Film Discussion

US Box Office Report: 27/10/23 – 29/10/23

America spends three Nights at Freddy’s, Swift scorches Scorsese, and Other Box Office News.

We took an editorial week off, so let’s get the big cineaste story out the way first: Killers of the Flower Moon, the latest highly-acclaimed and stupidly-DISCOURSEd Martin Scorsese opus, falling at the Box Office to Taylor Swift and it not even being the least bit close.  Whilst its $23 million opening weekend was the legendary director’s best since Shutter Island in 2010 – and third-best overall behind The Departed’s $26.8 million – it still came in quite behind industry expectations as well as, crucially for the DISCOURSE bots who have been abysmal these last couple of weeks, a full $10 mil behind the second week of Swift’s ERAS TOUR concert flick.

There were hopes that Killers may have been able to rebound over time somewhat, since Scorsese flicks have displayed decent legs in the past and Killers sported an “A-” Cinemascore from the public, but those have been summarily snuffed out this weekend with a hideous 61% drop down to seven-figures; $9 million in third-place.  Perhaps the constant entitled pissing over the three-hour runtime, a topic which makes all of us dumber every time it hits earshot and is more exhausting than an actual three-hour Scorsese movie, was the REAL Killer of the Flower Moon!

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And speaking of killers, all hail your new Box Office #1, the critically-reviled yet financially mega-successful adaptation of Five Nights at Freddy’s.  Nice of this era of video game movies to extended that faithfulness of adaptation to the quality disconnect between critics and audiences, too!  Blumhouse’s big-ScREEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!  …sorry about that.  Blumhouse’s big screen adaptation of the surprisingly long-running screamer-bait franchise has bagged more than a few noteworthy accolades for itself with its $78 million first-place opening.

Should that numbREEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!  …ahem.  Should that number hold, it’ll be the third-best opening for a horror movie of all-time, behind only the two ITs.  It’ll also the best opening for any film on Hallow-REEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!  …Halloween since Puss in Boots all the way back in 2011, wit-REEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!  …with $34.1 million.  And it’ll dethrone the sec-REEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!  …second So-REEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!  …  …  …it’ll dethrone the second Sonic the Hedgehog movie to become the #2 biggest opening for a video game movie of all-time.  Thank God that bit’s over.

© 2023 Apple Films & Paramount Pictures.

In fact, it’s been a busy tricycle of days at the Box Office.  Two other much lower-profile Wide releases put in solid performances relative to their level of hype/marketing capabilities.  The less-qualified of the success stories was AftREEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!  …just don’t acknowledge it, I’m sure it’ll stop of its own accord at some point.  Anyways, After Death which is a Christian documentary feature about near-death experiences distributed by *checks notes* ah, fuck, the Sound of Freedom guys.  Still, I guess you gotta begrudgingly hand it to them knowing just what their audience wants, since fourth place and $5 million is way better than most actual documentaries are ever able to achieve.

Lower down, and requiring the major caveats of “the reviews were radioactive” and “it likely would’ve done much better had there been a press tour where John Cena and Alison Brie could be funny together GIVE THE ACTORS WHAT THEY WANT, STUDIOS”, is Freelance.  This action-comedy by the acclaimed director of *checks notes* ah, fuck, Taken and Peppermint still managed to score $2 million for seventh place in spite of looking like a Redbox Original from 2012, and that should be commended.  Sorta.  In a way.  …please cast Alison Brie in good stuff again.  …  …  REEEEEEEEEEEEE-

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Lastly, we’re officially entering Awards Season with the first two big hopefuls – that explicitly pitch themselves as Awards Season hopefuls, to be clear; there is a whole intricate decision tree process which determines whether something is intended out-of-the-box as riding Awards Season buzz to later success rather than jus-REEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!  …thanks for that.  So, erm, Alexander Payne and Focus Features’ The Holdovers vs. Sofia Coppola and A24’s Priscilla!  A showdown sure to make cinephiles salivate!  In this particular skirmish, Payne’s acerbic dramedy took the flashy victory with $200,000 from 6 screens; a PTA of $33,333.  But Coppola’s haunted Presley pic arguably took the scorecard victory, since its $132,139 from 4 screens equates to a PTA of $33,034.  Imagine how much better things could’ve gone had A24 bothered to give it a bigger rollo-REEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!  …  …god, that’s really anno-REEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!

