US Box Office Report: 12/11/21 – 14/11/21

Eternals is DOING FINE, Clifford is a good boy yes it is yes it is, audiences say “top o’ the mornin’!” to Belfast, and Other Box Office News.

Note: this article originally ran on Set the Tape (link).

To be clear, I wouldn’t say that Eternals is doing great.  It’s definitely getting dethroned by Ghostbusters: Stranger Things next weekend unless the collective “who the hell is this for?!” reactions of every film person I’ve talked to are shared by the general public.  A 60% sophomore drop is worse than Shang-Chi’s sophomore drop of 54%.  And, just like with Shang-Chi, it appears that the film won’t be getting those sweet sweet authoritarian Chinese government dollars any time soon if ever which will heavily dent the overall box office take.  But it is doing fine!  It’s still comfortably #1, that’s a better sophomore hold than Black Widow managed (with the caveat that the latter opened to higher amount and had a simultaneous D+ PVOD strategy), and it’s about even with Venom 2 whilst being a significantly better movie than that shite.  So, cool the Hot Take Machines for another week; it’s doing fine.

Since, again, Ghostbusters isn’t until next week despite what professional nerd/media websites may have believed for the last month, it’s a real slow week for releases or interesting chart news.  In second place was the long-dreaded release of the Jack Whitehall-starring Clifford the Big Red Dog live-action movie which I’m fairly certain has been on and off the development/release schedules for an entire decade.  In spite of the endless development time, missing the boat repeatedly on the character’s mainstream popularity, a Sonic-level disaster of an initial teaser, a public cancellation of its original release date and less-public reversal of that cancellation a month later, opening on a Wednesday in defiance of God and man, and a simultaneous streaming option on Paramount+ (a service that everybody definitely uses)… it actually did really ok.  $16.4 million over the three-day and $22 mil over the five-day, so perhaps it really would’ve threatened Eternals had at least one of those self-imposed handicaps not been a factor.

Meanwhile, this week’s Awards Season contender stepping up to the Moderate Release plate was Kenneth Branagh’s semi-autobiographical Irish coming-of-age drama Belfast.  It’s a niche which may have already plateaued, mind, since the debut of $1.8 million from 580 screens was $0.3 mil less than what Spencer made last weekend and $0.8 mil less than what French Dispatch made the weekend before, albeit with Belfast opening on less screens than both those other films did.  Perhaps having three films aimed at almost exactly the same audiences open one week after the other leading to inevitable cannibalisation was not the brightest of ideas?  Or maybe I’m talking out my arse since all three films this week placed in the same $1.5 mil – $1.8 mil grouping?  Who can say!  It’s Desert Bus for Hope week!  I can’t be arsed to put in real effort, this is my mental health time!


Credit: Rob Youngson / Focus Features

Right, let’s get this finished so I can get back to another thrilling instalment of “Whose That Animorphs?”  Full List, activate!

US Box Office Results: Friday 5th November 2021 – Sunday 7th November 2021

1] Eternals

$27,500,00 / $118,765,255

We now go live to the Marvel war room upon seeing this weekend’s takings…

2] Clifford the Big Red Dog

$16,420,000 / $22,000,775 / NEW

Why is America trying to make Jack Whitehall a thing?  Have they learned nothing from James Corden?  Or from Russell Brand before that?  Or from Ricky Gervais before that?  Stop trying to provide second lives for our mediocre-to-poor White male comedian personalities after they’ve used up all their good will at home!

3] Dune: Part One

$5,500,000 / $93,126,283

You wanna talk about classic fantasy epics?  The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim turned 10 last week!  Amy Walker tried her best to summarise the impact and legacy of perhaps the biggest RPG of all-time, ahead of Bethesda announcing a port of it for your Smart Boiler.

4] No Time to Die

$4,620,862 / $150,476,875

I really hope that IO Interactive can do something special with their upcoming James Bond game.  For one, because I frickin’ adore Hitman and those guys making a Bond game just makes perfect sense.  For two, because I want to enjoy – not even “love,” just “enjoy” – a Bond thing again cos it’s been forever and Armie Hammer has ruined my ability to watch The Man From U.N.C.L.E. the same way.  And for three, because I can’t believe it’ll be over a decade since the last Bond game.  As someone whose grew up with the EA trilogy of Agent Under Fire/Nightfire/Everything or Nothing, we are long overdue a new attempt at that!

Please sign my petition to get Dave Bond to restart his Bond retrospective series so he can cover all the games.

5] Venom: Let There Be Carnage

$4,000,000 / $202,707,875

There’s a scene in this where Venom goes to a Little Simz concert, gets up on stage in front of a crowd of gay teens wielding glowsticks, and proclaims that he is “out of the Eddie closet” where the joke is that the scene is framed like a queer person coming out.  As a queer, I honestly still don’t know whether I should be offended by this or not.

6] Ron’s Gone Wrong

$2,200,000 / $20,776,296

Hey!  This was really sweet!  Nothing excellent, but just really sweet and pleasant and genuine in a way that more non-Disney/Pixar kids’ animation could do with being.  Just a shame that I finally saw that other 2021 animated kids’ film about our dependence on technology as a means of offsetting family dysfunction starring Academy Award winner Olivia Colman about 48 hours later, and as such Ron has been rendered as obsolete as a top-range gaming PC seconds after purchase!

7] The French Dispatch

$1,840,000 / $11,618,679

Following on from Rom-Com Rewind and running alongside the endless Smallville recaps/revisits, Eamon Hennedy has started up a new series where he looks at musical movies, music biopics, and other music-related movie stuff that he wants to talk about!  In his second piece, he’s offering a reappraisal of Scorsese’s unfairly mistreated-at-the-time New York, New York.  Go check it out!

8] Belfast

$1,800,000 / NEW

Not out here til late January.  Bullshit release window disparity nonsense for Awards Season films means that cinema is healing, you guys.

9] Spencer

$1,510,000 / $4,689,321

Turns out the answer to the previously hypothetical question “can Pablo Larraín’s largely-excellent suffocating direction, Claire Mathon’s invasive cinematography, and Jonny Greenwood’s avant-jazz/classical score sufficiently mitigate a turgid Steven Knight screenplay, and an all-over-the-place Kristen Stewart performance” is a “just barely.”  The more you know!

10] Antlers

$1,200,000 / $9,636,572

Since I don’t think Disney themselves bothered to advertise this fact, The Night House, by David Bruckner of The Ritual and upcoming Hellraiser reboot, has been added to Disney+.  I hear it’s very good!  Better than this, anyway!

Dropped out: Halloween Kills, Last Night in Soho

Callie Petch will take you downtown where they get treated like the mayor.

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