Overall North American box office revenues are projected to fall 40% from last weekend as the coronavirus pandemic hits hard and health officials urge social distancing.
Disney-Pixar’s family friendly “Onward” should repeat as the top film with $12.5 million at 4,310 locations, representing a steep 68% decline from its opening weekend. Friday’s take for “Onward” was $3.3 million, plunging 73% from opening day on March 6. The typical second-weekend decline would have been in the 50% range.
Total domestic business is projected to gross as little as $60 million for the weekend. AMC and Regal, the nation’s two largest circuits, and several other chains announced Friday that they have cut capacity by 50% in their auditoriums to address safety concerns by allowing for individual patrons to sit next to empty seats.
“Movie theaters are doing the right thing by reducing capacity in light of the current situation, but naturally this will have an impact on the box office bottom line this weekend,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst with Comscore.
Lionsgate’s faith-based drama “I Still Believe” appears to be the one new release that’s performing in line with pre-release estimates and should finish second with about $11.6 million at from 3,250 venues. It was the top performer on Friday with $4 million, and it garnered an A Cinemascore from opening day audiences.