Similar to the situation in the domestic film market, the North American film market also showed a weak trend after the summer holiday season. The combined box office of the three days last weekend was only about 63 million US dollars, which is the lowest box office weekend so far in 2023 except for the week of the American Football "Super Bowl". The reason is largely due to the insufficient number of attractive new films.
"Fright Night in Venice" stills
Last weekend, there was only one new film released on a large scale in North America, "A Haunting in Venice". In the end, this suspense film adapted from Agatha Christie's book opened with a box office of US$14.5 million in 3,305 theaters, which was far lower than the US$28.6 million opening of "Murder on the Orient Express" in 2017; and in 2022 "Death on the Nile" opened with a box office of $12.8 million, basically flat.
In addition, in the weekend box office rankings, "The Sister 2", which has been in theaters for ten days, took in a box office of US$14.73 million last weekend, narrowly beating out "Fright Night in Venice" and continuing to top the box office list. This also fully proves that this type of horror genre film has a strong appeal to audiences today, and its audience adhesion may even surpass other genre films.
Compared with the first two films directed and starred by Kenneth Branagh, with the great detective Poirot as the protagonist, the story of "Fright Night in Venice" is not well-known. The original work is Agatha Christie's 1969 novel "Halloween". "Murder the Night Before" has not received very high reviews in the past and has never been adapted for the big screen before. It's just that for film adaptations, these factors provide greater freedom for secondary creation, and also allow Branagh's new work to win much higher than "Murder on the Orient Express" and "Tragedy on the Nile" Media evaluation: On the film review website "Rotten Tomatoes", "Fright Night in Venice" currently has a 77% freshness rating compared to the 61% freshness rating of the previous two films.
As for the business aspect, the production cost of "Fright Night in Venice" is US$60 million, which is basically the same as the US$55 million of "Murder on the Orient Express" and far lower than the US$100 million of "Tragedy on the Nile". There is less pressure to repay the capital. . The global box office of the first two films reached US$350 million and US$137 million respectively. As for the sluggish box office of the second film, in addition to the quality of the film itself, the industry at that time mainly attributed it to the early release of the film in February 2022, and the COVID-19 epidemic in North America. The area remains serious. The middle-aged and elderly audiences that this type of film relies on, especially middle-aged and elderly women, still have great concerns about returning to theaters to watch movies.
However, by the fall of 2023, the epidemic factor obviously no longer exists. Audiences who want to watch "Fright Night in Venice" have already spent this weekend. As a result, not only did it only get 14.5 million U.S. dollars at the box office in North America, but also in In the 51 countries and regions that were simultaneously released overseas, the film only received an opening box office of US$22.7 million, including RMB 17.51 million in mainland China. Compared with its production cost of 60 million US dollars plus publicity and distribution costs, there is still a lot of pressure to make back the capital. Moreover, if the subsequent box office does not improve, Disney is willing to let Branagh continue this series, I am afraid it is a question.