Amazon Studio’s “Suspiria” was the highlight of the specialty box office this weekend, the film debuted in two theaters across the country but is scheduled to expand its reach next week. Most of the major studios avoided a release this weekend, expecting “Halloween” to cleanup the box office during what is traditionally a terrible weekend for theaters. As expected, “Halloween” easily won the weekend, bringing in another $32M in the film’s follow-up week, while “A Star is Born” remained at number-two. Still, “Suspiria” was a hit in its two theaters, though next weekend will be even harder for the thriller. If you are looking for gross, “Johnny English Strikes Again” was the winner this week, but “Suspiria” had a much higher average.
Directed by Luca Guadagnino, “Suspiria” follows a world-renowned dance company and the terrors that swallow up its members. Stacked with an all-star cast including Dakota Johnson, Tilda Swinton, Doris Hick, Chloë Grace Moretz, and Mia Goth, the film is hoping to dominate the specialty box office for at least another week. While it wasn’t the highest grossing limited-release this weekend, “Suspiria” did have the highest theater average. The thriller grossed almost $180K at its two locations. The horror-thriller has seen mixed reviews online, with both critics and fans, sitting with a 69% rating with critics on RottenTomatoes and 79% with audiences. For a horror-thriller, those aren’t terrible numbers and they show what could be a promising start for the film’s expansion next weekend. “Suspiria” is jumping from two theaters this weekend to 250 next week but it will have a lot more competition.
Next weekend FOX is releasing the musical-drama “Bohemian Rhapsody” and Disney is releasing “The Nutcracker and the Four Realms,” both films are expected to release in 3,800 locations nationwide. Rounding out the larger releases is Tyler Perry’s “Nobody’s Fool,” with Tiffany Haddish, Tika Sumpter, and Whoopi Goldberg, and that film is expected to release in 2,400 theaters. All three films could easily split the box office, making it difficult for “Suspiria” to take a foothold in a post Halloween marketplace. That’s not all of the competition, next week’s specialty box office has some big releases of its own next weekend. “Beautiful Boy” with Steve Carell, Timothee Chalamet, and Maura Tierney is launching in 350 theaters next week, alongside “Boy Erased” with Russell Crowe, Joel Edgerton, and Nicole Kidman. Those films will also have to battle “A Private War,” a drama with Rosamund Pike, Jamie Dornan, Stanley Tucci, and Tom Hollander.
In her post “Fifty Shades of Grey” role, Dakota Johnson has been sticking with smaller passion projects from popular directors. Recently Johnson starred in the Drew Goddard’s “Bad Times At The El Royale,” which despite starring Chris Hemsworth, Jon Hamm, Jeff Bridges, and Nick Offerman, struggled at the box office. That project brought in $16.5M domestically for FOX earlier this month and has made $27M worldwide. The film is still a little short of the estimated $32M budget but it still has time to make up the difference in theaters, or on the VOD market.
On the lower end of the specialty box office this week was Susan Sarandon’s “Viper Club,” which also starred Matt Bomer and Edie Falco. The film opened in three theaters this weekend but only grossed $14K. The slapstick comedy “Johnny English Strikes Again,” from Universal Pictures, managed to grab $1.6M in theaters this weekend and was the highest grossing limited-release at 544 locations. Even the faith-based film “Indivisible” was able to entice moviegoers over the spooky weekend, earning $1.5M.