The bit’s over now, promise.  Please read the rest of this Full List.

US Box Office Results: Friday 27th October 2023 – Sunday 29th October 2023

1] Five Nights at Freddy’s

$78,000,000 / NEW

Yes, I do feel like I needed to run that bit into the ground in order to fully express my dispassionate feelings towards the FNaF brand of screamer “horror”.  No, I don’t believe it was excessive at all; we’re talking about FNaF, here.


$14,700,000 / $149,344,861

They are not accepting Cineworld Unlimited cards for discounts or full-tickets, so that’s a hard no on seeing this in cinemas.  I barely have the money to afford Spider-Man 2 at the moment!  Why would I shell out £19.89 for something I may find quite insufferable?  (Swifties, I’m sure her catalogue is rich and satisfying, but her singles keep putting me off of checking out anything but folklore; I’ll fix it someday.)

3] Killers of the Flower Moon

$9,000,000 / $40,679,083

Plans to see this opening weekend got postponed when a friend of mine who I was going to The Chemical Brothers with suggested we see it the morning after said gig… and those plans got postponed to this coming weekend when we turned out to be way overambitious on getting up the morning after a Chemical Brothers show.  I fully expect to postpone the postponed-postponed plans due to having been way overambitious on what time we wake up the morning after HOMOBLOC on Saturday.

4] After Death

$5,060,815 / NEW

Would like to once again reaffirm that I am not anti-Christian/faith-based media despite being an atheist – something which is more a product of my broken Aspie brain’s inability to deal with anything that’s not certain and tangible, leading to a crippling lack of faith in all corners of my life.  When I dump on the works of Angel Studios and PureFlix and their ilk in these columns, it’s because they’re often absolute dogshit, and I am firmly anti-dogshit.

5] The Exorcist: Believer

$3,100,000 / $59,365,830

When this gets published, we’ll have just gotten out of Halloween, but that arguably makes it the perfect time to catch up on Holo-ween, the horror-themed miniseries of Star Trek comics IDW have been putting out!  Lee Thacker’s checked out and offered up comprehensive thoughts on the lot of them.

6] PAW Patrol: The Mighty Movie

$2,150,000 / $59,212,255

…shit, how do we have nothing from the last two weeks I can use as a tenuously-related plug segway?  Sod it.  Have you read Leslie Byron Pitt’s anniversary piece on The Counselor, that Ridley Scott movie where Cameron Diaz fucks a car?  He’s an excellent writer who turns in some of our most interesting anniversary write-ups and deserves more flowers.

7] Freelance

$2,070,000 / NEW

It’s been three-and-a-half years since GLOW got cancelled and, yes, I am still pissed.

8] The Nightmare Before Christmas (30th Anniversary Re-Release)

$2,000,000 / $7,879,828

Composer, and singing voice of Jack Skellington, Danny Elfman has been accused/sued by two women of sexual misconduct/abuse.  No gags or additional punch here.  I’m just tired of men being gross (at best).

9] Saw X

$1,685,000 / $50,296,927

Second Sight are out here continuing to put together immaculate restorations and bountiful bonuses for mid-budget cult-ish faves.  Shaun Rockwood got his hands on their latest effort, sprucing up 2000 Aussie crime flick Chopper for a new re-release.

10] The Creator

$1,012,000 / $38,857,081

Come on back next week to see if I’m in a mentally sound enough place following HOMOBLOC and a Little Simz concert on back-to-back days to put together a halfway-coherent BOR out of *checks release schedule* not a whole lot that’ll move the needle!  Those are always the most entertaining to work on/read!

Dropped out: A Haunting in Venice, The Blind, The Nun II

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