Box Office: ‘House Of Gucci’ Earns $5.7M Friday But ‘Resident Evil’ Is DOA

MGM’s House of Gucci earned another $5.738 million on Friday, a 69% jump from its $3.4 million Thursday which was a mere 19% drop from its $4.21 million Wednesday gross. That brings the three-day cume to $13.34 million for Ridley Scott’s $75 million, R-rated, 2.5-hour crime/fashion melodrama, which is (especially on a Covid curve) a huge win for a non-tentpole, star-and-concept-driven adult-skewing non-franchise flick. We’re looking at a $22 million Wed-Sun debut, including $14.3 million over the Fri-Sun frame. That is double what Ridley Scott’s (terrific and deserved better) The Last Duel earned in total and about to be tied with MGM’s Respect ($24 million from an $8.8 million debut in August) and Warner Bros.’ In the Heights ($29 million from an $11 million launch in June). Neither of those films are hits and both are essentially musicals, but you get the idea.

Lady Gaga and Adam Driver’s House of Gucci is going to be, by far, the most “successful” adult-skewing non-action drama of the so-called pandemic era. Following decent domestic business for No Time to Die ($158 million as of Sunday), solid returns for Addams Family 2 and the concurrent wide debut of House of Gucci and the massive $335,000-on-four-screens debut of Licorice Pizza, I’m officially declaring MGM “back.” Will the $75 million flick, co-starring Jared Leto, Al Pacino, Salma Hayek and Jeremy Irons, actually make its money back in pure theatrical revenue? I don’t know yet, although Universal has a strong track record of distributing MGM releases like No Time to Die and The Hustle overseas to… better-than-expected results. We’ll see tomorrow when the overseas grosses roll in but hope springs eternal. For now, it does appear that Lady Gaga is a butts-in-seats movie star.

Meanwhile, Screen Gems and Constantin’s Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City earned $2 million on Friday, bringing its three-day total to just $5.5 million. That sets the stage for a likely $4.86 million Fri-Sun/$8.335 million Wed-Sun debut. That’s frankly awful, even for a responsibly budgeted $25 million reboot, although it’s always possible that the film will perform better overseas. Everything involved has done better work elsewhere, including director Johannes Roberts whose 47 Meters Down, 47 Meters Down: Uncaged and The Strangers: Prey At Night are all worth a gander. Low profile and Covid variables notwithstanding, I’d argue this was a case whereby the previous Paul W.S. Anderson-directed (or, in the cast of parts two and three, merely produced) Resident Evil films were hits ($1.2 billion over six movies) due to variables related to those movies, not because the brand had all that much drawing power.

It doesn’t help that the film is one of the worst theatricals offered up this year, and that its primary appeal and value is that it offers a slavish adaptation of the first two games in the Capcom series. There is a constant conversation about nostalgia and “I understood that reference.” fan-bait adaptations. But Ghostbusters: Afterlife, which is holding up very well in weekend two ($38 million for the holiday and around $90 million by Sunday night), works as a straight-up kid-targeted fantasy adventure comedy whether or not you care about Ghostbusters. Ditto the Jumanji sequels or Ready Player One, all of which my kids enjoyed without caring one bit about the respective IPs. Welcome to Racoon City, which like too many Screen Gem horror flicks seems lit with a dying flashlight, has frankly nothing to offer except “as you remember it” imagery.

The Tycoon Herald