Sony/Marvel’s Spider-Man: No Way Home is expected to cede its four-weekend No. 1 run to Paramount and Spyglass Media’s Scream over the four-day MLK holiday, the latter eyeing a take that’s in the $20 million-plus range at 3,661 theaters.
There’s a shot that Scream goes higher, but we’ll leave any lofty predictions in this funky pandemic, Spider-Man-dominated marketplace to what 18th century economist Adam Smith called “the invisible hand.” By previous measurements, the best opening for a pure horror movie over the MLK holiday belongs to Universal’s Andy Muschietti-directed Mama, which collected $32.1M back in 2013 (I would argue that M. Night Shyamalan’s Glass, with a $46.5M start in 2019. was more of a thriller).
In the transition from Paramount studio boss Jim Gianopulos to Brian Robbins, there’s been a lot of chatter out there how the Melrose lot looks to embrace a more streaming future similar to its rivals. The studio already has released two movies in theatrical-day-and-date fashion on its streaming service Paramount+: PAW Patrol and Clifford the Big Red Dog. However, good on Paramount: I understand that Scream — billed a “re-quel” (reboot and sequel) — always was intended to be theatrical (versus day-and-date) given its great reviews (currently at 86% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes) and the potential here for the slasher to be a conduit for communal moviegoing, the fifth title in this genre canon being filled with laughs and scares. It’s been 11 years since Scream 4. The first movie back in 1996 was an anomaly at the year-end box office, opening to a modest $6.3M and mushrooming to $103M domestic and spawning a franchise that racked up $534.3M worldwide though four titles.
The new pic brings together old Scream dramatis personae Sidney (Neve Campbell), Deputy Dewey (David Arquette) and Gale Weathers (Courteney Cox) with a new generation of burgeoning stars including Melissa Barrera, Jenna Ortega, Jack Quaid, Mikey Madison, Mason Gooding and Jasmin Savoy Brown, among others. Scream is directed by Ready or Not filmmakers Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett and written by Guy Busick and James Vanderbilt. The feature was a co-financed production between Par and Spyglass, the latter who absorbed the old Dimension genre library. Previews for Scream start at 7 p.m. Thursday.
The 18-34 crowd is the potent bunch here for Scream. Despite movie theaters being closed in Quebec and Ontario, the movie still will be released in the Great White North and eventually hit cinemas in those shuttered provinces once locations reopen.
Spider-Man: No Way Home easily will topple Avengers: Infinity War to become the fifth-highest grossing movie of all time stateside, besting that 2018 pic’s domestic tally of $678.8M by Friday. The holiday will work in the MCU sequel’s favor for a fifth-weekend ease of 40%-50% ($16M-$19M). The Jon Watts-directed movie stands at $673.6M after a $2.8M Tuesday.
Gkids has booked in 1,300 theaters, Mamoru Hosoda’s Belle. The pic, which starts Imax previews Wednesday in select markets, will play in Japanese and an English dub version with voice work by Chace Crawford, Manny Jacinto, Hunter Schafer and Kylie McNeill. The pic is the director’s first since his Oscar nomination for 2018’s Mirai(which was the first Japanese animated movie not produced by Studio Ghibli to earn such distinction). Belle made its world premiere at Cannes and follows Suzu, a shy high school student living in a rural village. For years, she has only been a shadow of herself. But when she enters “U,” a massive virtual world, she escapes into her online persona as Belle, a globally beloved singer.
Belle counts five Annie Award noms for Best Indie Feature, Direction, Writing, Production Design and FX. The movie stands at 97% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. Mirai, also released by Gkids, wound up making $812K in the U.S. and Canada during its total run.