‘Jackass Forever’ opens to $23 million+, while ‘Moonfall’ remains low with an estimated $10 million+ – Sunday Box Office.
We’re still waiting for Lionsgate to release the official Sunday AM number for Moonfall, but industry estimates put it around $10 million after an $8.38 million Saturday, down 8% from Friday and previews.
Moonfall grossed $1.4 million in Imax theaters over the weekend, with another $900,000 coming from overseas. Imax and PLF together accounted for 36% of the gross.
While disaster films like Roland Emmerich’s were already a weary genre before the pandemic, it’s crucial to remember that this big $140 million+ package was put together before the pandemic and was aimed solely at overseas audiences.
Despite all of the talk about cinema capacity restrictions and territory closures, moviegoers around the world have shown to come back with films like Spider-Man: No Way Home, which has grossed $1.03 billion worldwide (not including China). However, the film’s performance in Brazil, Russia, and a few other territories this weekend remains to be seen.
Is Moonfall additional poison for the international sales ecosystem, which is constantly challenged by streamers’ aggressive feature purchases, after a large budget catastrophe like Universal/Film Nation’s The 355 (now around $24M WW) which cost $75M? Many sources tell me that the answer is simply ‘No.’ For starters, we live in a world where the product is in short supply everywhere, not just in streaming.
For example, in Korea, there are four major theatrical distributors, three large theater chains, four major cable/pay television companies, three major television networks, and three major streaming services, all of which require content and compete for it with the major studios in the United States.
As a result, multi-year output contracts at premium prices are possible.
Similarly, expanded access to multiplexes, the growth of the internet via mobile networks, higher demand from a larger number of content producers, and the emergence of middle classes around the world will all contribute to increased product demand.
“International consumers can’t help themselves,” one foreign sales insider explained, “they’ll always wager on themselves.” That is, if they do not invest in a big-budget project like Moonfall as soon as it is released, they will never perceive any potential for profit. The astute avoid going all in, preferring to take what they can from a selection of films.
After the failure of Geostorm in 2017 and a $72 million loss, few, if any, major studios would invest in a disaster film like Moonfall, especially since the astronaut subgenre has already been pounded to death by Gravity, Ad Astra, The Martian, and First Man.
Furthermore, Emmerich designed it for movie theaters rather than streams. The most risk-averse method of financing this film was through foreign sales: China contributed $40 million, Lionsgate $15 million, and Germany $15 million or more; in total, about 65 percent of the $146 million budget was covered by shooting tax credits from Montreal (which, by the way, is why Moonfall isn’t being released in Canada this week due to Omicron).
Moonfall was sold in the United States by AGC Studios, which handled overseas sales on Emmerich’s Midway, and CAA Media Finance.
Those who bought into Moonfall will almost certainly see a hit to their P&Ls; Lionsgate is owed $35 million in P&A (iSpot estimates Lionsgate spent $12.2 million in TV ads compared to Paramount’s $5.2 million for Jackass Forever and Disney’s current $12.1 million for Death on the Nile, which opens this Friday).
That isn’t to say Lionsgate abandoned the film; they undoubtedly supported the sequels from their Midway director. They can’t, however, scream profit here with some wacky slide rule. To imply Moonfall is profitable is a slap in the face to the exhibitors who are currently staring at empty seats. According to EntTelligence, Jackass Forever had 2 million admissions compared to Moonfall’s 800,000.
Some will argue that Moonfall’s failure was due to its skewing toward an older demographic, with 75% of the audience over 25, and 31% over 45, yet there’s enough VFX here to appeal to an 18-34 population. They can smell a poor movie from a mile away, and in the TikTok age, bad news spreads like wildfire.
Saturday Update: This weekend, a $10 million film based on a 22-year-old reality TV show is decimating a $146 million production based on a tired catastrophe movie genre. More specifically, Paramount’s Jackass Forever is on its way to a $20.7 million weekend triumph, well ahead of Lionsgate/Centropolis’ Roland Emmerich film Moonfall, which is currently at $9.1 million.
Such contrasts are what keep the movie industry, and the box office, so fascinating. Both of these films appear to be ideal candidates for streaming or the theatrical day-and-date approach. Viacom While we already knew pre-pandemic that disaster movies about falling NYC edifices and deteriorating West Coast shorelines weren’t performing (hello, Geostorm’s $71.6M loss after all ancillaries, which bore a comparable pricetag as Moonfall’s), CBS has to rig out their own Paramount+ streaming service.
Despite all of the speculation in the autumn that Paramount was disbanding theatrical as a result of Jim Gianopulos and Brian Robbins’ split, this is certainly not the case. After A Quiet Place Part II and Scream, Jackass Forever is Paramount’s third No. 1 opening film of the pandemic, demonstrating the strength of the brand and the importance of theater for launches.
