By Rebecca Rubin
LOS ANGELES, Aug. 22 (Variety.com) – Need proof that cinema is far from returning to normal? Look no further than this weekend’s domestic box office charts.
Case in point: An animated film based on the children’s TV show “PAW Patrol” left Hugh Jackman’s romantic drama “Reminiscence” in the dust in North America, with the heroic puppies of Adventure City collecting six times more than a film topped by one of Hollywood’s most charismatic actors in their respective beginnings. This is the unpredictable reality of cinema, as the delta variant continues to drive down ticket sales across the world.
Neither “PAW Patrol” nor “Reminiscence” could beat “Free Guy”, who remained victorious for the second weekend in a row. After debuting last weekend at $ 28.4 million, Disney’s 20th-century sci-fi action comedy has only fallen by 34% in its second weekend. The film, starring Ryan Reynolds, added an additional $ 18.8 million between Friday and Sunday, marking an impressive take with or without a pandemic.
Numerous summer deals including Paramount and Warner Bros. ‘PAW Patrol’ “Reminiscence” was made available on streaming platforms on the same day as their theatrical debut. “PAW Patrol” landed simultaneously on Paramount Plus, while “Reminiscence” premiered simultaneously on HBO Max. Alternatively, “Free Guy,” which had the best take on the second weekend of any nationwide release this summer, is available exclusively in theaters.
In closer than expected second place, “PAW Patrol” won $ 13 million in 3,184 North American theaters. This is not a bad result for a children’s film, especially since children under the age of 12 currently cannot get the vaccine, which makes it less attractive for parents to take the whole family to the movies. . Of those who bought tickets for the opening weekend, 41% were parents and 47% were children.
“PAW Patrol,” centered around a young boy named Ryder and a heroic group of puppies who save Adventure City from evil Mayor Humdinger, has been surprisingly well received by young people, parents and, yes, even critics. Courtney Howard of Variety called the film a “gripping and inspiring animated thriller.”
“This is a good opening for a TV-based family animation release,” says David A. Gross, who heads consultancy firm Franchise Entertainment Research. “These movies are not in league with the behemoths Disney, Pixar, DreamWorks, Illumination, but they cost less, make money, and sometimes break out? The ‘Alvin and the Chipmunks’, ‘Mr. Peabody & Sherman’ and ‘Scooby -Doo.’ “
Meanwhile, the Jackman-led “Reminiscence” barely made it into the top 10 on its opening weekend. The film, which aired in 3,265 North American locations, managed to raise $ 2 million, which is a terrible result considering its production budget of $ 68 million. However, the film’s underperformance is hardly surprising. “Reminiscence,” which garnered mixed reviews, targets an older audience, a demographic more reluctant to return to theaters.