Sunday, May 19, 2024

Weekend Box Office: FIVE NIGHTS AT FREDDY’S More Than Doubles Record for Top Halloween Weekend All Time

Image courtesy: Universal

#1 = Five Nights at Freddy’s

Hitting theaters right before Halloween, Universal’s horror video game adaptation exceeded all expectations with an $78.0M opening, despite a day-and-date release strategy that had it debuting simultaneously in cinemas and streaming on Peacock.

Here are a few measurements to reflect just how impressive that is.

#1 Halloween weekend record

This marks by far the top Halloween weekend of all time, whether opening or for a holdover title. For 12 years now, the record had been held by 2011’s Puss in Boots opening with $34.0M. This more than doubles that, at 2.3x.

Another way of putting that in perspective: Freddy’s earned the top Halloween weekend after Friday only, earning $39.7M through that point.

(Most of the top 10 Halloween weekends ever are indeed horror films—though not all of them, as Puss in Boots clearly reflects.)

#3 horror opening ever

Freddy’s earns the #3 horror debut of all time, behind only:

  1. 2017’s It = $123.4M
  2. 2019’s It: Chapter Two = $91.0M

Freddy’s also marks the best PG-13 horror opening ever: +55% above the previous record, 2018’s A Quiet Place with $50.2M.

(The prior PG-13 record arguably belongs to 2001’s The Mummy returns, though only if you consider that a horror film rather than an action/adventure.)

Destroys other current horror films

After only its opening weekend, Freddy’s has already out-earned the cumulative totals of the other main horror films currently in the marketplace:

  • The Exorcist: Believer = now $59.3M after four frames
  • Saw X = now $50.2M after five frames

The Freddy’s opening also almost equals the total for The Nun II, now at $85.8M after eight frames. Freddy’s will overtake that on a weekday later this week, perhaps as soon as Monday or Tuesday.

#5 October weekend

Freddy’s also marks the #5 October weekend of all time, in any genre, behind only:

  1. 2019’s Joker: $96.2M
  2. 2023’s Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour = $92.8M
  3. 2021’s Venom: Let There Be Carnage = $90.0M
  4. 2018’s Venom: $80.2M

#2 day-and-date weekend

Freddy’s earns the #2 day-and-date opening, coming only -3% behind 2021’s Black Widow (which debuted in theaters and on Disney+) with $80.3M.

This also marks the third consecutive year Universal has released a major horror film day-and-date in October, but Freddy’s starts far higher than those other two:

  • +57% above 2021’s Halloween Kills: $49.4M
  • +94% above 2022’s Halloween Ends: $40.0M

Universal also claims in a Sunday press release that Freddy’s marks the most-watched debut for a film on Peacock, though as is usually the case for streaming releases, they didn’t provide exact numbers.

Audience demographics

The Freddy’s audience was an estimated 40% Hispanic versus 36% white.

It was also 81% younger than 25 and 58% male, with opening weekend audiences giving the film an “A-” CinemaScore.

Overseas / global

Freddy’s opens to $52.6M overseas and $130.6M globally, or 40% overseas.

This marks the top horror global opening of 2023 so far, +48% above The Nun II with $88.1M.

Top five market totals to date are:

  1. Mexico: $10.8M
  2. U.K. $6.2M
  3. Brazil: $3.9M
  4. Australia: $3.7M
  5. Germany: $2.6M

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

#2 = Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour

In its third frame, the AMC Theatres Distribution / Variance Films concert documentary event fell -56% to $14.7M.

The movie already became the highest-grossing concert film of all time after its opening weekend alone and last weekend became the first-ever concert film to lead the box office for two weekends.

With $149.3M total, it’s already the #16 film of calendar year 2023 and is potentially poised to finish in the year-end top 10, which would make it the first concert film ever to do so.

#3 = Killers of the Flower Moon

Last weekend, the historical drama from Apple Studios, with Paramount distributing, opened with $23.2M in second place. Now in its sophomore frame, it falls a steep -61% to $9.0M.

That’s far steeper than any of the wide-release sophomore drops for the five prior Martin Scorsese / Leonardo DiCaprio collaborations:

  • 2013’s The Wolf of Wall Street: -28% (though its debut weekend was deflated after opening midweek on a Wednesday)
  • 2006’s The Departed: -29%
  • 2002’s Gangs of New York: -33%
  • 2004’s The Aviator: -34%
  • 2010’s Shutter Island: -45%

It’s also notably steeper than the sophomore drops for other DiCaprio films from the past dozen years:

  • 2016’s The Revenant: -20%
  • 2010’s Inception: -32%
  • 2012’s Django Unchained: -34%
  • 2011’s J. Edgar: -47%
  • 2019’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood: -51%
  • 2013’s The Great Gatsby: -52%

It’s also far steeper than the sophomore drop for Scorsese’s prior theatrical release, 2016’s Silence: -41%.

Versus some other comparable adult-skewing dramas released in October during the 2010s, Moon also falls notably steeper than:

  • 2014’s Gone Girl: -30%
  • 2010’s The Social Network: -31%
  • 2018’s A Star is Born: -34%
  • 2013’s Captain Phillips: -36%
  • 2014’s Fury: -44%
  • 2019’s Ford v. Ferrari: -50%
  • 2021’s House of Gucci: -51%

Overseas / global

This weekend, Moon declined -36% in overseas holdover markets, substantially milder than its -61% domestic drop.

