Universal and Blumhouse’s R-rated film about a serial killer who switches bodies with a teenage, high-school girl (Kathryn Newton) on Friday the 13th opened in 2,472 theaters and scared up an impressive $1,500 per-screen average. Freaky received mostly positive reviews and scored an 84% "Fresh" rating with audiences on Rotten Tomatoes. Overseas, the film added $1.9 million in its freshman frame, bringing its cumulative worldwide box office haul to $5.6 million. Not bad for a film with a reported budget of $6 million.
In second place was Focus Features’ Let Him Go, which pulled in $1.8 million in its second week, dropping off 55% 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 $732 per-screen average in 2,458 theaters, bringing its domestic box-office total to $6.9 million. The movie has tacked on a negligible $32,959 overseas to date.
In third was 101 Studios’ The War with Grandpa, which scored $1.3 million in its sixth week, dipping 12% from the previous session. The PG-rated comedy starring Robert De Niro snagged a $618 per-screen average in 2,145 theaters, bringing its North American box-office total to $15.2 million. To date, the kid-friendly comedy has added $7.7 million abroad, bringing its worldwide tally to $23 million.
In fourth was Focus Features’Come Play. In its third week, the PG-13-rated chiller fell 38.7%, racking up $1.1 million in 1,966 theaters, which translates to a $559 per-screen average. Between its busy Focus division and production deal with Blumhouse, Universal Pictures has claims to three of the top five films in North America this weekend. Universal continues to be one of the only majors rolling out new product to theaters during the coronavirus pandemic, filling a vacuum left by the other big studios who have bumped most of their big-ticket releases from the 2020 calendar.
In fifth was Open Road’s Honest Thief, which fell 29.9%, pulling in $800,000 in its sixth week. The PG-13-rated picture which stars Liam Neeson as a double-crossed bank robber, had a $434 per-screen average in 1,843 theaters, bringing its total domestic gross to $12.4 million. Internationally, Neeson’s film has added a balanced $11 million so far, bringing its worldwide box-office total to $23.3 million.
While Freaky ran away with the weekend’s top rookie honors, there was a handful of other indie newcomers that also debuted, albeit in more limited release, failing to make much of a splash: Relativity Media’s PG-rated kids’ fantasy adventure Come Away landed at No. 12 with $108,000 in 475 theaters; Saban Films’ R-rated, Christmas-themed actioner Fatman (starring Mel Gibson) was right behind it at No 13 with $107,958in 259 theaters; Sony Pictures Classics’ R-rated, dark comedy The Climb ended up at No. 14 with $103,572 in 408 theaters; and Neon’s R-rated romantic drama Ammonite with Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan opened at No. 15 with $85,000 in 280 theaters.
Still, the biggest topic of speculation coming out of the weekend remains whether Warner Bros. will release its DC tentpole Wonder Woman 1984 on Christmas day as is currently planned, or whether the studio will shelve the potential blockbuster until next year.