Friday Box Office: ‘Venom 2’ And ‘Sopranos’ Fall Hard, ‘Shang-Chi’ And ‘Addams Family 2’ Hold Firm
In holdover news, Venom: Let There Be Carnage earned $8.85 million on its second Friday, falling a brutal 76% and setting the stage for a $32.49 million (-64%) second-weekend gross. Venom fell 69% on its second Friday with far less competition, all due respect to First Man. A 64% weekend drop for Venom 2 would be just slightly worse than the 62% drops for Spider-Man: Homecoming in 2017 and Ant-Man and the Wasp in 2018, both of which legged out afterward. The hope is that the Tom Hardy/Woody Harrelson superhero sequel plays like those films or a 2000’s-era Adam Sandler flick, namely with a big second-weekend drop but with strong legs over the next month as the consensus choice/second-choice for moviegoing groups.
With $142.5 million in ten days, the merely $110 million-budgeted Sony flick could only be as leggy as Halloween ($159 million from a $126 million ten-day cume after a $76 million debut) and still make it to $180 million domestic. Legs like Black Widow (1.39x its $131 million ten-day total after an $80 million debut and 67% second-weekend drop) would get Let There Be Carnage to $199 million. If it’s close to $200 million, I’d expect Sony to do what they did with Spectre and keep it in theaters for months on end to get it past the finish line. Maybe a double bill with Ghostbusters: Afterlife in early December? I’d still argue it’s performing as expected with a 15% loss due to Covid variables.
MGM’s The Addams Family 2 earned another $2.773 million (-52%) on its second Friday, setting the stage for a Saturday/Sunday kid-powered recovery and an $11 million (-38%) second-weekend gross. That’ll give the animated sequel a $31.8 million ten-day total, or just under the $30 million which its 2019 predecessor grossed on opening weekend. That predecessor dropped 46% in the face of more demographically-specific competition (Maleficent: Mistress of Evil), so this is a good hold so far. If it sticks around, we can expect a $55-$60 million domestic finish. Again, this sequel was never going to top its “folks were curious the first time” predecessor. A non-Covid $70 million domestic gross ($60 million x 1.15) would have seemed about right.
After getting a shellacking from Venom 2 last weekend, Disney and Marvel’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings rebounded with a $1.17 million (-31%) Friday for a $209 million domestic cume. That sets the stage for a $4.37 million (-28%) sixth-weekend gross, bringing the MCU actioner’s cume to $213 million. Before 2020, we hadn’t gone a year without at least one $220 million-plus grosser since 1998 (Saving Private Ryan with $217 million), and it would appear that 2021 will escape that fate as well. The last “no $300 million grossers” year before 2020 was 2000, led by The Grinch ($260 million). We’ll see if Spider-Man: No Way Home can avoid making 2021 a member of that unfortunate club. No pressure, Peter Parker…
The Many Saints of Newark earned $400,000 (-81%) on its second Friday, setting the stage for a $1.32 million (-72%) weekend and $7.3 million ten-day total. This Sopranos prequel was never, ever going to play beyond the fanbase, not before Covid and certainly not know. Save for big examples like The Godfather and Goodfellas, the action-lite mob movie usually isn’t as commercially reliable a genre (ditto World War II flicks) as Hollywood seems to think. There’s a reason Paramount and friends wouldn’t spend $160 million on Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman. Even in a pre-Covid market, even spending $60 million on that film was a calculated risk. Oh well, if HBO Max gets a David Chase-created Sopranos spin-off, maybe it will have been worth it.
The Battle At Lake Changjin earned “just” $37.2 million on its second Saturday in China, dropping a reasonable 45% from its $63.8 million first-Saturday gross. That brings the 176-minute Korean War epic’s ten-day cume (it opened on a Thursday) to $592 million, meaning it will most certainly pass $600 million in China sometime today. It could end the weekend with around $625 million, so a $800 million finish remains “plausible.” Candyman will top $60 million domestic by tomorrow night as Free Guy will end weekend nine just under $120 million domestic. Neon’s Titane will end the second weekend with just under $1 million, or about tied with the likely $980,000 opening weekend of A24’s Lamb. If you want the best possible double-feature...