Afterlife’ grossed $44 million in theaters

Afterlife’ grossed $44 million in theaters

Eliminating ghosts is still a fairly profitable business nearly 40 years later.

As Thanksgiving weekend approaches, the latest attempt to revive “Ghostbusters” has drawn a massive audience to theaters, while award-winning “King Richard,” like most pandemic-era dramas, struggles.

With nostalgia revered and a few iconic characters in its arsenal, “Ghostbusters: Afterlife” opened above industry expectations with sales of $44 million from 4,315 locations, the studio estimated Sunday. The Sony movie directed by Jason Reitman and starring Paul Rudd, Finn Wolfhard, and McKenna Grace is being shown exclusively in theaters.

The first weekend of Afterlife actually lags behind Paul Feig’s “Ghostbusters” weekend with Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig, which opened for $46 million in June 2016. Aside from the somewhat unpredictable movie habits of the Pandemic era, the essential difference is that the “afterlife” “costs about half of what can be achieved.

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“It’s a really consistent number,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at comscore. Part of that is the theatrical exclusive. This shows that this brand is really strong even after almost 37 years since the original has become a cultural phenomenon.”

The other high-profile performances of the weekend weren’t quite as good either. “King Richard,” the well-reviewed drama starring Will Smith as the father of tennis greats Venus and Serena Williams, made $5.7 million from 3,302 sites, beating his modest expectations by nearly half. Warner Bros. movie released. simultaneously on HBO Max and in theaters.

Jeff Goldstein, president of local distribution at Warner Bros. “Avid moviegoers are clearly starting to return, but more casual moviegoers are more hesitant.”

Although traditional films have been successful at attracting a decent audience, dramas have suffered disproportionately during the pandemic. Most of them debuted in the $3 million range. One of the most successful releases was Aretha Franklin’s biopic “Respect,” which opened with $8.8 million.

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But the prospects may be promising for “King Richard” with its new 92% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, a crowd-pleasing CinemaScore and a long awards runway. In 2018, Green Book opened on Thanksgiving weekend for just $5.5 million, but by the end of award season, it had made $85 million.

Meanwhile, in a limited edition A24, Mike Mills’ “C’mon C’mon” had its best limited platform debut since February 2020 with $134,447 from five screens. The movie stars Joaquin Phoenix as a man who takes care of his 9-year-old nephew.

The box office is still far from where it was before the pandemic. The weekend leading up to Thanksgiving usually gets about $200 million in ticket sales, but this weekend will bring in about $83 million.

At this point, the 2021 North American box office net worth could be around $4 billion. In 2019 it was $11.4 billion. And there are still some big blockbusters on the horizon in December, like “West Side Story,” “Spider-Man: No Way Home” and “The Matrix Resurrections.”

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“Thanksgiving and the holidays are usually a really good time at the box office. The market every week is a brick on the road to recovery for cinemas,” Dergarabedian said. “The past six weeks are going to be crucial. This is a final push.”

Estimated ticket sales Friday through Sunday in US and Canadian theaters, according to Comscore. Final local numbers will be published on Monday.

1. “Ghostbusters: Afterlife” $44 million.

2. “Eternals” $10.8 million.

3. “Clifford The Big Red Dog” $8.1 million.

4. “King Richard” $5.7 million.

5. “Dune” $3.1 million.

6. “Venom: Let There Be Carage,” $2.8 million.

7. “No Time to Die” $2.7 million.

8. “The French Dispatch” $970,000.

9. Belfast, $940,000.

10. “Ron’s Gone Wrong,” $888,000.

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Follow AP Film Writer Lindsey Bahr on Twitter: www.twitter.com/ldbahr

Copyright 2021 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.



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