‘IF’ Rises To $34M+, ‘Strangers: Chapter 1’ Strong At Near $12M, ‘Back To Black’ Goes Belly-Up At $2.8M – Sunday Box Office Update

SUNDAY AM, 5:36 AM: Saturdays were good to IF lifting the pic to a now $34M opening after a $13.6M Saturday, up 32% against $10.3M Friday and previews. That means that A CinemaScore word of mouth is working. I’m hearing tracking was over its skis predicting it at $40M, and presales all along indicated it was in the $30M range. The John Krasinski directed/written/produced movie drew 50% general and 50% family, and the reason why IF is a little lighter is because those 50% Rotten Tomatoes scores kept the main audience away. Pic will easily keep families coming to theaters even with Garfield next weekend. Two family movies can share the marketplace.

Comscore/Screen Engine PostTrak audiences gave the pics 84% positive and a 64% definite reommend. Kids under 12 gave it 88% and 49% must see right away. Mom skewing at 56% female with 49% of the audience between 18-34. Diversity demos were 41% Caucasian, 26% Hispanic and Latino, 10% Bklack and 14% Asian. The pic was great in the South Central, Midwest and Mountain regions with the AMC Dine-In Disney (Orlando) leading the way on Friday with $22K. PLFs are driving 22% of the weekend.

More from Deadline

20th Century Studios/Disney’s Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes saw $10.9M Saturday, +60% over Friday for a 3-day of $25.7M, -56% and a cume near $101M. Bravo, Disney.

Lionsgate’s Strangers – Chapter 1 saw $3.9M Saturday, -23% from Friday for what’s shaping up to be an estimated $11.5M opening in 3rd. Still very good and ahead of tracking. PostTrak exits were 50% positive with 55% female skewing and 69% of the audience between 18-34. Diversity demos are 34% Caucasian, a great 38% Latino and Hispanic, 16% Black, 7% Asian & 5% NatAm/Other.  Pic is making its business in East, South, South Central & West with the Santikos Casa Blanca in San Antonio, TX the highest grossing venue in the nation with near $14k.

Back to Black from Focus Features crashing in 5th with 3-day of $2.8M. While international will bail them out on this StudioCanal pick-up, it’s another misfire stateside unfortunately this year for the arthouse exhibitor after Drive Away Dolls, et al.

SATURDAY AM EARLY: IF is looking at $30.5M opening this weekend after a $10M Friday + previews, at 4,041 theaters and while that might scream lower than expected on the surface since it’s below its $40M projections, triple note, it’s a PG-rated live-action film. There’s a reason why they haven’t been greenlit in a while, and let’s not slam Paramount and John Krasinsksi for swinging for the fences on original content. Here’s the upside: with an A CinemaScore, this family movie is bound to leg out and fill a niche in the summer despite 50% Rotten reviews. That’s just what family movies do. Rotten Tomatoes audience score is 85% fresh. At that starting point, IF‘s opening is just north of Ryan Reynold’s Free Guy ($28.3M), a previous piece of original IP for the actor. That PG-13 movie cleared $121.6M back in the late summer/early fall of 2021.

Froy Gutierrez as “Ryan” and Madelaine Petsch as “Maya” in THE STRANGERS Trilogy, a Lionsgate release.
Froy Gutierrez and Madelaine Petsch in ‘The Strangers: Chapter 1’

Meanwhile, coming in ahead of projections substantially is Lionsgate’s reboot, The Strangers – Chapter 1 with $12.3M after a $5M Friday + previews in third. That opening is a step up from the previous installment, 2018’s The Strangers: Prey at Night which debuted to $10.4M from embattled distributor Aviron. Clearly there’s a fan appetite here and good on Lionsgate for overindexing on this $8.5M production. CinemaScore is a C, which is average for a horror movie.

Again, the more big films, the more of a rhythm moviegoing find this summer. 20th Century Studios/Disney’s Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes is seeing a second weekend between $23.5M-$25M in second, a -60% to a -57% decline. War for the Planet of the Apes posted a -63% second weekend with $20.8M, so a good hold here on the Wes Ball directed sequel. On the high end, that gets Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes to $100.4M, Disney’s first century mark grossing title of 2024. At 4,075 theaters, Apes still has the Imax screens versus IF which has PLFs.

Universal’s The Fall Guy at 3,845 theaters is eyeing a $2.25M third Friday for an $8M third weekend, -42%, for a running total of $62.5M. BTW, $8M was the same amount of money that David Leitch’s Bullet Train made in its third weekend. However, Fall Guy in its running cume is falling -9% behind Bullet Train.

Marisa Abela as Amy Winehouse in ‘Back to Black’
Marisa Abela as Amy Winehouse in ‘Back to Black’

And, wow, OMG, Focus Features’ Back to Black isn’t finding any kind of audience at a $3M opening after a $1.25M Friday in 2,010 locations. It’s not like the audiences stateside didn’t like it: It’s getting a B+ CinemaScore and 80% Rotten Tomatoes audience score. This movie, which British critics eviscerated is not getting a fair shake, with bad word of mouth crossing the Atlantic. Back to Black was bullied on social media for myriad reasons: many didn’t like Marisa Abela’s performance and look early on (sorry, shoot me, but she’s sublime in the movie), and that 13 years was too soon to make a biopic about the tragic performer. Also, some have sniped that the whole IP isn’t cross-generational enough ala Elvis and Bohemian Rhapsody to make a dent stateside and that the movie is too British for yanks. UK music critics have taken umbrage with some of the creative licenses that the biopic has pulled off. Pity. It’s a really good movie and the scene where Winehouse meets Jack O’Connell’s Blake for the first time is wonderfully romantic.

FRIDAY AM: John Krasinski’s imaginary friend feature IF made $1.75 million in Thursday night previews that began at 5 p.m. It’s been awhile since we had a live-action PG-rated feature, so comps are tough. The outlook heading into the weekend is $40M. The top opening for an original live-action PG film was Hop at $37.5M in 2011.

Reviews are challenged at 51% Rotten, but there’s a better-than-anticipated audience reaction, I understand. If you need comps, well, the live-action/toon hybrid IF is close to Zootopia‘s $1.7M previews in 2016 and The Boss Baby‘s $1.5M in 2017 — but those were fully animated movies.

Lionsgate’s horror reboot The Strangers: Chapter 1 drew $1.2M from previews that began at 6 p.m. as well. Booked in 2,856 North American locations, tracking shows $7M-$9M for the $8.5M-budgeted movie from Renny Harlin about a young couple (Madelaine Petsch and Froy Gutierrez) whose car breaks down in a spooky town. RT critics are low at 19%.

RELATED: ‘Back To Black’ Trailer: Marisa Abela Is Amy Winehouse In Sam Taylor-Johnson’s Musical Biopic

Focus Features has StudioCanal’s Amy Winehouse biopic Back to Black. The film is expected to open with just $4M-$6M. The R-rated movie starring Marisa Abela as the late Grammy-winning millennial soul singer grossed only $375K in previews from 1,700 theaters. RT critics also harsh at 36%. Focus’ exposure on the movie is limited given that it shelled out $20M for domestic and several foreign rights.

Disney’s Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes ends its first week with $75.3M, not far from the $77.3M first week take of 2017’s War for the Planet of the Apes.

Best of Deadline

Sign up for Deadline's Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.