“Tom & Jerry” earned $ 13.7 million this weekend while it was available for free to HBO Max subscribers. For theaters, it’s a mixed blessing at best.
A year ago, if a movie generated two-thirds of the weekend’s total business, that would mean it likely opened at more than $ 75 million. It would be a sign that a mainstream movie is expected to be shot and a sign for other studios to get out of the way. This weekend, the live-action / animated reboot “Tom & Jerry” hit those milestones with $ 13.7 million, the second-highest opening since the pandemic closings began.
Here’s what makes that number truly impressive: As a Warner Bros. title, it’s also shown free at home to HBO Max subscribers. (We don’t have any data on its streaming performance.) By comparison, “The Croods: A New Age” made $ 14.3 million in its five-day opening weekend in late November, but it was a four-week theatrical exclusive.
The most reasonable conclusion here is not that audiences prefer “Tom & Jerry” to “Croods 2,” which was a sequel to a $ 200 million title; it is that theatrical interest has increased. For exhibitors, it is a Pyrrhic victory. It suggests that Warners has no reason to change its current date and day policy and could encourage other studios to do the same. Disney will follow this path for “Stripe and the Last Dragon” next week, but there is no long-term strategy yet.
This was a week of encouraging news for theaters. In New York City, they will be allowed to open (at 25 percent capacity) on March 5. In the Paramount + announcement on February 24, Paramount said its films will have a 30-day theatrical exclusive for most titles and 45 days for anticipated hits like “Top Gun: Maverick.”
Paramount Pictures / screen cover
The Top 10 grossed about $ 19.5 million this weekend, with all titles grossing perhaps $ 21.5 million. That’s the best weekend since Christmas and the second best since theaters began to reopen. Next weekend, “Raya” should push the numbers further. At this time last year, the first signs of customers losing interest were seen as news of the pandemic took center stage. Led by “The Invisible Man,” the top 10 saw $ 83 million and $ 97 million in total.
Today, open markets represent just under 75 percent of the available audience. If it were 100 percent, “Tom & Jerry” would screen between $ 18 million and $ 19 million. Eliminate COVID-19 anxiety and maybe you could have raised $ 25 million or more. That doesn’t take into account the increased competition, but is a starting point for playing on parallel dates. For theaters, it suggests enough to survive while there are other releases, and it is highly unlikely that we will return to anything close to pre-COVID revenue.
Eight of the top 10 titles have startup options. “Croods 2” finally dropped its VOD Premium price this weekend to $ 5.99, and it still ranked No. 2 at the box office. Oscar contenders “Judas and the Black Messiah” and “Nomadland” are also streaming (HBO Max and Hulu, respectively); each fell more than 30 percent.
“Judas” was hurt by losing 556 low-grossing theaters in its third week, down 45 percent and a sixth place. Searchlight continues to obscure “Nomadland” results to an unprecedented degree. Our estimate from industry sources is $ 343,000 for its second extended weekend, down 34 percent. Aside from home-made alternatives, major older audiences for these films are less likely to risk going to theaters.
“Crisis” with Gary Oldman and Armie Hammer, unreported and according to estimates just below the top 10, made about $ 195,000 from 230 theaters. It arrives at PVOD next Friday. An IMAX-based release of “Billie Eilish: The World’s a Little Blurry,” also on Apple TV, earned about $ 140,000 in 139 theaters. “The Mauritanian,” which becomes PVOD on Tuesday, reported $ 118,000 in 287.
1. Tom and Jerry (Warner Bros.) NEW – Cinemascore: A-; Metacritical: 32; Est. Budget: $ 50 million; also available on HBO Max
$ 13,710,000 in 2,475 theaters; PTA (average per theater): $ 5,539; Accumulated: $ 13,710,000
2. The Croods: a new era (Universal) Week 14; Last weekend # 1; also available in Video on Demand
$ 1,210,000 (-30%) in 1,912 theaters (-1); PTA: $ 633,000; Accumulated: $ 52,385,000
3. The little things (Warner Bros.) Week 5; Last weekend n. 2; also available on HBO Max
$ 925,000 (-24%) in 1,853 theaters (-208); PTA: $ 499; Accumulated: $ 12,900,000
4. Wonder Woman (Warner Bros.) Week 10; Last weekend # 4; also available in Premium VOD
$ 710,000 (-12%) in 1,534 theaters (-110); PTA: $ 463; Accumulated: $ 43,600,000
5. The shooter (Open road) Week 7; Last weekend # 5
$ 700,000 (-10%) in 1,414 theaters (-219); PTA: $ 495; Accumulated: $ 12,345,000
6. Judas and the Black Messiah (Warner Bros.) Week 3; Last weekend n. 3; also available on HBO Max
$ 500,000 (-45%) in 1,350 rooms (-556); PTA: $ 370; Accumulated: $ 4,100,000
7. Monster Hunter (Sony) Week 11; Last weekend n. 6; also available in Premium VOD
$ 460,000 (-12%) in 1,238 theaters (-73); PTA: $ 372; Accumulated: $ 14,004,000
8. Earth (Focus) Week 3; Last weekend # 8
$ 355,000 (-29%) in 1,349 movie theaters (+98); PTA: $ 263; Accumulated: $ 2,100,000
9. Nomadland (Spotlight) Week 5; Last weekend n. 7; also available on Hulu
$ (est.) 343,000 (-34%) in 1,200 rooms (+25); PTA: $ 286; Accumulated: $ (est.) 1,600,000
10. World news (Universal) Week 10; Last weekend # 9; also available in Premium VOD.
$ 200,000 (-18%) in 992 rooms (-169); PTA: $ 202; Accumulated: $ 1,960,000
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