Thursday Box Office: ‘Sing 2’ Soars, ‘Matrix 4’ Struggles, ‘King’s Man’ Flops

In Thursday box office updates for anything not Spider-Man 3 version 2.0 or Venom 2, Illumination’s Sing 2 continued to play as the viable counterprogramming to Spider-Man: No Way Home just as Sing did likewise to Rogue One: A Star Wars Story in December 2016. The $85 million animated jukebox musical earned another $7.5 million (-8%) on Thursday to bring its two-day domestic total to $17.745 million. That’s a better hold than Sing which dropped 12% on day two ($9.6 million after an $11 million Wednesday) for a not-that-much-bigger $20 millon two-day cume. Since Christmas Eve/Christmas Day falls on Friday/Saturday this year (as opposed to Saturday/Sunday in 2016), it may not be an apples-to-apples comparison.  

The sequel (with an A+ from Cinemascore) could earn between $47 million (if it legs like Sing) and $55 million (if it legs like Little Fockers), during a year where Christmas was also on a Saturday) over the Wed-Sun frame. Either would be a win, with or without a Covid curve. It would easily position Sing 2 to pass Encanto (which debuts on Disney+ today) to become the biggest animated earner since (obviously) Frozen II in November 2019. Choke on that, Paw Patrol! Sorry, I’m a parent, so I’m sure fellow parents will understand. Meanwhile the Matthew McConaughey/Scarlett Johansson/Taron Egerton/Reese Witherspoon/Bono flick has grossed $15.4 million overseas for a new $32 million global cume. 

The Matrix Resurrections earned another $4.1 million (-36%) on Thursday for a $10.5 million two-day cume. The pricey Lana Waschowski-directed sci-fi sequel is still looking at a likely $20 million Fri-Sun/$32 million Wed-Sun debut. I’m not thrilled about the drop, since (for example, again Christmas 2010 when Christmas fell on a Saturday) True Grit held steady with $5.5 million and $5.6 million on Thursday. Matrix 4 was always going to be a fan-frontloaded affair. The hope, with positive reviews and expectedly heated online discourse, is that general audiences and/or the casually curious will show up over the weekend. HBO Max throws a fly into that ointment, but I will be very curious to see the SambaTV viewership numbers. 

The King’s Man continued to be irrelevant at the domestic box office. Matthew Vaughn’s (pretty good, and better than The Golden Circle) World War I-set prequel earned $1.34 million (-41%) on day two for a miserable $3.515 million two-day cume. Kingsman: The Golden Circle earned $3.4 million in Thursday previews alone in late 2017. We’ve seen this coming for two long years. Not every hit film is a franchise, and not every hit franchise is a flexibly monetizable IP. Just because audiences liked Kingsman: The Secret Service doesn’t mean they care about a period piece origin story prequel. It’s a good thing that John Wick prequel (The Continental) is going to be on television. 

Encanto arrives on Disney+ today after just a month-long theatrical window. That won’t help the underperforming (but excellent) Disney animated feature get much farther than its current $86 million domestic cume. Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story sits with $21 million while Ridley Scott’s House of Gucci is at $46 million. Jason Reitman’s Ghostbusters: Afterlife sits with $119 million, right between Jungle Cruise ($117 million) and Free Guy ($122 million). Recent non-troversies about Paul Feig’s (very good but not part of the same continuity) Answer the Call not being included in a Ghostbusters box set notwithstanding, this is another example of even a questionable franchise flick performing as well as might have been expected in non-Covid times.  

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