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‘Halloween Kills’ Slashes Its Way To The Top Spot With $50.4 Million Bow; Damon And Affleck’s ‘The Last Duel’ Is A Dud

With just two weeks to go before trick-or-treaters head out on their annual holiday rounds, the latest chapter in the Michael Myers horror cycle, Halloween Kills, slayed the competition with a bloody good $50.4 million debut. The bogeyman’s box-office bow was especially impressive considering that the film was also available via VOD on the Peacock streamer and was going up against such splashy competitors as James Bond, Venom, and the long-awaited reunion of Good Will Hunting’s Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, whose historical drama The Last Duel was dead on arrival with a woeful $4.8 million opening.

‘Halloween Kills’ To Slash The Competition; ‘The Last Duel’ To Duel It Out Against Holdovers

No Time To Die may not have broken records last weekend, but the overall weekend box office did: It was the first time since the pandemic began that we had two weekends in a row with a total gross exceeding $100 million, which until this month only two weekends had accomplished. This weekend we might see that happen for a third week in a row with the releases of Universal’s Halloween Kills, the latest entry in the long running slasher franchise, and 20th Century’s The Last Duel, the latest historical epic from Ridley Scott. While we saw some big grosses from individual films over the summer, we’re finally starting to see a steady slate of films that audiences are showing up for and solid numbers from the market as a whole.

Domestic Box Office Is Shaken But Not Stirred By James Bond’s $56 Million ‘No Time To Die’ Opening

No Time To Die, the 25th official chapter in the long-running 007 film franchise and Daniel Craig’s swan song as license-to-kill agent James Bond, spent the better part of the COVID pandemic gathering dust on MGM’s shelves waiting for the right moment to make its way to multiplexes. This weekend, that long wait finally ended. So, did those 18 months of delays and date changes pay off? It depends whether you see the martini glass as half full or half empty. With its $56 million opening weekend in North America, the action-packed tentpole fell well short of box-office soothsayers’ predictions, but it still marks one of the biggest debuts of 2021.

It Is--Finally-- ‘No Time To Die’ At The Box Office As James Bond Returns To The Big Screen

007 is back on the big screen this weekend after a six-year gap, returning just as the box office is heating up again. Can No Time To Die top Skyfall as the series’ top opener with $88.4 million? A week ago we would have said “No way,” but after Venom: Let There Be Carnage’s expectations-smashing $90 million debut last weekend, the game has changed. The general thinking through the summer was that the current slate of blockbuster sequels didn’t stand a chance of living up to their predecessors at the box office. Black Widow and F9: The Fast Saga were both smashes when you factor in the lowered expectations of the pandemic, but take away that variable and they look like box office disappointments compared to other films in their franchises. With Venom 2 beating out the original and becoming the year’s top opener, as well as leading what was the year’s top grossing weekend yet (which is due to be topped this weekend), the gloves have come off and the box office may finally be putting the pandemic behind it.

‘Venom 2’ Sinks Its Teeth Into $90 Million Domestic Debut, Shattering Pandemic-Era Record; Bond Soars Overseas While Sopranos Gets Whacked At Home

The first weekend in October usually kicks off the cozy sweater-and-pumpkin spice latte season. But this year, it also signaled the long overdue return of the sort of hand-over-fist blockbusters that dominated the multiplex before the arrival of COVID. Hard on the heels of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings’ record-setting September, Sony’s supervillain sequel, Venom: Let There Be Carnage, shattered all previous pandemic-era benchmarks with a massive $90.1 million bow in North America, making the case that the Hollywood tentpole is finally back. Further evidence came from abroad, where the latest 007 outing, No Time to Die, bowed to $119 million ahead of its U.S. release next weekend. But it wasn’t all good news: While United Artists’ animated The Addams Family 2 scared up an $18 million domestic debut, Warner Bros.’ much-anticipated Sopranos prequel, The Many Saints of Newark, got whacked on arrival, pulling in just $5 million as fans said “fuggedaboutit” to seeing their favorite mobsters on the big screen.

‘Venom: Let There Be Carnage’ Headlines Busy Weekend At The Box Office

September was month of extremes at the box office, with both the highest grossing film of the year and the lowest grossing weekend since May. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is the first Marvel movie to open in September, and the gambit paid off, with the film crossing the gross of Black Widow to become the year’s number one movie, and it will soon overtake Bad Boys for Life to become the top grossing film since 2019. Other than Shang-Chi, though, the box office has been a total wasteland, with the next best opening weekend gross this month being Dear Evan Hansen’s meager $7.4 million. The dry spell is ending though, and after a rocky summer, the packed fall movie season is starting with a bang this weekend with Venom: Let There Be Carnage, The Many Saints of Newark, and The Addams Family 2, not to mention the international debut of No Time To Die.

