Vince Vaughn Stays ‘Freaky’ At No. 1 With $1.2 Million In His Horror-Comedy’s Second Weekend, But the Box Office Is Getting Even Scarier
Universal and Blumhouse’s body-swap horror-comedy Freaky held onto the top spot at North American theaters over the weekend, but its anemic $1.2 million haul is further proof that the box office has become a scary place as the Thanksgiving holiday approaches and COVID-19 cases continue to surge.

As an example of just how fast things are dropping off, last weekend the top 10 movies in North America pulled in a combined $10.3 million. This week, however, that number was just about half of that total: $5.3 million. To put things in even starker relief, at this time last year, Disney’s Frozen II debuted to $130.3 million at the domestic box office.

Still, let’s give credit where it’s due. Freaky managed to attract enough ticket-buyers to remain the box-office champion in its sophomore session. The R-rated film stars Vince Vaughn as a serial killer and Kathryn Newton as a high-school student who switch bodies on Friday the 13th. The film had a precipitous 66.1% dive from the previous frame, scaring up a $593 per-screen average in 2,057 theaters. Overseas, the film has added $3.7 million to date, bringing its cumulative worldwide total to $9.2 million.

In the runner-up slot was 101 Studios’ The War with Grandpa, which scored $733,067 in its seventh week, falling 44.5% from the previous session. The PG-rated comedy starring Robert De Niro has proven to be remarkably resilient since it opened on October 9, snagged a $434 per-screen average in 1,688 theaters, bringing its North American box-office total to $16.2 million. The kid-friendly comedy has racked up an additional $8.1 million abroad, bringing its worldwide tally to $24.3 million.

In third place was Focus Features’ Let Him Go, which pulled in $710,000 in its third week, dipping 59.3% from the previous frame. The R-rated thriller starring Kevin Costner and Diane Lane as grandparents racing to rescue their young grandson from peril managed a $372 per-screen average in 1,907 theaters, bringing its domestic box-office total to $7.9 million. The movie has tacked on a negligible $71,852 overseas to date.

Focus also held onto fourth place with its PG-13-rated chiller, Come Play. In its fourth week, the movie fell 48.8%, eking out $550,000 in 1,364 theaters, which translates to a $403 per-screen average.

In fifth was Disney’s latest raid-the-vaults re-release: 1994’s Christmas comedy The Santa Claus, which added $461,000 to the $144.8 million it scored in North American theaters the first time around 26 years ago. The PG-rated holiday film, which stars Tim Allen as a man who becomes St. Nick when the former jolly old elf falls off his roof and expires, which seems just right for a 2020 re-release. Claus was not rolled back out overseas.

Meanwhile, three other debuts managed to squeeze their way into the Top 10 this weekend. Gravitas Ventures’ Vanguard, an action-adventure starring Jackie Chan that has already racked up $44 million in China, landed in seventh place with $400,000 in 1,375 theaters; TriStar’s R-rated war-time, art-forgery thriller The Last Vermeer, starring Guy Pearce, bowed in ninth place with $225,000 in 912 theaters; and Fathom Events’ Japanese animated-fantasy Gekijouban Fate/Stay Night: Heaven’s Feel—III. Spring Song ended up in tenth place with $200,000 in 304 theaters.

With Universal’s animated sequel The Croods: A New Age slated to hit theaters over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, there is still some hope that business will pick up next week. After all, the first Croods made $187.2 million domestically during its original domestic box-office run in 2013, opening with $43.6 million. However, there’s no denying that some of the wind was taken out of exhibitors’ sails on November 18, when Warner Bros. announced that it would release its DC tentpole Wonder Woman 1984 on its streaming service HBO Max on December 25, the same day it opens in theaters. Although the Gal Gadot sequel will open a week earlier overseas, it will be interesting to monitor what percentage of its huge built-in audience watches it at home versus on the big screen.