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‘Addams Family 2’ Dethrones ‘Free Guy’ Atop Vudu VOD Charts

The Addams Family 2 dethroned Free Guy as the top VOD title at Vudu, ending a four-week reign at the top for the Ryan Reynolds/Jodie Comer video game comedy. The MGM animated sequel, which got a day-and-date theatrical and PVOD release a month ago, has been another example of the possibility for something less than mutually assured destruction in terms of day-and-date releases and shortened theatrical windows, at least at a certain budgetary level. The Addams Family 2 has earned $52 million domestic in a month, and $80 million worldwide so far. That’s obviously well below the $100 million domestic and $200 million worldwide earned by its predecessor in 2019, but this sequel to the liked-but-not-loved animated IP adaptation was never going to play as well as the first one.

The Addams Family, which earned 8.33 times its $24 million budget, was the first new theatrical offering for this property since Addams Family Values in 1993. Likewise, the Paramount Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot was a genuine smash ($491 million on a $125 million budget) in summer 2014 at least partially because it was the first live-action theatrical film with that property since Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III in 1993. Both sequels earned well less than their predecessors ($48 million for Addams Family Values versus $117 million for Addams Family and $43 million for TMNT 3 versus $88 million for The Secret of the Ooze and $135 million for TMNT). The superior TMNT: Out of the Shadows bombed in summer 2016 with $235 million on a $135 million budget.

Sometimes it’s because the first Addams Family and first “new” TMNT flick weren’t very good (sorry, I rewatched The Addams Family, and the negative reviews and my own opinion when I was 11 were still dead-on) and audiences avoided the follow-up. Sometimes it’s just because audiences were curious the first time out, or that the kid-friendly titles played as four-quadrant offerings while the sequels played just to kids. Point being, $64 million domestic (1.15 x $55 million) sounds about right for an animated Addams Family sequel, and if the budget was anywhere near the $24 million cost of the first film then I wouldn’t be shocked to see a threequel in a couple of years. They may strike out on the third time, but it’s not my money.

The Addams Family 2 is just one of four “scary movies” in the top ten over Halloween weekend. M. Night Shyamalan’s sleeper hit Old ($90 million worldwide on an $18 million budget) benefited from an old-school theatrical window, and that certainly helped the buzzy “good or bad, you have to see it to believe it” comic thriller leg out to $48 million domestic from a $16.5 million debut this past July. I don’t know if Shyamalan’s self-financed lower-budget chillers will continue to get conventionally “long” 90 day theatrical windows even as the industry shifts to 45 days (or, in the case of Comcast, 17 days or 31 if you open above $50 million), but it certainly paid off here. Shyamalan and Nolan now stand alone as getting old-school windows (for now).

Don’t Breathe 2 didn’t come anywhere near the first film’s $155 million global cume (on a $9 million budget), but the sequel (which amusingly positioned Stephen Lang’s horrific baddie as the glorified anti-hero this time out) earned $47 million worldwide. That’s still, for what it’s worth, 4.7 times its $10 million budget. Candyman placed ninth after earning a good-enough $61 million domestic/$77 million worldwide on a $25 million budget. Sure, I had this pegged as a breakout biggie way back in early 2020, but A) I’d argue Nia DaCosta’s sequel is a little less mainstream/more “elevated horror” than I expected and B) it still sold more tickets in North America than the original Candyman in 1992. Since I don’t think the world needs a sequel, this counts as an unmitigated win.   

Free Guy was an original, live-action, star-driven studio programmer that actually legged it past $331 million (including $121 million domestic and $95 million in China) on an over/under $115 million budget. I’d argue this surprisingly good and quite crowd-pleasing video game-centric comedy, which pulled off a shockingly spoiler-free marketing campaign, actually (like Godzilla Vs. Kong) overperformed compared to how it might have played amongst a more crowded non-Covid slate. Conversely, The Suicide Squad was always doomed, but a drop like The Secret Life of Pets 2 (which would have given it around $365 million on a too-expensive $185 million budget) versus a worse ($166 million versus $745 million) than Alice Through the Looking Glass ($299 million/$1.025 billion) can partially be chalked up to Covid-specific circumstances.

Jungle Cruise 2 is banking on the notion that Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt’s Jungle Cruise ($214 million on a $200 million budget) would have earned more theatrically, especially overseas, in non-Covid circumstances. I’m inclined to believe as much, even if its $110 million domestic cume is actually on the low end of “normal” for most non-Fast Saga Dwayne Johnson vehicles. Think Rampage with $103 million, Central Intelligence with $127 million and San Andreas with $155 million, and I’d argue at least some comedown can be attributed to the surface-level similarities between Jungle Cruise and Journey 2 and the blockbuster Jumanji sequels. Like Cruella 2 and Dune part Two, greenlighting another is partially about creating the impression of success. At least Cruella earned 2.33 times its $100 million budget along with Disney+ revenue.

Vudu’s top ten titles for the past week, in terms of revenue, are as follows:

  1. The Addams Family 2
  2. The Suicide Squad
  3. Free Guy
  4. Old
  5. Black Widow
  6. Don’t Breathe 2
  7. Stillwater
  8. After We Fell
  9. Candyman (2021)
  10. Jungle Cruise

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