Martin Scorsese, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Robert De Niro may not have been able to market themselves for the newly released Killers of the Flower Moon. However, it still is a mighty watch and another high point for the collaborators. A wonderfully crafted tale of the sociopathy of the American culture, it earns its name and (rightfully) challenges Nolan’s Oppenheimer for the Oscars race next year. The $23 million debut domestically is Scorsese’s third best, slightly missing out on challenging The Departed ($26.9 million). With $21 million from 63 international territories, it’s his highest since Shutter Island ($41 million). Apple took an ambitious approach in debuting this feature without access to marketing due to the ongoing strikes, and with solid reviews (including an A- from CinemaScore), this should do its job.
Granted, Apple will thrust this one on its streaming service within 45 days to recoup any severe losses, but’s hope it remains leggy enough to carry to the holidays. Remember that Apple is still testing the waters by throwing more releases into theaters, such as Napoleon in November and Argylle in February. While it may not have lit the world on fire, this is another branch of opportunity in an industry that only has five major players (currently).
In other news, The Eras Tour dipped 67% in its second weekend while eeking past Scorsese’s new project to retain gold. It is unsurprising for a $20 million budget concert film that doesn’t open between Mon-Thurs and was produced by Taylor Swift herself. She now has a movie that’s grossed over $140 million worldwide and given AMC a sizeable amount of juice to deter any further talks of bankruptcy (temporarily). This is a worthwhile hit.
The Exorcist: Believer took 3rd place in its third weekend, with $54.2 million in North America and $107 million worldwide. This is good news for a $30 million budgeted horror pic, but the elephant in the room is, how does Universal/Blumhouse justify the $400 million price (to acquire rights) tag for another two follow-ups? PAW Patrol: The Mighty Movie has passed its predecessor with $148 million globally, and the re-release from Disney with The Nightmare Before Christmas nabbed $4.1 million.
Saw X will cross $75 million globally by the end of this sentence (passing Saw XI‘s $68 million gross), The Creator has passed $90 million worldwide on an $80 million budget (a box-office disappointment once its run ends), and The Nun II will end its run around $270 million globally (still another major win for the Conjuring series).
Next weekend sees the release of Five Nights at Freddy’s, Under the Boardwalk, Freelance, Priscilla, and The Holdovers.