With a lack of competition, Five Night’s at Freddy’s should easily cruise to a second week atop the charts.
This weekend was originally supposed to be an epic one. In a perfect world the SAG-AFTRA strike would have been settled months ago (or never happened) and some of the biggest movies of the Fall season would not have been forced to vacate their original dates. Such is the case of this first weekend of November 2023 when Denis Villeneuve’s Dune: Part Two was supposed to hit theaters. Sadly back on August 24, it was announced that Warner Bros had decided to push the release to March 15, 2024 because they felt this movie needed the marketing push of its stars, who are prohibited from even mentioning the movie until the strike is resolved. This Dune series has not had an easy time in its journey to the big screen with the first film receiving the controversial day and date release in 2021 due to the pandemic where it still managed a solid $402 million worldwide take while earning ten Academy Award Nominations (winning six). No idea how a March release will hinder the sequel’s Oscar chances in next years race.
So with that blockbuster off the schedule, you would think some studio would decide to jump on this date that is now vacant of a big film. Perhaps it would have been wise for Sony to push up their Thanksgiving to give it more breathing room before the actual holiday or Searchlight Pictures could have switched Taika Waititi’s Next Goal Wins away from such surefire hits as The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes and Trolls Band Together. But instead this weekend features a few movies that have seen very limited marketing and are opening on less than 2000 screens.
Perhaps these studios saw the massive hit Five Nights at Freddy’s would become and decided to steer clear. Last week Freddy’s became the highest opening ever for a Blumhouse produced film at just over $80 million with an additional $60 million taken in overseas. The big question this weekend will be how front loaded was the movie? It is a film made specifically for the fans which is why almost every review for the movie says that if you aren’t familiar with the brand, you probably won’t like it (which is why our own Tyler Nichols gave it just 4/10 in his review). I think this one will have a pretty significant drop off this weekend, probably in the 70% range, putting its second weekend at $24 million, which is still $4 million more than the films entire production budget. No matter the drop off this weekend, this movie is a massive hit!
Spots two and three will go to Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour as the concert film will see a drop off in the 50% range for a $7.5 million weekend while Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon looks to have another small drop, in the 30-35% range with around $6 million.
The first new release film this weekend is the Sofia Coppola directed Priscilla which tells the story of Priscilla Beaulieu who meets a rock star several years her senior and forms a lifelong bond. Many of us are already familiar with the story of Elvis and Priscilla Presley from last years Academy Award nominated Elvis. That story told the bigger picture of Elvis and how his manager took advantage of him. With Priscilla, Sofia Coppola takes a more intimate approach and focuses on the often tumultuous relationship between the two. The film has already seen some impressive reviews with some claiming Cailee Spaeny’s titular performance is awards worthy. If this film can light up the independent theaters, I can see it cracking the top five this weekend with around $5 million in receipts.
The next new release is one that should be getting more press, but I have only seen one trailer for it in all my trips to the movies over the past few months and that is the return of Meg Ryan to the romantic comedy world for What Happens Later, for which she also directs. The film currently has divided critics with some saying it is a 30 minute concept stretched to feature length while others praising the chemistry between Meg Ryan and co-star David Duchovny. With a lack of marketing, middling reviews and an under 2000 screen count, I’m not quite sure this one will have the juice to become a surprise hit. With the lack of new material in theaters I think it has the power to open in the top ten with around $2 million, but will fade quickly. Something the studio must have anticipated as the film already has a home video release date of December 19. I am a sucker for a Romantic Comedy though, so I look forward to seeing this one (probably around December 19!)
The final new release of the week is the Daisy Ridley fronted The Marsh King’s Daughter which again has seen very limited marketing and no reviews yet published (which is never a good sign). This adaptation of the 2017 book of the same name is looking to use a theatrical release as an advertisement for when it hits home video/ streaming as I’m not even sure this one has enough juice to hit the $1 million mark this weekend.
Will you be heading to theaters this weekend or will staying in and watching the excellent new Netflix documentary Sly (which our own Chris Bumbray was a fan of in his 8/10 review) be all the entertainment you need? Let us know in the comments and don’t forget to check back with us on Saturday as we have brief update on this weekend’s box office numbers.
TOP FIVE PREDICTIONS