America spent no additional Nights at Freddy’s, give it up for the dramas doing their best, and Other Box Office News.
*finally stirs bleary-eyed after being poked by a big stick* Bwuh, ugh, uuuuughhhheeeeyyyyy. How’s it going? I am shattered. As foreshadowed last week, I spent Saturday at Homobloc and had an incredible, queer-ass time. I got made-up – very lightly cos this was my first time wearing make-up and I had no idea what I was doing otherwise – wore a dress out and felt ultra-cute for the first time in forever, was complimented by total strangers, saw Jessie Ware perform with a mic cord that looked umbilical, brushed past more harnesses than a professional horse racing stable, had one of those moments where you walk onto a dancefloor for the first time and the DJ just drops the perfect song to make you feel euphoric, tried poppers (which were expired so it was just like smelling a mild Vix, tbh)… It was phenomenal. Downside being I’m still recovering from the experience with a real (energy cos I don’t drink) hangover crash… which makes me kindred spirits with Five Nights at Freddy’s as, after a euphoric opening weekend, it too has been experiencing its own crash of a 76% drop between weekends. BOOM! BROUGHT IT BACK ROUND! EVEN WHEN I’M SHOT OF ENERGY, I’M STILL THIS DAMN GOOD AT MY WORK!
READ MORE: Poor Things – LIFF 2023
Despite that fall, and evidently the best efforts of Swifties nationwide hoping to give their billionaire idol the mythical triple-crown – #1 song, #1 album, and #1 film in America all at once – FnaF is still the weekend’s winner with $19 mil vs. THE ERAS TOUR’s $13.6 million. Instead, the real story of this dead-zone weekend, where we would’ve otherwise been talking about Dune: Part Two if Hollywood wasn’t so dead-set on owning actors’ likenesses even after they die, has been the surprise overperformances of adult dramas/movies. No, none of them cracked eight-figures, don’t be absurd. But they’ve all done very well for themselves. After a tough 60% drop last weekend, Killers of the Flower Moon steadied itself much better this time with a mere 26% drop to $6.8 million; still good enough to retain third place. Lower down, Meg Ryan’s sophomore directorial effort, rom-com What Happens Later, whose biggest/sole marketing footprint was when they announced a three-week delay because Taylor Swift scared off all October 13th releases, managed a surprise Top 10 debut with $1.5 million for ninth place. Not great, of course, but an appearance by any English-language film on the Top 10 which made no waves prior to release is an automatic ‘well done’ fridge sticker event.
Following on from a big arthouse duel last weekend, A24 and Focus Features opted to take different paths for the sophomore goes of Priscilla and The Holdovers. Both approaches turned out to be winners. Focus stuck to the usual indie drama roadmap of just barely moving into Moderate Release, expanding Holdovers to 64 screens and scoring $568,028 of additional buzz; a PTA of $8,875 that’s the best of any release this weekend. A24, meanwhile, went bullish and dropped Priscilla right into the boiling pot of a Wide Release and did not get requests for a little less conversation from audiences; $5 million for fourth place, double what analysts expected going into the weekend. But both of those performances wound up being upstaged by Radical, Mexico’s take on the “how do I reach these keeeee-ds?” subgenre of movies. Distributor Pantelion Films has always had a strong track record when it comes to serving Latino-centric audiences and this one has been no exception, locking down the #5 spot on the chart with $2.6 million from just 419 theatres; the second-best PTA of the weekend. Dramas! They’re doing their best!
I think you’ll agree that this Full List has been all shook up, uh huh huh. That and the ‘A Little Less Conversation’ bit earlier are all the Elvis puns you’re getting.
US Box Office Results: Friday 3rd November 2023 – Sunday 5th November 2023
1] Five Nights at Freddy’s
$19,001,870 / $113,206,230
I have said this so often that it’s practically a meme at this point, but seriously Capcom, WHERE IS MY DINO CRISIS REBOOT/REMAKE? The cross-media franchise behemoth cashola you’re leaving on the table here makes me question whether you’re really cut out to be executives. If nothing else, you gotta make sure that Dino Crisis 3, which released 20 years ago yesterday, doesn’t go down as the last word on the matter! Amy Walker dredged back her old memories of that time Capcom managed to somehow fuck up dinosaurs in space.
