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Beyoncé’s ‘Renaissance’ is No. 1 at the box office

Beyoncé ruled the box office this weekend.

The concert film, “Renaissance: A Movie by Beyoncé,” opened in first place with $21 million in North American ticket sales, according to AMC Theaters Sunday’s estimates.

The post-Thanksgiving, early December box office was notoriously slow, but “Renaissance” defied all the odds. Not counting inflation, it’s the first time in 20 years (since “The Last Samurai”) that a movie opened with over $20 million this weekend.

Beyoncé wrote, directed and produced “Renaissance,” which focuses on the tour of her Grammy-winning album. It was released in 2,539 theaters in the United States and Canada, as well as 94 international territories, earning $6.4 million from 2,621 theaters.

“On behalf of AMC Theaters Distribution and the entire theater industry, we thank Beyoncé for bringing this incredible film directly to her fans,” Elizabeth Frank, executive vice president of worldwide programming for AMC Theaters, said in a statement. “To see this resonate with fans and film critics on a weekend often neglected by many in the industry is a testament to his immense talent not only as an actor, but also as a producer and director.”

It was a slow weekend despite several other new releases, including “Godzilla Minus One,” Hindi-language “Animal,” Angel Studios’ sci-fi thriller “The Shift” and Lionsgate’s revenge thriller “Silent Night,” directed by John Woo. comprehensive. The films in the top 10 are expected to gross only $85 million combined.

But it was in this traditional “recession” that AMC Theaters found a good opportunity for the “Renaissance” to shine.

“They picked a great weekend,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Comscore. “There was competition, but they were very different children of the movies.”

Although “Renaissance” doesn’t come close to the $92.8 million gross of her October debut, “Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour,” it’s still a very good start for a concert movie. No one expected “Renaissance” to match the upcoming release of “The Eras Tour,” which grossed over $250 million worldwide. Before Swift, the biggest concert movies (the 2008 and 2011 movies were credited to Miley Cyrus and Justin Bieber) had grossed no more than $32 million unadjusted.

The 39-city, 56-show “Renaissance” tour, which began in Stockholm, Sweden, in May and ended in Kansas City, Missouri, in the fall, generated more than $500 million and attracted more than 2.7 million concertgoers. Swift’s 151-date “Eras Tour” is expected to gross approximately $1.4 billion.

Both Beyoncé and Swift chose to partner with AMC Theaters rather than a traditional studio to distribute their films. Both superstars support each other and make flashy appearances at the other’s premieres. Both have previously released movies on Netflix (“Miss Americana” and “Homecoming”). And both reportedly take at least 50% of ticket sales.

According to data firm EntTelligence, movie tickets for the show were more expensive than average; Swift’s was around $23.32 versus $20.78.

Critics and audiences gave “Renaissance” positive reviews; The film received a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a coveted A+ CinemaScore from opening audiences surveyed over the weekend. EntTelligence also estimates that her audience of around 900,000 is slightly older than Swift’s.

“Having two concert films top the chart in a single year is unprecedented,” Dergarabedian said.

But it would be a mistake to compare them too closely.

“Taylor Swift was a complete anomaly and the result of very specific circumstances,” he said. “These two films are similar only in genre. “

Lionsgate’s “The Hunger Games: A Song of Songbirds and Snakes” fell to second place in its third weekend with an estimated $14.5 million. The prequel has now grossed over $121 million domestically.

“Godzilla Minus One” ranked third on the North American charts with $11 million from 2,308 locations; this was the largest opening for a foreign film in the United States this year. The well-reviewed Japanese blockbuster, distributed by Toho International, cost just $15 million to produce and has already grossed $23 million in Japan. Toho’s 33rd Godzilla movie, World War II. It takes place after World War II, stars Ryunosuke Kamiki and is directed by Takashi Yamazaki.

“This year we have made a concerted effort to meet market demand and make Godzilla globally accessible on many different platforms,” ​​Toho Global President Koji Ueda said in a statement.

“Trolls Band Together” placed fourth in its third weekend with $7.6 million, bringing its domestic total to $74.8 million.

In fifth place was Disney’s “Wish,” with $7.4 million from 3,900 locations, down 62% from its underwhelming first weekend. It has now earned $81.6 million worldwide. The studio’s other major movie in theaters, “The Marvels,” also closes its fourth weekend with a disastrous global figure of $197 million, with the superhero movie reportedly costing $300 million to produce and market.

Ridley Scott’s “Napoleon” grossed an estimated $7.1 million from 3,500 locations in its second weekend. Produced by Apple Original Films and distributed by Sony Pictures, the film starring Joaquin Phoenix grossed $45.7 million domestically with a budget of $200 million.

With movies like “Wonka” and “The Color Purple” yet to arrive, things will pick up in the final weeks of 2023. The industry is looking at a $9 billion year; it still lags behind the pre-pandemic norm of $11 billion, but it’s a marked improvement over the last few years. With the industry’s awards season in full swing, there are still plenty of solid options for moviegoers.

“We had a slow Thanksgiving and we’re having a pretty slow weekend this weekend as well, but it’s a great weekend for moviegoers in terms of the breadth and depth of movies,” Dergarabedian said.

Estimated ticket sales at U.S. and Canadian theaters from Friday through Sunday, according to Comscore. Final domestic figures will be announced on Monday.

1. “Renaissance: A Film by Beyoncé,” $21 million.

2. “The Hunger Games: A Song of Songbirds and Snakes,” $14.5 million.

3. “Godzilla Minus One,” $11 million.

4. “Trolls Come Together,” $7.6 million.

5. “I wish,” $7.4 million.

6. “Napoleon,” $7.1 million.

7. “Animal,” $6.1 million.

8. “Transition,” $4.4 million.

9. “Silent Night” $3 million.

10. “Thanksgiving,” $2.6 million

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