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Weekend box office results to be muted without ‘Dune: Part Two’

The North American box office had one of its slowest weekends of the year, largely due to the absence of “Dune: Part Two” from the lineup.

Moviegoers had many other options to choose from. Video game adaptation “Five Nights at Freddy’s” repeated the top spot, followed by “Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour” still strong. Sofia Coppola’s “Priscilla” expands nationwide and “Oppenheimer” returns to IMAX screens. A number of well-received independent films also opened.

But this is Warner Bros. and it was the weekend Legendary’s “Dune: Chapter Two” was expected to open; Before the SAG-AFTRA strike led many studios to move release dates in anticipation of a lengthy dispute preventing movie stars from promoting their films. The sequel to “Dune,” starring Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya, has been delayed until March 2024, with no major blockbuster making the Nov. 3 slot.

Even though there are prestigious offerings like “Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour” and Martin Scorsese’s “Killers of the Flower Moon” and Alexander Payne’s “The Holdovers” that bring Swifties to the movies, overall ticket sales are likely to be $64 million for this season. It is expected to be around . weekend, making it one of the slowest of the year.

“It’s hard to reverse engineer, but ‘Dune 2’ would definitely be the No. 1 movie and have a bigger weekend overall,” said Paul Dergarabedian, Comscore’s senior media analyst. “The strikes had a profound impact on this market. “But that left plenty of opportunity for movies like ‘Priscilla,’ ‘The Holdovers,’ and ‘Radical’ to gain more traction.”

“Five Nights at Freddy’s” came in first, collecting an additional $19.4 million in its second weekend, according to the studio’s estimates Sunday. There is a huge drop of 76% compared to the first weekend. This isn’t unexpected, considering the movie is also streaming on Peacock, and the audience for movies aimed at intense and niche fandoms is often extremely front-loaded. But making $217 million worldwide against a reported $20 million production budget makes the film a huge success for Universal Pictures and Blumhouse.

“Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour” came in second with an estimated fourth-weekend earnings of $13.5 million from its AMC release. The film, which was only released Thursday through Sunday, has grossed a staggering $231.1 million worldwide to date.

Third-place “Killers of the Flower Moon” dropped just 25% in its third weekend with $7 million on 3,786 screens, bringing its domestic total to $52.3 million. The $200 million film was financed by Apple Original Films and Paramount handled the theatrical release.

Adapted from Priscilla Presley’s 1985 memoir “Elvis and Me,” “Priscilla” expanded to 1,359 screens after a healthy opening in New York and Los Angeles last weekend, grossing $5.1 million over the weekend, placing fourth took. Coppola’s well-reviewed film, starring Cailee Spaeny and Jacob Elordi, attracted an audience that was predominantly young (75% under 35) and women (65%). The hope is that the A24 version will last long into awards season.

“The Holdovers,” a Focus Features release, also expanded slightly this weekend to 64 theaters and grossed an additional $600,000. The New England-set period drama starring Paul Giamatti as a cranky prep school teacher will expand to more than 800 venues next weekend. .

Several smaller films made their theatrical debuts this weekend; These include Meg Ryan’s “What Happens Later,” released by Bleecker Street; and Sundance’s “Radical” and “All Dirt Roads Taste Salt” awards.

The biggest of the bunch was “Radical,” starring Eugenio Derbez, based on a true story about a teacher living in a Mexican border city. The warmly reviewed film Pantelion opened in 419 locations and grossed $2.7 million.

“‘Radical’ is a big winner this weekend and a big win for Eugenio Derbez,” Dergarabedian said. “He is becoming a global superstar.”

“What Happens Later,” a romantic comedy starring Ryan and David Duchovny as exes stranded at the airport, earned $1.6 million from 1,492 screens. Raven Jackson’s “All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt,” meanwhile, opened on three screens and earned $12,529, according to A24.

“The box office is pretty quiet overall, but there are a lot of interesting movies out there,” Dergarabedian said. “Independent film can really shine right now.”

The effects of the ongoing strike at the box office are not easily measurable. Up until this point, this had essentially meant that stars without temporary deals couldn’t promote their films. “Priscilla” was one of the exceptions, and Elordi and Spaeny were able to conduct interviews and appear on talk shows to raise awareness.

Next weekend will be an interesting test, as Marvel and Disney will release “The Marvels,” in which stars like Brie Larson, Teyonah Parris and Lashana Lynch have not appeared for months. It’s possible a resolution between the actors’ guild and major entertainment companies could be reached this week, but it’s unclear if that will have any impact on “The Marvels.”

“All eyes will be on not only what ‘Marvels’ represents during the attacks, but also what it means to Marvel as a whole, which is always compared to its past successes,” Dergarabedian said. “But opening weekend isn’t everything anymore. “Hopefully it will instill that blockbuster feeling as we head into the holiday season.”

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. “Five Nights at Freddy’s,” $19.4 million.

2. “Taylor Swift: Eras Tour,” $13.5 million.

3. “The Killers of the Flower Moon” $7 million.

4. “Priscilla,” $5.1 million.

5. “Radical,” $2.7 million.

6. “The Exorcist: The Believer,” $2.2 million.

7. “After Death” $2 million.

8. “Paw Patrol: The Mighty Movie,” $2 million.

9. “What Happens Then,” $1.6 million.

10. “Freelancer,” $1.3 million.

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