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Beyoncé’s ‘Renaissance’ Tops Box Office With $21 Million Debut

Queen Bey is the new box office queen. “Renaissance,” a concert film written, directed and produced by Beyoncé, topped the domestic box office with $21 million in its opening weekend, slightly ahead of expectations.

These ticket sales rank as one of the best debuts for a concert film, joining the company of Taylor Swift’s “The Eras Tour” (far and away the biggest with $92.9 million), 2008’s “Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert” ($31.1 million), 2011’s “Justin Bieber: Never Say Never” and 2009’s “Michael Jackson: This Is It” ($23.2 million).

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“Renaissance” provided a tidy box office bounty in what would have otherwise been a bleak kickoff to December. According to its distributor AMC Theatres, it’s the first time in two decades a film has opened to more than $20 million on the weekend following Thanksgiving, which is a notoriously slow time at the movies.

“This is an excellent domestic opening for a concert film,” says David A. Gross, who runs the movie consulting firm Franchise Entertainment Research. “There are natural comparisons to Taylor Swift’s recent film, but these are very different artists and audiences.”

Overseas, “Renaissance” fell short of projections and opened to just $6.4 million in 94 territories. Globally, the film has earned $27.4 million.

Like Swift’s “The Eras Tour,” which has generated $250 million globally since October, “Renaissance” is unique because it’s being distributed by the exhibitor AMC Theatres rather than a traditional studio. Beyoncé gets to take home roughly 50% of box office earnings, with exhibitors keeping the remaining revenues and AMC taking a small distribution fee. Of course, any movie theater ticket sales won’t come close to the actual tour’s turnout, reportedly amassing a staggering $579 million worldwide.

Also new to box office charts, Lionsgate’s wordless action film “Silent Night,” misfired with $3 million from 1,870 theaters and crash-landed in ninth place. It missed already-low expectations of $6 million to $8 million, which isn’t a promising start for a film in wide release. According to PostTrak, the opening weekend audience for “Silent Night” was 64% male and 75% over the age of 25.

Hong Kong filmmaker John Woo directed “Silent Night,” which has zero dialogue and landed a tepid “C” CinemaScore from audiences. Joel Kinnaman stars as a family man who descends into the underworld to avenge his young son’s death on Christmas Eve. Lionsgate posits that premium video-on-demand for “Silent Night” will offset any box office shortcomings.

Another newcomer, a foreign language science-fiction action film “Godzilla Minus One,” surprised in third place with $11 million from 2,308 screens. It’s a strong start for the $15 million-budgeted movie, which has already earned $23 million in Japan. Toho International is backing the film, which has already surpassed the theatrical run of the distributor’s most recent U.S. release, 2016’s “Shin Godzilla” ($2 million in total).

“These domestic box office numbers are not on the level of Western productions,” says Gross referring to recent Warner Bros. monster movies like the big-budget “Godzilla vs. Kong.” He adds, “But that’s an unfair standard. This is a foreign film.”

Also opening nationwide this weekend is the Biblical sci-fi thriller “The Shift,” which arrived in the No. 8 spot with $4.2 million from 2,405 locations. Angel Studios, which released this summer’s sleeper hit “Sound of Freedom,” is behind “The Shift,” whose story is inspired by the book of Job.

In addition to box office earnings, Angel Studios has reported millions of dollars in merchandise sales — including $2 million in empty tomb necklaces alone, before “The Shift” even debuted in theaters. Like “Sound of Freedom,” the company’s ticket sales have been goosed by unusual methods. According to Angel Studio’s website, patrons received two complimentary tickets to “The Shift” with purchase of a necklace. It’s unclear how this factored into its weekend tally.

Thanksgiving leftovers such as “Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes,” Universal and DreamWorks Animation’s “Trolls Band Together” and Disney’s “Wish” rounded out domestic box office charts.

“The Hunger Games” prequel slid to second place, adding $14.3 million from 3,691 theaters in its third weekend of release. “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes,” starring Rachel Zegler and Tom Blyth in an action-adventure that’s set decades before the adventures of Katniss Everdeen, has generated $121 million in North America and $243.9 million globally to date. Lionsgate’s return to Panem hasn’t been as lucrative as the original series, but the new entry has a (relatively) slimmer $100 million production budget, so it is well positioned in its theatrical run.

At No. 4, “Trolls Band Together” collected $7.6 million from 3,613 venues in its third weekend on the big screen. The animated threequel has so far grossed $74.2 million domestically and $160 million worldwide against its $95 million budget.

Disney’s family-friendly “Wish” rounded out the top five with $7.4 million from 3,900 locations in its sophomore outing, declining 63% from its debut. The animated musical fable, about the Wishing Star that so many Disney characters have wished upon, is shaping up to be the studio’s latest underperforming blockbuster in 2023. It cost $200 million and has amassed just $41 million in North America and $81 million worldwide to date.

Ridley Scott’s “Napoleon” dropped to sixth place with $7.1 million from 3,500 theaters over the weekend, a harsh 66% collapse from its opening weekend. The historical epic, backed by Apple and distributed by Sony, has grossed $45.7 million. It’s an unimpressive turnout for a film that carries a $200 million price tag.

“Napoleon” has fared better at the international box office, where the Joaquin Phoenix-led film has earned $90 million from 63 territories. Globally, it has grossed $136.6 million.

Elsewhere, Disney’s “The Marvels” is running out of steam with $80 million domestically after four weeks of release. Most Marvel movies earn at least this much in their opening weekends, but “The Marvels” remains on track to be the first in the sprawling franchise to fall short of $100 million at the domestic box office. With $197 million globally, it’ll end its run as the lowest-grossing MCU movie of all time, behind 2008’s “The Incredible Hulk” ($264 million).

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