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Count Lionsgate/MRC’s Knives Out among the strong wave of paid previews of late at the box office. The Rian Johnson-directed ensemble pic grossed $2M from 936 major and regional theaters over Friday and Saturday 7PM shows. These early paid previews indicate, seriously, early interest in a movie more than when a studio screens a pic for free and feasibly fills up seats in advance of its opening.
Knives Out starts previews again on Tuesday and opens Wednesday in 3,300 theaters with an anticipated $20M+ start over the 5-day stretch. Rivals anticipate even more off the pic’s 96% certified fresh Rotten Tomatoes score. Who doesn’t star in this movie? Who does star is Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Christopher Plummer, Ana de Armas, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Shannon, Don Johnson, Toni Collette, LaKeith Stanfield, Katherine Langford and Jaeden Martell. Pic revolves around Plummer’s character who is found dead after his 85th birthday. As his heirs swirls his estate, the inquisitive and debonair Detective Benoit Blanc (Craig) tries to find out who killed him.
“Across the U.S. this Friday and Saturday, movie-going friends and families packed AMC Theatres for early screenings of Knives Out,” said Elizabeth Frank, Executive Vice President of Worldwide Programming and Chief Content Officer for AMC Theatres. “Social media buzz makes it clear this will be a holiday hit.”
AMC was just one of the exhibition partners participating in the early access sneak program.
Other wide recent paid previews of late include Warner Bros.’ Fandango preview screening back in March at 1,200 which made $3.3M, DreamWorks Animation-Fandango preview of How to Train Your Dragon 3 ($2.6M) earlier this year, Atom & Amazon’s WB preview of Aquaman ($2.9M), Atom/Amazon’s previews of Sony’s Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle ($1.8M) and Hotel Transylvania 3 ($1.3M) and Warner Bros. 100 Dolby+500 premium Tuesday-Wednesday previews of A Star Is Born which made $1.35M before its start. Some studios also do these paid previews in a limited amount of theaters, i.e. Rocketman grossed $580K before its official Thursday previews.