Sunday, May 19, 2024

Weekend Box Office: FIVE NIGHTS AT FREDDY’S is First Horror Leader in Post-Halloween Frame Since 1991

Image courtesy: Universal

#1 = Five Nights at Freddy’s

Universal’s horror video game adaptation fell a steep -76% to $19.4M in its sophomore frame, as is to be expected over the immediate post-Halloween weekend.

Still, lacking major competition, it repeats in first place and becomes the first “true” horror film to win the immediate post-Halloween weekend since 1991’s The People Under the Stairs.

(Another movie arguably belonging to the horror genre, 1993’s animated musical The Nightmare Before Christmas, also won its year’s post-Halloween frame.)

While horror sometimes leads on Halloween weekend or the weekend immediately preceding the holiday, Freddy’s marks an extremely rare instance of the genre leading on the frame following the holiday.

In the past decade alone, a horror film has vacated the top slot four times on the post-holiday frame:

  • 2020: Come Play led on Halloween weekend, then fell to second place behind drama Let Him Go.
  • 2018: Halloween fittingly led the pre-Halloween weekend then plummeted to fifth place behind three new releasesBohemian Rhapsody, The Nutcracker and the Four Realms, and Nobody’s Fool—plus the strong hold for A Star is Born.
  • 2017: Jigsaw led the pre-Halloween weekend then fell to third place behind two new releases, Thor: Ragnarok and A Bad Moms Christmas.
  • 2014: Ouija led on Halloween weekend then fell to fourth place behind two new releases, Big Hero 6 and Interstellar, plus the strong hold for Gone Girl.

With $113.6M, Freddy’s is already the top horror film of this calendar year so far after only two frames, beating the final total of March’s Scream VI with $108.1M.

Of course, Freddy‘s owes its second weekend at number one in large part to Warner Bros. moving Dune: Part 2 out of its initial November 3 release date, leaving a hole in the calendar that no major studio rushed to fill with a new release. Dune: Part 2 now comes out on March 15, 2024.

Universal comes close to retaking yearly lead

Freddy’s gives Universal a box office push, landing it just behind Disney as the yearly box office leader domestically, when including Universal’s subsidiary distributor Focus Features.

By Boxoffice PRO’s count, Universal (including subsidiaries) now stands at $1.728B for the year, versus Disney (including subsidiaries) with $1.729B. That’s only about a $1 million difference.

That means Universal should take the lead as soon as Monday or Tuesday.

This lead is certain to be short-lived, though, with Disney releasing The Marvels next weekend and then Wish later in the month. Universal’s two main remaining 2023 releases, Trolls Band Together and Migration, seem unlikely to equal that level of box office.

Disney led the domestic box office from the start of the year through early April, at which point Universal took the lead on the strength of The Super Mario Bros. Movie.

Then Disney reclaimed the lead in mid-June, with the likes of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, The Little Mermaid, and Elemental. Universal has remained in the runner-up slot since.

Overseas / global

This weekend, Freddy’s declined -54% in overseas holdover markets, a notably milder figure than its -76% domestic drop.

Freddy’s has earned $103.5M overseas and $217.1M globally, or 47% overseas.

It could become the top horror globally for 2023, a title currently held by The Nun II with $265.8M to date. (That film looks likely to top out somewhere around $270M or so.)

Last weekend, Freddy’s marked the top horror global opening of 2023 so far, more than +40% above The Nun II, which opened with $88.1M.

Freddy’s top five market totals to date are:

  1. Mexico: $16.8M
  2. U.K. $10.5M
  3. Brazil: $7.7M
  4. Australia: $6.5M
  5. Spain: $5.0M

Major markets yet to release include France, South Korea, and Japan.

#2 = Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour

In its fourth and (per studio announcements) final frame, the AMC Theatres Distribution / Variance Films concert documentary event fell a very mild -13% to $13.5M, repeating in second place.

The movie became the highest-grossing concert film of all time after its opening weekend alone.

With $165.9M total, it’s currently the #12 film released in 2023, making it almost certain to finish with the top year-end rank a concert film has ever achieved. Some of the prior yearly bests include:

  • 2009’s Michael Jackson’s This Is It = #46
  • 2008’s Hannah Montana and Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert Tour = #48
  • 2011’s Justin Bieber: Never Say Never = #49

#3 = Killers of the Flower Moon

Last weekend, in its sophomore frame, the historical drama from Paramount with Apple Studios fell a steep -60% to $9.3M.

Now in its third frame, it falls a significantly milder -25% to $7.0M, repeating in third place.

Through 17 days of wide release, it’s earned $52.3M total. Compared to the three prior Martin Scorsese + Leonardo DiCaprio collaborations through the equivalent point in release, that’s:

  • -27% below 2013’s The Wolf of Wall Street: $72.3M
  • -32% below 2006’s The Departed: $76.9M
  • -45% below 2010’s Shutter Island: $95.7M

Versus some other comparable DiCaprio films from the past dozen years through the equivalent point in release, that’s also:

  • -47% below 2019’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood: $100.3M
  • -54% below 2013’s The Great Gatsby: $114.2M
  • -54% below 2012’s Django Unchained: $114.3M
  • -56% below 2016’s The Revenant: $119.2M

Versus some other comparable “dramas for adults” released in October during the 2010s, here’s how Moon is faring through the equivalent point in wide release:

  • -13% below 2014’s Fury: $60.1M
  • -16% below 2010’s The Social Network: $62.4M
  • -25% below 2013’s Captain Phillips: $69.9M
  • -35% below 2019’s Ford v. Ferrari: $81.0M
  • -51% below 2014’s Gone Girl: $106.7M
  • -58% below 2018’s A Star is Born: $126.1M

#4 = Priscilla

A24’s drama biopic about Elvis Presley’s wife Priscilla expanded to wide release with $5.0M in fourth place.

