Weekend Box Office Report: August 13 – August 15, 2021

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

Weekend Estimates Update:

Disney and 20th Century’s Free Guy was off to a stronger than expected first place start this weekend with an estimated $28.40 million. Heading into the weekend, the Shawn Levy directed sci-fi comedy starring Ryan Reynolds and Jodie Comer had been widely expected to open in the high-teen million to low-twenty million range. Free Guy also outpaced last weekend’s $26.21 million start of The Suicide Squad by 8 percent and delivered the seventh largest opening weekend since the re-opening of domestic theatres. Another positive for Free Guy is that while the film was fairly pricey in its own right, Free Guy was less expensive than other recent high-profile films that have opened in the same general area (Jungle CruiseSpace Jam: A New Legacy and The Suicide Squad). In addition to the drawing power of Reynolds, the film’s interesting concept and effective marketing, Free Guy also benefited this weekend from strong critical reviews (especially for a video game themed film). Free Guy also looks to be going over even stronger with audiences, after receiving an impressive A rating on CinemaScore and currently boasting a 95% Verified Audience Score on Rotten Tomatoes.

In comparison to the R-rated The Suicide Squad last weekend, the PG-13 rated Free Guy was helped out by performing significantly better with moviegoers under the age of 25. While both films had 59 percent male / 41 percent female audience splits, the audience for Free Guy skewed 45 percent under the age of 25 (last weekend’s audience for The Suicide Squad skewed just 34 percent under the age of 25). Free Guy received a bit of a boost from family audiences, with family audiences composing an estimated 16 percent of the film’s overall audience. Free Guy was also helped out this weekend from not opening day-and-date (which the mentioned Jungle CruiseSpace Jam: A New Legacy and The Suicide Squad all did); instead opting for an exclusively theatrical launch. Free Guy grossed an estimated $1.4 million from domestic IMAX screens this weekend (which were split between Free Guy and The Suicide Squad this weekend). All combined premium formats (including 3D) represented 29 percent of this weekend’s overall domestic performance for Free Guy. Given the film’s strong critical reviews, exceptional early word of mouth and strong Saturday hold (Free Guy grossed $10.3 million on Saturday, which was down only 2 percent from the film’s $10.5 million opening day Friday performance including Thursday previews), Free Guy is likely to buck the recent trend of most high-profile releases being quite front-loaded to hold up well in the weeks ahead.

Internationally, Free Guy started out with an estimated $22.5 million from 41 markets. That places the film’s global launch at $50.9 million. Estimated international debuts for Free Guy this weekend included $3.4 million in the United Kingdom, $2.9 million in Russia, $1.4 million in South Korea, $1.3 million in Japan, $1.1 million in France, $1.0 million in Saudi Arabia, $1.0 million in Australia, $0.9 million in Hong Kong, $0.9 million in Germany, $0.8 million in the United Arab Emirates and $0.8 million in Mexico. Free Guy will open in a handful of additional international markets in the coming week, including Brazil and Spain. The film grossed an estimated $1.6 million from international IMAX screens this weekend, which places the global IMAX total for Free Guy at $3.0 million.

Sony’s Don’t Breathe 2 debuted in a distant second place this weekend with an estimated $10.60 million. The Rodo Sayagues directed action-horror sequel starring Stephen Lang opened in line with pre-release expectations. The opening weekend performance of Don’t Breathe 2 also came in right between the recent $12.55 million and $8.80 million respective starts of fellow horror sequels The Forever Purge and Escape Room: Tournament of Champions. While Don’t Breathe 2 didn’t open anywhere near the $26.41 million pre-pandemic start of 2016’s Don’t Breathe, the film obviously wasn’t expected to do so. Potential for Don’t Breathe 2 was no doubt limited this weekend in part from the film facing indirect competition from each of the other four films in this weekend’s top five and in part by mixed critical reviews (especially since the film’s predecessor went over very well with critics). While the film’s CinemaScore rating hasn’t been released as of publishing, Don’t Breathe 2 currently boasts a strong 89% Verified Audience Score on Rotten Tomatoes, which suggests that the film is going over better with audiences than it has with critics. Don’t Breathe 2 looks to have received at least a small boost this weekend from this Friday having been Friday the 13th. Internationally, Don’t Breathe 2 started out with an estimated $3.4 million this weekend from 34 markets. That places the film’s current global total at $14.0 million.

Disney’s Jungle Cruise was down just one spot from last weekend to claim third place this weekend with an estimated $9.00 million. Jungle Cruise declined a solid 43 percent from last weekend’s performance and the hold is even more impressive than it looks given that Jungle Cruise was playing in 410 fewer locations this weekend than last weekend and also took a significant hit to its showtimes per location average this weekend. Jungle Cruise passed the $80 million domestic mark this weekend and is currently the sixth highest grossing film domestically since re-opening with a 17-day haul of $82.14 million. In the coming days, the film will surpass fellow Disney release Cruella (which has grossed $85.82 million to date domestically), to move into fifth place on the list. Look for Jungle Cruise to further stabilize next weekend, especially since the film is likely to experience a stronger showtimes per location hold next weekend.

