North American box office | New films are weak, "Civil War" successfully defended the box office weekly champion

    In the North American film market last week, the previous week's box office champion "Civil War" was challenged by many films, but it finally successfully defended its title and continued to hold the top spot with a second weekend box office of 11.12 million US dollars. However, to be fair, a score of just over 10 million US dollars can take the first place in the weekend box office chart, which only shows that the entire North American film market is still not popular enough. And the several new films that started to be released on Friday also have problems of one kind or another.

    Stills from Civil War

    Among the new films, the best performance was the horror film Abigail produced by Universal Pictures. The film is a re-interpretation of the story of the vampire Dracula, telling the story of a group of kidnappers who were blind and took Dracula's daughter hostage by mistake. Not only did they fail to get the ransom, but they became the target of hunting.

    Stills from Bloodthirsty Ballet

    Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Taylor Gillette directed "Blood Ballet" and Chad Villalia produced it. The three of them also have a group name called "Radio Silence". They started shooting online shorts together more than ten years ago. At that time, they mainly shot funny shorts. On YouTube, which was still a new thing, they were the first generation of Internet celebrities.

    In 2011, Brad Miska, the owner of Bloody Disgusting, a website specializing in horror films, invited the trio to participate in the filming of V/H/S, which he produced. The segment titled 10/31/98, written, directed and performed by the three of them, was particularly well received by the audience, and also made the Hollywood industry begin to pay attention to these three young people.

    Two years later, they were recruited by a big studio and directed the horror film "Due Due Date" for 20th Century Fox, but the reviews were mediocre. Fortunately, the film was shot at a low cost of only $7 million, so the $37 million box office after the global screening was acceptable to the investors.

    The trio participated in the filming of the compilation film "Dear Friend" in 2016, but it was not until the release of "Ready or Not" in 2019 that mainstream audiences began to become familiar with their names. The film took nearly 60 million US dollars at the global box office with a cost of 6 million US dollars, which is a model of low-cost films that are ten times the cost. It also made Spyglass Media Group, which bought the filming rights of "Scream" from Miramax, finally decide that the trio would take over the director Wes Craven who died in 2015 and direct the fifth film in the series to restart this money-making project. The sequel created by the trio did achieve good box office results.

    In recent years, Universal Pictures, which holds well-known horror film IPs such as vampires, the mummy, the wolf man, the invisible man and Frankenstein, has always wanted to make good use of these classic images to create a new generation of monster universe. However, after the box office failure of the new version of "The Mummy" in 2017, this plan was aborted halfway. Since then, Universal has abandoned the original idea of creating the so-called universe and launched "The Invisible Man" and "Rainfield" respectively. As a result, the former was a great success and the latter was criticized. This time, "Blood Ballet" was released in 3,384 theaters and earned $10.2 million in the opening box office, ranking second on the weekend box office list.

    In the past few years, the tastes of American audiences have become more and more discerning and unpredictable. At a time when superhero blockbusters that used to be popular are no longer popular, horror and thriller films that are popular among young audiences seem to have become a panacea for the box office. However, as the saying goes, flowers do not last forever, no matter how popular they are, they cannot resist the rush of mass production by various film companies. Even Neon Pictures and IFC Films, which used to specialize in niche art films, have now begun to dabble in horror films.

    You know, in the past two months, including "Ballet of Blood", there have been seven horror films that have been released on a large scale. For example, "The Omen" produced by 20th Century Fox ranked tenth on the weekend box office list, but only earned $1.7 million in three days. The film has been released for three weekends, but the total North American box office has only accumulated $17.76 million, which has not yet equaled its $30 million production cost. The production cost of Universal Pictures' "Ballet of Blood" is said to be $28 million, and the pressure is not much less than that of "The Omen".

    Another new film released last Friday was The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare, directed by Guy Ritchie and starring Henry Cavill and Eiza González. The film cost $60 million to produce independently, and the North American distribution rights were purchased by Lionsgate. It was released in 2,845 theaters over the weekend and eventually earned $9 million in the opening box office, ranking fourth on the weekend box office list.

    Poster of "Top Secret War"

    "The Secret Service" is adapted from the best-selling book of the same name by British historian Damian Lewis. It tells the story of a secret force directly led by Churchill during World War II, who relied on various unconventional and completely "ungentlemanly" combat methods to defeat the Nazi conspiracy and then reverse the course of the war. At present, it has a freshness rating of 73% on the film review website "Rotten Tomatoes", and the popcorn index is as high as 94%.

    The Japanese animated film "Spy Play" imported by Sony Pictures earned $4.87 million in 2018 theaters over the weekend, ranking fifth. The combined opening box office of the three new films "Blood Ballet", "Secret War" and "Spy Play" is only $25 million, less than the $25.71 million opening box office of "Civil War" the previous weekend. This inevitably makes people scratch their heads and ask: Where did the American audience go?

    This weekend's North American box office total is less than $66 million, which means that in the 16 weekends so far in 2024, the total box office has been less than $70 million for 5 weekends. In contrast, in the first 16 weekends of 2019, no weekend's total box office was less than $70 million. In the same weekend last year, the North American box office totaled $127 million, about twice the same period this year. So far, the North American box office in 2024 has fallen 19% year-on-year.


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