‘Five Nights at Freddy’s’ Sees Sharp Box Office Drop on ‘Dune’-Free Weekend

After the immense riches of Halloween weekend thanks to Universal/Blumhouse’s “Five Nights at Freddy’s,” the box office is suffering a sharp drop as the video game adaptation is leading the charts with just $19.4 million in its second weekend.

That total represents a 76% drop from the Blumhouse record $80 million that “Five Nights” scored last weekend. But that was expected by both Universal and box office observers given the film’s fan-heavy appeal and its day-and-date release on Peacock. That doesn’t change the fact that “Five Nights at Freddy’s” is already a big theatrical win with $217 million grossed worldwide and counting, against a $20 million budget, while setting viewership records on Peacock.

Still, it is a rough weekend for theaters and the box office to kick off the month of November, as overall grosses have plummeted nearly 50% from last weekend to just $65 million, with no major studio releases on the slate.

This was supposed to be the weekend that Warner Bros. released Legendary’s “Dune: Part Two,” the sequel to Denis Villeneuve’s Oscar-winning sci-fi hit which grossed just over $400 million worldwide in 2021. But Warner instead moved its release date to March 2024 due to the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike, hoping that the film’s cast will be back to work and able to promote the film next spring.

SAG-AFTRA and Hollywood studios have been in deep talks trying to hammer out a strike-ending contract deal over much of the past month. Now the talks are at a critical juncture as the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers presented to the actors guild what the studios characterized as their “best, last and final offer,” according to a memo from the SAG-AFTRA negotiating committee to members.

“We are reviewing it and considering our response within the context of the critical issues addressed in our proposals,” the memo read.

Back on the charts, AMC/Variance’s “Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour” is continuing to provide vital holdover support for theaters with $13.7 million in its fourth weekend. With $166 million in North America, the record-breaking concert film has passed the domestic total of sequels like “Creed III” and “Transformers: Rise of the Beasts.”

Paramount/Apple’s “Killers of the Flower Moon” is in third, showing a somewhat better hold in its third weekend with $7 million and a 26% drop, bringing its domestic total to $53.3 million.

A pair of independent newcomers completes the top 5, starting with A24’s “Priscilla,” Sofia Coppola’s biopic about the legendary wife of Elvis Presley. After a platform release in New York and Los Angeles last weekend, A24 expanded the film to 1,359 theaters this weekend and earned $5 million.

Interestingly, while Baz Luhrmann’s biopic “Elvis” tended to skew older during its run last year, “Priscilla” is skewing younger with 75% of moviegoers this weekend under 35, with 65% being female. Reception has been positive with a 93% critics score on Rotten Tomatoes and a 71% positive score from audiences on PostTrak.

Completing the top 5 is Pantelion’s “Radical,” a Spanish-language Mexican film starring Eugenio Derbez as a teacher trying to bring hope to his students in a neglected border town. The film had a targeted release in 419 theaters this weekend and grossed $2.7 million, scoring turnout from Mexican moviegoers in cities like Los Angeles, San Diego and Houston.

Finally, in limited release, Neon’s “Anatomy of a Fall” and Focus Features’ “The Holdovers” each grossed $600,000 this weekend. “Anatomy of a Fall,” the Palme d’Or-winning courtroom drama from Justine Triet, has grossed $1.9 million after four weekends, while “The Holdovers” from Alexander Payne has grossed $878,000 after two weekends as it is set to expand to around 800 theaters next weekend.

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