SATURDAY AM UPDATE: In a weekend without major studio wide releases, Crunchyroll’s anime prequel Jujutsu Kaisen 0 is providing cash to exhibition. The pic on Friday, including previews, did $5.7M, which many are projecting will be a very solid $19M weekend in 2nd; not far from the $21.2M that Demon Slayer did during late April last year.
Of course, Warner Bros.’ The Batman is No. 1, eyeing a third weekend of $36.8M, down a very good 45%, and sending its running total to $300.1M by Sunday. Among third weekends at the box office for Warner Bros, The Batman‘s is the third best after Dark Knight ($42.6M) and Wonder Woman ($41.2M). People love this movie. Just another $31M and The Batman will have surpassed 2015’s Batman v. Superman ($330.3M); another $35M until it clocks past Aquaman ($335.1M). Friday for The Batman came in at 10.6M, -43% from a week ago.
A24’s horror movie X did $1.77M yesterday for what looks to be a No. 5 take of $4.1M at 2,865 theaters, fueled by venues in the Southwest where nine of the top ten theaters came from. In standard fashion, it’s the type of A24 release that divides critics and audiences with a 95% certified fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes and 68% on Comscore’s Postrack audience exits, along with a low 45% recommend. The Ti West directed and written movie skewed 55% male, 74% between 18-34 with diversity demos of 51% Caucasian, 23% Latino and Hispanic, 12% Black and 14% Asian/other. Among A24’s wide releases during the pandemic, X is lower than The Green Knight‘s $6.7M start (which got to a final domestic of $17.1M, a 2.6x multiple) and ahead of Zola‘s $1.2M, but that was only on roughly half the number of theaters that X is playing at.
Jujutsu Kaisen 0 wins on both fronts with critics (100%) and audiences (93% positive, 81% recommend on PostTrak). Kids under 12 were also fantastic in exits at 100% and a 91% recommend. Men showed up at 60% and 77% between 18-34. Diversity demos were a heavy 35% Latino and Hispanic, 25% Caucasian, 19% Asian, and 16% Black. Jujutsu played to great numbers everywhere with close to 170 runs over $10K and just over 500 theaters doing $5k yesterday alone. Very strong numbers on the coasts in Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Seattle. The pic is boosted by plays in 4DX, Dbox, and PLFs. Prints are subtitled in Japanese and English-dubbed. Jujutsu Kaisen 0 is the first movie to be released under the newly-unified Crunchyroll. Earlier this month, it was announced that all Funimation Global Group brands were brought under the Crunchyroll banner by Sony Pictures Entertainment.
All of this amounts to a total estimated weekend for all movies of $90.4M, which is 35% off the same weekend 11 in 2019 ($139.8M). Realize that Disney had the second weekend of Captain Marvel during that frame ($67.9M) and there were three new wide releases. Arguably, it’s not demand that the box office is lacking now, but product. According to Comscore, rolling spring breaks began this weekend with 22% K-12 schools out yesterday and 8% colleges. This seems like a missed opportunity by the majors of not having anything out there, however, everyone was so concerned about Omicron that they delayed their releases and marketing spends. Next weekend, Paramount finally delivers the Sandra Bullock-Channing Tatum movie The Lost City which I hear is eyeing a $20M-$30M opening.
Vivek Agnihotri title The Kashmir Files from Zee Studios did $413K yesterday at 230 theaters, on its way to a $1.6M opening for a near $7K theater average. If you want to do know where the specialty box office is alive during the pandemic, it’s here with this Hindi-language movie. The pic is based on video interviews of the first generation victims of the Genocide of Kashmiri Pandit Community in 1990. Booked in 81 markets, The Kashmir Files is seeing strong numbers in New York, Chicago, Dallas, San Francisco, Seattle, Austin and Toronto.
Focus Features has the Mark Rylance movie The Outfit cracking the top 10 with $530K yesterday at 1,324 theaters, for what is a $1.44M opening with most of that money from the coasts. The Graham Moore directed and co-written title follows an expert tailor who must outwit a dangerous group of mobsters in order to survive a fateful night. Critics liked the movie more than audiences, 90% certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes to 75% positive on PostTrak and 53% recommend. Guy leaning here at 53% with close to 60% over 35 and 38% over 45. Diversity demos were 53% Caucasian, 20% Latino and Hispanic, 8% Black and 19% Asian/other.
