Robert De Niro’s Kid-Friendly Comedy ‘The War With Grandpa’ Debuts At No. 1; Unseats Christopher Nolan’s ‘Tenet’ From The Top Spot After Five Consecutive Weeks
In what proved to be yet another sluggish weekend at the domestic box office, the big news was that Christopher Nolan’s reigning theatrical champion, Tenet, was finally pushed from the top spot after five consecutive weeks at No. 1. The new title holder: 101 Studios’ The War with Grandpa, a long-delayed, kid-friendly comedy starring Robert De Niro as a feisty old coot who battles his young grandson over a coveted bedroom.

Originally intended to be released by The Weinstein Company, The War with Grandpa was trapped in an uncertain distribution purgatory ever since the studio’s top boss, Harvey Weinstein, became embroiled in a sexual-assault scandal that forced the company to close its doors. Now, two years later, the PG-rated comedy finally bowed in theaters under the banner of 101 Studios, a new distributor founded by former Weinstein Company exec David Glasser. The film currently has a 28% from critics on Rotten Tomatoes and opened in 2,250 locations with a $1,603 per-screen average. Overseas, it added another $1.7 million to bring its cumulative worldwide tally to $5.3 million. Those may hardly be the sort of numbers that would have shaken up the theatrical landscape seven months ago, but in the current COVID-19 era, it was enough to force a passing of the torch.

Finishing in the runner-up slot in its sixth week of domestic release, Warner Bros.’ Tenet took in $2.1 million, dropping 22.2% from the previous frame. The PG-13 epic managed a $948 per-screen average in 2,215 theaters, bringing its North American box-office total to $48.3 million. However, Nolan’s film continued to fare far better overseas, where its international haul now stands at $275 million, bringing its cumulative worldwide total to $323.3 million.

In third place was Disney’s re-release of the witchy 1993 comedy Hocus Pocus, which was re-released last weekend in anticipation of Halloween later this month. The Bette Midler film earned $39.5 million in its initial run 27 years ago and has since turned into an unexpected seasonal staple. In its second week back in theaters, the PG-rated film pulled in $1.2 million in 2,113 theaters, earning a $549 per-screen average. In the first two weeks of its return engagement, Hocus Pocus has racked up $3.1 million. It has yet to be re-released internationally.

In fourth place was Fox’s The New Mutants. In its seventh week, the PG-13-rated X-Men spin-off brought in an additional $685,000 in the US, dropping 34.3% from the previous frame. The New Mutants is playing in 1,663 theaters and had a $411 per-screen average. Its domestic total now stands at $22 million. To date, the film has added $21 million overseas, bringing its worldwide total to $43 million.

In fifth place was Solstice Studios’ Unhinged with $660,000. In its ninth week in theaters, the R-rated road-rage thriller starring Russell Crowe played in 1,608 locations and had a $410 per-screen average, dropping off 22.1%. The film has grossed $19.4 million domestically and $18 million overseas, bringing its global cumulative box office to $37.4 million.

Landing outside of the Top 5 was Stage 6 Films’ Yellow Rose, the week’s only other new release of note. The PG-13-rated indie drama about an undocumented Filipino girl who yearns to be a country music star opened in ninth place with $150,000 in 900 theaters, which translates to a $166 per-screen average. It has not yet opened overseas.

Meanwhile, this week’s edition of release-date musical chairs included several more high-profile titles that pushed their openings back in hopes of waiting out the COVID-19 pandemic. Warner Bros. delayed the releases of three of its most hotly-anticipated titles: a reboot of the cult sci-fi film Dune was bumped from December 18 to October 1, 2021; The Batman moved from October 1, 2021 to March 4, 2022; and The Flash was postponed from June 3, 2022 until November 4, 2022. Elsewhere, Universal’s Jurassic World: Dominion pushed its opening from Summer 2021 to June 10, 2022, and it was announced that Pixar’s Soul, which was slated to hit theaters on November 20, would bypass theaters altogether and debut on the Disney Plus streaming service on Christmas Day.