UPATED, Friday AM: Universal had not one but two wide-release previews Thursday night as they head into the four-day Independence Day weekend, with both DreamWorks Animation’s The Boss Baby: Family Business, and Blumhouse’s The Forever Purge grossing $1.3 million apiece.
Those looking for more technicality: Boss Baby 2 took in $1.31M at 2,700 theaters from shows which began at 4 p.m., while Forever Purge grossed $1.33M from 2,550 from shows that started at 7 p.m.. Boss Baby 2 will expand to 3,640 theaters and is eyeing a $15M-plus start, while Forever Purge at 3,051 is hoping for at least $10M+ over three days. July 4th will not be a good day at the box office, so looking for a down Sunday as people make their way to holiday celebrations, barbeques, etc.
‘F9’ Pushes Total Weekend Domestic Box Office Closer To $100M, Repping Another Pandemic Record
Together with the second weekend of F9, which is looking to make around $28M, Universal will own the top three spots at the box office; a first for a major studio since Sony during February 11-13, 2005 with Hitch, Boogeyman and Are We There Yet?.
F9 led all movies Thursday with $4.94M, down 2% from Wednesday at 4,179 theaters. That pus the Justin Lin-directed sequel’s first week at $93.1M.
Boss Baby 2 was shy of its first installment in regards to Thursday previews, with the 2017 installment making $1.5M from 2,700 locations that began at 5 p.m. back on March 30, 2017. That yielded a $15.6M opening day and $50.2M weekend when DWA had a distribution deal with 20th Century Fox. The sequel is also available on the top two subscriber pay tiers of Uni’s streaming service Peacock; those in distribution circles aren’t expecting the service to steal a lot of box office bucks as it’s still nascent. Peacock’s number of subscribers in its entirety for pay and ad-supported subscribers was at 42M for Q1 2021, up from 33M the previous quarter.
Critics aren’t fans of Boss Baby 2 at 49% on Rotten Tomatoes, but they weren’t fans of the first movie which was blemished at 53% Rotten.
Forever Purge‘s preview money is the lowest of the franchise — what do you expect, it’s the fifth movie. In order, the Purge series preview cash is as follows: 2013’s The Purge ($3.7M Thursday night, 10 p.m. start), 2014’s Purge Anarchy ($2.6M, midnight Thursday start), 2016’s Purge: Election Year ($3.64M, Thursday night) and 2018’s The First Purge ($2.5M, Tuesday night at 7 p.m.). First Purge and Purge: Election Year opened over the July 4th holiday frame. First Purge, which opened on a Wednesday, did $17.3M over three days, $31.2M over five days. The very first Purge, released in 2013, owns the franchise’s stateside opening record at $34M. Purge Election Year debuted to $31.5M three-day and $36.1M over four days. Purge Anarchy opened to $29.8M.
Forever Purge‘s Rotten Tomato score at 50% Rotten is in the same vicinity as its predecessors, though better than the initial Purge (39%). Other RT scores for Purges are Anarchy (57%), and Election Year and First Purge (both 56%).
A24’s Zola in its second day at the box office took in $262,000 at 1,468 theaters, down 48% from Wednesday’s $505K (which included Tuesday night previews), for a running total of $797,300.
Comscore called the total weekend for all films last weekend at $98.15M, the highest so far during the pandemic (since mid-March 2020). That was all on account of F9‘s record $70M debut during Covid. The expectation is that we’ll finally cross $100M for all films next weekend when Disney/Marvel’s Black Widow enters the cage.