“Scream VI” collected $44.5 million in its opening weekend, which is a frighteningly good start for Paramount and Spyglass Media’s long-running Slash series.
Those ticket sales were enough to top the domestic box office charts for two newcomers, Sony’s sci-fi thriller “65” and Focus Features’ heartwarming comedy “Heroes,” as well as last weekend’s winner “Creed III.”
The initial stretch of “Scream VI” is frighteningly strong for the sixth installment in a franchise. Not only did it improve dramatically on last year’s successful “Scream” reboot debut, which scored $30 million, but it broke the all-time opening-weekend record previously set by 2000’s “Scream 3” with $34 million. And “Scream VI” cost $35 million, so it would easily make a profit in its theatrical run.
R-rated “Scream VI” added another $22.6 million from 53 international markets, bringing its worldwide tally to $67.1 million.
“The ratings and audience scores are very good, and the international business should be strong,” says David A. Gross, who runs film consultancy Franchise Entertainment Research. “27 years after its launch in 1996, the franchise is healthier than ever.”
Directed by Matt Bettinelli-Olbin and Tyler Gillette, “Scream VI” follows the survivors of the Ghostface murders as they leave Woodsboro behind for a fresh start in New York City. (Good luck with that…) Courteney Cox, Melissa Barrera, Gina Ortega, and Hayden Panettiere are all back for the movie, the first sequel without director Neve Campbell’s Sidney Prescott. The actress left the film because she felt “the offer made to me was not worth the value I brought to the franchise”. The opening weekend audience skewed slightly male (51%), while 71% were between the ages of 18 and 24.
The latest “Scream” continues its strong run at the box office, which is looking to continue with “Shazam: Fury of the Gods” (March 17), “John Wick: Chapter 4” (March 24) and “Dungeons and Dragons: Honor.” among thieves ”(March 31).
In second place, “Creed III” scored $27.1 million from 4,007 theaters in North America, down 53% from last weekend’s impressive debut of $59 million. After just two weeks on the big screen, the sports drama – directed by and starring Michael B Jordan – has crossed the $100 million mark. Based on current estimates, “Creed III” is looking to end its theatrical run with around $150 million in North America, which is well ahead of the first film ($109 million) and the second film ($115 million).
“65” debuted at #3 with $12.3 million from 3,405 cinemas, an up start from initial single-digit projections, but still tough for a film with a $45 million budget. Adam Driver stars in “65” as a pilot who lands on a mysterious planet that happens to be Earth… 65 million years ago.
Negative reviews (it has a 36% on Rotten Tomatoes) and poor audience scores (it holds a poor cinematic “C+”) may not help with word of mouth after its opening weekend. Bron and TSG co-financed the film, which should help mitigate potential losses in its theatrical run.
“This is the soft start of an original sci-fi movie,” Gross says. He adds, “These films are doing well overseas, and ’65 could model some overseas. […] But ’65’ is unlikely to be profitable after all related costs are accounted for.
“Champions” debuted at number six with an average of $5.1 million from 3,030 locations. Directed by Bobby Farrelly, “Champions” follows Woody Harrelson as a temperamental Little League basketball coach who ends up guiding a team of players with intellectual disabilities to fulfill community service requirements. Lucky for the studio, ticket buyers — 56% are female and 83% are 25 or older — seem to like the movie (which has a cinematic “A” grade) more than critics (it has a 53% score on Rotten Tomatoes).
“Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” and “Cocaine Bear” rounded out the top five on the domestic box office charts.
Marvel’s third superhero adventure to highlight the youngest Avenger movie added $7 million from 3,105 theaters in its fourth weekend of release. To date, “Quantumania” has grossed $198 million in North America, surpassing the original “Ant-Man” ($180 million) and coming after the 2018 sequel “Ant-Man and the Wasp” ($216 million).
But at the global box office, “Ant-Man 3” grossed $447.6 million and could finish as the lowest-grossing “Ant-Man,” trailing the first film’s $519 million and the follow-up’s $622 million.
Universal’s comedy-horror “Cocaine Bear” finished fifth, earning $6.2 million from 3,204 slots in its third weekend in theaters. The bloody animal adventure, directed by Elizabeth Banks and starring a bear on cocaine (you guessed it), has grossed $51.6 million domestically and $65 million worldwide to date.
More is coming…
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