Weekend Top 10, chart:
1.) The Batman (WB) 4,302 (-115) theaters Fri $10.6M (-43%)/3-day: $36.8M (-45%) Total $300.1M/Wk 3
2.) Jujutsu Kaisen 0 (Crunchy) 2,297 theaters, Fri $5.7M, 3-day $19M/Wk 1
3.) Uncharted (Sony) 3,700 (-25) theaters, Fri $2.25M (-6%)/3-day $8.3M (-10%)/Total $126.2M/Wk 5
4.) Dog (UAR) 3,307 (-100) theaters, Fri $1.1M (-15%)/3-day $4.3M (-17%)/Total $54.4M/Wk 5
5.) X (A24) 2,865 theaters, Fri $1.77M, 3-day $4.1M/Wk 1
6.) Spider-Man: No Way Home (Sony) 2,585 (-117) theaters, Fri $875K (-10%) / 3-day $3.54M (-13%)/Total $797.9M/Wk 14
7.) Sing 2 (Uni/Ill) 1,838 (-150) theaters, Fri $390K (+15%)/3-day $1.77M (+10%)/Total: $158.7M/Wk 13
8.) Death on the Nile (Dis) 2,050 (-380) theaters, Fri $498K (-25%)/3-day $1.75M (-27%)/Total $43.6M/Wk 6
9.) The Kashmir Files (Zee) 230 theaters, Fri $413K, 3-day $1.6M/Wk 1
10.) The Outfit (Foc) 1,325 theaters Fri $530K, 3-day $1.44M/Wk 1
11.) Umma (Sony/Stage 6) 805 locations Fri $340K, 3-day $800K/Wk 1
FRIDAY AM: When the major studios zig, other theatrical distributors zag, and in this instance that means taking advantage of putting a wide release out there when the majors were too scared to do so earlier this year with all the Omicron mixed messages. Crunchyroll (née Funimation) has the anime movie Jujutsu Kaisen 0 which racked up $2.88M in previews last night from 2,003 locations, juiced by 158 Imax auditoriums.
The movie, directed by Sunghoo Park, is the prequel to the smash-hit dark fantasy action anime from Gege Akutami, which was named Anime of the Year at the 2021 Crunchyroll Anime Awards. The pic will expand to 2,336 theaters today in U.S. and Canada, 109 of those being Imax, and industry estimates are pegging at least a $10M start for the movie. These anime pics typically are frontloaded greatly, so it’s a challenge to predict the falloff on Saturday. Jujutsu Kaisen 0 already has grossed $100M over in Japan after its release at the end of 2021. The pic also hits UK, New Zealand, Australia and Ireland this weekend as well. France opened on Wednesday. Latin America and Germany will go in the next few weeks.
Back in late April last year, Funimation had Demon Slayer, which racked up $3.8M in Thursday previews before making $9.5M on Friday, $21.2M in a box office battle royale with New Line’s Mortal Kombat, which won the weekend with $23.2M.
The anime series Jujutsu Kaisen is based on the best-selling manga, serialized in Shueisha’s weekly Shonen Jump and has sold more than 60 million copies in Japan. In the US, the series is published by Viz Media. The pic follows Yuta Okkotsu, a nervous high school student, who enrolls in the mysterious Tokyo Jujutsu High School under the guidance of Satoru Gojo after being haunted by the curse of his childhood friend.
‘X’ Trailer: Late-’70s Rural Texas Porn Shoot Goes Bad In Ti West’s Horror Pic
A24 also has the horror movie X, which it debuted at SXSW this past week, and that pic is going wide at 2,865 theaters instead of going limited. Writer-director Ti West’s film, which follows a group of young filmmakers who are making an adult film in rural Texas 1979 but are busted by their elderly hosts, is looking to gross between $3M-$4M. West already shot a prequel as he announced at SXSW. Last night X made $440K at 2,066 theaters.
Reigning champ of this weekend will, natch, be Warner Bros.’ The Batman, which is eyeing around a 30% dip from last weekend’s $66.5M in its third go-round here (figure around $46M). Last night the pic clocked an estimated $5M, -13% from Wednesday, bringing its two-week total to $263.2M. The Matt Reeves-directed pic should easily be past $300M by Sunday, or worst case, Monday.