Neeson’s action movies outside of Taken typically see largely double that or more than triple that in a healthy marketplace, i.e. last year’s Cold Pursuit posted $540K on its Thursday preview, The Commuter did $700K, and Run All Night grossed $455K on its first night, however, we need to keep in mind that the No. 2 exhibitor Regal is closed down (except for seven theaters in California) and, of course, Los Angeles and New York are still shuttered. Industry estimates hope that Honest Thief can peg a similar opening to another meat and potatoes action movie geared at older guys during the pandemic, Solstice Studios’ Unhinged, which did $4M in its first weekend at 1,823 locations (and not every exhibitor was open over the weekend of Aug. 21-23); that Russell Crowe movie on its way to doing a 5x multiple off its first wide weekend with a domestic of $20M.
Most distributors during the pandemic have opted not to report their Thursday night figures because they’ve been so low, but good on Open Road here for sharing the intel. The numbers helps both exhibitors and distributors evaluate the state of the box office, and make programming decisions.
Honest Thief last weekend got an early jump in Canada before its U.S. wide break this weekend, earning $364K at 264 sites.
Honest Thief, the first release under Tom Ortenberg’s revived Open Road, is booked at more theaters than Unhinged had in its first weekend with 2,425 locations. That includes drive-Ins nationwide, 180 IMAX sites, Dolby Vision, and all other premium formats. Forty eight states are cleared to have movie theaters open, excluding North Carolina, with San Francisco movie theaters opting not to open since local health officials prevent the selling of concessions; this despite the fact that the county and the city are in the orange California tier and can accommodate 50% movie theater capacities.
While movie theater marquees during the pandemic have typically accommodated only wide release per weekend (whenever that occurs), this weekend Honest Thief is sharing multiplex space with Freestyle Releasing’s YA faith-based drama 2 Hearts starring Euphoria star Jacob Elordi. That Lance Hool directed and co-written movie is in play at 1,683 locations.
“Open Road is proud to support US theatres with Liam Neeson in a role that audiences will love” said Ortenberg this morning, “We know many Americans across the country are excited to be back at the movies.”
Next week Open Road has the YA sequel After We Collided available in theaters and on PVOD.