‘Shang-Chi’ Keeps Rolling In Top Spot With $13.3 Million, Passing ‘Black Widow’ As The Top Hit Of 2021; ‘Dear Evan Hansen’ Disappoints

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings continued to own the September box office this weekend, easily holding onto the top spot in North America for the fourth consecutive frame. The Disney superhero tentpole racked up another $13.3 million in North America, bringing its total domestic haul to $196.5 million, putting it ahead of its Marvel stablemate Black Widow as the highest-grossing film of 2021. Meanwhile, the weekend’s only major newcomer, Universal’s Dear Evan Hansen, hit a slightly sour note in its debut, pulling in a disappointing $7.5 million, which was still good enough for second place during what turned out to be a slow session.

‘Dear Evan Hansen’ Opens On A Quiet Weekend

The current state of the box office can best be described as polarized. On one hand, last weekend was the lowest grossing weekend at the box office since June, and if it drops further this weekend it could be the lowest since May. On the other hand, we’re witnessing a dream run for Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, which opened better than expected and is now holding better than expected. It is on the cusp of passing its fellow Marvel blockbuster Black Widow as the year’s top grosser, and by the end of the weekend should be nearing $200 million. The overall market may be slumping, but individual films are still shining.

‘Shang-Chi’ Three-peats In First With $21.7 Million; Clint Eastwood’s ‘Cry Macho’ Disappoints

In its third week in theaters, Disney’s latest superhero tentpole, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, continued to dominate the North American box office. Pulling in $21.7 million over the otherwise sleepy September frame, Marvel’s most recent epic shows little sign of slowing down and it is well on its way to surpassing its MCU stablemate, Black Widow, to become the top theatrical grosser of the pandemic-plagued year as it rocketed past the $300 million mark in worldwide ticket sales. Meanwhile, the weekend’s most high-profile newcomer, Clint Eastwood’s Western drama Cry Macho, bowed quietly in third place with a pokey $4.5 million as the cinema legend’s legion of older fans opted to stay home and stream the film from their La-Z-Boys.

Clint Eastwood’s ‘Cry Macho’ Challenges ‘Shang-Chi’

After Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings dominated the box office for two weeks in a row, it faces some competition this weekend from Cry Macho, which sees Clint Eastwood both back in the director’s chair and as leading man. However, the theatrical exclusive Shang-Chi has already shown itself to have solid legs, and there’s a good chance it will reign supreme once again this weekend. It dropped 54% in its second weekend, and a similar hold this weekend would bring in around $16 million. The latest Marvel superhero film hit $150 million on the 12th day of its release, beating Black Widow by four days. At the rate it is going, we may see Shang-Chi surpass Black Widow’s $183.2 million gross by next weekend, which would make it the best grossing film since Bad Boys For Life, released all the way back in January 2020.

‘Shang-Chi’ Stays On Record Pace With Nearly $35.8 Million In Second Weekend; ‘Malignant’ Is D.O.A.

You can now add sustained box-office might to Shang-Chi’s already-impressive array of superpowers. A week after the Marvel blockbuster’s record-breaking Labor Day roll-out, the film not only held on to the top spot with relative ease, thanks to its nearly $35.8 million sophomore weekend haul, it also roared past Black Widow to become the fastest film to reach the $100 million milestone in North America this year. The superhero tentpole also crossed the $250 million mark globally. Meanwhile, Warner Bros.’ latest chiller-thriller, Malignant, proved to be terrifying but in all the wrong ways, scaring up an underwhelming $5.5 million in its domestic bow.

James Wan’s ‘Malignant’ No Match For ‘Shang-Chi”

After its record-shattering Labor Day weekend debut, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is set to rule the box office in its second weekend. The latest Marvel superhero movie has exceeded expectations, and there was a collective sigh of relief for the industry after over a month of disappointing box office returns. With confirmation that a blockbuster is still possible in the current environment, as well as the appearance that the current Covid-19 wave may be turning around, the future of the box office is finally looking brighter, even though the month of September is light on major releases. It has certainly given Sony some confidence, as they have moved forward the release date of Venom: Let There Be Carnage by two weeks to October 1.

