Box Office: Winter Storm Jonas Forces New York City, East Coast Theater Closures
Weekend box-office grosses will likely take a sizeable hit because of the massive storm.
Winter storm Jonas has prompted hundreds of East Coast theaters to send their employees home and temporarily suspend operation, including in New York City, Philadelphia, New Jersey and Philadelphia.
All told, box-office revenue this weekend could be down more than 15 percent because of the massive storm. New York City and the surrounding suburbs alone contribute seven percent of the overall gross.
Theaters in the nation's capital closed Friday afternoon; followed by Philadelphia in the evening. Hollywood studios learned late Saturday morning that New York locations were following suit, in addition to New Jersey theaters. "Jonas wins," quipped one studio executive.
All Broadway matinee and evening performances were also closed on Sat, Jan. 23 due to the winter storm and the resulting ban of travel in New York by government authorities.
Jonas is particularly unfortunate for the three new films opening this weekend — Lionsgate's raunchy, R-rated comedy Dirty Grandpa, Sony's The 5th Wave and supernatural horror film The Boy. However, even without Jonas, none of the new offerings were set to open to huge numbers.
Instead, Alejandro G. Inarritu's The Revenant is set to win the weekend with roughly $16 million, pushing its domestic total to nearly $120 million through Sunday. The awards frontrunner earned roughly $4.7 million on Friday. Star Wars: The Force Awakens is set to come in No. 2 with roughly $13 million for a domestic total of $878 million-plus.
Ride Along 2 looks to tumble 66 percent in its second weekend to an estimated $11.9 million for an early domestic cume of $58 million.
From Lionsgate, Dirty Grandpa — starring Robert De Niro and Zac Efron — should open north of $11 million after a $4.2 million Friday. The comedy has received withering reviews, but fared somewhat better with audiences, who gave it a B CinemaScore.
In the film, De Niro plays a grandfather who tricks his grandson (Efron) into driving him to Florida just days before the young, uptight lawyer's wedding.
Director William Brent Bell's The Boy, the third release from STX Entertainment, grossed an estimated $4.4 million Friday for a projected $10.5 million weekend.
Previously titled The Inhabitant, the modestly budgeted film, which cost $10 million to produce, revolves around a young American (Lauren Cohan) who takes a job as a nanny in a remote English village. Her charge, however, turns out to be a life-size doll that the parents treat as a real boy, while the whereabouts of their son is unclear.
Sony's 5th Wave, starring Chloe Grace Moretz, is eyeing a modest start domestically, considering it was intended to launch a new YA film franchise (it hopes to be a stronger player overseas.) The movie took in an estimated $3.5 million Friday for a $9.5 million weekend, give or take.
The $38 million movie, based on the best-selling book series, follows a young girl on the run after four waves of increasingly deadly alien attacks leave much of Earth decimated. As she prepares for the fifth attack, she meets a young man (Nick Robinson).
Both 5th Wave and The Boy earned a B- CinemaScore
Jan. 23, 7:45 a.m. Updated with Friday numbers.
Jan. 23, 9:45 a.m. Updated with additional theater closures.