It’s been an excellently weird time at the box-office as a result of the COVID19 closedown. Our favourite box-office story is how low budget indie-horror movie The Wretched became the number one movie in America for three weeks running.
The movie was created by Detroit-raised brothers Brett and Drew Pierce on a tiny budget. A clever release strategy based around drive-in movie theaters in the time of a pandemic let it grab $350,000 at the box office so far and sit at the top of the tree for a while. The horror film follows the story of a teenager who discovers a witch is living next door to his father. It was released on 1st May and is still out there at the drive-in.
However now it’s time for the big-boys to play. With drive-in movies having a resurgence across the US as normal theaters only just plan to reopen, the gaze of the studios has settled on this classic piece of Americana. Universal rolled out the big guns.
Steven Spielberg has been going head to head with Steven Spielberg in a Fathers Day box office tussle with two of his biggest movies locked to see who will come out on top. Jaws vs Jurassic Park.
And the winner is…
Both films had a special re-release in drive-thrus and the very few open theatres. Jurassic Park scored $517,600 at 230 theater locations, while Jaws earned $516,300 from 187 locations. So Jurassic Park gets the total, but Jaws scores more per screen. Hard to separate them. Except, of course, it isn’t as Jurassic Park may be truly excellent but it’s not Jaws now, is it?
Spielberg was out in force for Fathers Day with E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial also making the top 10 as well as Back to the Future and The Goonies which he produced.
Back in the pre-multiplex days it was all very different and movies stayed in theaters for as long as people were still going in numbers to watch them. Jaws was also the first major summer tentpole so was alone for a lot of its summer run. Originally Jaws did a 14 week stint in at number 1.
Released as multiplex theaters were really starting to proliferate so as many seats could be sold for a movie in less time, and in an established summer blockbuster season, Jurassic Park did a 3 week stay in the number one spot.
Let’s be honest though, even for a re-release $500k is rookie numbers. Warner Bros. probably sweating on Tenet round about now.