2] TAYLOR SWIFT | THE ERAS TOUR
$13,612,913 / $166,039,581
This right here is my pledge to you that I’m not going to pitch THE ERAS TOUR against RENAISSANCE: A FILM BY BEYONCÉ when the latter releases at the end of the month. I’m sick and tired of the sports team-ification of modern Box Office reporting, where a movie’s worth is entirely correlated to the money it brings in and everyone talks about it like Stan Twitter chats about their faves’ latest chart singles. We have fun here, we create narratives and do analysis, but we also have an understanding (I hope) that none of this really means anything in the grand scheme of things. Finances fade, films are forever, and one movie making less money than a similar movie is no indication of failure or quality. So, not even for an ironic joke, I won’t be doing any kind of pop supremacy narrative between Taylor and Beyoncé when the time comes. And I’m not just saying this cos I don’t want their fanbases to hate crime me.
3] Killers of the Flower Moon
$6,872,784 / $52,205,306
Will be seeing this as you read these words, for real this time. I have nothing against 204-minute Scorsese films! Just that slotting them into one’s schedule, especially in a cinema where ads and trailers bump that length up to four hours, is mad hard, yo! You expect me to drag my arse to an 11:20am Sunday screening when it didn’t hit the bed til 2am the night before? Good luck with that!
$5,084,573 / $5,310,093
Unlike Twitter – where any such mention of this gets treated like it’s a personal slight against the former even when the sentiment is clearly loving – I won’t be pitting Austin Butler and Jacob Elordi’s respective Elvii against each other. I just really do find it hilarious that Butler seemingly had to lose his entire goddamn mind to pull off his performance, to such an extent that he’s still stuck with the voice and mannerisms in appearances and roles shot afterwards, whilst Elordi is out here admitting he only knew Elvis from Lilo & Stitch and his prep work just involved eating a pound of bacon a day for a comparable performance. This is some proper Elle Woods “what, like it’s hard?” shit and I’m all for it.
$2,658,047 / NEW
I know that art moves in circles and nostalgia rehabilitates all, but I’m not sure I’m ready for a revival of the inner-city school drama, thanks.
6] The Exorcist: Believer
$2,106,555 / $63,111,325
It’s Leeds International Film Festival time once again, and Sam Judd is our man on the ground! First on his agenda: becoming the latest person on my friends list to see Poor Things. OH! BIG WHOOP! EVERYBODY’S SEEING POOR THINGS BEFORE CALLIE! LOOK AT HOW MUCH I DEFINITELY DO NOT CARE! YOU CAN SEE FROM SPACE HOW MUCH I’M NOT BOTHERED BY THIS AT ALL!
7] PAW Patrol: The Mighty Movie
$2,026,960 / $62,090,809
The first of these was halfway decent and slightly more than just an extended toy commercial! This one was very meh and just an extended toy commercial. You hate to see backsliding like this.
8] After Death
$2,002,028 / $9,023,797
She doesn’t get to write all that much anymore with her job keeping this place ticking along, so it’s a real nice surprise when she can carve out that time! Wendy Attwell marked the Halloween season by putting together a fun little ghost hunting guide!
9] What Happens Later
$1,522,750 / NEW
Finally got to see Bottoms, by the way, as my post-Homobloc hangover flick. Lot of fun! Works great as a hangover movie too in that it’s constantly funny, directed with energy but not overwhelmingly so, and benefits greatly from a refusal to pay attention on any deeper level than laughing at the tightly-honed joke machine.
$1,239,250 / $4,194,546
Got back on the review beat, cos I do still write about movies contrary to the popular narrative, by taking one for the team with Christos Nikou’s disappointingly boring romance drama Fingernails. That should be good enough to renew my “Film Critic” license for another six months.
Dropped out: The Nightmare Before Christmas (30th Anniversary Re-Release), Saw X, The Creator