Before Disney’s 20th Century Studios’ Avatar: The Way of Water floods the box office with a potential $200M opening on Dec.16, Universal might have a surprise this weekend in the 87North holiday action movie Violent Night starring David Harbour. Universal is hoping for $10M, maybe $12M on the Tommy Wirkola directed movie for a second place take. However, rivals are truly excited by it, thinking it could do much more.

In the Pat Casey-Josh Miller scripted movie, Santa Claus must step in and save Christmas when a group of mercenaries attack the estate of a wealthy family. Violent Night is already 72% fresh among critics on Rotten Tomatoes, which isn’t that bad. Previews start at 5PM on Thursday.

Genre, unlike adult dramas, has shown to break through at the box office; Paramount’s Smile being one of the cornerstones of the fall with $105.5M stateside. The R-rated Violent Night is looking to draw older men and young females. The trailer that dropped on Oct. 5 has racked up over 115M views worldwide and ran before such pics as Halloween Ends, Pray For The Devil with shorter and more PG-13-friendly pieces placed in front of Black Adam and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.

Studios in recent years have been unafraid to launch a horror movie in the sleepy post Thanksgiving box office corridor, read Screen Gems had The Possession of Hannah Grace in 2018 which opened to $6.4M and legged out to $14.8M domestic, $43M WW off a $7.7M production cost.

Disney Marvel Studios’ fourth weekend of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is bound to own the box office again with a $17M-$25M result after a third weekend that was $45.5M. If the pic emulates a fourth weekend like Thor: Love and Thunder (-41%) it will wind up toward the higher end of that range.

Yesterday, the Ryan Coogler directed movie made $2.68M taking its running total to $372.3M.


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