It appears a cool down from the summer heat and a slow rise towards the winter holidays gave the box office a chance to recoup amidst the pandemic. Despite critics’ blistering words about Halloween Kills (with our review here), the continued success of the domestic (and worldwide) box office has given high optimism for the rest of 2021’s film calendar release dates.
Halloween Kills topped the weekend with an impressive 50.4 million dollars, even when simultaneously distributing on Peacock. Somehow, that same distribution pattern damaged other films such as Space Jam 2 and The Suicide Squad when they were available on HBO Max. The opening weekend also decisively beats Godzilla vs. Kong’s debut in March and dismantles The Last Duel’s hopes of attaining success. Jim Orr from Universal may say, “this genre and franchise lends itself to the theater experience.” Still, others personally may believe it’s due to the month where scares come and go (aka the Halloween experience).
No Time to Die and Venom: Let There Be Carnage took their usual weekend drop hits but still impacted. The former has resonated worldwide and will soon pass Godzilla vs. Kong to become the 2nd highest-grossing film in Hollywood of 2021 (behind F9). Tom Hardy and Venom are nearly past 300 million worldwide and could even reach its predecessor’s domestic turnout. The release in China will be formidable but in no way will push the sequel to the heights of Venom’s whopping 856 million worldwide total. Still, it’s a victory for Sony, considering they took the risk after Shang-Chi’s performance a month earlier.
Speaking of Marvel, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is still holding out finely with over 400 million worldwide and could get a nice bump from Eternals in November. Strong reviews, superb representation of Asian culture, and the MCU branding gave this a “good” turnout (even if it’s not amassing one billion+ like it possibly could’ve before 2020).
Now, these four features in the last two months have provided compelling products for many to step into multiplexes again. And there are few noteworthy titles ready to wrap out 2021.
Dune already has solid reviews and over 100 million worldwide before releasing in the U.S. and China on October 22nd. Eternals is beating out early ticket sales, thanks to a star-studded cast, the MCU branding, and Chloe Zhao at the helm. Many are curious regarding this feature, especially since Kevin Feige claimed they will “redefine the Marvel Cinematic Universe.” Ghostbusters: Afterlife, West Side Story, The Matrix Resurrections, The King’s Man, and Spider-Man: No Way Home will be on folks’ minds during the holiday months.
And given the resurgence of the box office, those titles could start giving pre-pandemic numbers at the box office and set up 2022 with flying colors. The rest of 2021 will attempt to keep up the momentum of what Michael Myers, James Bond, and Marvel have achieved.