‘Scream VI’ Keeps Box Office Rolling With $44.5 Million Opening

“Creed III” posts solid second weekend while Sony’s “65” struggles

Scream VI
"Scream VI" (Paramount Pictures)

Another high profile sequel has turned in a solid opening weekend at the box office as Paramount/Spyglass’ “Scream VI” has scored a $44.5 million domestic launch this weekend from 3,675 theaters.

The last “Scream” film, which opened to $30 million, kicked off a 2022 that was Paramount’s best box office year since 2011. While that great year ended on a rough note with Damien Chazelle’s “Babylon” flopping, “Scream VI” now has Paramount back on a roll as it hopes to continue that in a few weeks with “Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves,” which gets a premiere at SXSW this week ahead of a release on March 30.

“Scream” first hit theaters back in the 1990s, and it has been Millennial and Gen Z audiences that have driven turnout for “Scream VI,” with 63% of the opening weekend audience being from the 18-35 demo. The presence of Jenna Ortega, who appeared in the last “Scream” and has found new popularity with Netflix’s “Wednesday,” likely played a factor along with the usual success of horror among younger audiences.

Reception for the film has also been strong with a B+ on CinemaScore — same as last year’s “Scream” — to go with Rotten Tomatoes scores of 75% critics and 93% audience. The film also received an 89% positive rating on PostTrak, up from 78% for the last “Scream.”

With a reported budget of $33 million, “Scream VI” will be another profitable mid-budget film for Paramount and, depending on how well it legs out with general audiences, could become one of four $100 million-plus domestic releases this month.

MGM’s “Creed III” will hit that $100 million mark today with $26.7 million grossed in its second weekend, a respectable 55% drop from its $58.3 million opening. MGM now estimates that Michael B. Jordan’s directorial debut will finish with a $150 million domestic total, making it the studio’s highest grossing film outside the James Bond series since “Rocky IV” way back in 1985.

In third is Sony/Columbia’s sci-fi thriller “65,” which is struggling with a $12.3 million opening from 3,405 theaters. While that is ahead of studio projections for a $7-8 million opening, “65” carries a $45 million production budget co-financed by TSG and Bron, and it is unlikely to make that back given its poor reception. The film has a C+ on CinemaScore to go with Rotten Tomatoes scores of 36% critics and 65% audience with a 54% positive rating on PostTrak.

Marvel Studios’ “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” is in fourth with $7 million in its fourth weekend and a domestic total of $198 million. While it will make slightly more in North America than 2018’s “Ant-Man and the Wasp,” “Quantumania” will finish below the $622.6 million global total of that predecessor thanks in large part to severe underperformance in China.

Universal’s “Cocaine Bear” completes the top 5 with $6.2 million in its third weekend for a $51.6 million domestic total and $65.7 million worldwide as the R-rated dark comedy/thriller is now starting to turn a theatrical profit.

In a virtual tie for sixth are Lionsgate/Kingdom’s “Jesus Revolution” in its third weekend and Focus Features’ newcomer “Champions,” each with a reported $5.1 million. “Jesus Revolution,” which now has a domestic total of $39.4 million against a $15 million budget, is now the highest grossing film in the still-fledgling history of Jon and Andrew Erwin’s Kingdom Story Company.

“Champions” is opening consistent with pre-release projections from its release on 3,030 theaters and is skewing older with 61% of audiences over 35 and 21% over the age of 55. While critics were mixed with a 53% Rotten Tomatoes score, reception has been positive with an A on CinemaScore and an 83% positive PostTrak rating.

Finally, 20th Century’s “Avatar: The Way of Water” added $2.7 million in its 13th weekend, bringing it to the threshold of $675 million domestic and $2.3 billion worldwide box office totals. On this Oscar Sunday, “Avatar 2” is the only Best Picture nominee to receive more than $1 million at the box office, with A24’s odds-on favorite “Everything Everywhere All at Once” adding $310,000 this weekend roughly a year after its SXSW premiere.

Since its re-release in theaters following its Best Picture nomination, “Everything Everywhere All at Once” has added $2.9 million to its domestic total, giving it a lifetime cume of $73.7 million domestic and $106.3 million worldwide.