Compared to the wide openings for some other films from writer-director Sofia Coppola, that’s:

  • 2.54x 2013’s The Bling Ring: $2.0M
  • +60% above 2017’s The Beguiled: $3.1M
  • +22% above 2003’s Lost in Translation: $4.1M
  • -5% below 2006’s Marie Antoinette: $5.3M

Priscilla is playing on 1,359 screens—making it officially a wide release, albeit one with only 35%  of the reach of the widest film currently in the marketplace.

Last weekend, debuting in limited release, Priscilla earned $132,139 in four theaters, for a $33,035 per-theater average that ranked #8 of the year so far.

#5 = Radical

In only 419 locations, about 11% the reach of the widest film in the marketplace, Pantelion’s drama surprises with a $2.7M start in fifth place, a rare opening-weekend placement for a Spanish-language title.

The Spanish-language film based on a true story stars Eugenio Derbez as an inspirational teacher in an impoverished Mexican community.

Weekend comparisons

Total box office this weekend came in around $61.9M. That marks the third-lowest weekend of the year so far, behind only:

  1. September 22-24 with $51.8M, led by the third frame of The Nun II with $8.5M
  2. February 10-12 (Super Bowl weekend) with $52.6M, led by Magic Mike’s Last Dance with $8.3M

Here’s how this weekend compares to last weekend, the same weekend last year, and the same weekend in the last pre-pandemic year of 2019:



This weekend is:


Last weekend



Five Nights at Freddy’s: $80.0M

Same weekend in 2022



Black Adam, third frame: $18.2M

Same weekend in 2019



Terminator: Dark Fate = $29.0M

YTD comparisons

Year-to-date box office stands around $7.68B.

Through the equivalent point, here’s how that compares to last year and the last pre-pandemic year of 2019:


YTD total

2023 YTD now:

After last weekend:












Top distributors

Grouped by parent company, the YTD leaders are:

  1. Disney + 20th Century + Searchlight + Star: $1.73B
  2. Universal + Focus Features: $1.72B
  3. Warner Bros.: $1.15B
  4. Sony Pictures + Sony Classics + Crunchyroll: $868.0M
  5. Paramount: $822.4M

Sunday’s Studio Weekend Estimates:

Title  Estimated weekend  % change Locations Location change Average  Total  Weekend Distributor
Five Nights at Freddy’s $19,400,000 -76% 3,789 114 $5,120 $113,604,360 2 Universal
Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour $13,500,000 -13% 3,773   $3,578 $165,946,668 4 AMC Theatres Distribution + Variance
Killers of the Flower Moon $7,000,000 -25% 3,786 154 $1,849 $52,332,522 3 Paramount
Priscilla $5,084,573 3748% 1,359 1,355 $3,741 $5,310,093 2 A24
Radical $2,730,326   419   $6,516 $2,730,326 1 Pantelion Films
The Exorcist: Believer $2,150,000 -34% 2,420 -297 $888 $63,155,000 5 Universal
After Death $2,000,256 -60% 2,730 85 $733 $9,022,025 2 Angel Studios
PAW Patrol: The Mighty Movie $1,975,000 -15% 2,404 -342 $822 $62,038,849 6 Paramount
What Happens Later $1,564,026   1,492   $1,048 $1,564,026 1 Bleecker Street
Freelance $1,248,685 -40% 2,057   $607 $4,203,981 2 Relativity
Saw X $1,113,000 -37% 1,509 -632 $738 $52,464,169 6 Lionsgate
The Nightmare Before Christmas $889,000 -58% 1,625 -560 $547 $87,229,711   Walt Disney
The Creator $657,000 -36% 930 -755 $706 $40,071,241 6 20th Century Studios [Disney]
Anatomy of a Fall $600,000 -5% 440 178 $1,364 $1,973,016 4 Neon
The Holdovers $600,000 184% 64 58 $9,375 $878,000 2 Focus Features [Universal]
Oppenheimer $510,000 394% 434 309 $1,175 $324,819,685 16 Universal
Gran Turismo: Based on a True Story $375,000 1182% 1,416 1,363 $265 $44,163,253 11 Sony Pictures
A Haunting in Venice $200,000 -54% 435 -350 $460 $42,346,154 8 20th Century Studios [Disney]
The Equalizer 3 $131,000 -25% 168 -192 $780 $92,182,686 10 Sony Pictures
The Tunnel to Summer, the Exit of Goodbyes $75,000   167   $449 $75,000 1 Sentai
Stop Making Sense $31,434 -35% 32 -38 $982 $4,921,592   Cinecom
Hocus Pocus $28,000 -88% 90 -330 $311 $49,026,077   Walt Disney
Dicks: The Musical $24,972 -84% 102 -533 $245 $1,379,631 5 A24
All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt $12,529   3   $4,176 $12,529 1 A24
Subject $7,500   2   $3,750 $7,500 1 Greenwich
At the Gates $5,186   1   $5,186 $5,186 1 Picturehouse
Common Ground $3,100 -59% 5 -2 $620 $162,661 6 Area 23a
The Mission $1,540 -84% 7 -4 $220 $58,513 4 National Geographic


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