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Box Office: Beyoncé’s Renaissance Opens with a Meager $21 Million, Godzilla Minus One Takes Third

Remember when it was announced a few months ago that AMC Theaters Distribution was going to release the concert film, Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour, into theaters nationwide on Oct. 13, and any other movie planned for release that day ran for the hills? That did not happen when AMC announced the Dec. 1 release date for Renaissance: A Film by Beyoncé, a similar concert documentary based on a multi-million dollar concert tour by platinum-selling recording artist Beyoncé Knowles.

In fact, the weekend after Thanksgiving tends to be notoriously bad for new movies, which is why it’s regularly been a dumping ground by studios. That’s why it’s somewhat surprising that a number of smaller distributors jumped on that fact to face Renaissance with seemingly less worries than what happened with Swift. Two other relatively new distributors, at least in terms of the United States, benefited greatly from this decision, even as Renaissance failed to deliver nearly as huge an opening as The Eras Tour.

Granted, Renaissance only opened in 2,539 theaters, over 1,200 fewer theaters than Swift’s film, but in some ways, Knowles doesn’t have quite the same social media presence and young audience on the level that Swift does. Renaissance ended up making $5 million in Thursday previews that were rolled into a Friday gross of $11.5 million. The movie is estimated to make $21.8 million over the three-day weekend, which does not show the movie to have much in terms of legs, despite an “A+” CinemaScore from audiences.

$4.6 million of Renaissance‘s domestic opening came from 328 IMAX screens, roughly 21% of its overall opening, and overseas, it added another $6.4 million in 94 territories for a global opening of $27 to 28 million. Not great.

Lionsgate‘s The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes continues to do well, as it dropped to second place with $14.5 million, down 50% from Thanksgiving weekend, but with $121.2 million grossed domestically so far. That’s the only movie released in November that has crossed the $100 million mark in North America.

Japan’s Toho International broke into North American distribution with its giant monster prequel, Godzilla Minus One, which was released into 2,308 theaters after receiving some of the best reviews of the franchise, currently at 98% on Rotten Tomatoes. After previews on Weds. and Thurs. adding up to $2.1 million, it made $4.7 million on Friday (including those previews), which led to an opening weekend take of roughly $11.4 million for third place.

Out of the trio of movies that duked it out over Thanksgiving, DreamWorks Animation‘s Trolls Band Together remained in fourth place with an estimated $7.6 million, bringing its domestic total to $74.8 million

The Trolls sequel remained just ahead of Walt Disney Animation‘s Wish, which dropped to fifth place with $7.4 million, down two notches and 62% from Thanksgiving weekend with $42 million grossed domestically.

Joaquin Phoenix in Napoleon (Apple/Sony)

Ridley Scott‘s Napoleon, starring Joaquin Phoenix, dropped 66% to sixth place with $7.1 million, with $45.7 million racked up domestically since opening just before Thanksgiving. Over the weekend, Napoleon made another $28.6 million overseas for an international total of $91 million and global total of

There are many big distributors of Bollywood films in North America, but Moksha Movies seems to be a fairly new name, as it released its film Animal into 700 theaters on Friday. Starring Ranbir Kapoor of Bollywood’s “first family” Kapoors, with superstar, Anil Kapoor (Slumdog Millionaire), Animal opened in seventh place with $6.5 million or $9,256 per theater, which was an even better per-theater-average than Renaissance.

Angel Studios, another relatively new name on the distribution scene, released the faith-based sci-fi thriller The Shift, starring Neal McDonough, into 2,450 theaters, just short of the widest release for a new movie after Renaissance. It ended up making an estimated $4.4 million this weekend, or $1,778 per theater.

Lionsgate also released Silent Night, the first John Woo-directed English-language action movie in twenty years into 1,870 theaters this weekend. Starring Joel Kinnaman (Suicide Squad, Robocop), the movie premiered hadn’t exactly racked up stellar reviews, and there is that thing I mentioned earlier about the weekend after Thanksgiving being a dumping ground. In fact, it ended up doing much worse than expected, bringing in an estimated $30 million for a per-theater average of $1,604, clearly being hurt by trying to take on Godzilla.

Following the recent announcement of a sequel in the works, Eli Roth‘s Thanksgiving still dropped 63% to tenth place this weekend with $2.6 million and $28.4 million domestic gross so far. That’s actually not so bad when you consider that the movie wouldn’t hold as much interest post-Thanksgiving.

Marvel StudiosThe Marvels took another massive plunge as it lost 870 theaters, leaving it in 2,200 theaters, where it brought in $2.5 million, though being outside the top 10 in less than a month has been unheard of before for a Marvel movie before this. It also has only grossed $80.7 million, which means there’s no guarantee it will even gross $100 million domestically, which is also unheard of for a Marvel Studios release.

A24 expanded the Nicholas Cage absurdist comedy, Dream Scenario, into 1,578 theaters on Friday, where it grossed $1.7 million for 12th place with $3.5 million grossed to date in North America.

That was followed in 13th place with Emerald Fennell‘s Saltburn with $1.6 million, down a negligible 16% from Thanksgiving in 1,566 theaters (with no added theaters from last weekend), only to have Amazon announce on Monday that it would debut on Prime Video in three weeks, just before Christmas (Dec. 22).

A couple limited releases include NEON‘s Eileen, starring Thomasin McKenzie and Anne Hathaway, which made $90,521 in six theaters in New York and L.A. ($15,086 per theater) with expansion plans for this coming Friday.

Sean Price Williams‘ indie The Sweet East was released by Utopia to the IFC Center in New York City where it made $30,000.

This coming Friday, the only new wide release is GKIDS release of Hayao Miyazaki‘s The Boy and the Heron nationwide.

Weekend Box Office

Rank Entry Distributor Revenue Theater Count Total Revenue
1 RENAISSANCE: A FILM BY BEYONCÉ AMC Theatres Distribution $21,801,216 2,539 $21,801,216
2 The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes Lionsgate $14,173,460 3,521 $120,916,868
3 Godzilla Minus One (ゴジラ最新作) Toho International $11,419,975 2,308 $11,419,975
4 Trolls Band Together Universal $7,830,405 3,616 $75,063,460
5 Wish Walt Disney $7,707,150 3,900 $42,251,092
6 Napoleon Sony Pictures $7,276,612 3,500 $45,891,855
7 Animal Moksha Movies $6,479,167 700 $6,479,167
8 The Shift Angel Studios $4,300,165 2,450 $4,300,165
9 Silent Night Lionsgate $3,010,207 1,870 $3,010,207
10 Thanksgiving Sony Pictures $2,621,721 2,506 $28,369,354

Data provided by The Numbers, powered by OpusData

Edward Douglas
Edward Douglas
Edward Douglas has written about movies for print and the internet for over 20 years, specializing in box office analysis, reviews, and interviews. Currently, he writes features for Below the Line and Above the Line, acting as Associate Editor for the former and Interim Editor for the latter.
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