BO Report: ‘PAW Patrol 2’ narrowly beats ‘The Creator’

John David Washington as Joshua in 20th Century Studios' 'The Creator'. (Photo courtesy of 20th Century Studios. © 2023 20th Century Studios. All Rights Reserved.)

PAW Patrol: The Mighty Movie enjoyed a second round at no. 1 last weekend, just defeating Disney sci-fi The Creator.

Paramount’s animated sequel enjoyed an 11 per cent boost on its opening weekend, thanks to school holidays, adding $1.6 million to move to $4.4 million. The film opened in North America last weekend to $US23 million, also topping the box office.

The Creator, an original film directed by Gareth Edwards, starring John David Washington and co-lensed by Aussie Greig Fraser, debuted to $1.5 million from 405 screens, or $1.6 million with previews. The Australian result is slightly ahead of the US/Canada, pro-rata, where the film opened to $US14 million. Deadline argues the performance film has been impacted by the SAG-AFTRA strike, noting it made it hard to “trumpet an original movie like this to the masses.”

The weekend’s other major release was the tenth instalment in the Saw franchise, Saw X, which landed at fourth behind Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem. Studiocanal released the film here on 259 screens for $970,066, which puts ahead of 2021’s Spiral, which opened to $717,598.

The Australian result is significantly below US/Canada pro-rata, where the film bowed to $US18 million, though that is unsurprising as horror tends to underperform in this market. James Wan and Leigh Whannell, the Australian creators of the Saw franchise, are executive producers.

Overall the box office remains quiet; Numero data puts the top 20 titles at $9.9 million through Sunday, just 1 per cent up on the previous weekend. Friday was a public holiday in Victoria, while Monday was a public holiday in Queensland, NSW/ACT and South Australia. If Monday’s figures are factored in, the top 20 tallied $12.15 million (though all numbers in this story are through Sunday).

“Continued nice weather, footy finals and average movies meant a softer long weekend and holiday period than we would have hoped for,” Majestic Cinemas CEO Kieren Dell tells IF.

Of the holdovers, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem is holding well through the school holidays, dipping just 5 per cent to $1.2 million. After four weekends, the Paramount title stands at $7.8 million.

Universal animation Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken saw a 15 per cent boost through its second weekend, adding $604,192 to advance to $2.3 million.

Both four weekends in, Warner Bros.’ The Nun II stands at $7.2 million after collecting $593,937, while My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3 is at $6.2 million after earning an additional $587,923.

WB/DC Films’ Blue Beetle took $561,317 in its third frame, advancing to $3.7 million, while Disney’s A Haunting in Venice, also in its third, drew $521,250 to move to $3.2 million.

Rounding out the top 10 was The Equalizer 3, now at $9.3 million for Sony after collecting $400,453 in its fifth weekend.

Of the Australian titles in release, Maslow Entertainment’s Talk to Me has reached $4.2 million after ten weekends, having added an extra $36,584, and Sharmill Films’ alternative content release The Australian Ballet Live: Swan Lake took $26,404 from 11 screens.

Ego: The Michael Gudinski Story stands at $509,950 after five weekends in release for Mushroom Studios.

Looking ahead, exhibitors are already excited about Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour, which will screen from October 13.

Taylor Swift sessions are selling out which promises well for the coming weeks,” Wallis Cinemas programming manager David Simpson tells IF.

Australian box office data is sourced via Numero. All numbers are through Sunday.