Sunday Update: Refresh for chart and more analysis In a fight between a 22 year old reality brand and a over-the-hill disaster genre at the box office, Paramount’s Jackass Forever wins, punking its mid-teen pre-weekend estimates for a $23.5M opening to Lionsgate’s Moonfall which fell to Earth with $10M.
To its benefit, the Jackass brand was never beaten as hard over the course of its 22 years like the disaster movie genre has been at the box office. That’s a virtue here in its weekend win. At the same time, it’s a movie in its stunt satire which plays to the heart of the TikTok generation. Amazing to note that the over 35 crowd repped 25% of business while 67% were 18-34. Translation: the Jackass brand got younger, and that’s a winning hand for any studio savoring franchises.
Not to mention, Jackass Forever is the first pure comedy in a long time at the box office.
“When was the last time you grabbed your friends and had a great time. That was the whole thrust of what Johnny Knoxville and team wanted to do in making this movie, and working with us on the marketing after everything the world has been through,” says Paramount Domestic Distribution Chief Chris Aronson.
The Jeff Tremaine-directed movie over-indexed in the West and Midwest and was at norm in the Northeast and South Central, while under-indexing in the Southeast. Top markets that over-performed included LA, Phoenix, Sacramento, Denver, San Diego, Las Vegas, Portland OR, Fresno, Albuquerque, El Paso, Pittsburgh, and Milwaukee. Top grossing theaters hailed from LA (9 out of the top 10, 18 of the top 20, and 27 out of the top 40 theaters), Albuquerque, El Paso, Phoenix, Pharr TX, Denver, San Diego, Sacramento, Oklahoma City, Salt Lake City, Fresno, and San Antonio.
Paramount marked this movie straight to the bro-sports crowd with the Jackass cast showing up at UFC 270: Ngannou vs. Gane in Anaheim and constant promotions throughout the match and at the stadium. Knoxville also put time in at WWE Royal Rumble. Steve-O also had his Bucket List tour.
Says RelishMix about Paramount’s promotion for Jackass Forever to over 145M on social media, “Johnny Knoxville has focused his social activity on his 3.6M Instagram and paused his Facebook of 5.3M and Twitter of 1.6M. WWE cross-promo events are popping engagement very well as Steve-O leads the charge with 20.1M total fans along with Chris Pontius at 2.3M and Dave England at 667K for a total of 36.5M activated and un-activated.”
Jackass Forever‘s TV campaign per iSpot aired on such networks as CBS, ESPN, Comedy Central, MTV and FXX across such shows as NFL, The Office re-runs, SportsCenter, NBA games and Family Guy.
With cinemas just re-opening in the province of Ontario and Quebec scheduled to re-open on Monday, Canada repped a solid 4.5% market share on 6% of total locations for Jackass Forever. Overall, Canada’s market share was 2.35% for the movie.
While the Roland Emmerich-type of disaster movies were already a tired genre before the pandemic, it’s important to remember that this massive $140M+ package came together in pre-pandemic times, and was strictly built for foreign audiences. For all the talk of cinema capacity restrictions and territory closures, moviegoers abroad have shown to come back with a movie like Spider-Man: No Way Home which has vacuumed up $1.03 billion abroad (and that’s without China), however, movie which hit Brazil, Russia and a handful of territories this weekend remains to be seen.
After a big budget disaster like Universal/Film Nation’s The 355 (currently around $24M WW) which cost $75M, is Moonfall more poison for the foreign sales ecosystem, which is continually challenged by streamers’ aggressive feature acquisitions? The answer, many sources tell me, is simply ‘No’. First, we live in a world where there is a desperate need for product around the world, not just in streaming.
And even though Moonfall didn’t deliver at the box office, exhibitors were anxious for new product especially after two weekends without any new major studio wide release titles. EntTelligence reports that there were 800K admissions to Moonfall to Jackass Forever‘s 2M.
In Korea, for example, there are four major theatrical distributors, three large theater chains, four big cable/pay television companies, three major TV networks, and three large streaming services: all require content and compete for the same from the US major studios. This results in multiyear output deals at premium prices. Similarly, the demand for product will continue to rise under the combined forces of increased access to multiplexes, the spread of internet through mobile networks, increased demand from more numerous content providers and the emergence of middle classes across the globe.
