‘Old’ is New in Weekend Box Office Forecast

The Universal Pictures thriller Old, from director M. Night Shyamalan, joins Paramount Pictures’ newest “G.I. Joe” franchise release Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins as the July 25 weekend’s biggest new theatrical releases.

The two films will take on previous domestic box office champs Disney/Marvel Studios’ Black Widow and Warner Bros. Pictures’ Space Jam: A New Legacy

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Unlike Black Widow and Space Jam: A New Legacy, both Old and Snake Eyes will have exclusive theatrical runs. Universal, which has abbreviated window agreements with AMC Theatres and Regal, could offer Old to consumers in the home for $19.99 PVOD after three weekends if total ticket sales fall below $50 million.

The studio’s sequel The Forever Purge is available today (July 23) across myriad digital platforms, including Redbox Digital, Vudu Fandango and Amazon Prime Video.

Both Old and Snake Eyes are reportedly projected to generate around $15 million each this weekend across 3,500 screens, which includes Thursday (July 22) previews.

Black Widow and reigning box office topper Space Jam: A New Legacy, starring LeBron James, are concurrently available online, the former, starring Scarlett Johansson, via a $29.99 Premier Access Disney+ add-on, and the latter for no extra charge to HBO Max subscribers.

Recent data from Samba TV found that 2 million households have purchased Black Widow, a $60+ million tally Disney confirmed in its first-ever PVOD data disclosure. Some observers contend the strong in-home consumer demand hurt the Marvel superhero’s sophomore weekend box office, which plummeted about 68%.

Other holdovers include Universal’s F9: The Fast Saga with $4.8 million projected box office, according to Box Office Pro; Sony Pictures’ Escape Room: Tournament of Champions ($3.7 million); The Boss Baby: Family Business ($3.3 million, Universal); The Forever Purge ($2.2 million); A Quiet Place Part II ($1.5 million, Paramount), and Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain ($1 million, Focus Features).

‘Black Widow’ Bites Big as Marvel Cinematic Universe Returns Atop Domestic Weekend Box Office

Disney/Marvel Studios super hero tentpole release Black Widow ended the domestic box office weekend (through July 11) as most of its Marvel predecessors did: at No. 1.

The Scarlett Johansson-starrer generated $80 million across 4,160 screens over the three-day period. The first Marvel theatrical release in two years saw $39.5 million in ticket sales on Friday July 9 — the 10th biggest opening night for a June movie release. Black Window had generated generated more than $22 million at the foreign box office entering the weekend, pushing the title’s global haul past $215 million.

The movie also generated more than $60 million on subscription streaming service Disney+, where it is available for $29.99 purchase only.

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Meanwhile, Universal Pictures’ trio of sequel releases that dominated the previous weekend’s box office continued strong, with F9: The Fast Saga generating more than $10 million, followed by The Boss Baby: Family Business with more than $8 million, and The Forever Purge with almost $7 million. Paramount Pictures’ enduring A Quiet Place Part II held strong with about $3 million — topping $150 million in domestic ticket sales.

The tallies suggest vaccinated moviegoers are returning to cinemas in greater numbers as business-as-usual returns to many public events following the pandemic — despite the increasing prevalence of the Delta variant in new COVID-19 infections.

(This story was updated on July 12)

Dan Cohen Expands Senior Management Duties at ViacomCBS

Dan Cohen, president of ViacomCBS Global Distribution Group, is adding distribution of ViacomCBS International Studios content to his group’s mandate, which will now oversee all ViacomCBS content licensing and distribution globally.

He had been named president of global distribution in June 2020, after serving as president of global content licensing at ViacomCBS since Viacom and CBS merged in December 2019.

Prior to assuming senior management duties at ViacomCBS, Cohen served as president of worldwide home entertainment and television distribution for Paramount Pictures.

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The expanded responsibilities are part of ViacomCBS’s moves announced June 23 to unify the company’s U.S. and international businesses under a simplified global leadership structure.

Separately, Chris McCarthy and Brian Robbins were each promoted to the role of president and CEO, with global oversight for their respective brand groups, MTV Entertainment Group and Nickelodeon. In addition, George Cheeks, president and CEO CBS, expanded his role to include responsibility for a global content strategy across ViacomCBS’s FTA networks around the world.

All three continue to report to Bob Bakish, president and CEO of ViacomCBS, and work closely with Raffaele Annecchino, president and CEO of ViacomCBS Networks International.

