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Halloween Ratchets Down Box Office: ‘Dune’ $15M+; ‘My Hero Academia’ $8M+, ‘Last Night In Soho’ & ‘Antlers’ $4M+

Saturday AM Update: The first full Halloween celebration in two years is taking its toll on the domestic box office, a grey cloud which many saw coming, with many trick-or-treating or heading to parties tonight. Essentially, whenever the holiday falls on a Sunday, it’s poised to gut the weekend.

And, yes, we can blame HBO Max, too, when it comes to Legendary/Warner Bros.’ expected -62% decline for Dune, which looks to be filing $15.5M for the weekend after a $5M Friday, -71% from a week ago. The Denis Villeneuve-directed reboot of the Frank Herbert novel, which Warners and Legendary have already greenlit a theatrical windowed sequel for, had a solid week of $53.8M.

Even though Godzilla vs. Kong debuted on a Wednesday, comparing that Legendary title’s first ten days to Dune, the latter looks to be running ahead by 17%, with some rivals predicting a possible $70M running total by EOD Sunday. Godzilla vs. Kong crossed $100M after 13 weekends. A reminder that these HBO Max theatrical day-and-date titles are on the service for the first 31 days, after which exhibition gets the title exclusively during its second month. Torrent Freak reports that Dune was the most-pirated movie for the week ending Oct. 25.

Focus Features

After Dune, it’s a mishmash of arthouse genre titles, which were never expected to rally, given how they’re largely aimed at upscale crowds who are slowly creeping back, but not in massive numbers. That said, they do have a lot of choices this weekend, and I hear Sunday might be a good day for arthouses overall, as that crowd will head to the theater for matinees: Focus Feature’s Edgar Wright fantasy thriller Last Night in Soho with $4.3M at 3,016 theaters, and Searchlight’s Antlers at 2,800 venues with an estimated $4.1M.

Last Night in Soho gets a B+, slightly down from the A- of Wright’s mass-appealing $107.8M domestic grossing Baby Driver, which this genre movie was never expected to emulate. PostTrak was lower at 73% positive, a 56% recommend, and, as expected, an older male crowd in attendance at 59%, 66% over 25 and 62% between 18-34.

Diversity demos were Caucasian 55%, 21% Latino and Hispanic, 10% Black, and 14% Asian/other. The movie’s strongest markets were the coasts, with eight of the top ten grossing theaters coming from NYC and LA. A handeful of PLFs at a 200 count are currently driving 26% of the gross. Friday’s $1.9M includes $700K of Thursday night previews that began at 7pm.

‘Antlers’
Searchlight

Antlers, directed by Scott Cooper and produced by Guillermo del Toro, is another movie held by Searchlight during the pandemic. Heck, it even got a virtual panel at San Diego Comic-Con 2020, which tells you how long it’s been teased. At the end of the day, it’s a C+ from CinemaScore audiences, a 62% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, which doesn’t scream ‘must-see’, with even lower PostTrak exits of 59% and a 42% recommend. Audience was 61% guys, 65% over 25 and 60% between 18-34. Audience make-up was 48% Caucasian, 27% Latino and Hispanic, 14% Black and 11% Asian/other. Friday’s $1.7M includes $370K previews that began at 6PM.

The French Dispatch
Searchlight Pictures

Searchlight also expanded their Wes Anderson film The French Dispatch by 736 theaters to 788; and with an expected buoyant $3.5M second weekend, +169%, we hear that it pulled in some solid ticket sales in its core runs in New York and Los Angeles, with new markets Sacramento, San Diego, and Montreal notable. There’s a chunk of cash that rivals aren’t seeing that Searchlight is. Not all of Comscore is updated with the pic’s previews grosses from Thursday night in its new locations; right now, that I number, I understand, is $300K.

And, there’s also Funimation’s My Hero Academia: World Heroes’ Mission, booked at 1,602 theaters this weekend, which is also grabbing some of the fanboys away from Dune and Last Night in Soho, eyeing a third place slot of $7.9M after Universal/Blumhouse/Miramax’s Halloween Kills, in second place with $8.75M in weekend 3, -39% for a running cume by EOD Sunday of $85.9M.

There weren’t any previews on Thursday for My Hero Academia, but the pic is booked at 4DX, Dbox, and some PLFs, posting a $2.88M Friday with 1,577 locations reporting. The film is available subtitled in Japanese or dubbed in English.

This is the third film in the My Hero Academia franchise after My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising last year, and My Hero Academia: Two Heroes in 2018. Movie is produced by Toho Co. Ltd., Shueisha, and Studio BONES. Funimation has seven of top 20 highest-grossing anime box office releases at the domestic B.O., including My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising ($13.3M) and My Hero Academia: Two Heroes ($5.8M domestic).

UAR

United Artist Releasing’s The Addams Family 2which is on PVOD, is looking to pass the $50M this weekend, $52M by end of Sunday, after a $3.1M fifth weekend at 2,757 theaters, -30%.

On the bright side, Comscore is reporting that October is expected to ring in as the highest-grossing month YTD, with an expected $625M, beating July’s $583.8M.

Top 10 weekend estimates:

1.) Dune (WB) 4,125 theaters Fri $5M (-71%)/3-day $15.5M (-62%)/Total $69.3M/Wk 2

2.) Halloween Kills (Uni) 3,616 (-111) theaters Fri $2.5M (-44%)/3-day $8.75M (-39%)/Total $85.9M/Wk 3

3.) My Hero Academia: World Heroes’ Mission (Fun) 1,602 theaters, Fri $2.88M/3-day $7.9M/Wk 1

4.) No Time to Die(UAR) 3,507 (-300) theaters Fri $2.39M (-33%)/3-day $7.7M (-37%)/Total $133.2M/Wk 4

5.) Venom: Let There Be Carnage (Sony) 3,278 (-235) theaters Fri $1.6M (-35%)/3-day $5.6M (-40%)/Total $190.3M/Wk 5

6.) Last Night in Soho (Foc) 3,016 theaters Fri $1.9M/3-day $4.3M/Wk 1

7.) Antlers (Sea) 2,800 theaters Fri $1.7M/3-day $4.1M/Wk 1

8.) Ron’s Gone Wrong (20th/Dis) 3,560 theaters, Fri $1.1M (-52%)/3-day $3.9M (-47%)/Total $12.9M/Wk 2

9.) The French Dispatch (Sea) 788 (+736) theaters Fri $1.09M (+96%)/3-day $3.5M (+169%)/Total $5.6M/ Wk 2

10.) Addams Family 2 (UAR) 2,757 (-150) theaters Fri $846K (-26%), 3-day $3.1M (-30%)/Total $52.7M/Wk 5

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