FRIDAY AFTERNOON: Illumination is eyeing another 3-day record as a Universal/Nintendo co-production Super Mario Bros. Movie is on its way to a $72M Friday-Sunday, the best second weekend for the animation studio. That’s a 51% ease in 4,371 theaters after a $20M second Friday, -64%. The running total by the end of Sunday will be $332.8M.
Previous best second weekend for Lighting was among Minions which was $49.2M, -57%.
Second place looks like it’s going to Amazon/Artists Equity/Skydance Sports/Mandalay’s Air which is looking for a second Friday of $2.4M, -52% — a good hold on the holiday weekend, and a 3-day $8M+, -44%, and runs to a total of $33.5M at 3,507 locations.
The third is currently a dead heat between Universal’s Renfield and Screen Gems’ Pope’s Exorcist, both north of $3M for Friday and below $8M.
The fifth goes to Lionsgate’s fourth weekend John Wick: Chapter 4 in 3,033 theaters with a $2M Friday, -58%, and a 3-day $7M, -52%, with a Sunday running cume of $159.1M.
FRIDAY AM: Five wide releases hit theaters this weekend, but Illumination and Universal’s The Super Mario Bros. Movie will reign with the second weekend, -60% on $58M. The Plumbers has soared into its stateside total through a nine-day $260M, with $300M+ to see this weekend.
Super Mario Bros grossed $9.4M Thursday at 4,343 locations, -13% from Wednesday’s $10.7M. (Watch the trailer here.)
Two genre films aimed at dudes over 25 battle it out, one funnier than the other, in a faceoff between Universal’s Nicolas Cage vampire comedy Renfield and Sony/Screen Gems’ Exorcist of the Popestarring Russell Crowe.
Renfield made $900K in previews Thursday night at Papa’s Exorcist‘s $850K. Both projected $8M-$10M, but Renfield appears to be at the top of that range. At 62% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes with critics (82% among moviegoers), the pic is booked in 3,300 theaters, meanwhile Papa’s Exorcist is on 3,100 sites, saddled with 48% Rotten (but 86% of audiences).
CONNECTION: ‘Renfield’ Review: Nicholas Hoult Emerges From The Shadow Of Nicolas Cage’s Needy Dracula In Entertaining If Bloody New Takes On Classic
Renfield follows Dracula’s loyal servant, with Nicholas Hoult in the title role. He is forced to take the victim of his master Dracula (Cage) and do all his bidding, no matter how humble. But now, after centuries of servitude, Renfield is ready to see if there is life outside the shadow of The Prince of Darkness. If only he could figure out how to end his co-dependency. The film is clearly aimed at fans of 1980s cult monster comedies Transylvania 6-5000. Chris McKay directed. (Watch the trailer here.)
Julius Avery stars Crowe as Gabriele Amorth, the Vatican’s top exorcist, in Pope’s Exorcist, as he investigates the existence of a child and uncovers a conspiracy that the Vatican has tried to keep secret.
CONNECTION: ‘The Pope’s Exorcist’ Review: A Great Russell Crowe Battles Demons In A Movie That Reminisces A 50-Year-Old Horror Classic
Sony handles Crunchyroll’s Makoto Shinkai film Suzume, booked in 2,150 theaters, including Imax and PLF theaters. Thursday night at 2,650 sites, the unique anime original feature grossed $680K in 1,925 theaters (starting at 4 pm), for what would be a $5M opening weekend.
Bleecker Street has a Toni Collette-Monica Bellucci comedy Mafia Mom in 2,002 theaters with an eye on a 3-day single digit.
CONNECTION: ‘Mafia Mamma’ Review: Toni Collette Becomes Reluctant Godmother In Mild Italian Mob Comedy
Briarcliff Entertainment has Sweet water in 1,204 theaters. The picture, directed by Martin Guigui, stars Richard Dreyfuss, Eric Roberts, Cary Elwes and Everett Osborne and follows the story of Hall of Famer, Nat ‘Sweetwater’ Clifton, who makes history as the first African American to sign a contract in the NBA, forever changing how the game of basketball is played.