Moon has now earned $47.4M overseas and $88.0M globally, or 54% overseas.

Top five market totals to date are:

  1. U.K. $6.8M
  2. France: $5.3M
  3. Germany: $3.6M
  4. Spain: $2.9M
  5. Australia: $2.7M

#4 = After Death

Coming off the heels of this summer’s smash hit Sound of Freedom, faith-based distributor Angel Studios opened their new documentary in fourth place with $5.0M.

Comparisons are few and far between here, since virtually all wide release faith-based projects are narrative films, not documentaries.

Still, After opened only -8% behind Angel Studios’ March drama His Only Son with $5.5M, despite its ostensibly less mainstream genre.

#5 = The Exorcist: Believer

Universal’s horror sequel The Exorcist: Believer declines only -46% to $3.1M.

That’s a notably milder drop than any of the other horror (or horror-adjacent) films in the marketplace this weekend, including:

  • Saw X = -53%
  • Disney’s animated The Nightmare Before Christmas 30th anniversary re-release = also -53%
  • A Haunting in Venice = -63%
  • The Nun II = -70%
  • Haunted Mansion = -85%

Overseas / global

This weekend, Believer declined -50% in overseas holdover markets, slightly steeper than its -46% domestic drop.

Believer has now earned $61.0M overseas and $120.3M globally, or 50.6% overseas.

Top five market totals to date are:

  1. Mexico: $8.9M
  2. U.K. $6.4M
  3. France: $4.6M
  4. Spain: $3.4M
  5. Italy: $3.1M

Major markets yet to release include Japan.

Limited releases

Focus Features’ The Holdovers opened with $200K in six theaters. That estimated $33,333 per-screen average ranks #8 of 2023 so far.

A24’s Priscilla also opened in limited release, with $133K in four theaters. That estimated $33,035 per-screen average ranks #9 of 2023 so far, just below The Holdovers.

Weekend comparisons

Total box office this weekend came in around $121.0M.

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



Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour, second frame = $33.2M

Same weekend in 2022



Black Adam, second frame: $27.4M

Same weekend in 2019



Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, second frame = $19.3M


YTD comparisons

Year-to-date box office stands around $7.59B.

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: $1.72B
  2. Universal + Focus Features: $1.68B
  3. Warner Bros.: $1.15B
  4. Sony Pictures + Sony Classics + Crunchyroll: $867.1M
  5. Paramount: $807.9M

Sunday’s Studio Weekend Estimates:

Title  Estimated weekend  % change Locations Location change Average  Total  Weekend Distributor
Five Nights at Freddy’s $78,000,000   3,675   $21,224 $78,000,000 1 Universal
Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour $14,700,000 -56% 3,773 -82 $3,896 $149,364,861 3 AMC Theatres Distribution + Variance
Killers of the Flower Moon $9,000,000 -61% 3,632 4 $2,478 $40,679,000 2 Paramount
After Death $5,060,815   2,645   $1,913 $5,060,815 1 Angel Studios
The Exorcist: Believer $3,100,000 -46% 2,717 -606 $1,141 $59,365,830 4 Universal
PAW Patrol: The Mighty Movie $2,150,000 -51% 2,746 -618 $783 $59,212,000 5 Paramount
Freelance $2,060,000   2,057   $1,001 $2,060,000 1 Relativity
The Nightmare Before Christmas $2,000,000 -53% 2,185 535 $915     Disney
Saw X $1,685,000 -53% 2,141 -615 $787 $50,296,927 5 Lionsgate
The Creator $1,000,000 -63% 1,685 -805 $593 $38,845,081 5 20th Century Studios [Disney]
Anatomy of a Fall $565,000 271% 262 248 $2,156 $967,637 3 Neon
A Haunting in Venice $424,000 -63% 785 -815 $540 $41,881,416 7 20th Century Studios [Disney]
The Nun II $260,000 -70% 604 -760 $430 $85,890,000 8 Warner Bros.
The Holdovers $200,000   6   $33,333 $200,000 1 Focus Features [Universal]
Hocus Pocus $196,000 -70% 420 -955 $467     Disney
The Equalizer 3 $175,427 -64% 360 -723 $487 $91,958,000 9 Sony Pictures
Priscilla $132,139   4   $33,035 $132,139 1 A24
Dicks: The Musical $129,122 -68% 635 290 $203 $1,203,567 4 A24
Oppenheimer $95,000 -50% 125 -88 $760 $324,241,295 15 Universal
Dumb Money $49,916 -82% 254 -913 $197 $13,830,000 7 Sony Pictures
Stop Making Sense $44,568 -37% 70 -19 $637 $4,840,239   Cinecom
Haunted Mansion $10,000 -85% 55 -55 $182 $67,637,887 14 Walt Disney
Common Ground $8,500 -54% 7 -12 $1,214 $155,124 5 Area 23a
Four Daughters $5,398   1   $5,398 $5,398 1 Kino Lorber


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