'Avatar 2' box office nears $900 million as other holiday movies freeze - The Hollywood Reporter

TECHNOLOGY
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Outside of Avatar: The Way of Watera brutal weather system called the Elliott Storm is taking the movie fun out of the North American box office.

The bomb cyclone brought freezing temperatures, strong winds, snow and ice to a wide swath of the country. Traditionally, the Christmas aisle is one of the most profitable times of the year for Hollywood studios and theater owners. This year is an exception, between Storm Elliott and ongoing concerns about COVID-19, the flu and the RSV virus.

In a bummer for the holiday box office, Christmas weekend revenue could be down as much as 50% from 2019 – before the pandemic began – and, more worryingly, 33% in 2021. Hollywood will have a better sense of the landscape on Monday. Another bummer: it’s never nice when Christmas Eve falls on Saturday and Christmas on Sunday. Put another way, studios are already looking to next week to make up for lost ground.

20th Century and Disney Avatar 2 will easily beat the four-day holiday weekend in North America with an estimated Friday-Monday gross of $82 million (rivals have more) from 4,202 theaters. The big-budget prop ended Sunday with a $253.7 million domestic total and $855.4 million globally; by the end of Monday, the worldwide number will approach or exceed $900 million worldwide after two weeks of release. On another continent, the water way it grossed a sizable $168.6 million over the Christmas weekend (three days) for a foreign-to-Sunday total of $601.7 million.

DreamWorks Animation and Universal’s Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, which debuted midweek and received an A CinemaScore, will have no trouble making it to No. 2 with a projected four-day holiday $17.8 million and six-day opening of $24.7 million from 4,099 theaters. The family photo was being tracked for a release in the $30 million to $35 million range. Its performance underscores ongoing concern about the strength of the family market as the sector recovers from the pandemic.

On another continent, the last wish earned a total of $32.5 million for a projected global summit of $57.2 million through Monday.

from TriStar Whitney Houston: I want to dance with someone and from Paramount Babylon are also going through difficult times. Both films opened on Friday.

I want to dance with someone it’s expected to open to between $6 million and $7 million over the four days in 3,625 theaters (Sony insiders believe that number could rise even higher). The Whitney Houston biopic earned an A CinemaScore from audiences after receiving rave reviews.

star-studded paramount Babylon, which received a C+ CinemaScore, looks like a huge disappointment unless it bounces back next week. Damien Chazelle’s Hollywood period film, which lasts about three hours – similar to Avatar 2 — is projected for a four-day opening of $5.3 million from 3,343 theaters.

At the specialized ticket office, The whale is expanding to a total of 603 theaters at Christmas. The A24 film is expected to earn around $1.4 million over the four-day weekend.

Among the novelties, the acclaimed book by Sarah Polley women talking opened Friday in eight theaters. The MGM and UAR film, like many other titles, is no doubt being affected by freezing temperatures in key markets like New York. The film is projecting a four-day debut of $53,000 for a rental average of $6,664.

Sony Pictures’ Classics Alive opened in three locations in New York and Los Angeles with an estimated four-day gross of $17,300 and a location average of approximately $7,078.

Numbers will be updated on Monday.