Universal Dominates July 4 Weekend Box Office, Led by ‘F9’ Topping $100 Million in Domestic Revenue

Universal Pictures is projected to rule the July 4 weekend domestic box office, led by F9: The Fast Saga, which is expected to end the holiday weekend with $32.9 million across more than 4,200 screens. The ninth installment in the action franchise has totaled about $126 million in the U.S., and more than $460 million in revenue worldwide.

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With Disney/Marvel Studio’s Black Widow launching next weekend, Universal expedited rolling out sequels The Boss Baby: Family Business and The Forever Purge over the July 4 weekend, with the former generating a projected $26 million across 3,644 screens, while The Forever Purge generated about $16 million. Both movies exceeded industry estimates — underscoring the strength of the franchises and the box office’s return to normalcy following the pandemic as more moviegoers in major markets get fully vaccinated.

Among the top five movies over the weekend, Paramount Pictures’ enduring post-apocalyptic sequel A Quiet Place Part II generated an estimated $5 million, while Lionsgate’s The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard added another $4 million.

Despite Universal’s impressive weekend, Warner Bros. Pictures tops the year-to-date domestic box office with a reported $328.4 in revenue, followed by Universal with $192.4 million, and Paramount with $141.1 million. Warner’s tally is all the more impressive considering its entire 2021 theatrical slate has streamed concurrently for free to HBO Max subscribers.

‘Conjuring 3’ Knocks Off ‘Quiet Place 2’ in Weekend Box Office Battle of Horror Sequels

Three’s a charm for Warner Bros. Pictures’ “Conjuring” horror franchise as the third installment, The Devil Made Me Do It, knocked off Paramount Pictures’ A Quiet Place Part II with a $24 million projected domestic weekend box office revenue across 3,100 screens through June 6. That would top the Quiet Place sequel with $19.5 million. The John Krasinski-helmed post-apocalyptic thriller has generated almost $89 million after 10 days in theaters.

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The projected ticket sales for Devil Made Me Do It are all the more impressive considering the movie is streaming concurrently for free to HBO Max subscribers for 31 days. The theatrical title Warner is streaming on Max as part of WarnerMedia’s dual-distribution movie approach to the 2020 theatrical slate during the pandemic.

Disney’s Cruella dropped a spot to No. 3 with a projected $11.2 million, and $43.7 million in the title’s first 10 days of release. The title is also available to Disney+ subscribers to buy for $29.99.

Universal Pictures’ debut of the animated Spirit Untamed generated an estimated $6.2 million across 3,211 screens in the No. 4 spot. Meanwhile, the studio’s F9 release topped $200 million at the Chinese box office — making the latest “Fast and Furious” release the highest-grossing U.S. movie at the Chinese box office — ahead of Warner Bros.’ Godzilla vs. Kong.

Paramount Ups Q1 Licensing Revenue as Theatrical Revenue Craters

With Paramount Pictures generating a record low $1 million in revenue in the first quarter (ended March 31), the studio is offsetting ongoing pandemic-related box office declines by licensing content to Paramount+ and other streaming platforms.

Paramount, which had no releases in the quarter, generated $167 million in theatrical revenue during the previous-year period prior to the pandemic.

As a result, the studio bumped up by nearly 55% “licensing and other” segment revenue to $996 million, from $644 million in the previous-year period. The unit now includes Paramount Home Entertainment revenue from the sales and rental of movies. The home entertainment distributor had revenue of $174 million in the previous-year period.

“Licensing and other” revenue increased in large part from the distribution of content to Paramount+ and third parties, as well as revenue from the licensing of Miramax movies.

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Adjusted pre-tax earnings increased $177 million primarily due to higher licensing revenue compared to the prior-year period, which included higher distribution costs associated with theatrical releases during the first quarter of 2020 prior to the pandemic.

The studio’s last major theatrical hits included Sonic the Hedgehog, which generated $319 million worldwide in 2020, and Bumblebee, with $468 million following its box office debut on Dec. 19, 2018.

Paramount+ to Debut New Mark Wahlberg Sci-Fi Thriller ‘Infinite’

Paramount+ (formerly CBS All Access) in June will exclusively debut the new science-fiction thriller Infinite, starring Mark Wahlberg and directed by Antoine Fuqua, ViacomCBS CEO Bob Bakish said on the May 6 first-quarter (ended March 31) fiscal call.

The movie will skip theaters, Bakish said. It was originally slated to launch in theaters on Sept. 24 — then subsequently got pushed up to Memorial Day, according to Box Office Mojo.

