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The U.S. box office continues to remain in a lull amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Universal's Freaky (a body-swapping horror-comedy) took the No. spot for the second weekend in a row with an added $1.2 million in domestic ticket sales, Variety confirmed Sunday morning.
The feature — written and helmed by Happy Death Day veteran Christopher Landon — has made $5.6 million in its first 10 days. Since the project only cost the studio around $6 million to produce, it doesn't have much to go until it breaks even. That said, the drop from $5.6 million in Freaky's opening weekend to $1.2 million in its sophomore outing is worrisome, especially for theater chains struggling to draw in audiences during the health crisis. Since last weekend, nearly 1,000 theaters have closed their doors in response to growing coronavirus cases and state-imposed restrictions.
"With the continuing surge of the virus this fall, another round of lockdowns and curfews are impacting theaters on a regional basis,” Shawn Robbins, chief analyst at Box Office Pro, explained to Variety. "Business is down sharply from last weekend as a result of temporary closures, even for films that had proven to hold quite well over the past few months. While the encouraging news of vaccines on the horizon remains a light at the end of the tunnel for the industry, this weekend’s dip at the box office is an expected reminder of the endurance that will be required to push through a very challenging holiday and winter season."
Internationally, Freaky has brought in almost $2 million, bumping the movie's global haul to $7.4 million, according to Box Office Mojo.
Now in its fourth frame, Come Play (a co-production between Focus Features and Amblin Partners) took in $510,000 from 1,364 venues. Over the last month, the techno-horror release has made $8 million in North America and nearly $2 million in foreign markets for a global tally of almost $10 million.
Having found relative success with old properties amid the pandemic slump, Disney re-released 1994's The Santa Clause in honor of the holiday season. The yuletide comedy, which sees Tim Allen reluctantly taking on the job of St. Nick, made $481,000 this weekend from 1,581 locations. Originally, the movie brought in $190 million globally. It was enough to spawn a pair of sequels that were released in 2002 and 2006 respectively.
This coming Wednesday (Nov. 25) will see the theatrical release of DreamWorks' Animation's The Croods: A New Age. "I hope everybody gets to see this movie, whether it’s in the theater or at home," director Joel Crawford recently told SYFY WIRE. "However they can see it because like I mentioned, we’ve really tried to infuse joy and laughter into this movie and I think it’s something we could use today."
Next month, Warner Bros. is set to release Wonder Woman 1984 in theaters, while also giving it a simultaneous rollout on HBO Max. It'll be interesting to see how the DC blockbuster does at the box office after being delayed several times over the last eight months. How many will see it on the big screen and how many will opt to watch it at home? The long-awaited sequel is going to be available for subscribers at no extra charge for one month.
(Universal Pictures, DreamWorks Animation, and SYFY WIRE are all owned by NBCUniversal)