‘Shang-Chi’ Debuts With A Marvel-ous $71.4 Million in North America; Shatters All-Time Labor Day Record

Theater owners got down on their knees and thanked the movie gods this weekend for the arrival of Marvel’s newest superhero extravaganza over the usually sleepy Labor Day frame. Disney’s latest entry in the MCU, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, blew past industry predictions and bowed to a Marvel-ous $71.4 million over the first three days of the long holiday weekend, making it the second-highest grossing film of the COVID era, just behind Black Widow’s $80.3 million back in July. Unlike that film, however, the Asian-themed Shang-Chi is playing exclusively in theaters and should thus prove to have longer legs than Scarlett Johansson & Co.’s epic, which simultaneously rolled out on Disney Plus.

MCU Newcomer ‘Shang-Chi’ To Break Labor Day Records

Brace yourself: the Labor Day weekend box office record is about to be broken. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is the latest from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and it is the rare major film to release over the famously low-grossing holiday weekend, following in the footsteps of Tenet last year and continuing Marvel’s trend of extending the length of the summer movie season. The current record holder for the long weekend is the Halloween remake, which opened to $30.6 million in 2007. Shang-Chi should be able to top that without breaking a sweat, even though it will fall toward the lower end of openings for a Marvel film.

‘Candyman’ Scares Up A Very Sweet $22.3 Million Debut At The Domestic Box Office

Who can take a sunrise, sprinkle it with dew, cover it with blood and a bone-chilling scream or two? Candyman can. Twenty-nine years after first being summoned on the big screen in 1992’s horror classic, Universal’s sequel to the now-infamous urban legend scared up an impressive $22.3 million debut at the North American box office, far exceeding expectations and easily sinking its hooks into the top spot.

‘90s Horror Franchise ‘Candyman’ Is Back And Looking To Dethrone ‘Free Guy’

Last weekend showed us that despite rising Covid cases, audiences are willing to come to the movies if there is something they want to see. The newcomers of last week mostly flopped while Free Guy held strong. It was down only 34.8% in its second weekend, making it the best hold of the summer--in a season with sharper than usual drops--and cementing its status as one of the summer’s biggest surprise hits. While many predicted that the Delta variant’s surge would scare off audiences, it is clear that the audience will show up for the right content, and Marvel’s Shang-Chi should give the box office the shot in the arm that it needs next weekend. Until then, this weekend’s sole wide release newcomer, Candyman from Universal, is vying to be the next modest Covid-era success.

‘Free Guy’ Holds Top Spot With $18.8 Million In Sophomore Weekend, ‘PAW Patrol’ Nips At Its Heels In Second Place

Despite a handful of splashy, star-studded new releases, Ryan Reynolds’ two-week-old action comedy, Free Guy, held the top spot over the weekend. The irreverent crowd-pleaser from 20th Century Studios and Disney pulled in $18.8 million in its sophomore frame, making it one of the summer’s most encouraging sleeper hits. Nipping at the heels of Reynolds & Co. with a $13 million second-place opening was Paramount’s PAW Patrol: The Movie —an adaptation of Nickelodeon’s kid-friendly animated TV show about a group of rescue pups whose bark at the box office turned out to be just as mighty as its bite. The rest of the frame’s newcomers, however, wound up arriving D.O.A.

‘Free Guy’ Faces Off Against Four Newcomers

The box office is looking a little brighter after last weekend’s expectations-beating, $28.4-million-opening of Free Guy. This was a pleasant surprise to those who worried the Delta variant’s continually climbing case-count would scare away audiences. Though no one would argue that we're anywhere near “normal,” the fact that we aren’t backpedaling is a positive sign. Still, studios are showing some signs of concern at the pace of recovery, as we can see from recent release date shuffling.

Ryan Reynolds’ ‘Free Guy’ Beats Expectations, Taking The Top Spot With $28.4 Million At North American Box Office

On a weekend that saw the arrival of three new major releases, moviegoers said “Hello, Ryan Reynolds” and “Adios, Suicide Squad” as Free Guy, the irreverent action comedy from 20th Century Studios and Disney, dominated a crowded field, landing at No. 1 at the domestic box office with a stronger-than-expected $28.4 million haul. As for last week’s champs—that ragtag band of DC Comics antiheroes? They fell off a cliff.

‘Free Guy,’ ‘Don’t Breathe 2,’ & ‘Respect’ Up Against Covid Resurgence

There are three new wide releases this weekend, but the question is whether they can pull the box office out of the downward trend it has been on. Last weekend had an overall box-office total of $65 million which, despite the opening of a big budget comic book franchise film, was the weakest overall weekend gross since June. It’s not easy to say exactly how much the resurgence of Covid-19 has impacted the box office in recent weeks, as there are other variables to factor in, from shortened or nonexistent theatrical windows, to content that perhaps isn’t quite “Must See” status, to get people out the door.
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