Eternals is a Box-Office Slide; Belfast is an increasingly narrow audience

Family movies like “Clifford the Big Red Dog” are a reliable draw. Specialized films like “Spencer” and “The French Dispatch” are a different story.

“Eternals” dropped 61% in its second week, placing it at the highest level in the Marvel Cinematic Universe – especially after a low of $71 million. Good news? Considering the negative reaction from critics and audiences (including a record low Cinemascore B), that performance was better than expected.

That’s also a fair description for the weekend’s total, which totaled around $72 million. “Clifford, the big red dog“Number 2 with $16.4 million for the weekend, $22 million total for five days (opening midweek for the Thursday school break), alongside showings on Paramount Plus. Additionally, none of the top 10 holdings fell more than 39%.

Overall, this weekend is performing at 65% compared to the same weekend of 2019; the four-week average is 75%. However, nothing opens up to compete with “Frozen” and the $269 million it generated in November 2019, expect that in-depth comparisons this month to be fierce.

“Eternals” hints at another case of far lower grosses than pre-Covid. Combined with the fact that studios are now releasing fewer films to a narrower range, a 25% drop in second weekend sales could be the new normal.

At Disney’s earnings press conference last week, CEO Bob Chapek strongly hinted that the studio would continue to evolve its home theater release strategy. Looking at the results for “Ron was wrong” ($21 million over four weekends, less than “Clifford” to date) is data that underpins the power of those at Disney who want to move the movies. similar titles to Disney Plus as exclusives or as days and months.

There’s a steady, steady stream of audiences returning to theaters, but growth appears to be constrained by a strong new release or more, fewer titles, debuting in broad release. Also, “better than expected” will continue to mean “not good enough”.

(L to R) Caitriona Balfe as "Ghost", Jamie Dornan as "Dad", Judi Dench as "Paternal grandmother", Jude Hill as "Friend"and Lewis McAskie as "Will" in BELFAST by director Kenneth Branagh, a Spotlight Feature release. Credit: Rob Youngson / Focus Features


Rob Youngson / Focus feature

The weakest component remains the specialized adult audience. The top three titles – Searchlight’s “The French Dispatch”, “Focus Features”, “Belfast” and “Spencer” by Neon make the top 10. Kenneth Branagh’s “Belfast” (new this week) and Kristen’s “Spencer” Stewart are the leading contenders for the award; are shown nationwide.

The new model is for broader play, followed by rapid home availability. (Focus and Neon are early active premium VOD players, although dates have not been announced for both titles). The inflated revenue from PVOD will likely provide most of their income.

“Dispatch” is doing well, though its final gross will be low for a Wes Anderson film. “Belfast” has had a high initial response among recent Focus releases, still better for a black and white film set in Northern Ireland. (It’s almost twice what Paul Schrader’s “Card Counter” did to similar theaters.) And with 400 fewer theaters than “Spencer,” the film’s total gross was just as low. more than 15%. (Both films received equally favorable reviews, though neither was critically acclaimed.)

Despite the new competition, “Spencer” only dropped 25% with a steady stream of theaters. If “Belfast” can do the same, it could be a performance that enhances its award chances.

This is a reality check. “Dispatch,” “Belfast” and “Spencer” combined grossed about $5 million — about 545,000 North American ticket buyers across 3,000 theaters. “Julia” (Sony Pictures Classics), a documentary about Julia Child, debuted in New York/Los Angeles’ top five theaters. With a strong festival pedigree and good reviews, it only grossed $20,796. A24’s “The Souvenir Part II,” one of this year’s highest-rated films, grossed $14,455 in its third weekend in 45 major locations nationwide.

Two years ago, on a similar November weekend, “Jojo Rabbit,” “Parasite,” and “The Lighthouse” (all in their fourth or fifth week) grossed $7.5 million. – about 820,000 people bought tickets across 2,000 theaters. Those numbers tell the story of the real-time demise of the sector.

Top 10

first. The Eternals (Disney) Week 2; Last weekend #1

$27,500,000 (-61%) at 4,090 (unchanged) theaters; PTA: $6,724; Accumulation: $118,765,000

2. Clifford Red Dog (Most Important) NEW – Movie Score: A; Metacritic: 55; also on Paramount Plus

$16,420,000 at 3,700 theaters; PTA: $4,438; Accumulation: $22,001,000

3. Sand dunes (Warner Bros.) Week 4; Last weekend #2; also on HBO Max

$5,500,000 (-29%) at 3,282 (-264) theaters; PTA: $1,676; Accumulation: $93,126,000

4. There’s no time to die (United Artists) Week 6; Last weekend #3; also on premium VOD

$4,621,000 (-23%) at 2,867 (-140) theaters; PTA: $1,612; Accumulation: $150,477,000

5. Venom: Let There Be Carnage (Sony) Week 7; Last weekend #4

$4,000,000 (-10%) at 2,538 (-102) cinemas; PTA: $1,576; Accumulation: 202,707,000 USD

6. Ron was wrong (Disney) Week 4; Last weekend # 5

$2,200,000 (-38%) at 2,430 (-220) theaters; PTA: $905; Accumulation: $20,776,000

7. French Dispatch (Spotlight) Week 4; Last weekend # 6

$1,840,000 (-29%) at 1,225 (+20) theaters; PTA: $1,502; Accumulation: $11,619,000

8. Belfast (Focus) NEW – Movie Score: A-; Metacritic: 78

$1,800,000 at 580 theaters; PTA: $3,111; Accumulation: $1,800,000

9. Spencer (Neon) Week 2; Last weekend # 8

$1,532,000 (-29%) at 1,265 (+20) theaters; PTA: $1,211; Accumulation: $4,711,000

10. Gauze (Spotlight) Week 3; Last weekend # 9

USD 1,200,000 (-39%) at 1,825 (-975) theaters; PTA: $658; Accumulation: $9,637,000

Additional dedicated/restricted/standalone releases

Julia (Sony Pictures Classics) NEW – Metacritic: 72; Festivals include: Telluride, Toronto 2021

$20,796 in 5 theaters; PTA: $4,159

Souvenirs: Part II (A24) – Week 3

$14,455 at 42 (+27) theaters; Accumulation: $98,929

Rescue (Greenwich) – Week 6

$16,000 at 34 (-22) theaters; Accumulation: $1,026,000

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https://www.indiewire.com/2021/11/eternals-off-62-leads-top-ten-with-only-six-films-over-2-million-1234679270/ | Eternals is a Box-Office Slide; Belfast is an increasingly narrow audience

Aila Slisco

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