Saturday Update: “Krampus” Takes First on Friday

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Thanks to an intriguing premise and strong marketing, Krampus got off to a very solid start on Friday, and may end up with a weekend of over $15M. However, first place will still go to either Mockingjay Part 2 or The Good Dinosaur.

Krampus opened with $6M on Friday, which is one of the better starts for a horror film this year. As far as post-Thanksgiving releases, however, it’s the highest in over a decade. Releasing this weekend rather than Thanksgiving was a brilliant move, as a niche film like this that likely wouldn’t appeal to the same audience as Mockingjay or The Good Dinosaur helped it to get the best possible weekend. Even though it is a traditionally slow weekend, Universal deserves some kind of praise for releasing a niche horror comedy and ending up in first place. The film received a B- Cinemascore, which is fine given its odd nature. That is an above average score for a horror film, but is also solid considering that horror comedies typically get slammed by audiences who don’t fully grasp the concept. The Cabin in the Woods, for example, got a C. Granted, that film was a lot more bizarre and unconventional, but a B- is still a fine score.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 crashed hard as expected, down 74% to $5.6M on its third Friday. That was an expected drop, and is pretty much in line with other big films that opened the weekend before Thanksgiving. It will be between this and The Good Dinosaur for first. However, if this film does take first, than that will make The Good Dinosaur the first Pixar film that never spends a weekend in first place. It would have a hard time taking it next weekend unless In the Heart of the Sea bombs horribly, and even Inside Out was able to take first over its third weekend, ahead of Jurassic World and Terminator Genisys.

Creed had a fairly strong 61% hold on Friday, largely in part due to strong word of mouth. That should give it a weekend of around $15M, and may wind up ahead of Krampus and maybe even The Good Dinosaur for the weekend.

The Good Dinosaur plummeted 78% on Friday. That’s a sharp drop, but not an entirely awful one. Even Frozen with excellent word of mouth fell 75% on its second Friday, but shot up a whopping 124% on Saturday. Typically, after opening weekend, almost any film goes up from its second Friday to second Saturday. Even the most front loaded films in recent memory such as The Purge followed this trend, just not to nearly as high an extent. The Good Dinosaur will probably gross around $13M for the weekend.

In the limited release spectrum, the two new releases were varying shades of disappointment. The high-profile new release had to be Macbeth, but from 5 theaters it averaged just $4.4K, which is a very low gross for such a highly anticipated film. In terms of other films that opened in 4-5 theaters, Steve Jobs averaged nearly ten times that, Sicario made over $22K, and even Trumbo managed to squeak past with $4.5K. Why this film had such a poor opening day is quite the headscratcher, but it likely won’t pan out and become a hit like the Weinstein company expected.

The only other nationwide release is The Letters, which predictably bombed with just $245K from 886 theaters, giving it a terrible $277 per theater average. Thanks to poor reviews and a lack of marketing, this will likely disappear from theaters without much more than $1M or so.

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