A terrible weekend at the box office, then “Avatar: the way of the water”

At $37 million in total, it can’t get much worse than this weekend. This Year It Won’t: Early Thursday Shows for James Cameron’s “Avatar: The Way of the Water“(Disney) should easily double that take. By the end of the weekend, it could top $200 million.

It was the second worst weekend of 2022 (by only a small margin from the end of January). We can’t blame the calendar: the same date last year brought in $44 million. In 2019, it was $118 million.

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With no new studios opening, the share compared to pre-Covid 2019 (with 20% lower ticket prices) is 31%. That year, “Jumanji: The Next Level” opened to $59 million, disproving the idea that date should be avoided.

Of course, a big reason to avoid this weekend is that it’s immediately followed by “Avatar.” With studios making fewer movies, they’re loath to pit the second weekend of a big release against a blockbuster.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever(Disney) was No. 1 for a fifth and final time ($11 million, $409 million domestic total), down 37%. It’s a decent take at this point, but with no significant new alternatives. , it fell more than all but one of the other top 10 titles.

Give credit to the struggling “Fabelmans” (Universal) for only losing seven percent. But that comes with a caveat: Steven Spielberg’s film added 335 theaters (now 973), with the per-theatre average down by about a third. The film has momentum, but not enough to challenge Universal’s decision to place it on PVOD this week in hopes of capturing more of its older audience.

“Violent Night” – Credit: Allen Fraser/Courtesy Universal Pictures

Allen Fraser/courtesy Universal Pictures

Universal”violent night”, which dropped 35%, held up much better than normal for a horror title’s second weekend. It’s No. 2, already at $26 million, and it’s likely to get play dates for the holidays. “Strange World” (Disney) will not exceed the level of disaster, but at No. 3, it has only dropped by 22%. “The Menu” (Searchlight) is No. 4, down just 14%. That could top Disney’s $200 million animated entry.

The only new film – not a new title – in the top 10 is Focus’ “Spoiler Alert” which expands in week two to 783 theaters for just $700,000.

That’s less than “Met Opera: The Hours” (Fathom) brought in to reach No. 9 over the weekend. Its take of $792,000 in 894 theaters came from a single showing on Saturday. It’s not a movie; it was a live opera performance transmitted to theaters. That makes our top 10 list of in-theatre presentations that audiences buy tickets to, some of which aren’t movies. As a compromise, we expanded the list this week to 11 titles to include 10 movies.

Top 10 (+1; see above)

1. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (Disney) Week 5; Last weekend #1

$11,100,000 (-37%) in 3,725 (-130) theaters; PTA (average per venue): $2,980; Cumulative: $409,811,000

2. Violent night (Universal) Week 2; Last weekend #2

$8,700,000 (-35%) in 3,723 (+41) theaters; APT: $2,337; Cumulative: $26,694,000

3. Strange World (Disney) Week 3; Last weekend #3

$3,600,000 (-29%) in 3,560 (-614) theaters; APE: $1,011; Cumulative: $30,454,000

4. The map (Spotlight) Week 4; Last weekend #4

$2,700,000 (-22%) in 2,710 (-100) theaters; APT: $996; Cumulative: $29,028,000

5. Devotion (S0ny) Week 3; Last weekend #5

$2,000,000 (-27%) in 3,458 (+53) theaters; APE: $578; Cumulative: $16,972,000

6. Black Adam (WBD) week 7; Last weekend #7; also on PVOD

$1,340,000 (-14%) in 2,143 (-88) theaters; APT: $625; Cumulative: $166,873

7. The Fabelmans (Universal) Week 4; Last weekend #8

$1,180,000 (-7%) in 973 (+345) theaters; APT: $1,213; Cumulative: $7,330,000

8. MET Opera: Hours (Bass) NEW

$791,734 at 894 theaters; APT: $958; Cumulative: $791,734

9. I heard the bells (Fathom) week 2; Last weekend #6

$750,713 (-62%) in 1,180 (+98) theaters; APT: $636; Cumulative: $4,073,000

10. Spoiler Alert (Tweak) Week 2; Last weekend #19

$700,000 (+744%) at 783 theaters (+777); APT: $895; Cumulative: $802,593

11. Ticket to Paradise (Universal) Week 8; Last weekend #10; also on PVOD and Peacock

$600,000 (-30%) in 1,394 (-321) theaters; APT: $430; Cumulative: $67,514.00

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