“Five Nights at Freddy’s” collapsed at the box office but still managed to emerge on top. Universal and Blumhouse’s fall sleeper hit has collected $19.4 million in its sophomore outing, resulting in a massive 76% decline from its debut.
Universal and Blumhouse’s spooky video game adaptation, which takes place in a haunted Chuck E. Cheese-esque establishment, has generated a towering $113 million to date. Despite the dramatic drop, “Five Nights at Freddy’s” earned far more than anyone expected with its $80 million opening weekend. So the second-weekend ticket sales are still decent for the $20 million-budgeted film, which landed simultaneously on the streaming service Peacock.
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Though Peacock has far fewer subscribers than rivals, like Disney and Netflix, box office analysts suggest the day-and-date digital release is behind the mammoth decline in ticket sales.
“‘Five Nights at Freddy’s’ is crashing in its second weekend of simultaneous streaming,” says David A. Gross, who runs the movie consulting firm Franchise Entertainment Research. “The two viewing options compete with each other. An exclusive theatrical run generates the greatest total box office and then elevates the film and builds anticipation of the streaming premiere that follows it.”
Even if that’s the case, “Five Nights at Freddy’s” is a massive commercial winner. After 10 days of release, it’s already the highest-grossing horror film of the year, overtaking “The Nun II” ($85 million), “M3GAN” ($95 million) and “Scream VI” ($108 million). It’s also been a huge draw at the international box office with $103 million, bringing its global tally to $217 million.
Otherwise, it’s been a quiet weekend at the box office as two new releases — Meg Ryan’s romantic comedy “What Happens Later” and Neil Burger’s psychological thriller “The Marsh King’s Daughter” — failed to crack the top five. The overall domestic box office topped out with roughly $56 million over the weekend, one of the lowest-grossing of the year.
“What Happens Later,” which co-stars Ryan and David Duchovny as exes who serendipitously reunite at the airport, debuted in 9th place with a tepid $1.5 million from 1,492 theaters. “The Marsh King’s Daughter,” starring Daisy Ridley as the daughter of a kidnapper who escapes from prison, fared even worse. The Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions film opened at the No. 12 spot with a dismal $820,000 from 1,055 venues.
Without any prominent newcomers, “Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour” remained in second place, collecting $13.5 million in its fourth weekend of release. It has generated $165.9 million in North America, only strengthening its position as the highest-grossing concert film in domestic box office history. “The Eras Tour” broke that record on opening weekend with $92 million, surpassing the entire domestic run of 2011’s Justin Bieber: Never Say Never” ($72 million). With $231 million globally, it has to catch up to 2009’s “Michael Jackson: This Is It” ($261 million) to notch the worldwide record.
In third place, Martin Scorsese’s “Killers of the Flower Moon” added $7 million from 3,786 theaters, a minor 25% decline from the prior weekend. Ticket sales for the crime epic, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro, need to keep up this box office staying power to justify its $200 million budget. To date, “Flower Moon” has grossed $52 million domestically and $119 million globally after three weeks of release. However, Apple, which backed the big-budget tentpole and hired Paramount to put it in theaters, may not have the same metrics of success compared to traditional Hollywood players. It’s betting that awards season attention and Apple TV+ fodder will help to validate the price tag.
Sofia Coppola’s Priscilla Presley biopic “Priscilla” placed fourth, earning a better-than-expected $5 million as A24 expanded the film to 1,259 theaters. The well-reviewed movie scored in limited release with $132,139 from four screens and has amassed $5.3 million to date. “Priscilla,” an awards season hopeful and a very different take from Baz Luhrmann’s 2022 kaleidoscopic biopic “Elvis,” will continue to expand through the fall.
“[Romantic dramas] are not big movies, but when they connect they can go on a run,” Gross says. “That could still happen here.”
Pantelion and Participant’s Spanish-language drama “Radical” surprised in fifth place, bringing in $2.7 million from just 419 venues in its debut. The feel-good movie, which stars Eugenio Derbez and debuted at Sundance Film Festival, tells the true story of a Mexican schoolteacher who uses innovative techniques to unlock the potential of his students.
“We are seeing incredible momentum at the box office both in the U.S. and Mexico, and we are looking forward to expanding the film to more audiences,” “Radical” producer Ben Odell said in a statement.
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