July 27, 2021

DCTRS

Damascus Center for Theoretical and Civil Rights Studies

COVID raging, theaters reclosing as ‘Freaky’ tops box office

Although nearly half of U.S. and Canadian theaters are now open, the domestic box office continues to do middling business as the COVID-19 pandemic rages.

Universal and Blumhouse’s “Freaky,” starring Vince Vaughn as a serial killer who swaps bodies with an introverted teenager (Kathryn Newton), opened with $3.7 million in North America. With $1.9 million in international receipts, it earned a cumulative $5.6 million this weekend, according to estimates from measurement firm Comscore.

The result comes in the midst of nationwide theater reclosures as the pandemic surges into what might be its most deadly stretch. Currently 47.7% of theaters remain open, down from more than 50% in October.

The horror comedy, Blumhouse’s take on the “Freaky Friday” body swap premise, received favorable reviews with a B- CinemaScore, an 85% “fresh” score on Rotten Tomatoes and critical praise for Vaughn’s “career-best” role.

Vince Vaughn as the Butcher in “Freaky.”

(Universal Pictures)

This is the third week in a row that a Universal film has topped the weekend box office.

Universal’s Focus Features had last weekend’s No. 1 spot with “Let Him Go,” which added $1.8 million in its second weekend (a 55% drop) for a cumulative 6.9 million. The studio’s “Come Play” was No. 1 the week before and in its third weekend added $1.1 million for a cumulative $7.3 million.

Lost in the shuffle at No. 14 was last year’s Cannes darling “The Climb,” starring friends Kyle Marvin and Michael Angelo, who co-wrote the film with Covino directing. Sony Pictures Classics was set to release the film in March when the pandemic shut down theaters. The comedy opened this weekend to just $103,572.

Warner Bros.’ “The Witches” added $1.8 million across 22 overseas markets for a global cumulative $13.2 million. The studio’s “Tenet,” now in its 12th week of release, added $1.7 million across 53 markets including North America for a worldwide total of $353.5 million. It was No. 1 for six weeks after its Sept. 4 release and is the only film in this pandemic period with an opening weekend box office above $20 million.