‘Freaky’ repeats as winner at quiet US box office with US$1.2m

‘Freaky’, a body-swap horror movie, stars Vince Vaughn and Kathryn Newton. — Picture courtesy of Universal Pictures

LOS ANGELES, Nov 23 — Body-swap horror comedy Freaky repeated as the winner of a seriously subdued US box office with US$1.2 million (RM4.9 million) at 2,057 locations in North America.

The Universal and Blumhouse Productions’ movie stars Vince Vaughn as a serial killer and Kathryn Newton as a low-profile high schooler who inadvertently switch bodies on Friday the 13th. Freaky has taken in US$5.6 million in it first 10 days amid reluctance among many moviegoers to return to multiplexes until a Covid-19 vaccine is available.

Universal noted yesterday that the theatrical box office continues to be impaired due to a notable reduction in the number of theaters in North America, as the domestic theatrical footprint has shrunk to roughly 2,800 open locations from 3,400 last weekend.

The performance of Freaky contrasts sharply with the same weekend a year ago when Disney launched Frozen II with US$130 million and overall North American business totalled US$206 million, according to Comscore.

“With the continuing surge of the virus this fall, another round of lockdowns and curfews are impacting theatres on a regional basis,” said Shawn Robbins, chief analyst at Box Office Pro.

“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.”

The seventh weekend of 101 Studios’ comedy The War With Grandpa finished in a distant second place with US$737,067 at 1,688 sites. The Robert De Niro vehicle has earned US$16.2 million after 45 days in theatres.

Focus Features’ thriller Let Him Go” starring Kevin Costner and Diane Lane, followed in third with US$710,000 at 1,907 locations. The film, set in Montana in the 1960s, has pulled in US$7.9 million in its first 17 days.

Focus’s fourth weekend of the horror movie Come Play came in fourth place with US$510,000 at 1,364 screens. After three weeks in theatres, the film has made US$8 million.

Disney’s re-release of its 1994 holiday comedy-drama The Santa Clause pulled in US$481,000 at 1,581 sites. The Tim Allen vehicle originally generated US$190 million in worldwide box office. —