Let’s talk about an IP that speaks to the TikTok crowd in relation to the success of Jackass Forever. “The pre-social media franchise that provided the extreme sports inspiration for the era of user-generated content in the YouTube, Vine, and now TikTok ecosystems,” according to social media analytics firm. You’re really astute, Paramount.
Furthermore, none of the founders here, neither team Jackass nor Emmerich, had any plans to stay in the United States. There was no way offshore buyers would allow Moonfall, which was largely funded by foreign sales via AGC Studios and CAA Media Finance, as well as China’s Huayi Brothers, to become unwound into a sell-off to streamers, not to mention, as I understand it, they won’t stand for such pandemic shenanigans any longer.
Regardless of Moonfall’s failure in this regard, keep in mind that theatrical is always the better advertisement for home entertainment and aircraft viewing. Remember that Moonfall was approved for a pre-pandemic offshore market (Geostorm made 85 percent of its worldwide $221.6 million outside the US), not a domestic market.
However, the prospects for Moonfall internationally aren’t good due to limited seating and closures in certain areas. The film will be released in China, but due to our country’s strained business relations with the PRC, U.S. products are already hampered there.
Jackass Forever receives a B+ CinemaScore, the same as Jackass 3-D and Jackass Number Two, and slightly below the original 2002 Jackass film, which scored the highest mark in the franchise, an A-. Jackass Forever receives an 86 percent positive and solid 67 percent definite recommend in Screen Engine/Comscore PostTrak exits.
This is in contrast to Moonfall, which has a C+ CinemaScore (worse than Emmerich’s former creative collaborator Dean Devlin’s B- for Geostorm) and a mediocre 66 percent positive and 49 percent recommend on PostTrak.
Jackass Forever was seen by 68 percent of men and 32 percent of women, with nearly 80 percent of those under the age of 35 and 70 percent between the ages of 18 and 34. 53 percent of the population was Caucasian, 31 percent Latino and Hispanic, 6% Black, and 10% Asian/other. In the West, Jackass was a smash hit, with nine of the top ten cinemas and 43 of the top 50 making money. The remaining seven theaters in the top 50 were all located in the Southwest.
With shoutouts to “memories of Jackass over 22 years, Johnny Knoxville’s physical journey — plus many, many call-outs for former side-kick, Bam Margera, who fans miss,” RelishMix noted a mainly good word of mouth for the film on social media, which reached over 145M heading into the weekend. ‘Fail to prepare, prepare to fail,’ goes the battle cry.
The majority of those who saw Moonfall were men (63 percent), with 74 percent over 25, 54 percent over 35, and 31 percent over 45. The demographics were 44 percent Caucasian, 24 percent Latino and Hispanic, 15% Black, and 17% Asian/other. Imax and PLF theaters accounted for about 40% of ticket sales, with the West and South accounting for seven of the top ten and 21 of the top 25 cinemas, respectively.
We’d heard Lionsgate was responsible for $35 million in marketing and advertising for Moonfall, and they spent it everything, notably on social media and web commercials. I couldn’t play a game of Wordscapes for more than two minutes without being interrupted by an ad featuring John Bradley’s bobbing head.
Nonetheless, RelishMix notes that online chatter “run mixed to negative” for the original sci-fi astronaut IP, while “awareness stats ran beneath norms.” Moonfall had 88.9 million social media reach, with 51.1 million YouTube views, and a total of 31 video posts, including Omega and Lexus brand advertisements.
“Fans speculated whether Jackass would overshadow Moonfall,” according to RelishMix, “as they questioned the usage of the Space Shuttle, which has been out of action since 2011, and chatted about speculations that the movie was moving directly to Netflix.
” While the studio released the first five minutes of the opening sequence in mid-December (and also demonstrated it at CinemaCon in August), interest waned. According to RelishMix, Moonfall director Roland Emmerich is being chastised online for “hating Earth.”
With $8.8 million in weekend 8 and a total of $748.1 million by Sunday, Sony is settling for third place with Spider-Man: No Way Home, which is now $12.4 million shies of being the third most grossing film of all time in the United States, surpassing Avatar’s $760.5 million.
The Wolf and the Lion, a family film from Blue Fox Entertainment, has been booked at 1,005 locations in 151 markets, with a projected three-day gross of $529K, up from $165K the day before. Audiences liked the film more than reviewers, with a PostTrak rating of 77 percent positive and 46 percent recommend vs. a Rotten Score of 32 percent.
Guys bought 60% of the tickets, with 89 percent being over 25, 66 percent being over 35, and 46 percent being over 45. 74 percent of the population was Caucasian, 11 percent Latino and Hispanic, 6% Black, and 9% Asian/other. All of their top 10 and 98 of their top 100 runs were from the West, Midwest, and Southwest, respectively.
