As if 2020 wasn’t already weird enough, the family comedy The War with Grandpa, starring Robert De Niro and directed by Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties filmmaker Tim Hill, has dethroned Christopher Nolan‘s sci-fi action blockbuster Tenet from the top spot on the box office charts. All it took was $3.6 million to knock Tenet out of the number one spot, which it held for six weekends in a row. But how did the rest of the weekend fare? Did any other movies from the past return to the charts? Find out below.
While The War with Grandpa came out on top, Tenet stuck around for second place with another $2.1 million added to its haul, making for a total of $48.3 million for its domestic run so far. Meanwhile, the re-release of Hocus Pocus cracked the top three with just $1.1 million, and the rest of the top five was filled out by holdovers The New Mutants and Unhinged, making $685,000 and $660,000 respectively.
So as you can see, The War with Grandpa benefits from a total lack of competition, resulting in moviegoers seeing the only new movie with recognizable stars in it. Even so, Laurent Ouaknine, president, distribution of 101 Studios, appears to be proud of the movie’s achievement, telling Deadline, “Really pleased that 101 Studios was able to offer audiences a comedy that is bringing the whole family back to theaters.”
Probably not the best time to be proud of that fact, since there’s still a pandemic that we’re dealing with. But for some reason, Deadline also uses this as an opportunity to say this:
“A big alert to the major motion picture studios out there: It’s important to note here that of those War With Grandpa moviegoers surveyed, 46% of them had not returned to theaters because there hasn’t been enough movies out there that they wanted to see. If you don’t supply the movies to theaters, audiences won’t come.”
Sure, Jan. Except they didn’t really turn out in droves for a big movie like Tenet. And let’s not forget that just two days ago, we saw the highest number of new coronavirus cases in the United States since August. Plus, 10 states in the Midwest, including Indiana, Minnesota, Missouri and Ohio, reported record one-day rises in cases on Friday. On top of that, Wisconsin and Illinois recently had a two-day run where they all reported over 3,000 new cases, a trend not seen since the height of the pandemic in the spring. But yes, let’s encourage studios to put movies in theaters for audiences to rush out to see at a time when we don’t need to be gathering indoors to see them.
But The War with Grandpa featured testimonial ads from early screenings talking about how happy they were to be back in theaters and how safe they felt. They were aired all over the biggest network shows throughout the week and all over cable channels too. And yet, all the movie could muster was $3.6 million. Are we really sure that audiences are ready to go back to theaters?
Head over to Box Office Mojo to see how the rest of the box office fared this past weekend, which included the return of Coco to the top 10.
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