been shuttered for a year. L.A. did reopen theaters last Monday, which gave the market’s weekly B.O. a boost, with a gross of $595K for the period of March 12-18.

As we mentioned previously, there’s a lot of exhibition still closed down in the US, including No. 2 chain Regal, New Mexico, and roughly 75% of Canada, which is always calculated as part of the domestic B.O.

Disney is officially reporting a third weekend B.O. of Raya and the Last Dragon at $5.2M, -9% for a $23.4M domestic running total. A great hold, thanks to the return of L.A. theaters. Raya made $1.4M on Friday, $2.25M on Saturday (+61%) and is expected to ease 33% today to $1.5M. Overall, global weekend for Raya was $13.2M from 29 offshore territories, for a total running global take of $71.2M.

It was a big a weekend for Oscar nominees, with Sony Classics’ The Father staying in the top 10 with a studio-reported estimated $321.7K fourth weekend. A24 began reporting Minari, which jumped 131% in weekend 6 thanks to LA and NYC back online, with a 3-day of $306K, and a running total of $1.4M. Warner Bros.’ Judas and the Black Messiah in weekend 6 did $250K at 951 locations (+174) for a 53% jump and $5M take. The latter pic is no longer available on HBO Max, as the Shaka King-directed movie has run its 31-day course. Hence, theaters have Judas exclusively to themselves for the next month, and can realize any upside from the pic’s Oscar momentum. All three movies have six Oscar noms, including Best Picture nods.

Roadside Attractions’ The Courier wound up taking 3rd place with $2M. The Cold War spy thriller, as we mentioned, had great reviews and exits (scroll down). Benedict Cumberbatch has been pushing the pic on social media, with RelishMix observing a gushing online for the former Sherlock star in a 007 kind of role.

“Fans amuse themselves with spins — Benadryl Crumplebatch, Agent Cucumberpatch, Benedict’s Cumber-stache, Bumblesnatch Cummerbund, and many, many more. And with 007 re-dating to Fall 2021, fans are shouting that Benedict is readying himself to be the next Bond. We also see conspicuous mentions coming from Russian translated posts, who, while distrusting everything, question the historical authenticity of the Cold War story which is now coming to the big screen. Overall, convo see fans ‘friend-tagging’ each other and ready for a real life spy thriller, along with a large order of fresh popped popcorn,” reports RelishMix.

RelishMix noticed that The Courier entered the weekend with a rapidly growing Social Media Universe just crossing 30M, with strong engagement on Facebook from 25 videos and 12.5M views — plus another five video spots and trailers, with 9.6M owned and earned views on the Roadside Attractions YouTube channels. Virtual rate on video materials was 14:1 which is close to the spy genre norm, with support of Roadside (114K SMU) and Lionsgate (9.3M) owned pages.

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Weekend B.O. for March 19-21:

1.) Raya and the Last Dragon (Dis) 2,261 theaters (+98), 3-day: $5.2M (-9%), Total: $23.4M/Wk 3

2.) Tom & Jerry (WB) 2,508 theaters (+54), 3-day: $3.8M (-7%)/Total: $33.6M/Wk 4

3.) The Courier (RSA) 1,433 theaters, 3-day: $2M/Wk 1

4.) Chaos Walking (Lionsgate) 2,132 theaters (+112), 3-day: $1.925M (-14%)/Total: $9.69M/Wk 3

5.) The Croods: A New Age (Uni) 1,411 theaters (-29), 3-day: $620K (+15%)/Total: $55.2M/Wk 17

6.)Boogie (Focus) 1,184 theaters (-88), 3-day: $600K (-23%) /Total: $3.2M/Wk 3

7.) The Marksman (Open) 1,002 theaters (-103)/3-day: $480K (+6%)/Total: $14.2M/Wk 10

8.) Wonder Woman 1984 (WB) 1,158 theaters (+19)/3-day: $460K (+15%)/Total: $45.5M/Wk 13

9.) The Little Things (WB) 1,130 theaters (-173), 3-day: $340K (-15%), Total: $14.7M/Wk 8

10.) The Father (SPC) 933 theaters (+68), 3-day: $321K (-25%) /Total: $969K/Wk 4

11.) Minari (A24) 786 theaters (+504), 3-day: $306K (+131%), Total $1.4M/Wk 6

SATURDAY AM Update: Even though just 37% of the entire Los Angeles theatrical market is back online, it was enough to propel the DMA to the top weekend spot on Friday with $427,2K, repping a +1,100% jump from the same period a week ago. Los Angeles will feasibly be the No. 1 box office market this weekend, besting New York, with well over $1M.

