Going into the weekend, it appeared that ‘A Star Is Born’ was actually going to surge past ‘Venom’, but thanks to a busy Saturday, the Sony comic book movie took in $35.7 million for the weekend, to land the #1 spot for a second week in a row. Strong word of mouth is helping drive audiences to ‘Venom’ after critics trashed it and a lot of moviegoers were on the fence prior to its release.
Also impressive is that ‘Venom’ took #1 even though it gave up its IMAX and other large format screens to ‘First Man’. That means the majority of ‘Venom”s weekend haul came from regular ticket sales.
‘A Star Is Born’ is drawing an older crowd of mostly women, so it was a given that it would make money in the long run, as opposed to a splashy debut. This movie has major awards buzz, so that is helping to drive ticket sales. It made an additional $28M in its second frame.
So with last weekend’s champs still planted firmly in the top two spots, that means that the new releases didn’t really give much competition. Like ‘A Star Is Born’, Damien Chazelle’s ‘First Man’, starring Ryan Gosling as Neil Armstrong, is also getting awards buzz. But its two hour and 21 minute run time is hampering it somewhat. Not only is does that reduce the number of showings that theaters can offer, but it’s a turn-off to some potential moviegoers.
It is also not a sci-fi action movie, but an intimate biopic of Armstrong and his journey to becoming the first man on the moon. And there has been some negative reaction to Ryan Gosling’s statement that the film wasn’t American-centric. It managed to take in $16.5M.
Those that did check it out liked it well enough. Its CinemaScore is B+, which is the same as what audiences gave ‘Venom’. It’s not bad, but it may mean that ‘First Man’ isn’t good enough for the Academy Awards and other accolades. Its Rotten Tomatoes score is 88%. Once again, that’s good, but it’s not glowing.
Earning $16.2M, ‘Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween’ is not performing nearly as well as the first movie, but the first was sold using Jack Black as the major draw. The marketing for the sequel omitted Black until after the release of his other Halloween family movie, ‘A House with a Clock in its Walls’, perhaps to avoid confusion. But that gave the impression that Black wasn’t in it at all. And perhaps the later ads, which included Black were not seen by enough people. Since the family audience already turned out for ‘The House with a Clock…’, it appears they didn’t feel the need to check out another live action kid-friendly Halloween movie.
It did well enough in one regard. Coupled with ‘Venom’, ‘Goosebumps 2′ helped push Sony past the $1 billion mark for the year. Sony is now the fourth studio to reach that point this year following Disney (who hit the mark very early), Warner Brothers and Universal.
Speaking of family movies, Warner Brothers’ animated ‘Smallfoot’ landed at #5, shutting out Drew Goddard’s all-star Tarantino-lite ‘Bad Times at the El Royale’.
- Venom (Sony) – $35.7M
- A Star Is Born (Warner Brothers) – $28M
- First Man (Universal) – $16.5M
- Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween (Sony) – $16.2M
- Smallfoot (Warner Brothers) – $9.3M
Next weekend should easily go to Blumhouse/Miramax’s ‘Halloween’. Based on ticket pre-sales and tracking, this horror sequel/reboot should land somewhere between $40-60 million. So far, critics are enthusiastic, with its pre-release Rotten Tomatoes score averaging out to a positive 86%.
Check back to see how things go!