LOS ANGELES : 'HONEST THIEF' leads cratering US box office : Liam Neeson thriller earns top spot in two weeks.

Liam Neeson's thriller Honest Thief limped to first place at the US box office, debuting at US$ 3.7 million. Those ticket sales, amongst the lowest ever to land at number one, came in slightly ahead of Christopher Nolan's Tenet and Robert De Niro's family comedy War with Grandpa.

Tenet, now in its seventh week of release, grossed 1.6 million, bringing its US haul to $50.6 million.  The sci-fi epic continues to fare better overseas. It generated $5 million at the international box office for a global haul of $333.9 million.

Overall, it was another quiet weekend as theaters that reopened have resorted to reducing hours of operations or closing down again due to low attendance. Apprehension among film goers, coupled with lack of new blockbusters, is to blame for lack of sales.

Theater owners argue that it's not fear keeping people from going to the films, it's the death of fresh product. But Hollywood companies have been reluctant to unveil their biggest films because cinemas in major markets like New York and Los Angeles, which account for bulk of ticket sales for any given film, aren't open.

A potential bright spot : New York governor Andrew Cuomo, on Saturday, gave film-theaters outside of the city permission to reopen at at reduced capacity starting on October 23. It remains to be seen whether the news will encourage studios to start unveiling major films.

In the meantime, specialty studios such as 101 Studios and IFC films have been supplying exhibitors with new indie dramas and comedies. War and Grandpa collected $2.5 million from 2,260 locations in its second weekend of release, boosting domestic receipts to $7.2 million.

Disney, meanwhile, continues to find modest success with re-release of past favourites. Tim Burton's  1993 holiday classic The Nightmare before Christmas brought in $2.3 million between Friday and Sunday. Hocus Pocus, another three-decade old hit, stirred up $765, 000 over the weekend.

Romantic drama 2 Hearts, starring Jacob Elondi of The Rising Booth fame, pulled in $565,000 from 1,683 screens.

Box Office analysts suggest that YA skewing films, the kind that regularly populate Netflix queues, haven't been a huge theatrical draw during the pandemic.

''Based on at least three youth-oriented films released during the last month and a half, teens and young adults do not appear ready to return to the films,'' said David A Cross, who runs the film consulting Franchise Entertainment research.

Among specialty releases, IFC Films' comedic drama Shithouse opened in 28 theaters across the country and scraped together $6, 750 [$241 per location]. The well reviewed film launched simultaneously this weekend on premium video-on-demand platforms., when the studio said it landed on the iTunes top 15 charts among independent offerings.

Shithouse, the directorial debut of Cooper Raiff, premiered this year at SXSW and won the Grand Jury Prize. [Reuters]


Post a Comment

Grace A Comment!