Scream VI scared up a franchise-best $44.5 million opening from 3,675 theaters at the domestic box office, easily enough to win Oscar weekend.
The Paramount and Spyglass film — earning strong exits and received a B+ CinemaScore — was fueled by moviegoers between the ages of 18 and 34 (71 percent), and particularly by those between the ages of 18 and 24 (42 percent). The gender mix was almost even (51 percent male, 49 percent female).
On Saturday, 32 percent of all foot traffic was for Scream VI, followed by 24 percent for Creed III, according to EntTelligence.
The last Scream film, released in January 2022, opened to $30 million domestically in an impressive showing for the pandemic era. The biggest North American start of the franchise belongs to 2000’s Scream 3 ($34.7 million), not adjusted for inflation.
The R-rated pic also impressed overseas, opening to a series-best $22.6 million from 53 markets for a worldwide start of $67.1 million. (Horror movies don’t always travel so well.)
Scream VI, which cost a reported $33 million to make before marketing, follows survivors of last year’s installment as they leave Woodsboro for New York City. Unfortunately, the menacing killer Ghostface isn’t far behind. Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett, who run Radio Silence Productions with Chad Villella, returned to direct.
Melissa Barrera, Jasmin Savoy Brown, Mason Gooding, Jenna Ortega, Hayden Panettiere and Courteney Cox star alongside franchise newbies Dermot Mulroney, Jack Champion, Henry Czerny, Liana Liberato, Devyn Nekoda, Tony Revolori, Josh Segarra and Samara Weaving.
MGM and Michael B. Jordan’s Creed III followed at No. 2 with an impressive $27.2 million from 4,007 locations for a respectable decline of 53 percent. The pic jumped the century mark domestically in just 10 days and finished Sunday with a total of $101.4 million.
Internationally, it beat Scream VI to place No. 1 with $24 million from 75 markets for a foreign cume of $78 million and $179.4 million worldwide.
Both Scream VI and Creed III stomped all over Sony’s sci-fi dinosaur pic 65, which opened in third place with $12.3 million from 3,405 theaters after getting pummeled by bad reviews and a C+ CinemaScore (the pic did better than expected, but expectations weren’t great to begin with). 65 and Scream VI are playing to the same audience, with Scream VI prevailing. Creed III is attracting both younger and older adults to the ring.
Directed by A Quiet Place writers Scott Beck and Bryan Woods, 65 stars Adam Driver as an astronaut who crash-lands on a mysterious planet, only to realize that he has become marooned on Earth 65 million years ago. With just a single opportunity for salvation, Mills and the sole other survivor, played by Ariana Greenblatt, must traverse an uncharted landscape infested with dinosaurs and other dangerous prehistoric beasts in a struggle for survival.
The Sony pic cost a reported $45 million to make and was co-financed by Bron Studios and TSG.
Marvel/Disney holdover Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania came in No. 4 with $7 million to finish its fourth outing with a domestic total of $198 million. It has fared better overseas, where it earned another $9.8 million this weekend for foreign cume of $249.6 million and $447.6 million globally. All in all, the superhero pic has underwhelmed after dropping off more quickly than any previous title in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Universal’s Cocaine Bear, rounding out the top five, grossed $6.2 million in its third weekend for a domestic tally of $51.7 million and $65.7 million globally.
The third nationwide release of the weekend is Focus Features’ heartwarming sports comedy Champions, starring Woody Harrelson as a minor-league basketball coach who is court-ordered to manage a team of disabled players. The movie is based on the 2018 award-winning Spanish film Campeones, which was released by Universal Pictures International.
Champions earned an A CinemaScore opened in sixth-place with $5.2 million from 3,030 theaters. More than 60 percent of ticket buyers were over the age of 35, including 21 percent over 55.
There wasn’t much action at the specialty box office, despite Sunday’s Oscar ceremony. In the past, top contenders sometimes saw a bump on the eve of the Academy Awards, but that wasn’t the case this year, since nearly all of these movies are now available to rent, buy or stream in the home. That includes A24’s Everything Everywhere All at Once, which is a best-picture frontrunner. The film’s domestic gross stands at $73.9 million, a huge some for an indie film. Its global cume is $106.4 million.
March 12, 7:10 a.m.: Updated with revised grosses.
March 12, 9:30 a.m.: Updated with additional grosses.