Paramount Pictures All ‘Smile'[s] With $22 Million Weekend Box Office Debut

Paramount Pictures’ horror thriller Smile didn’t disappoint, generating an estimated $22 million in revenue across more than 3,600 screens. The movie opened with Thursday previews grossing $2 million, followed by strong ticket sales throughout most of the country except for the Northeast and Hurricane-ravaged Florida, according to Paramount.

The movie has a chance of matching the weekend opening for Universal Pictures’ summer horror release The Black Phone, which generated $23.6 million in its debut.

Smile stars Sosie Bacon as a therapist who appears to lose her mind after she witnesses the strange suicide of one of her patients. Jessie T. Usher, Kyle Gallner, Caitlin Stasey, Kal Penn and Rob Morgan also appear in the film, which was written and directed by Parker Finn.

Major U.S. markets where Smile over-indexed included Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Detroit, Baltimore, Md., while major markets that under-indexed included Seattle, Orlando, Salt Lake City, Tampa Bay, Fla., and Minneapolis.

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Florida as a whole was down 1% from its year-to-date average market largely due to the impact of Hurricane Ian. Paramount said premium large format (PLF) screens generated 23% of the movie’s box office. Fourteen out of the top 25 theaters came from Los Angeles, six from New York, with the remainder from Phoenix, Sacramento, Calif., West Palm Beach, Fla., Montreal and San Diego.

The Smile audience skewed 52% male/48% female, 68% 18-34 years old.
About 36% of moviegoers rated the movie “Excellent,” with 33% rating it “Very Good.” More than 5o% of moviegoers gave the movie a “definite recommend,” while 27% of audience said it exceeded expectations.

Meanwhile, Universal Pictures’ gay-themed romantic comedy Bros fell below expectations, generating just $4.8 million across 3,400 screens. Top performing markets included New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Sony/TriStar Pictures’ The Woman King, staring Oscar winner Viola Davis, rounded out the podium with $7 million in ticket sales, bringing the film’s North American box office total past $46 million, $50 million worldwide. Sony’s Bullet Train added an estimated $1.6 million to bring its domestic tally past $101 million, $235 million globally.

Disney/20th Century’s re-release of 2009’s Avatar generated another $4.7 million in ticket sales to push the world’s No. 1 grossing movie’s total to $2.9 billion. The re-release, which is meant to generate moviegoer interest for the Dec. 16 debut of long-awaited sequel Avatar: The Way of Water, has seen more than $18 million in limited engagement domestic ticket sales, $58 million globally.

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