‘Avatar 2’ & More Putting Year’s Running Box Office Over Half Billion- Sunday Update

SUNDAY AM WRITETHRU after Saturday AM update: Thank to the legs on Christmas holdovers Avatar: The Way of Water and Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, and M3GAN running to $73.2M, the 2023 box office is surging to an estimated $514.7M for the Jan. 1-Jan. 22 period, +39% over last year, which was at $370M per box office sources.

Avatar 2 landed a sixth weekend of $19.7M, which could get it to become the 7th-best sixth frame ever (a detailed record which the first Avatar holds at $34.9M). A year ago at this time, it was Spider-Man: No Way Home, which was leading the chart in its sixth weekend with a take of $14M. On the high end, the 20th Century Studios/Disney/Lightstorm title gets to $597.9M today, and hits $2.024 billion worldwide. On the global side, that’s still the 6th-highest grossing title ever, under Avengers: Infinity War ($2.05 billion). Friday was $4.6M, -34%. Imax counted $8.9M WW this weekend, 11.7% of the global weekend total, for a $227M global gross on the sequel, soaring past The Force Awakens to become the second-highest grossing Imax movie ever. US/Canada Imax theaters made $2.9M, repping close to 15% of the weekend’s ticket sales, for a running total of $79.4m.

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Puss in Boots 2 in weekend 5 is at $11.5M, -21%, for a running total of $126.4M. That cume is now only 5% off from where Sing 2 was at the same point in time a year ago.

Sony’s Nicholas D. Johnson-Will Merrick movie Missing is filing in the high single digits with $9.3M, after a $3.4M Friday (that includes previews) and $3.6M Saturday. While Searching had a different type of launch back in 2018, then going wide over Labor Day weekend, Missing made more than that second weekend expansion of the Aneesh Chaganty directed/written thriller. Critics gave Missing an 82% fresh score on Rotten Tomatoes, while audiences graded it a B with CinemaScore and 81% positive/60% recommend on Comscore/Screen Engine’s PostTrak. Mostly women showed up, with 48% between 25-44. Diversity demos were 30% Caucasian, 26% Hispanic and Latino, 24% Black, and 20% Asian/other. The thriller played on the coasts and the South, with NY and LA owning six of the top ten runs.

Missing social media core awareness levels were tracking 8% over thriller norms at 114.8M across Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, heavily on Instagram, and vigorously fan boosted on TikTok, according to RelishMix. Additional organic viral views on TikTok were running at 217M views, days before opening, now adding 18M views daily for #missingmovie, filled with review spots from screening in several markets. Pic’s star Storm Reid stoked her near-3M social media followers, as did Euphoria‘s Nia Long, who also stars and has 9.5M followers.

Universal/Atomic Monster/Blumhouse’s third weekend of M3GAN is looking at $9.1M over the three days.

Sony’s A Man Called Otto‘s fourth weekend is $9M, -30%, for a running total of $35.3M. Industry domestic outlook for the Tom Hanks drama is around $55M.

There is another wide release for the weekend, not just Missing, and it’s Crunchyroll’s The Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime The Movie: Scarlet Bond. Including Thursday previews, day one came in at $697,7K at 1,468 locations. Weekend outlook is $1.459M. Pic is is based on the best-selling light novel, written by Fuse and illustrated by Mitz Vah, and the fantasy adventure anime series That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime. The series follows Mikami Satoru, an average 37-year-old who dies and is reincarnated as the most unremarkable creature imaginable—a slime. Initially, things are pretty grim. He’s blind, deaf, and weak. But by combining his two special abilities, “Predator” and “Great Sage,” the newly named Rimuru Tempest will use his blobby powers to gain friends and foes alike in a diverse new world.

The stand-alone story takes place following the ending of Season 2 of the anime series, currently streaming on Crunchyroll. In the movie, a long-running conspiracy is swirling over a mysterious power wielded by the Queen in Raja, a small country west of Tempest. When a slime who evolved into a Demon Lord named Rimuru Tempest crosses paths with Hiiro, a survivor of the Ogre race, an incredible adventure packed with new characters begins. The power of bonds are put to the test.

