Paramount’s “Smile” is still standing atop the box office charts with a very strong second weekend of $17.6 million, just 22% off its $22.6 million opening. The Parker Finn horror movie has beaten Sony’s “Lyle Lyle Crocodile,” which faces a tough road to profitability, and 20th Century/New Regency’s “Amsterdam,” which is virtually guaranteed to be a bomb.
“Smile” has become the latest original horror film, joining Universal/Blumhouse’s “The Black Phone” and 20th Century’s “Barbarian,” to find low-budget success this year thanks to strong word-of-mouth among horror fans. Against a production budget of $17 million, “Smile” now has a 10-day domestic total of $50 million, creating an intriguing match-up this weekend as the theatrically exclusive film goes up against a franchise horror film, Universal/Blumhouse’s “Halloween Ends,” which has a much higher profile but will also be released day-and-date on NBCUniversal’s Peacock streaming service this Friday.
“Lyle Lyle Crocodile” finished in second with an $11.5 million opening from 4,350 theaters, with Sony estimating a $13.4 million four-day opening when Monday grosses on Indigenous Peoples’ Day is included.
The family film has a $50 million production budget co-financed by Columbia Pictures and TSG Entertainment, so this movie is going to have to have long legs to earn any sort of profit in theaters the way fellow Sony releases “Bullet Train” and “The Woman King” managed. Sony has expressed optimism that “Lyle” can go the distance, as it will be the only family film in theaters until Disney releases “Strange World” in Thanksgiving and has strong audience reception with an A- on CinemaScore.
But there’s probably no hope for David O. Russell’s star-studded “Amsterdam,” which has opened to just $6.5 million against a reported budget of $80 million financed by New Regency. “Amsterdam” had been projected for a $12-15 million opening, but analysts and distributors alike told TheWrap this past week that such figures seemed extremely unlikely given the film’s poor 33% critics score on Rotten Tomatoes.
While such poor reviews doomed “Amsterdam,” adult-skewing films have been struggling at the box office ever since theaters reopened last year, with movies like “Cry Macho,” “King Richard,” “The Last Duel” and “West Side Story” all failing in wide release. Distributors are looking to other, better received mature films like Steven Spielberg’s awards contender “The Fabelmans” as better litmus tests to determine if the genre still has any hope of selling tickets.
September holdovers “The Woman King” and “Don’t Worry Darling” completed the top 5. “The Woman King” added $5.4 million in its fourth weekend as the Sony/eOne release now has a domestic total of $54 million. “Don’t Worry Darling” has earned $3.4 million in its third weekend as it continues to have a frontloaded box office run with a $38 million domestic total and $69 million worldwide.
Finally, Universal’s “Bros” has continued to tank at the box office, earning just $2.1 million in its second weekend as it fell 56% from its already anemic $4.8 million debut, giving Billy Eichner’s gay rom-com a 10-day domestic total of just $9 million against a $22 million budget. The film is seventh on the weekend charts, falling below the re-release of “Avatar” which grossed $2.6 million this weekend and has a re-release total of $23 million domestic and $72 million worldwide.