Movies

‘Civil War’ Marching To $23M+ Opening, A Record For A24 – Friday PM Box Office

A24‘s Alex Garland political thriller, Civil War, is off to a solid start with $2.9M in Thursday previews at 2,931 locations, the movie on its way to $20M+ opening. That is the best ever in previews for an A24 movie, more than double Hereditary ($1.3M). Nobody, rivals nor A24 are complaining about that for what is the studio’s priciest pic north of $50M before P&A, which we also hear is close to $20M. A24 sold the majority of foreign rights early with Entertainment Film Distributors handling in the UK and Roadhouse in Australia/New Zealand . Other major territories go next weekend.

At 3,800 theaters, boosted by Imax, this is A24’s widest release ever. It’s also the widest R-rated release for an independent studio.

Even before this weekend started, A24 per sources had $2M in the bank already for Civil War and that was just for today’s advance tickets, not last night’s. The question is whether this movie plays to the heartland and not the coasts. There is some confidence that the movie will perform well in red states as the pic was tested in Kansas City and Dallas to great results.

Critics are good with the Kirsten Dunst, Nick Offerman, and Cailee Spaeny movie at 83% on Rotten Tomatoes and audiences at 86%.

Comps are hard on this one, but Civil War has the feeling of an Oliver Stone and Kathryn Bigelow movies. Far and away, these preview figures for Civil War are well ahead of Bigelow’s Detroit which did $525K and fizzled to a $7.1M wide opening (in its second weekend). Though a drama, Stone’s Snowden saw $2.7M in previews and $8M opening, but Civil War isn’t expected to crater like that title.

Garland’s Paramount future thriller, Annihilation, starring Natalie Portman did $900K back in February 2018 before posting a $3.8M first day, $11M opening.

Nicolas Cage, Maxwell Jenkins and Jaeden Martell in 'Arcadian'

IFC Films has the second wide entry of the weekend with the Nicolas Cage dystopian thriller, Arcadian, which world premiered at SXSW. Pic is in north of 1,000 theaters with an eye on a low single digits start. Critics enjoyed at 87% fresh, but audiences are at 67%. The Benjamin Brewer directed movie follows a father and his twin teenage sons who are fighting to survive in a remote farmhouse at the end of the world.

Elsewhere, Legendary/Warner Bros’ Godzilla x Kong: New Empire made $1.5M yesterday at 3,948 theaters, -23% from Wednesday, ending its second week with $39.1M and a running total of $142.4M.

Universal’s Monkey Man ended its first week with $13.6M after an estimated $680K Thursday at 3,029 sites, -21% from Wednesday.

Sony’s Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire ends week 3 with $11.3M at 3,835 theaters after a $516K estimated Thursday, -12%. Running total is now $91.1M. The pic is trailing 13% behind Ghostbusters: Afterlife at the same point in time; that pic ending its domestic run at $129.3M.

20th Century Studios’ First Omen booked at 3,375 locations ends week one with $10.8M after a $528K Thursday, -13% from Wednesday.

Legendary/Warner’s Dune: Part Two ends week 6 with $10.1M after a $630K Thursday, -14% for a running total of $267.7M.

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