UPDATE: Renaissance: A Film By Beyoncé has opened to the highest post-Thanksgiving weekend debut in 20 years, grossing a confirmed $21m including previews via AMC Theatres Distribution.
Until now Tom Cruise starrer The Last Samurai released in 2003 was the highest opener on an unadjusted $24.3m in what is traditionally a slow session.
Renaissance: A Film By Beyoncé plays in 2,539 US and Canadian locations and earned a trifecta of 100% on Rotten Tomatoes, a 100% audience score, and an A+ on CinemaScore.
Beyoncé directed the concert film, which has maintained AMC Theatres Distribution’s perfect early record of opening both its films at number one after Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour.
“To see [the film] resonate with fans and with film critics on a weekend that many in the industry typically neglect is a testament to [Beyoncé’s] immense talent, not just as a performer, but as a producer and director,” said Elizabeth Frank, EVP Worldwide programming & chief content officer, AMC Theatres.
Lionsgate’s YA adventure prequel The Hunger Games: The Ballad Of Songbird & Snakes held firm in second place on $14.5m for $121.2m in its third session.
Opening in third was Godzilla Minus One in the first domestic release by Toho International on an estimated $11m in what the distributor claimed was the biggest opening by an international film in the US this year ahead of Demon Slayer: Kimestsu No Yaiba, which arrived on $10.1m in March.
Koji Ueda, president of Toho Global, said: “This year, we made a concentrated effort to answer the demand of the marketplace and make Godzilla globally accessible across many different platforms… Also, it is an honour that Toho International’s first theatrical release is Godzilla for its 70th anniversary.”
The marketing campaign kicked off in July with a localised version of the Japanese original teaser and poster that generated more than 3.5m views, before the longer, official trailer came out in September and drove more than 15m views on social platforms and YouTube.
The Toho team partnered with New York-based Japan Society to create a fan-first event hosting a screening of the original 1954 Godzilla film in 35mm at New York Comic Con and showed the new domestic trailer.
Toho International hosted its first domestic premiere at the DGA Theater in Los Angeles on November 10 with director Takashi Yamazaki, lead actor Ryunosuke Kamiki and top Toho executives in attendance.
Universal/DreamWorks Animation’s Trolls Band Together ranks fourth following a 56% drop to $7.8m session in its third weekend, resulting in a $75m cumulative gross.
It remains a close contest for fourth place after Apple Original Film’s Napoleon plunged 66% via distributor Sony Pictures, adding an estimated $7.1m from 2,500 venues for $45.7m.
Disney animation Wish dropped 62% on $7.4m from 3,900 locations for a $42m running total after two weekends.
Lionsgate also opened the dialogue-free action thriller Silent Night from John Woo and it arrived in ninth place on $3m from 1,870 sites and will debut in short order on PVoD. The company said the debut was performing in line with expectations and was expected to make a profit.
Meanwhile Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour added $619,744 from 636 sites in its eighth weekend, elevating the running total to $178.9m.
A24’s Dream Scenario starring Nicolas Cage expanded in its fourth weekend, earning $1.7m for an early $3.5m tally and ranking 12th.