PostTrak exits were only 77% positive, with a 58% recommend. Guys, as is standard for anime, showed up at 75%, with 78% between 18-34. Diversity demos were 34% Caucasian, 28% Latino and Hispanic, 14% Black and 24% Asian/other. The movie played best in the West along with the South, where nine of the top ten runs came from.

Chart is updated with Sunday numbers

1.) Avatar 2 (Dis) 3,790 (-255) theaters Fri $4.6M (-34%) Sat $9.3M Sun $5.7M 3-day $19.7M (-40%), Total $597.9M /Wk 6

2.) Puss in in Boots 2 (Uni) 3,611 (-76) theaters Fri $2.75M (-10%) Sat $5.4M Sun $3.2M 3-day $11.5M (-21%)/Total $126.4M/Wk 5

3.) Missing (Sony) 3.025 theaters, Fri $3.4M, Sat $3.6M Sun $2.1M 3-day $9.3M/Wk 1

4.) M3GAN (Uni) 3,628 (+23) theaters Fri $2.6M (-46%)3-day $9.1M (-50%) Total $72.6M /Wk 3

5.) A Man Called Otto (Sony) 3,802 theaters, Fri $2.7M (-35%), Sat $3.8M Sun $2.4M, 3-day $9M (-30%)/Total $35.3M/Wk 4

6.) Plane (LG) 3,060 theaters (+37%), Fri $1.56M (-56%) Sat $2.3M Sun $1.3M 3-day $5.3M (-50%), Total $19.5M/Wk 2

7.) House Party (NL) 1,400 theaters, Fri $515K (-63%), $760K, Sun $500K 3-day $1.77M (-55%), Total $7.1M/Wk 2

8.) That Time I Got…(Crunchyroll), 1,468 theaters, Fri $697,7K, Sat $507,5K Sun $250K 3-day $1.459M/Wk 1

9.) Wakanda Forever (Dis) 1,525 (-385) theaters Fri $335K (-36%) Sat $658K Sun $405K 3-day $1.39M (-43%), Total $451.8M/ Wk 11

10) The Whale (A24) 1,591 (+91) theaters Fri $360,9K (-14%) Sat $541,3K Sun $378,9K 3 day $1.28M (-15%) Total $13.1M/Wk 7

FRIDAY AM UPDATE: The only new wide studio release this weekend is the Stage 6 and Screen Gems thriller Missing which collected $760K yesterday off of showtimes that began at 4PM at 2,650 locations. The movie, which is from the creatives behind Sony’s micro-hit, Searching, is expected to do in the mid single digits off 3,000 theaters.

Similar to Searching, Missing was made off a very thrifty budget of $7M before P&A.

Missing is executive produced by Searching‘s Timur Bekmambetov, produced by Sev Ohanian and Natalie Qasabian, and storied by that previous title’s Ohanian and Aneesh Chaganty, the latter who helmed the first title. Missing is directed by Nicholas D. Johnson and Will Merrick. The pic follows a young woman who tries to find her missing mother using tools available to her online. Storm Reid and Nia Long star.

20th Century Studios/Disney/Lightstorm’s Avatar: The Way of Water is expected to remain strong with at least $20M in weekend 6. Avatar 2 ends week 5 with a running total of $578.2M. This weekend will get the James Cameron directed sequel to $598M+. The next pic it needs to pass on the all-time list of the highest grossing movies at the domestic box office is The Incredibles 2 ($608.5M), which is currently ranked the 12th highest.

Universal/Atomic Monster/Blumhouse’s M3GAN ends week 2 with an estimated $63.4M running total, second week of $25M. The third weekend of Gerard Johnstone directed PG-13 genre title is expected to remain robust with $15M.

Sony’s A Man Called Otto ends its third week (first in wide release at 3,802) with $20.1M, a running total of $26.3M. Weekend 4 is expected to be around $10M.

Universal/DreamWorks Animation’s Puss in Boots: The Last Wish could also see another great hold in the wake of its MLK weekend. Its fifth frame is expected to be around $10M. Week 4 ends with an estimated $22M and a running stateside gross of $114.9M. The movie’s availability on PVOD isn’t slowing its turnstiles down.

Lionsgate’s Gerard Butler movie Plane ends week one with $14.2M.

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