As one foreign sales insider told me “foreign buyers can’t help themselves, they’ll always gamble on themselves.” Meaning, if they don’t buy into a big-budget project like Moonfall as they hit the marketplace, they’ll never see any potential for upside. The smart ones are keen not to go all in, rather grab what they can in a slate of films.
In the wake of Geostorm tanking in 2017 and reaping a $72M loss, few, if any major studio would go all in on a disaster movie like Moonfall, not to mention the astronaut subgenre has been beaten to death with Gravity, Ad Astra, The Martian, and First Man. In addition, Emmerich built it for movie theaters, not for streamers. The most risk averse means for making this movie was through foreign sales: China kicked in $40M, Lionsgate was on the hook for around $15M we’re told on good authority, Germany around $15M+; in total about 65% of the pic’s $146M budget, with shooting tax credits from Montreal kicked in (which by the way, Canada isn’t seeing Moonfall this week as the local distributor there pulled the movie due to Omicron). AGC Studios, which handled foreign sales on Emmerich’s Midway, and CAA Media Finance handled sales here on Moonfall.
Surely, all those buyers who bought into Moonfall will see some sort of hit to their P&Ls; Lionsgate is on the hook for $35M P&A (iSpot measures that Lionsgate spent $12.2M in TV ads to Paramount’s $5.2M for Jackass Forever and Disney’s current $12.1M spend for Death on the Nile which opens this Friday). It’s not to say that Lionsgate abandoned the movie, they surely supported the second films from their Midway filmmaker. However, they can’t scream profit here through some wonky slide rule.
Imax auditoriums drew $1.4M of Moonfall‘s weekend with another $900K overseas. Imax and PLF accounted together for 36% of the gross.
Some will say that Moonfall‘s misfire was on account to skewing toward an older audience with 75% over 25, and 31% over 45 years old, however, there’s enough VFX here to appeal to an 18-34 crowd. They can just sniff a bad movie, and in the TikTok age, bad word spreads like wildfire.
Saturday Update: A $10M movie based on a 22 year old reality TV series is decimating a $146M production based on a fatigued disaster movie genre this weekend. More to the point, Paramount’s Jackass Forever is rallying to a $20.7M No. 1 weekend win, well ahead of Lionsgate/Centropolis’ Roland Emmerich movie Moonfall which is earthbound at $9.1M.
Such disparities is what make the movie business, and box office, endlessly intriguing. One would think both of these movies would be prime for streaming, or the theatrical day-and-date model. ViacomCBS needs to trick out their own Paramount+ streaming service, while we already knew pre-pandemic that disaster movies about falling NYC edifices and eroding West Coast shorelines weren’t working pre-pandemic (Hello, Geostorm‘s $71.6M loss after all ancillaries, which carried a similar pricetag as Moonfall‘s).
However, despite all the noise back in the fall that Paramount was disbanding theatrical in the switch off between studio bosses Jim Gianopulos and Brian Robbins, that is clearly not the case. Paramount at this point knows the power of brand, and how theatrical is essential for launches, Jackass Forever repping their third No. 1 opening film of the pandemic after A Quiet Place Part II and Scream.
In regards to the success of Jackass Forever, let’s talk about an IP that speaks to the TikTok mob. Social media analytics corp calls Jackass Forever “the pre-social media franchise which was the extreme sports inspiration for the era of user-generated content in the YouTube, Vine and now TikTok ecosystems.” Smart on you, Paramount.
Furthermore, none of the creators here had in-home intentions, not team Jackass or Emmerich. Specifically in regards to Moonfall, which was funded largely by foreign sales via AGC Studios and CAA Media Finance, as well as China’s Huayi Brothers, there was no way offshore buyers were going to allow that movie to become unwound into a sell-off to streamers, not to mention, as I understand, they won’t stand for such pandemic shenanigans any more.
Despite Moonfall‘s misfire here, realize that theatrical is always the bigger advertisement for home entertainment and airplane-viewing. Realize as well, that Moonfall was greenlit for a pre-pandemic offshore marketplace (Geostorm made 85% of its global $221.6M abroad), not stateside. However, because of restricted seating and closures in certain territories, the outlook for Moonfall overseas isn’t promising. The movie will get a China release date, however, U.S. product is already hobbled over there due to our country’s broken business relations with the PRC.
