Weekend Box Office Report: April 23 – 25, 2021

The weekend box office report is provided by Daniel Garris, courtesy of BoxOfficeReport.com.

Weekend Estimates Update:

In what feels very much to have been the unofficial start to this year’s summer moviegoing season, both Warner’s Mortal Kombatand Funimation and Aniplex’s Demon Slayer -Kimetsu no Yaiba- The Movie: Mugen Train were off to excellent starts this weekend. Both films exceeded their rapidly rising high-end expectations heading into the weekend by roughly 20 to 25 percent. Furthermore, the strength of both films led this weekend’s estimated overall domestic box office to just north of $54 million; which is easily a new high-water mark since the re-opening of domestic theatres.

Warner’s Mortal Kombat took first place this weekend with an estimated debut of $22.52 million. That represented the second largest opening weekend since the re-opening of domestic theatres, behind only fellow Warner Bros. release Godzilla vs. Kong. Warner Bros. continues to have success with its day-and-date theatrical / HBO Max model, especially on opening weekend. In the battle with Demon Slayer The Movie: Mugen Train this weekend, a key advantage for Mortal Kombat is that it played in 1,473 more locations than Demon Slayer The Movie: Mugen Train (3,073 locations in comparison to 1,600). While Mortal Kombat didn’t win the per-location average battle between the two films this weekend, it still managed a per-location average of $7,327 for the frame, which is very strong with current market conditions in mind. 

The top DMA markets for Mortal Kombat this weekend were Los Angeles, New York City, Dallas, Houston, Chicago, Phoenix, the California Bay Area, Atlanta, Orlando and Philadelphia.  Mortal Kombat received a nice boost from playing on IMAX screens this weekend, as IMAX grosses totaled an estimated $2.5 million; representing 11 percent of this weekend’s overall gross. Due to the vast majority of the Canadian theatrical marketplace still being closed, Mortal Kombat was also released on PVOD in Canada, where the film has grossed an additional estimated $2.0 million thus far. Critical reviews for the Simon McQuoid directed Mortal Kombat have been mixed, which is a respectable critical showing by video game adaptation standards.  Mortal Kombat looks to be going over a bit better with audiences, as the film earned a solid B+ rating on CinemaScore. Normally a fan-driven film like Mortal Kombat would be quite front-loaded towards opening weekend, but with the next four weeks being relatively quiet by early summer season standards, Mortal Kombat could display better than typical holding power going forward. The overlap in potential audiences for Mortal Kombat and Demon Slayer The Movie: Mugen Train could also help holding power for both films, as there are sure to be a number of moviegoers who caught one of the two films this weekend who will want to catch the other film sometime in the weeks ahead.

In its third international frame, Mortal Kombat grossed an estimated $6.3 million this weekend from 36 markets. This weekend’s international performance was driven by a $3.2 million debut in Australia (including previews), which represented the third largest debut ever in Australia for an R-rated film. Additional estimated international totals through Sunday for Mortal Kombat include $10.7 million in Russia, $1.4 million in Mexico, $1.1 million in Indonesia, $1.1 million in the United Arab Emirates, $1.1 million in Spain, $1.0 million in Taiwan, $0.99 million in Thailand and $0.93 million in Saudi Arabia. Respective estimated totals through Sunday for Mortal Kombatstand at $27.6 million internationally and $50.1 million globally.

Funimation and Aniplex’s Demon Slayer -Kimetsu no Yaiba- The Movie: Mugen Train debuted in a close second place with an estimated $19.50 million this weekend. That represented the third largest opening weekend since the re-opening of domestic theatres. It also wouldn’t be much of a surprise it the film holds up a bit stronger than expected on Sunday to cross the $20 million mark for the weekend. As mentioned, Demon Slayer The Movie: Mugen Train was playing in 1,600 locations this weekend, which gave the film a per-location average of $12,188 for the frame. That represents the highest per-location average of any wide release since the re-opening of domestic theatres (topping the $10,321 three-day opening weekend per-location average of Godzilla vs. Kong). While Demon Slayer The Movie: Mugen Train played in significantly fewer locations than Mortal Kombatthis weekend, Demon Slayer The Movie: Mugen Train was helped out by having strong Thursday night previews, whereas Mortal Kombat didn’t have Thursday night previews. And in theatres that were playing both films this weekend, on the average Demon Slayer The Movie: Mugen Train tended to be getting slightly more showings per location than Mortal Kombat over the weekend itself (obviously much more so when counting Thursday night preview shows). Impressively, the three-day start of Demon Slayer The Movie: Mugen Train was significantly stronger than the $12.82 million Funimation’s Dragon Ball Super: Brolygrossed in its first three days and nearly matched the $20.24 million five-day start of Dragon Ball Super: Broly (which opened on a Wednesday), back in January of 2019 (before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic).

