Ghostbusters: Afterlife fully entered the box office marketplace yesterday and its earnings indicate that it will debut ahead of its initial tracking for the weekend.
Ghostbusters: Afterlife grossed $16.5 million on Friday, a figure that includes the $4.5 million the film made in Thursday night previews, per “Deadline.” This gross is exactly what the film needed and guarantees that the film will exceed its initial tracking of $30-35 million. We’re looking at a potential $40 million+ opening weekend and how it goes depends on how hard families come out for the movie the rest of the weekend.
PLF screens and Imax are driving about 35% of that figure so far and Box Office analytics show that 1.25 million people have already seen the film since its Thursday preview start. Further proof that the film is pretty big with families, a third of the film’s opening day business came after 8:00 PM which means Ghostbusters: Afterlife has been more solid in matinee showings so far.
Ghostbusters: Afterlife has an opening night CinemaScore of “A-” which is higher than the “B+” earned by the 2016 female reboot. That film earned $46 million during its opening weekend and it’s too early to tell if Afterlife will match or exceed that figure but it will be pretty close. The upside for the latest entry is that it carries a $75 million budget versus the $140 million figure of the 2016 film and it’s pretty much a sure thing that Afterlife will continue to play well next weekend as we head into the Thanksgiving holiday.
In other news, Will Smith’s Oscar play, King Richard, got off to a sluggish start with $1.9 million. Before we go too hard on the film, which has stellar reviews at 92% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, it’s also debuting on HBO Max and since the movie caters to an older audience, I bet it’s performing very well on the platform. Think The Many Saints of Newark which had a muted opening weekend but enjoyed a solid debut on HBO Max. It’s possible word of mouth could give this film box office legs, especially over the long holiday, but the movie’s next feat will be giving Will Smith his third Oscar nomination which seems like a sure thing at this point.
What are YOUR thoughts on the Friday box office numbers?