‘Five Nights at Freddy’s’ Drops 76%, Repeats No. 1



“Five Nights at Freddy’s” collapsed at the box office but still managed to emerge on top. Universal and Blumhouse’s fall sleeper hit has collected $19.4 million in its sophomore outing, resulting in a massive 76% decline from its debut.

Universal and Blumhouse’s spooky video game adaptation, which takes place in a haunted Chuck E. Cheese-esque establishment, has generated a towering $113 million to date. Despite the dramatic drop, “Five Nights at Freddy’s” earned far more than anyone expected with its $80 million opening weekend. So the second-weekend ticket sales are still decent for the $20 million-budgeted film, which landed simultaneously on the streaming service Peacock.

Though Peacock has far fewer subscribers than rivals, like Disney and Netflix, box office analysts suggest the day-and-date digital release is behind the mammoth decline in ticket sales. Even if that’s the case, “Five Nights at Freddy’s” is a massive commercial winner. After 10 days of release, it’s already the highest-grossing horror film of the year, overtaking “The Nun II” ($85 million), “M3GAN” ($95 million) and “Scream VI” ($108 million).

“‘Five Nights at Freddy’s’ is crashing in its second weekend of simultaneous streaming,” says David A. Gross, who runs the movie consulting firm Franchise Entertainment Research. “The two viewing options compete with each other. An exclusive theatrical run generates the greatest total box office and then elevates the film and builds anticipation of the streaming premiere that follows it.”

Otherwise, it’s been a quiet weekend at the box office as two new releases — Meg Ryan’s romantic comedy “What Happens Later” and Neil Burger’s psychological thriller “The Marsh King’s Daughter” — failed to crack the top five. The overall domestic box office generated roughly $59 million over the weekend, one of the lowest-grossing of the year.

“What Happens Later,” which co-stars Ryan and David Duchovny as exes who serendipitously reunite at the airport, debuted in 9th place with a tepid $1.5 million from 1,492 theaters. “The Marsh King’s Daughter,” starring Daisy Ridley as the daughter of a kidnapper who escapes from prison, fared even worse. The Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions film opened at the No. 12 spot with a dismal $820,000 from 1,055 venues.

Without any prominent newcomers, “Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour” remained in second place, collecting $13.7 million in its fourth weekend of release. It has generated $166 million in North America, only strengthening its position as the highest-grossing concert film in domestic box office history. “The Eras Tour” broke that record on opening weekend with $92 million, surpassing the entire domestic run of 2011’s Justin Bieber: Never Say Never” ($72 million).

In third place, Martin Scorsese’s “Killers of the Flower Moon” added $7 million from 3,786 theaters, a minor 25% decline from the prior weekend. Ticket sales for the crime epic, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro, need to keep up this box office staying power to justify its $200 million budget. To date, “Flower Moon” has generated $52 million domestically and $100 million globally after three weeks of release. However, Apple, which backed the big-budget tentpole and hired Paramount to put it in theaters, may not have the same metrics of success compared to traditional Hollywood players. It’s betting that awards season attention and Apple TV+ fodder will help to validate the price tag.

Sofia Coppola’s Priscilla Presley biopic “Priscilla” placed fourth, earning a better-than-expected $5 million as A24 expanded the film to 1,259 theaters. The well-reviewed movie scored in limited release with $132,139 from four screens and has generated $5.3 million to date. “Priscilla,” an awards season hopeful and a very different take from Baz Luhrmann’s 2022 kaleidoscopic biopic “Elvis,” will continue to expand through the fall.

“[Romantic dramas] are not big movies, but when they connect they can go on a run,” Gross says. “That could still happen here.”

Rounding out the top five is Universal’s horror sequel “The Exorcist: Believer,” which added $2 million from 2,420 theaters in its fifth weekend of release. So far, the $30 million-budgeted film has generated $63 million in North America and $123 million globally.


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