Why a $16 Million Opening for ‘Downton Abbey 2’ Is a Relief for Theaters

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Compared to the past year, “Downton Abbey: A New Era” has done a better job bringing in senior audiences.

Focus Features

A sequel earning a $16 million opening weekend that’s half of what its predecessor made wouldn’t seem like a big deal, but that result for Focus Features’ “Downton Abbey: A New Era” is actually a sign of progress for arthouse theaters.

At a time when few films appealing specifically to women and even fewer for older audiences have done well at the box office, projections for the second “Downton Abbey” film never came close to the $31 million that the first film opened to in 2019. With a higher budget of $40 million thanks to on-location shooting in France, “A New Era” will also be less profitable though it has already grossed $51 million globally.