Dune slides, Last Night in Soho is defeated by the power of God and Anime, Antlers is mounted above the fireplace, and Other Box Office News.
Note: this article originally ran on Set the Tape (link).
Dune’s sequel got greenlit the day after I penned last week’s BOR (but the day before it actually ran and therefore making me look like an overly cautious tit), so it would seem that everybody took this unquestioned win as an opportunity to relax now that the evil (here being “the spectre of a dead franchise starter”) has been defeated. Although it’s still comfortably your Box Office #1, Dune the First slid 62% in its sophomore weekend. The professional Box Office prognosticators are telling me it isn’t actually all that bad. I’d counter that sliding that much in your second go-around at the tills is only really ok when you open to No Time to Die or Venom 2 numbers rather than a modest $40 mil. But I guess we’re still in the ‘expectation realignment mid-COVID’ era of things and, more importantly, the dying days of the ‘Warner Bros. have no fucking idea what they’re doing and intentionally cutting their movies off at the knees with simultaneous HBO Max streaming’ era, so maybe a second weekend haul of $15.5 million for the $165 million budgeted sci-fi epic is Good, Actually. What do I know?
Well, I do know that it was a real bad weekend for the major new releases. Two much-buzzed about horrors chose to open against each other on Halloween weekend only to get slaughtered by the actual Halloween movie that’d been out for three weeks already. Yes, after the stars miraculously aligned four years ago to make Baby Driver an out-of-the-box hit, order has been restored to the world of Edgar Wright with his giallo-homage Last Night in Soho faceplanting off the start blocks with general audiences, like every other film of his, to the tune of just $4.6 million. In fact, at time of writing, Soho is tied with Scott Cooper’s overstuffed supernatural horror Antlers which made exactly the same amount of money on 200 less screens and without the cache of beloved cult auteur returning from the wilderness. As mentioned, though, both films got trounced by Halloween Kills’ $8.5 mil in its third weekend.
Adding insult to injury, both horror debuts missed out on the Top 5 thanks to, and I am using the official terminology here, weeb shit. My Hero Academia: World Heroes’ Mission, the latest (presumably) filler theatrical spin-off of the Japanese phenomenon, parlayed its limited run in 1,500 theatres to $6.4 million and fourth place. That is significantly less than Demon Slayer: Mugen Train pulled in its opening weekend earlier this year – an eye-watering $22.7 million, just $500,000 less than Mortal Kombat’s #1 debut that weekend, and whilst another COVID wave was in full swing – but is at least an improvement on the prior MHA movie ($5.9 mil on the last weekend before we could no longer ignore the stupid plague). Anime remains undefeated. Meanwhile, Wes Anderson’s French Dispatch went sorta-Wide into 788 screens and also failed to make much of a dent, only doubling last weekend’s mega-impressive haul from 52 screens and stuck in tenth place. As for the one Limited Release, Joanna Hogg’s much-acclaimed good-for-her sequel The Souvenir: Part II did A24 business on three screens: $26,485 and an $8,828 PTA.
Fuuuuuuuullllll List! Things will be great when you Fuuuuuullllll List! No finer place for sure! Fuuuulllll List! Everything’s waiting for you!
US Box Office Results: Friday 29th October 2021 – Sunday 31st October 2021
1] Dune: Part One
$15,530,000 / $69,401,232
First of all, “nice” to that current Domestic total. Secondly, still not managed to get myself to the cinema at time of writing but will have finally done so and seen this by the time this piece actually goes live! Hooray! Blame those London Film Festival dispatches for Soundsphere I’m still in the middle of belatedly working my way through. Turns out it’s much harder to focus and get these things written out when not in the middle of the chaotic maelstrom of the actual Festival.
2] Halloween Kills
$8,500,000 / $85,633,610
If you follow Set the Tape on Twitter – and you absolutely should, why the heck aren’t you – you may have noticed things go into overdrive this past weekend as the account proceeded to tweet out links to literally every single horror-related article which has gone up on these pages during the last four years. Hopefully you found something cool and interesting in that barrage! We have a lot of cool and interesting stuff on the site which can slip through the cracks, so thank Amy Walker for having three spare hours to kill in setting those tweets up for us! Unless you didn’t like said barrage, in which case Amy is who you need to boo. But if you did like it, then send her a whole bunch of boo-urns for a job well done! I was saying boo-urns.
3] No Time to Die
$7,818,525 / $133,329,260
Opened in China this past weekend to a respectable $28.164 million, apparently much lower than initially expected due to a wave of COVID-related theatre closures. On a completely unrelated note, yesterday (at time of writing), Britain recorded 38,009 new cases and 8,983 new hospital admissions (plus admittedly only 74 deaths).
4] My Hero Academia: World Heroes’ Mission
$6,403,286 / NEW
I am yet to experience any My Hero Academia, though I have an anime-loving best friend who absolutely adores it to pieces. I expect that, one day, he’s going to pull a race-reversed Gon in 60 Seconds on me in an effort to finally get me on that train and which I’ll be powerless to stop. He’ll have to get in line behind the literally dozens of people who want to do the same thing to me regarding Star Trek.
(For those who don’t get the reference, absolutely take 20 minutes out of your day to watch Woolie Vs. and Super Eyepatch Wolf’s comedic web-series about the latter getting the former to slowly work through the anime adaptation of HunterxHunter.)
5] Venom: Let There Be Carnage
$5,750,000 / $190,441,558
Speaking of near-unwatchable disasters, Shaun Dewhirst’s never-ending quest to take on the burdens of our screener inbox recently reached tornado thriller 13 Minutes. As you might be able to tell from the tone and the mere fact that Shaun was the one who reviewed it, it’s not very good.
$4,160,000 / NEW
Yes, both this and Soho are in a dead heat – again, at time of writing, I imagine the Actuals will separate them into a clearer winner and loser dynamic – but I’ve made the editorial decision to place Antlers in the higher slot on account of making that money in less theatres. Truly, this is the Le Mans ’66 of horror-specific Box Office statistics.
(For those who don’t get the reference, watch Le Mans ’66 already, it’s pretty darn good.)
7] Last Night in Soho
$4,160,000 / NEW
Hoo boy, The Discourse is apparently going to be strong on this one for a while. I look forward to joining that once I find out exactly how many jump scares this movie has since my anxiety still rules all media decisions. Lee Thacker has got your review needs here taken care of, saying that it’s “a real showstopper, delivering on all levels in such a satisfying way that pretty much all the mainstream blockbuster fodder out there simply cannot hope to match.”
8] Ron’s Gone Wrong
$3,828,000 / $12,639,987
It turns out that Netflix are funding the next movie by Henry Selick – of Coraline, James and the Giant Peach, and a minor cult flick called The Nightmare Before Christmas. And it’s a collaboration with Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele – of, err, Key & Peele plus the latter’s little-known indie called Get Out. And it’s a stop-motion fantasy family horror and STOP I CANNOT KEEP THROWING MY MONEY AT THE SCREEN IT’S GOING TO DAMAGE THE ONLY LAPTOP I HAVE!
9] The Addams Family 2
$3,276,353 / $52,857,872
Speaking of, you know what’s super-wholesome for the children? Scaring the piss out of them! At least, that’s the theory put forward by Amy Walker who wrote an op-ed about the positive effects that introducing kids to age-appropriate spook-ems can have. I swear, she means well and it’s a strongly-written argument. You can stop dialling the number for Child Services.
$2,759,000 / $4,636,210
Well, shit. That’s a pisser.
Dropped out: The Last Duel, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Honsla Rakh