Meanwhile, over at the El Capitan Theatre last night on Hollywood Blvd, Raya and the Last Dragon star Kelly Marie Tran and the pic’s director Carlos Lopez Estrada greeted returning moviegoers. While the numbers may not appear amazing at first glance, Raya and the Last Dragon‘s Friday posted $1.4M at 2,261 theaters (+98), even with the same day a week ago, and headed for a third weekend of $5.7M, even percent-wise with last weekend. That’s a hold any studio would envy, and it’s indicative that there is a yearning in the nation to go back to the movies. Running total for Raya by tomorrow is $24.8M, with the pic also available to Disney+ subscribers for an extra $30.

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Yesterday, the New York City DMA was the No. 1 marketplace, per distribution sources, with $241.1K, -5%. Last weekend, NYC grossed $1.018M and ended its second week of ops on Thursday with $1.35M.

As far as the complete return of exhibition, we still have a ways to go in the US and Canada market, with only 3.1K locations of 588K back online. That’s still with 98% of AMC and 92% of Cinemark operating. The lack of No. 2 chain Regal leaves a big hole. In addition, only 18% of the Canadian province Ontario, which contains the Toronto DMA, is open. On the bright side, 47 of California’s 58 counties have reopened cinemas and are operating between 25%-50%. Sources tell me that by Easter weekend, if not shortly after, Los Angeles movie theater capacities could jump to 50%, knock on wood.

Second place goes to Warner Bros.’ Tom & Jerry, which grossed an estimated $1.02M in its fourth Friday, +2%, on its way to $4.3M at 2,508 sites (+54), +5% for a running total on Sunday of $34.1M. The pic is still available on HBO Max, free to subscribers, for another eight days before theaters have the animation hybrid exclusively during the title’s second month run.

Lionsgate’s Chaos Walking in weekend 3 saw a $574K Friday, -11% for a 3-day of $2.1M, -5% at 2,132 (+112) for a $9.6M running cume.

Fourth goes to Roadside Attractions’ new wide entry thriller The Courier, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Rachel Brosnahan, which made $671K yesterday at 1,433 locations, on its way to a $1.95M 3-day debut. Pic has an 83% certified fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes and earned an 82% positive score, with a very good 62% definite recommend from Screen Engine/Comscore PostTrak audience exits.

Fifty-seven percent guys showed up, 85% over 25, with 66% over 35 years old. Diversity demos were 72% Caucasian, 11% Hispanic, 8% Black, & 9% Asian. Courier played best on the East coast overall, but their best market was Salt Lake City, I hear. The Dominic Cooke-directed feature follows Cold War spy Greville Wynne and his Russian source, who try to put an end to the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Universal/DreamWorks Animation’s Croods: A New Age in weekend 17 at 1,411 sites (-29) did $170K yesterday, +45%, on its way to $780K, +44%, for a running total of $55.4M.

Sixth place is owned by Focus Features’ Eddie Huang movie Boogie, with a third weekend of $640K, -18%, for a running total of $3.3M. The movie, starring Taylour Paige, Pop Smoke, and Taylor Takahashi, grossed $180K on Friday, -18% from a week ago.

Also, way down the chart, making its first appearance in hard-top theaters since Los Angeles reopened, is Warner Bros’ Tenet. The movie is booked at many Imax auditoriums, including AMC Universal CityWalk, where it can be seen in 70mm, AMC Burbank, AMC Century City, AMC Promenade Woodland Hills, AMC Santa Anita, AMC Del Amo Torrance and AMC Covina, and at Cinemark Imax Lancaster. The movie grossed an estimated $23K last night from 35 locations for an estimated $80K weekend, putting its running total at $58.3M stateside, still the highest-grossing movie during the pandemic since theatres reopened in late August.

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