Anticipation for Demon Slayer The Movie: Mugen Train in the domestic marketplace was no doubt heightened by the film’s record-breaking performance in Japan. In addition to being the highest grossing film of all-time in Japan, Demon Slayer The Movie: Mugen Train has now passed the $450 million global mark after this weekend’s domestic start. The global IMAX total for Demon Slayer The Movie: Mugen Train now stands at an estimated $28.6 million. The film grossed an estimated $0.71 million from domestic IMAX screens this weekend, with the vast majority of that figure coming from the film’s Thursday night preview shows (Mortal Kombat took over IMAX screens beginning on Friday). While Demon Slayer The Movie: Mugen Train only had one night of widespread IMAX screenings, the film did play on other PLF screens throughout the weekend. As with Mortal Kombat, going forward Demon Slayer The Movie: Mugen Train could hold up better than usual for a fan-driven film, in part due to the overlap in the potential audiences for it and Mortal Kombat (as discussed earlier).

After leading the box office for the past three weeks, Warner Bros. and Legendary’s Godzilla vs. Kong was down two spots from last weekend to place in third with an estimated $4.20 million.  Godzilla vs. Kong declined 46 percent from last weekend, which was actually a respectable hold when considering the new competition the film faced from both Mortal Kombat and Demon Slayer The Movie: Mugen Train and that Godzilla vs. Kong also lost its IMAX screens this weekend.  Godzilla vs. Kong may have been aided a bit this weekend by serving as the primary PG-13 rated alternative to the R-rated Mortal Kombat and Demon Slayer The Movie: Mugen Train.  Godzilla vs. Kong continues to pad its status as the highest grossing film since the re-opening of domestic theatres, with a strong 26-day total of $86.58 million. With this weekend’s new openings now behind us, Godzilla vs. Kong will look to stabilize going forward, which the film will need to do if it is to reach the $100 million domestic mark after all.

This weekend also saw Godzilla vs. Kong pass the $400 million global mark. The film grossed an estimated $5.7 million internationally this weekend, which brings the film’s international total to $320.0 million and current global haul to $406.6 million. International totals through Sunday for Godzilla vs. Kong by market include $183.1 million in China, $20.1 million in Australia, $18.2 million in Mexico, $12.4 million in Taiwan, $11.7 million in Russia, $8.9 million in India, $6.6 million in Spain, $6.3 million in Thailand, $6.0 million in South Korea and $5.5 million in Vietnam.  Godzilla vs. Kong is scheduled to open in Brazil on Thursday, May 6.

Universal’s Nobody declined two spots from last weekend to claim fourth with an estimated $1.86 million.  Nobody continued to hold up very nicely this weekend, as the film was down just 26 percent in the face of new competition from this weekend’s two new fellow R-rated films.  Nobody passed the $20 million domestic mark this weekend and has grossed a healthy $21.67 million through 31 days. That gives the film a current total gross to opening weekend ratio of 3.18 to 1. Internationally, Nobodyadded an estimated $0.74 million this weekend from 16 markets. That brings the film’s current international total to $16.5 million and current global take to $38.2 million. This coming Friday (April 30), Nobody will open in both Mexico and Spain.

Disney’s Raya and the Last Dragon was down one place from last weekend to round out this weekend’s top five with an estimated $1.68 million.  Raya and the Last Dragon held up very well once again this weekend, as the film declined a slim 13 percent from last weekend.  Raya and the Last Dragon is now on the verge of reaching the $40 million domestic mark with a 52-day total of $39.84 million. That places the current total gross to opening weekend ratio for Raya and the Last Dragon at a healthy 4.69 to 1. Look for Raya and the Last Dragon to continue to hold up well going forward, especially with no new animated family films entering the marketplace until the release of Universal and DreamWorks Animation’s Spirit Untamed on June 4.

Sony’s The Unholy was down three spots from last weekend to land in sixth with an estimated $1.40 million. Even in the face of this weekend’s new competition, The Unholy continued to hold up very well for a horror film by declining 32 percent. Thanks in part to stronger than expected holding power, The Unholy has grossed $11.55 million through 24 days, which already gives the film a current total gross to opening weekend ratio of 3.66 to 1. Internationally, The Unholy grossed an estimated $1.9 million this weekend from 12 markets, including a debut of $1.2 million in Mexico. Respective totals for The Unholy stand at $4.7 million internationally and $16.2 million globally.

Warner’s Tom & Jerry took a bit of a hit this weekend, as the film was down two spots and 42 percent from last weekend with an estimated seventh place take of $0.65 million. The 59-day domestic total for Tom & Jerry stands at $43.5 million. With a current international total of $64.0 million, Tom & Jerry has grossed $107.5 million to date globally.

In moderate release, Bleecker Street’s Together Together grossed an estimated $0.52 million from 665 locations, to rank in eighth place among all films this weekend. Together Together had a modest per-location average of $786 this weekend. Together Together was written and directed by Nikole Beckwith and stars Ed Helms and Patti Harrison. Critical reviews for the film have been strong.

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