Friday Box Office: ‘Shang-Chi’ Falls To ‘Venom 2’ As ‘Dear Evan Hansen’ Plunges 78%
In domestic holdover news, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings fell to second place for the first time in a month, which is understandable considering this weekend offered up the first real tentpole competition since Labor Day. The MCU actioner earned another $1.628 million (-55%) on its fifth Friday, taking its first real hit due to obvious competition from the other Marvel movie. Nonetheless, the Simu Lui-led fantasy became the first pandemic-era flick to cross $200 million domestic on Thursday, and a $6 million (-55%) weekend will put it just below the $206.3 million cumes of Bad Boys For Life (currently the biggest grosser of 2020 and 2021) and of Thor: The Dark World (in 2013).
We’ll see if Disney’s “available at home on November 12!!” news blast will hurt theatrical numbers, but so far evidence suggests that it won’t. After all, if recent pre-Covid history is any indication, Shang-Chi might get a boost in a few weeks from Eternals-related hype. That’s what we saw, relatively speaking, with Black Panther (alongside Avengers: Infinity War), Captain Marvel (alongside Avengers: Endgame) and Avengers: Endgame (alongside Spider-Man: Far from Home). That we saw some tough drops this weekend is more about the sheer overwhelming four-quadrant appeal of Venom 2 (along with other wide openers like Addams Family 2 and The Many Saints of Newark) as opposed to shifting theatrical windows.
Alas, Dear Evan Hansen is acting like the opposite of The Greatest Showman. The critically savaged musical melodrama earned $730,000 (-78%) on Friday for a $2.4 million (-68%) weekend and miserable $11.75 million ten-day cume. This one won’t get anywhere near its $26 million budget, with a likely domestic finish below $17 million. Here’s hoping it finds some salvation as a PVOD title in a couple of weeks. Free Guy dropped 47% on Friday ($611,000) but still topped the domestic cume of Jungle Cruise ($115.9 million versus $115.5 million). The Ryan Reynolds/Jodie Comer fantasy will have $117 million domestic by tomorrow as the Dwayne Johnson/Emily Blunt flick passes $116 million.
Universal’s Candyman earned $340,000 (-55%) after losing 811 theatres for a likely $1.16 million (-55%) sixth weekend and $58.8 million domestic cume. I’d wager the (circumstantially-specific) depressed grosses for Candyman, Old ($48.2 million domestic) and The Forever Purge ($45 million) partially led to Halloween Kills getting a day-and-date theatres/Peacock release on October 15. That said, the opening for Venom 2 suggests that Halloween Kills might still play “as otherwise intended,” so here’s hoping the streaming hook doesn’t sabotage what might have been Universal’s second $50 million-plus opener of the pandemic. Considering the 31-day exclusivity window for $50 million-openers, that would be a grimly ironic development. That’s a complicated conversation for another post.
Alas, Cry Macho lost 2,780 theatres in weekend three and earned $340,000 (-55%) for a $1.16 million (-55%) weekend and $9.6 million 17-day cume. Malignant grossed $94,000 (-80%) on Friday for a $305,000 (-80%) gross and $13.05 million 24-day cume. Likewise, Open Road and Briarcliff’s Cop Shop, a pretty good cops-n-robbers action drama starring Alexis Louder, Gerard Butler and Frank Grillo, lost 2,580 theatres in weekend three. Cue a $42,000 (-92%) Friday gross and a likely $100,000 (-92%) weekend for a $5.1 million 17-day cume. F9 will officially pass $173 million domestic tomorrow, but the $173.9 million cume of Hobbs & Shaw is absolutely a bridge too far.