Sony Scores Another Box Office Hit with ‘Uncharted’

On the heels of enduring global box office blockbuster Spider-Man: No Way Home, Sony Pictures has another hit starring Tom Holland. Uncharted, the video game-themed actioner co-starring Mark Wahlberg, is projected to end the four-day President’s Day weekend with more than $51 million in North American ticket sales — greatly exceeding the $35 million projected by industry observers. The movie is expected to do about $44 million through Feb. 20.

The tallies would put Uncharted close to recent video game-themed releases Sonic the Hedgehog ($58 million in 2020) from Paramount Pictures, and Warner Bros.’ Pokémon Detective Pikachu with $54.3 million in 2019.

Globally, Uncharted crossed $100 million this weekend. Meanwhile, Columbia Pictures’ No Way Home made $1.72 million on Friday, $3.09 million on Saturday, with the studio projecting $2.38 million on Sunday and $1.6 million on Monday from 2,956 locations, for a four-day holiday weekend total of $8.8 million ($7.2 million for the three-day), bringing the domestic cumulated total to $771.7 million through Monday.

“This result is yet another extraordinary testament to the appetite for the theatrical experience that Sony Pictures bet on,” Josh Greenstein, president of Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group, said in a statement. “Tom Holland and Mark Wahlberg are brilliant together. Thank you to our sister company, [Sony] PlayStation, for their incredible partnership, and all the many people who worked so hard to bring this film to life in a big, theatrical way.”

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United Artists Releasing’s new family friendly title Dog, starring Channing Tatum, also exceeded expectations with a projected $18 million in ticket sales, topping conservative estimates of around $11 million.

Erik Lomis, head of distribution at UAR, said moviegoer response showed that two movies can overperform on the same weekend.

“This speaks to the health of the market and shouldn’t be overlooked,” Loomis told a media outlet. “The marketplace can sustain more than one overperformer.”

MGM’s ‘No Time to Die’ Hitting PVOD Channels Nov. 9

MGM/United Artists Releasing’s latest James Bond movie, No Time to Die, is set to hit premium video-on-demand channels on Nov. 9 — one month after the movie’s North American release.

While no official announcement has been made, media reports say the movie will be available for $19.99 and a 48-hour rental window on premium video-on-demand platforms Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV, Comcast’s Xfinity Store, DirecTV Stream, Charter’s Spectrum TV and Fandango-owned Vudu. The news was first reported by Variety.

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No Time to Die is the fifth and final Bond movie featuring Daniel Craig as Agent 007. The film has generated more than $667million at the global box office, including nearly $144 million domestically.

The 30-day theatrical window mirrors Universal Pictures’ approach to many of its 2021 movie releases. MGM recently offered The Addams Family 2 on PVOD about a month after its theatrical debut. The animation sequel generated more than $93 million at the global box office, including more than $53 million domestically.

Weekend Box Office: Disney Debuting First 45-Day Theatrical Release With ‘Free Guy’

Walt Disney Studios is set to turn another page in its ongoing pandemic experiment, in which the studio is releasing movies across different distribution channels with varying windows. Disney Aug. 13 will debut the 20th Century Studios action-comedy Free Guy, starring Ryan Reynolds, across more than 4,100 screens in a 45-day theatrical exclusive. The movie reportedly sold $2.2 million worth of tickets in sneak preview showings Thursday night (Aug. 12).

The film will head to streaming platform Disney+ only after its 45-day theatrical window, unlike other high-profile releases that became available for home viewing concurrently at a premium price. Disney CEO Bob Chapek, speaking on the media giant’s Aug. 12 fiscal call, said the studio going forward would pivot between theatrical exclusives, “Premier Access” VOD and assorted hybrid release strategies on an movie-by-movie basis.

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Recent Disney releases Black Widow and Jungle Cruise, have had concurrent theatrical and Premier Access releases — winning both the box office and lucrative PVOD markets.

Sony Pictures Entertainment is bowing Don’t Breathe 2, the ‘R’-rated low-budget horror-thriller sequel to the 2016 original that generated $26.4 million on its opening weekend. In the current pandemic reality, starring the Delta variant infections spreading throughout the country, the movie is expected to sell no more than $11 million worth of tickets domestically.

Another new release, Respect, a biopic from MGM and United Artists Releasing on the late R&B singer Aretha Franklin, starring Jennifer Hudson, is projected to generate upwards of $10 million.

Last week’s box office topper, The Suicide Squad, is projected to see second-weekend ticket sales plummet, in an ongoing trend among major studio releases. The DC Comics movie is streaming concurrently on HBO Max.

Jason Statham’s ‘Wrath of Man’ Tops Domestic Weekend Box Office

Following consecutive weekends of fantasy monsters and Japanese anime ruling the domestic box office, down-to-earth shoot-’em-up Wrath of Man reclaimed theatrical supremacy. The MGM/United Artists Releasing title, starring Jason Statham, is reportedly projected to take in $8.1 million in revenue across 2,800 screens through May 9. To date, the title, which is not concurrently available to stream, has taken in $17.6 million internationally.

In doing so, the action thriller would top recent vigilante box office openings for Universal Pictures’ Nobody ($6.8 million) and Open Road Films’ The Marksman with $3.1 million.

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Another box office newcomer, Sony Pictures comedy Here Today, starring Billy Crystal and Tiffany Haddish, took in $900,000 across 1,200 screens.

Meanwhile, recent box office leaders such as Funimation’s Demon Slayer: Mugen Train ($3 million, $435 million globally), Warner Bros. Pictures’ Godzilla vs. Kong ($1.9 million, $422 million) and Mortal Kombat ($2.3 million, $72 million), and Disney’s Raya and the Last Dragon ($1.8 million, $105 million), all remained resilient at movie screens, while also available on streaming and digital platforms.

The total domestic box office, which encompassed most screens operating at 50% capacity due to the pandemic, approached $20 million.