Jackass Forever gets a B+ CinemaScore, which is the same grade as Jackass 3-D and Jackass Number Two, and just under the original 2002 Jackass movie which received the franchise’s best grade, an A-. In Screen Engine/Comscore PostTrak exits, Jackass Forever gets an 86% positive and solid 67% definite recommend. This next to Moonfall which runs out of oxygen with a C+ CinemaScore (lower than the B- earned by Emmerich’s former creative partner Dean Devlin’s Geostorm), and a lowly 66% positive on PostTrak and 49% recommend.
Jackass Forever played to 68% men, 32% women with close to 80% under 35, and 70% falling between 18-34 year olds. Diversity demos were 53% Caucasian, 31% Latino and Hispanic, 6% Black and 10% Asian/other. Jackass was thunderous in the West where nine out of the top ten theaters and 43 out of the top 50 made moolah. The seven other theaters in the top 50 were from the Southwest.
RelishMix observed a largely positive word of mouth for the movie on social media which reached over 145M heading into the weekend with shoutouts to “memories of Jackass over 22 years, Johnny Knoxville’s physical journey — plus many, many call-outs for former side-kick, Bam Margera, who fans miss. The battle cry echoes, ‘Fail to prepare, prepare to fail’”.
Those seeing Moonfall were mostly guys at 63%, with 74% over 25, 54% over 35, and 31% over 45. The diversity mix was 44% Caucasian, 24% Latino and Hispanic, 15% Black, & 17% Asian/other. Imax and PLFs drove close to 40% of the ticket sales with the West and the South accounting for the pic’s till where seven out of the top ten and 21 of the top 25 theaters came from.
We had heard that Lionsgate was on the hook for $35M in P&A for Moonfall, and spend they did, especially on social media and online ads. I couldn’t play a straight game of Wordscapes without being interrupted by an ad with John Bradley’s bobbing head every two minutes. Still, RelishMix observes that online chatter “ran mixed to negative” while “awareness stats ran under norms” for the original sci-fi astronaut IP. Moonfall had a social media reach of 88.9M with view counts of 51.1M on YouTube, with an overall 31 video posts including Omega and Lexus brand spots.
Social media surfers “questioned the use of the Space Shuttle which has been out of commission since 2011, and chatted about rumors that the movie was heading straight to Netflix while fans speculated whether Jackass will overshadow Moonfall,” says RelishMix. While the studio dropped the first-five minute opening sequence in mid-December (and also showed that off at CinemaCon back in August) traction ran thin. Moonfall director Roland Emmerich is drawing flack online, says RelishMix for “‘hating Earth’”.
Sony is settling for third place with Spider-Man: No Way Home in weekend 8 with $8.8M and a $748.1M total by Sunday, now $12.4M away from becoming the third highest grossing movie of all-time stateside, and beating Avatar‘s $760.5M.
Blue Fox Entertainment has the family movie The Wolf and the Lion booked at 1,005 locations in 151 markets which is looking at an estimated 3-day of $529K after a $165K yesterday. Audiences enjoyed the movie better than critics with a 77% positive on PostTrak and 46% recommend vs. a 32% Rotten Score. Guys bought tickets at 60% with 89% over 25, 66% over 35, and 46% over 45 years old. Diversity demos were 74% Caucasian, 11% Latino and Hispanic, 6% Black and 9% Asian/other. The feature played best in the West, Midwest, & Southwest where all of their top 10 and 98 of their top 100 runs came from.
There still isn’t a middle at the weekend box office even as Omicron eases with all titles making around $55.8M, +60% from last weekend’s lack of wide entries and Winter Storm Kenan shuttering Northeast cinemas. Reported Covid cases dropped 38% this week with the CDC reporting the 7-day rolling average at 378k new cases per day. Hospitalizations declined 18% to 16.7k new admissions a day.
Box office analytics firm EntTelligence reports that Jackass Forever‘s shorter run-time (96 minutes) assisted with more seats and more showtimes whereas Moonfall clocks at two hours. In regards to opening day and Thursday night previews, Jackass Forever saw 800K admission versus Moonfall‘s 250K. Moonfall ticket prices are running higher than Jackass Forever, $13.78 to $12.41 because of the former’s premium format availability.
