Friday Box Office: ‘Spider-Man’ Nears $600M As ‘Matrix’ Plunges 61%

Sony and Marvel’s Spider-Man: No Way Home earned $15.45 million on Friday, dropping 24% from Thursday but just 21% from its previous Friday. Just as Christmas Eve partially caused No Way Home to plunge 83% on its second Friday (and 68% for the second weekend), New Year’s Eve falling on a Friday won’t do Peter Parker any favors either. Still, the 24% Thurs-Fri drop is on par with Tron: Legacy, which was the official big holiday tentpole the last time Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve fell on a Friday. It’s also closer to The Last Jedi (-2.4% from Thursday but –23% from its previous Friday) than The Rise of Skywalker (+19%/-57%), which is “important” as the eighth Star Wars episode was leggier after the holiday than the ninth one.  

Tom Holland’s MCU sequel has now earned $573 million domestic and (if the 44.5/55.5 domestic/overseas split holds) around $1.285 billion worldwide. It’ll cross $1.3 billion today and $600 million domestic tomorrow. It’s looking at an over/under $49 million third-weekend gross, dropping 40% from its $84 million second weekend gross, for a new $605 million 17-day cume. That will put it just under Incredibles 2 ($608 million in 2018). It has already sold more tickets in North America than Return of the King ($373 million in 2003) and Batman ($251 million in 1989). By tomorrow night, it’ll be among the 50 biggest ticket-sellers ever in North America. Oh, and if its 44/56 split remains, it’ll have $1.364 billion worldwide, thus besting Black Panther ($1.346 billion) as the biggest solo/non-Avengers superhero movie ever.  

Meanwhile, the only other movie doing halfway decent business this Christmas, Sing 2, continued to do halfway decent business. Universal’s animated sequel earned another $6.42 million, jumping 23% from its previous Friday (and falling just 9% from yesterday), for a new $77 million ten-day cume. Illumination’s $85 million jukebox musical should earn around $19.51 million (-13%) in weekend two for a $90 million 12-day cume. Unless it totally collapses after the holidays, which seems unlikely due to the lack of kid-friendly product between now and Pixar’s Turning Red on March 11, it should at least end up above $116 million to end up among the top ten domestic earners of 2021. Once it passes Encanto ($91 million), it’ll be the biggest domestic toon since Frozen II in November 2019.  

American Underdog is living up to its title, earning $1.35 million on Friday and placing above a handful of more high-profile titles. The faith-based (but not quite faith-centric) true-life NFL drama will earn $4.04 million (-31%) in weekend two for a $15 million nine-day domestic cume. The Zachari Levi/Anna Paquin flick will pass Will Smith’s King Richard ($14.6 million) and a slew of high-profile awards season titles (almost everything released over this awards season except for West Side Story, Dune, and House of Gucci) by the end. I wish football fans would have shown up for Lionsgate’s American Underdog *and* Lionsgate’s National Champions, but the latter is already available at home on PVOD. Lionsgate has exceled at selling aspirational (as opposed to confrontational) faith-based flicks, and this is no exception. 

20th Century Studios’ The King’s Man earned $1.25 million (+7%) on its second Friday, setting the stage for a $3.77 million (-36%) second weekend and $18.786 million 12-day total. That would be a decent hold if the grosses weren’t so small. In comparison, Kingsman: The Golden Circle earned $15 million on its first Friday in September of 2017. As I’ve sadly been saying for almost three years now (since the film was originally scheduled for November 8, 2019), just because audiences liked Matthew Vaughn’s Kingsman movies (present-tense, hyper-violent action comedies featuring Colin Firth and Taron Egerton in a Roger Moore-ish 007 adventure) doesn’t mean they cared enough about the Kingsman brand enough to want an origin story prequel. They didn’t, and well, none of this is a surprise.  

The Matrix Resurrections met its inevitable doom on its second Friday, earning just $1.03 million and dropping 61% from an already lousy $2.7 million Christmas Eve gross. We’re looking at a $3.16 million (-71%) second-weekend gross, worse than the 67% drop (under far harsher conditions) for Wonder Woman 1984 last New Year’s weekend. That’ll give the Keanu Reeves/Carrie-Anne Moss sci-fi sequel a $30.23 million 12-day total, below even the $32 million 12-day total (after a $20 million Wed-Sun debut) of Reeves’ forgotten super-flop 47 Ronin in Christmas 2013. I like the clever, ambitious, personal and hilariously deconstructive rom-com fantasy epilogue, heck I like all four Matrix movies. Alas, Covid variables and HBO Max availability notwithstanding, it’s clear that nobody, including it either of the Wachowski sisters, wanted another installment.  

Steven Spielberg and Tony Kushner’s West Side Story will get a bit of year-end juice as it earns $2.81 million (-1%) over the weekend to put itself over $30 million. At least now it’s above In the Heights and Cats, and that it’s the second-biggest awards season contender behind Dune ($107 million) and House of Gucci ($49 million). Ghostbusters: Afterlife will earn $1.155 million (+27%) in weekend seven for a $123.5 million domestic cume. It won’t reach the domestic cume of Ghostbusters: Answer the Call, whose $126 million finish would have been fine had the remake not cost $144 million. Licorice Pizza will earn $1.16 million (-39%) for a $4.91 million cume while A Journal for Jordan will earn $1.1 million (-50%) for a $4.665 million nine-day cume. 

The Tycoon Herald