Even as Omicron eases, the weekend box office remains split, with all titles grossing roughly $55.8 million, up 60% from last weekend’s lack of wide releases and Northeast theater closures due to Winter Storm Kenan. The CDC reported a 38 percent decline in reported Covid cases this week, with a 7-day rolling average of 378k new cases per day. The number of new admissions to hospitals has decreased by 18 percent, to 16.7 thousand per day.
According to box office analytics firm EntTelligence, Jackass Forever’s shorter runtime (96 minutes) helped with more seats and showtimes than Moonfall, which runs for two hours. Jackass Forever received 800,000 admissions on opening day and Thursday night previews, compared to 250,00 for Moonfall. Because of the latter’s premium format availability, Moonfall ticket prices are higher than Jackass Forever, ranging from $13.78 to $12.41.
Estimates for Saturday morning:
1.) Jackass Forever (Par) 3,604 theaters, Fri $9.6M/3-day $20.7M/Wk 1
2.) Moonfall (LG) 3,446 theaters Fri $3.4M/3-day $9.1M/Wk 1
3.) Spider-Man: No Way Home (Sony) 3,600 (-75) theaters, Fri $2.08M (-24%)/3-day $8.8M (-20%)/Total $748.1M/Wk 8
4.) Scream (Par) 3,227 (-360) theaters Fri $1.2M (-42%)/3-day $4.36M (-40%), Total: $68.5M/Wk 4
5.) Sing 2 (Uni/Ill) 3,266 (-184) theaters, Fri $810K (-22%)/3-day $4M (-14%)/Total: $139.4M/Wk 7
6.) The King’s Man (20th/Dis) 1,910 (-505) theaters Fri $305K (-33%)/3-day $1.1M (-33%)/Total $35.7M/Wk 7
7.) Redeeming Love (Uni) 1,797 (-166) theaters, Fri $270K (-53%)/3-day $910K (-49%)/Total: $7.9M/Wk 3
8.) American Underdog (LG) 1,470 (-643) theaters, Fri $214K (-39%)/3-day: $793K (-31%)/Total: $25.9M/Wk 7
9.) The 355 (Uni/FilmNation) 1,710 (-803) theaters, Fri $170K (-55%)/ 3-day $640K (-52%)/Total $14.1M/Wk 5
10.) Licorice Pizza (UAR) 786 (+14) theaters, Fri $167K (-10%)/3-day: $593K (-6%)Total $12.6M/Wk 11
Friday morning Update: From shows that started at 7 p.m. Thursday, Paramount’s Jackass Forever grossed $1.65 million from 2,650 theaters. The other major opening of the weekend, Lionsgate’s Roland Emmerich catastrophe film Moonfall, opened with $700,000 from around 2,300 sites in the United States.
The Jackass take is larger than Jackass Presents Bad Grandpa’s $1.4 million from 10 p.m. showtimes in 2013, and just below Jackass 3D’s $2.5 million midnight preview take. It’s unclear how frontloaded Jackass Forever is; forecasts suggest the film will debut in the mid-teens as the weekend’s No. 1 feature, unseating Spider-Man: No Way Home.
AMC Investor Connect had a showing of Jackass Forever on Tuesday, in addition to the Thursday night previews. Jackass Forever has 74 reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, with an 89 percent fresh rating.
Moonfall, a Centropolis independently financed film, started showing at 6 p.m. yesterday, and had several paid screenings as well as an AMC Investor Connect booking last weekend, considering how the major studios stood on the sidelines with no new releases. It’s worth noting that it won’t be released in Canada this weekend since its local distributor pulled the picture weeks ago during the Omicron outbreak, which shut down theaters in Ontario and Quebec; Ontario has since reopened.
Due to a winter storm, almost 300 movie theaters in the Midwest were shuttered yesterday.
The latest Emmerich-directed film’s projections have been all over the place, ranging from $8 million to more than $13 million, with Thursday’s numbers not looking promising. Moonfall has a 42 percent Rotten rating from critics, yet several important ones, such as Variety, the Los Angeles Times, and Deadline’s Pete Hammond, are fans of the film’s camp.
Moonfall wasn’t as badly received as Geostorm, Emmerich’s old creative collaborator Dean Devlin’s 2017 disaster film, which received a 17 percent Rotten Tomatoes rating. Warner Bros. didn’t even host Thursday night previews for that film, which had a budget of roughly $130 million and bombed at the weekend box office, opening with $13.7 million and ending with $33.7 million. Overseas sales accounted for 85% of Geostorm’s total ticket sales of $221.6 million.
Sony’s Spider-Man: No Way Home topped the box office yesterday with an estimated $715Kin 3,675 locations, bringing its total to $14.4 million and a running total of $739.3 million. The Jon Watts-directed MCU film is only $21.2 million away from surpassing James Cameron’s Avatar, which has grossed $760.5 million domestically.
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