LOS ANGELES, (Variety.com) – Body-swap horror comedy “Freaky” repeated as the winner of a seriously subdued U.S. box office with $1.2 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 $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 Sunday 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 $130 million and overall North American business totaled $206 million, according to Comscore.
“With the continuing surge of the virus this fall, another round of lockdowns and curfews are impacting theaters 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 $737,067 at 1,688 sites. The Robert De Niro vehicle has earned $16.2 million after 45 days in theaters.
Focus Features’ thriller “Let Him Go,” starring Kevin Costner and Diane Lane, followed in third with $710,000 at 1,907 locations. The film, set in Montana in the 1960s, has pulled in $7.9 million in its first 17 days.
Focus’s fourth weekend of the horror movie “Come Play” came in fourth place with $510,000 at 1,364 screens. After three weeks in theaters, the film has made $8 million.
Disney’s re-release of its 1994 holiday comedy-drama “The Santa Clause” pulled in $481,000 at 1,581 sites. The Tim Allen vehicle originally generated $190 million in worldwide box office.