Box Office Breakdown: ‘Scream’ shrieks from the top of the charts

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Though this column went unpublished during winter break, the box office did not miss a beat. We saw the release of the highest-grossing film of the last two years, as well as a number of high profile flops that severely failed to meet their box office expectations. Though we might not be able to dive into all we missed, this week’s top five does give us a mix of everything.  

In first place in its opening weekend at the box office is the horror film “Scream.” This slasher film is a reboot of the “Scream” franchise, a set of films known for their self-referential and satirical nature. The film opened with a three-day total of $30.6 million against a reported budget of $24 million. Though horror films typically exhibit high second-weekend drops, this opening weekend puts “Scream” in prime position to profit.  

The $24 million budget doesn’t include marketing expenses, which is probably around $30 million to $40 million for a picture of its stature. Thus, we can estimate costs of around $60 million. Since you make about 50% of theatrical revenue domestically, and 40% of theatrical revenue abroad, to break even, “Scream” needs to gross around $135 million worldwide, assuming it grosses about the same domestically and internationally. With a $30.8 million opening, “Scream” looks to gross around $60 million domestically. “Scream 4” grossed around $59 million internationally, which will likely be usurped by the newly released “Scream,” putting the film in a fantastic position to profit. Nonetheless, we should keep an eye on the film’s domestic and international totals the next few weeks. 

In second place this weekend was the film that took the world by storm just a month ago: “Spider-Man: No Way Home.” The Marvel Studios and Sony co-production broke all the pandemic box office records with an astounding $260 million opening weekend in mid-December. In its fifth weekend, the film grossed a respectable $20.8 million — good enough for second place. The film has now grossed $698 million domestically and looks to become just the fifth movie ever to earn over $700 million domestically. The movie will likely end up ranking as the fourth-highest domestically-grossing  film  all time once it inevitably passes “Black Panther” this week, likely finishing behind 2009’s smash-hit “Avatar” (which sits at $749 million). Oddly enough, both “Black Panther” and “Avatar” have sequels releasing near the end of this year, both of which stand a chance to usurp the wall-crawling hero’s domestic total. 

In third place this weekend is the animated musical “Sing 2,” which grossed $8.2 million. With a domestic total of $119 million, “Sing” puts together quite the box office run, with only a 28.7% drop this weekend. If the film can put together some more sub-30% drops, “Sing” can certainly finish around $140 million domestically.  

Coming in fourth and fifth place are two major box office disappointments: “The 355” and “The King’s Man,” both grossing around $2.3 million. “The 355,” though progressive as one of few female-ensemble action films, opened to extremely poor reviews and a minimal box office total, only earning $8.4 million to date. The budget for “The 355” is estimated to be around $75 million, making this a major box office bomb. “The King’s Man” has fared slightly better, but not by much, grossing around $28 million domestically. Though its international total buffers its losses, its estimated $100 million budget makes this yet another box office disaster. 

This coming weekend brings two new films, neither of which carry much box office expectation: Universal’s “Redeeming Love” and Gravitas Ventures’ “The King’s Daughter.” Though it is possible, it would be a surprise if either of these films made their way into the top five next weekend. 

Ultimately, this holiday break has shown us there are winners and there are losers at the box office. 2022 will bring a brand new slate of movies to audiences, and we excitedly await to see which films will succeed and falter in this new year.  

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