Saturday morning estimates:
1.) Jackass Forever (Par) 3,604 theaters, Fri $9.6M/3-day $20.7M/Wk 1
2.) Moonfall (LG) 3,446 theaters Fri $3.4M/3-day $9.1M/Wk 1
3.) Spider-Man: No Way Home (Sony) 3,600 (-75) theaters, Fri $2.08M (-24%)/3-day $8.8M (-20%)/Total $748.1M/Wk 8
4.) Scream (Par) 3,227 (-360) theaters Fri $1.2M (-42%)/3-day $4.36M (-40%), Total: $68.5M/Wk 4
5.) Sing 2 (Uni/Ill) 3,266 (-184) theaters, Fri $810K (-22%)/3-day $4M (-14%)/Total: $139.4M/Wk 7
6.) The King’s Man (20th/Dis) 1,910 (-505) theaters Fri $305K (-33%)/3-day $1.1M (-33%)/Total $35.7M/Wk 7
7.) Redeeming Love (Uni) 1,797 (-166) theaters, Fri $270K (-53%)/3-day $910K (-49%)/Total: $7.9M/Wk 3
8.) American Underdog (LG) 1,470 (-643) theaters, Fri $214K (-39%)/3-day: $793K (-31%)/Total: $25.9M/Wk 7
9.) The 355 (Uni/FilmNation) 1,710 (-803) theaters, Fri $170K (-55%)/ 3-day $640K (-52%)/Total $14.1M/Wk 5
10.) Licorice Pizza (UAR) 786 (+14) theaters, Fri $167K (-10%)/3-day: $593K (-6%)Total $12.6M/Wk 11
Friday AM Update: Paramount’s Jackass Forever counted $1.65M from 2,650 theaters from shows that began at 7 p.m. Thursday. The domestic box office weekend’s other wide opener, Lionsgate’s Roland Emmerich disaster epic Moonfall, started with $700,000 from about 2,300 locations.
The Jackass take is higher than Jackass Presents Bad Grandpa which did $1.4M from 10PM showtimes in 2013, and just under the $2.5M midnight preview take of Jackass 3D. It remains to be seen how frontloaded Jackass Forever is; projections see the film with a mid-teens No. 1 take this weekend, unseating Spider-Man: No Way Home. In addition to Thursday night previews, Jackass Forever had an AMC Investor Connect screening on Tuesday. With 74 reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, critics love Jackass Forever at 89% fresh.
As for Moonfall, the Centropolis independently financed movie began showtimes at 6 p.m. yesterday, and had some paid previews last weekend in addition to an AMC Investor Connect booking as well given how the major studios sat on the sidelines last weekend with no new titles. Note that it is not receiving a release in Canada this weekend as its local distributor pulled the film weeks ago during the Omicron surge that closed theaters in Ontario and Quebec; Ontario recently reopened.
Overall, round 300 movie theaters were closed yesterday in the Midwest due a winter storm.
Projections have been wild for the latest Emmerich-directed title, swinging from $8M to north of $13M,with Thursday’s numbers not boding well. Critics are sour on Moonfall at 42% Rotten, though there are some notable ones which are enjoying the pic’s camp such as Variety, Los Angeles Times and Deadline‘s Pete Hammond.
Moonfall wasn’t dinged as much as Geostorm, the 2017 disaster movie from Emmerich’s former creative partner Dean Devlin, which suffered a 17% Rotten rating. Warner Bros didn’t even hold Thursday night previews for that movie, which had a budget around $130M+ and tanked at the weekend box office with a $13.7M start, finaling at $33.7M. Eighty-five percent of Geostorm‘s $221.6M worldwide ticket sales came from overseas.
Among regular movies, Sony’s Spider-Man: No Way Home led yesterday with an estimated $715K at 3,675 theaters, ending its seventh week with $14.4M and a running total of $739.3M. The Jon Watts-directed MCU title is $21.2M away from beating James Cameron’s Avatar, which is the third highest-grossing movie at the domestic box office with $760.5M.
We’ll have more updates for you as they come.