The move mirrors WarnerMedia’s strategy to release the entire 2021 Warner Bros. theatrical slate concurrently on its streaming service HBO Max and in theaters — a strategy corporate parent AT&T has attributed to ongoing Max sub growth.

Paramount, which generated a record low $1 million in revenue during the 90-day fiscal period due to shuttered theaters, had previously announced shortened theatrical windows for  A Quiet Place Part II and Mission: Impossible 7 in an effort to expedite access on Paramount+. New “Paranormal Activity” and “Pet Sematary” releases will now also forgo theatrical distribution for the streamer.

Paramount previously licensed Aaron Sorkin’s The Trial of the Chicago 7 and the comedy The Lovebirds to Netflix. The studio also licensed rights to Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse, starring Michael B. Jordan, and Eddie Murphy sequel Coming 2 America to Amazon Prime Video. Oscar winner The United States vs. Billie Holiday was licensed to Hulu.

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Paramount+ will add 1,000 movies in June as part of a “Mountain of Movies” marketing campaign designed to upgrade the platform’s title count to 2,500.

“All of this is a preview to a substantial ramping up of original movies next year, when we expect to begin averaging an original movie a week in 2022,” Bakish said.

‘Top Gun’ Flying Back to Theaters for 35th

The Tom Cruise action classic Top Gun will land at more than 150 Dolby Cinemas at AMC across the country for an exclusive one-week engagement beginning May 13.

Newly remastered, the film will be presented with Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos audio.

The limited theatrical release is timed to Top Gun Day on May 13, as well as the 35th anniversary of the film, which was originally released on May 16, 1986.

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The film, starring Cruise, Kelly McGillis, Val Kilmer and Anthony Edwards,  is available now on digital, 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray, with more than four hours of bonus content, including a featurette that explores the film’s legacy and enduring popularity through interviews with Cruise, producer Jerry Bruckheimer and members of the cast of the new film Top Gun: Maverick.

The story of an elite group of pilots competing to earn the title of “Top Gun” ultimately earned a worldwide box office of more than $350 million.

‘G.I. Joe’ Films ‘The Rise of Cobra’ and ‘Retaliation’ Due on 4K Ultra HD July 20

Paramount Pictures’ G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra and G.I. Joe: Retaliation, based on Hasbro’s action figures, will make their U.S. 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray debuts on July 20 from Paramount Home Entertainment.

The releases, coming in anticipation of the theatrical premiere of Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins, include Dolby Vision and HDR-10.

Starring Channing Tatum, Marlon Wayans, Sienna Miller, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Rachel Nichols, Ray Park, Dennis Quaid and Christopher Eccleston, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra follows a top-secret elite strike force featuring the best operatives from around the globe.  After a high-tech secret weapon is stolen by a mysterious and evil organization known as Cobra, it’s a race against time for the G.I. Joe team to avoid their enemy from plunging the world into chaos.

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Dwayne Johnson, Channing Tatum and Bruce Willis star in G.I. Joe: Retaliation. The G.I. Joe team has been set up to take the fall for a terrible crime they didn’t commit. Now, Roadblock, Duke and the rest of the team must once again face their mortal enemy Cobra, as well as dangerous new threats operating within the government.

The G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra two-disc 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray set includes access to a digital copy of the film along with previously released bonus content, including commentary by director Stephen Sommers and producer Bob Ducsay.

The G.I. Joe: Retaliation two-disc 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray set includes access to a digital copy of the film along with previously released bonus content, including commentary by director Jon M. Chu and producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura, and on the Blu-ray the commentary, several featurettes and deleted scenes.

Chart: ‘Coming 2 America’ Topped March 5-7 Weekend Movie Streaming

Amazon Prime Video’s launch of Coming 2 America was the most-watched movie from March 5-7 according to Reelgood, which scans myriad streaming services by 2 million users. Amazon heavily hyped acquiring the streaming rights to the Paramount Pictures’ sequel to Coming to America (1988) — both titles starring Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall, among others.

Notably, Reelgood said the movie outperformed titles Warner Bros. Pictures’ Wonder Woman 1984, Disney/Pixar Animation’s Soul, and Amazon’s Golden Globes-winning Borat Subsequent Moviefilm in terms of streaming and engagement shares during their respective opening weekends. To be more specific, Coming 2 America opened to a 6% market share vs. Wonder Woman 1984’s 4% market share — the latter being the strongest opening weekend performance on any SVOD platform in the fourth quarter of 2020.

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