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To borrow from American football lingo, the weekend box office contest was full of interesting plays.
M. Night Shyamalan’s newest movie, Knock at the Cabin, topped the domestic chart with $14.2 million from 3,643 theaters. While the psychological-tinged horror pic has bragging rights to finally being the film to topple Avatar: The Way of Water from the stop spot, it is nevertheless the lowest North American opening of any film directed by Shyamalan.
Mediocre word of mouth could be a culprit. Knock at the Cabin received a C CinemaScore (that’s below the C+ assigned to the prolific writer-director’s last film, Old). Nor are exit scores on PostTrak so great. Males dominated the audience, while more than 60 percent of ticket buyers were between the ages of 18 and 24.
Overseas, the pic took in $7 million for an early global total of $21.2 million.
Knock at the Cabin follows a young girl and her parents who are taken hostage at a remote cabin by a group of diabolical strangers who demand they make an unthinkable choice in order to avert the apocalypse. Dave Bautista, Jonathan Groff, Ben Aldridge, Nikki Amuka-Bird, newcomer Kristen Cui, Abby Quinn and Rupert Grint star.
Universal is releasing Knock at the Cabin, a Blinding Edge Pictures production, in association with FilmNation Features and Wilshmore Entertainment. Shyamalan finances his own films.
In 2021, amid the pandemic, Old debuted to $17 million domestically. Shyamalan’s two previous films, 2018’s Glass and 2016’s Split, each opened to a rousing $40 million.
The weekend’s other new Hollywood studio offering, 80 for Brady, opened in second place with a pleasing $12.5 million from 3,912 locations after succeeding in winning over older consumers, and particularly older females. Nearly 80 percent of ticket buyers were 35 and older, including a massive 50 percent over 55.
From Paramount Pictures and Fifth Season, the comedy stars Lily Tomlin, Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin and Sally Field as a group of friends who are determined to meet New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. The legendary football player produced and stars in the movie.
In an unprecedented move, Paramount and theater owners across the country — including the largest circuits — partnered on an initiative substantially lowering ticket prices in order to lure adult moviegoers who have been more reluctant to return to the cinema in the aftermath of the pandemic. Prices vary chain from chain.
One bummer — bitterly cold weather in parts of the Northeast hurt box office traffic in the Boston area.
80 for Brady‘s pricing plan, which will be kept in place throughout the movie’s run, was first detailed by The Hollywood Reporter. There are promising signs that the variable price boosted the film’s opening. For example, more patrons showed up to see 80 for Brady than Knock at the Cabin, or 1.3 million moviegoers compared to 1.1 million, according to EntTelligence.
The James Cameron-directed Avatar: The Way of Water fell to No. 3 in its eighth weekend of play in North America with roughly $10.8 million from 3,310 theaters to finish the weekend with a global total of $2.174 billion, not far behind Cameron’sTitanic ($2.194 billion).
Disney and 20th Century’s The Way of Water is expected to ultimately overtake Titanic to become the third top-grossing film of all time at the worldwide box office behind the original Avatar and Avengers: Endgame. Overseas, the Avatar sequel has already sailed past Titanic ($1.538 billion versus $1.535 billion), a feat it accomplished over the weekend. One wrinkle: a 3D version of Titanic is being rereleased on Feb. 10 by Disney and Paramount.
Other weekend highlights in North America included a special event showing of BTS: Yet to Come in Cinemas, which placed No. 5 with $5.1 million 1,125 theaters for a tally of $7.8 million (the concert pic opened midweek).
And Fathom’s theatrical screening of The Chosen Season 3: The Finale placed No. 9 with $3.6 million for a domestic total of $5.3 million.
Comscore is reporting that 2023 domestic box office revenue stands at $77 million through Sunday, a 53 percent gain over the same corridor last year.
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