While Jungle Cruise continues to display very healthy holding power domestically, the film isn’t holding up as well internationally. This weekend Jungle Cruise grossed an estimated $6.7 million internationally from 49 markets. That places the current international total For Jungle Cruise at $72.2 million and the film’s current global haul at $154.3 million. Estimated international totals for Jungle Cruise through Sunday include $11.7 million in the United Kingdom, $7.4 million in Russia, $6.0 million in Japan, $5.1 million in France, $3.3 million in Saudi Arabia, $2.8 million in Spain, $2.6 million in the United Arab Emirates, $2.5 million in the Netherlands and $2.5 million in Mexico.

United Artists Releasing and MGM’s Respect arrived in fourth place with an estimated $8.81 million. The Liesl Tommy directed Aretha Franklin biopic starring Jennifer Hudson opened in line with its modest expectations. Heading into the weekend, it had been expected that Respect likely skewing heavily towards older moviegoers would hold back the film’s potential at the box office somewhat in the current theatrical environment. That appears to have been the case, as 86 percent of the film’s audience was over the age of 25 (and 67 percent was over the age of 35). The audience breakdown for Respect also skewed 66 percent female and 34 percent male, while African American moviegoers represented a sizable 48 percent of the film’s audience. The opening weekend performance of Respect came in just ahead of the $8.31 million debut of United Artists Releasing’s last wide release, Wrath of Man back in May. While Hudson’s performance as Franklin has been much buzzed about, critical reviews for Respect have been mixed (more so positive, than negative). But like Free GuyRespect looks to be going over exceptionally well with initial audiences after receiving a strong A rating on CinemaScore and currently boasting a 94% Verified Audience Score on Rotten Tomatoes. The film’s strong word of mouth and older skewing audience (which typically doesn’t rush out as fast) could help transfer into strong holding power for Respect going forward.

After last weekend’s already softer than expected first place debut, Warner’s The Suicide Squad was down a troubling 70 percent in its second weekend to land in fifth place with an estimated $7.75 million. Extremely sharp second weekend declines for Warner Bros. day-and-date releases available on HBO Max are not a surprise at this point, but at the same time strong critical reviews and good word of mouth appear to have made very little impact for The Suicide Squad this weekend (though they do appear to have helped the film’s midweek grosses this past week somewhat). Furthermore, based on last weekend’s performance, it seemed as though the HBO Max factor had already had a larger negative effect on the film’s opening weekend performance than previous day-and-date releases from Warner Bros. The Suicide Squad also no doubt took a clear hit from the stronger than expected performance of Free Guy this weekend, which has very similar demos as The Suicide Squad and also took away many (but not all) IMAX screens and showtimes away from The Suicide Squad this weekend. The ten-day start for The Suicide Squad stands at a lackluster $42.88 million.

At the same time, there was some relative good news for The Suicide Squad internationally this weekend, as the film took in an estimated $17.0 million from 70 markets. That brings the film’s international total to $75.2 million, as The Suicide Squad is clearly performing stronger internationally than domestically (a reverse of Jungle Cruise, which The Suicide Squad has now passed internationally). The HBO Max option domestically is no doubt a factor in this, but on top of that it also appears that The Suicide Squad is simply going over better with international audiences than it is with domestic audiences. The current global total for The Suicide Squad stands at $118.1 million (with $8.3 million of that total coming from IMAX screens). This weekend saw The Suicide Squad debut with $1.9 million in Japan. Additional international totals through Sunday for The Suicide Squad include a healthy $14.9 million in the United Kingdom, $7.3 million in Russia, $4.3 million in France, $3.8 million in Germany, $3.5 million in South Korea, $3.5 million in Mexico, $3.1 million in Spain, $3.0 million in Brazil, $2.1 million in Australia, $1.9 million in Japan, $1.9 million in Saudi Arabia and $1.7 million in the United Arab Emirates.

Meanwhile, Universal’s Old took sixth place with an estimated $2.40 million, while Disney’s Black Widow followed in seventh with an estimated $2.00 million. Old was down a solid 42 percent from last weekend (and like Don’t Breathe 2 looks to have received a bit of a boost from Friday the 13th), while Black Widow declined a sizable 49 percent. Black Widow actually had a slightly higher per-location average than Old this weekend, but took a hit from playing in a significant 1,040 fewer locations than last weekend (Old was playing in 507 fewer locations than last weekend). Respective total grosses stand at $178.20 million for Black Widow through 38 days and at $42.96 million for Old through 24 days. Internationally, Old grossed an estimated $2.7 million from 53 markets this weekend and Black Widow grossed an estimated $1.6 million from 49 markets. To date, respective totals stand at $189.6 million internationally and $367.8 million globally for Black Widow and at $31.6 million internationally and $74.6 million globally for Old.

After passing the $500 million international mark on Thursday, Universal’s F9 continued to pad its international total with an estimated $8.1 million this weekend from 61 markets. This weekend’s international performance was driven by a $3.8 million second weekend gross in Japan (where the film has grossed $20.1 million to date) and a $1.8 million debut in Taiwan. To date, F9 has grossed $509.3 million internationally and $172.1 million domestically for a global total of $681.4 million. F9 remains the highest grossing Hollywood release internationally and globally since re-opening.

In other international news, Paramount’s PAW Patrol: The Movie started out with an estimated $5.8 million from just 6 select markets. This weekend saw PAW Patrol: The Movie debut with $3.2 million in the United Kingdom and $2.3 million in France. In addition to opening domestically day-and-date (theatrically and via streaming on Paramount+) next weekend on Friday, August 20, PAW Patrol: The Movie will also be opening in 33 additional international markets in the coming week.

Read more at BoxOfficeReport.com

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