Denzel Washington’s Crime Thriller ‘The Little Things’ Bows At No. 1 With $4.8 Million Despite Same-Day Streaming Debut
It turns out that even in the midst of a global pandemic, there are still some A-list movie stars who can pull die-hard movie fans into theaters. Denzel Washington proved to be one such draw this weekend as his new crime thriller, The Little Things, debuted at No. 1 with a muscular $4.8 million haul despite also being available on the HBO Max streaming service. It marked the biggest R-rated opening since mid-March, right before the COVID pandemic shuttered most of the nation’s movie houses.

The star-studded Warner Bros. police procedural, which also features Rami Malek and Jared Leto and revolves around two cops hunting a serial killer, proved to be one of the strongest rookie releases of the past ten months, earning a robust $2,210 per-screen average in 2,171 theaters. While HBO Max did not disclose hard numbers regarding how many of its subscribers watched the movie at home over the weekend, it did say that it was the top-viewed title on the platform. Overseas, where HBO Max is not available, The Little Things added $2.8 million in 18 countries, bringing its worldwide cumulative box office to $7.6 million.

While those numbers may sound underwhelming compared to the kick-off weekends of other R-rated Washington vehicles like 2018’s The Equalizer 2, which opened to $36 million domestically, it qualifies as a blockbuster in the current box-office climate. Critics, however, were less impressed with Washington’s latest effort, handing it a 47% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

In second place was Universal and DreamWorks’ The Croods: A New Age, which got a +2.5% bump in business in its tenth week, pulling in $1.8 million domestically. Despite already being available on premium VOD for nearly two months, the PG-rated animated sequel, which features the voices of Nicolas Cage, Emma Stone, and Ryan Reynolds, scored a $980 per-screen average in 1,876 theaters. To date, it has piled up $43.9 million at the North American box office and a hair over $100.4 million overseas, totaling $144.4 million worldwide.

In third place was Warner Bros.’ Wonder Woman 1984 with $1.3 million in its sixth weekend. The superhero sequel, whose total domestic tally now stands at $39.2 million and was also available on the HBO Max streaming service until this past week, dipped -18.8% from the previous frame. It pulled in a $697 per-screen average in 1,864 locations. Still, the DC title has performed far better overseas, where it has lassoed $112.8 million thus far, pushing its cumulative worldwide box office to $152 million. The original Wonder Woman earned $822 million at the worldwide box office back in 2017.

In fourth place was last weekend’s top dog, The Marksman, which scored just under $1.3 million in its third session. After two consecutive weeks at No. 1, the PG-13-rated Liam Neeson border thriller from Open Road Films dropped -38.4% from the previous frame, eking out a $619 per-screen average in 2,018 theaters. The 68-year-old action hero’s latest has pulled in $7.8 million at the domestic box office so far along with a negligible $769,829 abroad (where it just debuted), totaling an $8.6 million worldwide gross.

Rounding out the Top 5 was Screen Gems’ videogame adaptation, Monster Hunter, which racked up $740,000 in its seventh weekend in theaters. The PG-13-rated film, which stars Milla Jovovich, fell off -10.3% and scored a $445 per-screen average in 1,661 sites. The film has made a little over $11.1 million to date in North America and $8.2 million abroad, totaling $19.4 million worldwide. The only other debut of note was Bleecker Street’s Supernova, which opened just outside of the Top 10 in eleventh place. The R-rated indie road movie earned $98,670 in 330 theaters, which translates to a $299 per-screen average. It has not opened internationally yet.

Meanwhile, one of the stranger stories of the week in terms of the theatrical movie business was the wild stock market performance of AMC Theaters. One of the nation’s largest theater chains, the struggling AMC saw its stock price take off after it announced that it had secured new financing to help ride out the slump caused by the nearly year-old global health crisis. Thanks to a wave of speculation sparked by trading forums on Reddit, the company was the recipient of bullish trading that sent its share price soaring—a curious drama that will be interesting to track as it plays out in the days to come.