Five Nights At Freddy’s Maintains The Weekend Box Office's Top Spot, Despite Severe (But Expected) Week 2 Decline

 Elizabeth Lail and Josh Hutcherson in Five Nights at Freddy's.
Elizabeth Lail and Josh Hutcherson in Five Nights at Freddy's.

It was a dreadfully slow weekend at the theater, with no major blockbusters on the slate after Dune: Part Two had its premiere delayed to 2024. Instead, Blumhouse’s video game adaptation, Five Nights at Freddy’s, was able to maintain its animatronic hold on the box office, winning the No. 1 spot despite a huge (and anticipated) drop-off from its opening weekend haul. In fact, the top three remained unchanged, with Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour and Killers of the Flower Moon taking silver and bronze, respectively. While the titles may have stayed the same, the dollar amounts earned in the U.S. and Canada fell by half.

There was some good news, however, for a couple of new movies, so take a look at the chart below, and then we’ll get into some analysis.

Five Nights At Freddy's Weekend Box Office November 3-5, 2023
Five Nights At Freddy's Weekend Box Office November 3-5, 2023

Five Nights At Freddy’s Simultaneous Theatrical/Streaming Release Causes Huge Decline In Week 2 Ticket Sales

Don’t say we didn’t warn you. Five Nights at Freddy’s may have prevailed as the hottest ticket this weekend, but it’s hard not to see its simultaneous release to streaming as a missed opportunity. After a domestic opening of $78 million, earnings fell a steep 76 percent in its sophomore weekend to just $19.4 million, per The Numbers — a dive that our own Eric Eisenberg saw coming a mile away when he wrote about it following FNAF’s big box office debut.

Despite less-than-enthusiastic reviews for Blumhouse's latest, the loyal fanbase of Scott Cawthon’s brainchild — brought to the big screen by Emma Tammi — thought the Five Nights at Freddy’s movie was great. So while there’s no way to tell how many of those die-hard fans opted to stay home on opening weekend and enjoy the film via their Peacock subscription, the most recent numbers seem to indicate pretty strongly that’s what happened on Week 2.

In addition to not drawing in first-time viewers, my guess is that this is a fanbase that would have likely been game for repeat screenings at the theater, but they are instead opting for the convenience of streaming at home. However, the box office’s loss is Peacock’s gain, as it took less than a week for Freddy’s to become the streamer’s most watched title of all time, according to NBC.

Freddy Fazbear on stage in Five Nights at Freddy's movie
Freddy Fazbear on stage in Five Nights at Freddy's movie

All the wins FNAF has seen might be enough to keep Blumhouse execs from wondering “what if” regarding how much money they left on the table with the Peacock release. The movie cost only $20 million to make, and when adding in international numbers, it’s already made a worldwide total of $217.1 million through two weeks — second in 2023 horror offerings only to The Nun II, which stands at $265.8 million.

It’s also possible that the streaming release may not be fully responsible for the 76 percent dip. Horror movies traditionally take a hit on the weekend after Halloween.

Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour Stays Strong In Possibly Its Final Weekend, But Killers Of The Flower Moon Appears To Be In Trouble

Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour saw only a small dip in its Week 4 numbers, as Swifties continue to make their friendship bracelets and show up for the concert experience. Ticket sales fell just 13 percent to bring in another $13.5 million domestically (which is quite fitting since, as any Swiftie can tell you, 13 is the music icon’s favorite number). This marks the end of the concert film’s announced four-weekend run, so we’ll expect to see a decline here next week.

Globally, the movie stands at 19th overall for 2023 releases (just one spot ahead of Five Nights at Freddy’s) with $231.1 million. The Eras Tour became the most successful concert film of all time, more than doubling the earnings of the previous record holder, 2011’s Justin Bieber: Never Say Never. I’m excited to see what Beyoncé can do to keep this genre growing, with her Renaissance concert film due in theaters December 1.

Meanwhile, the latest offering from Martin Scorsese, Killers of the Flower Moon, earned another $7 million in the United States and Canada on its third weekend. The film previously dropped 61 percent in the weekend following its debut, so this week’s 25 percent decline is much more palatable. However, with just $52.3 million domestically and $119.1 million worldwide, per Box Office Mojo, it doesn’t appear that Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro are going to be able to make up the reported $200 million spent in production.

Priscilla Exceeds Expectations On Wide Release, And Sundance Award-Winner Radical Is Off To A Surprising Start

Cailee Spaeny impressed the critics with her portrayal of Elvis Presley’s wife in Priscilla and, while its first wide-release weekend wasn’t quite enough to crack the top 3, I don’t think anybody’s complaining about fourth place. The biopic, written and directed by Sofia Coppola, brought in $5 million domestically, exceeding what was expected. In addition to the positive reviews, it didn’t hurt that A24’s name was attached to the project, as the studio has put out some of the most innovative and thought-provoking films of the past decade.

The Mexican dramedy Radical also can claim bragging rights in its opening weekend, making $2.7 million and sneaking into the top 5 — a rare occurrence for a Spanish-language film. The earnings are especially impressive when you consider that the movie was shown in only 419 theaters. Anticipation for the movie likely grew after it won the Festival Favorite Award at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. The movie stars Eugenio Derbez as a teacher whose out-of-the-box teaching methods inspire his sixth-graders and help them achieve their full potential.

The decision to push Dune: Part Two to next year made for a pretty slow weekend at the box office. Stars Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya and other members of Dune 2’s all-star cast are considered integral to the success of the sci-fi sequel, and with the SAG-AFTRA strike ongoing, Warner Bros. made the call to wait until they can help promote the film. However, hopefully things will pick up at movie theaters long before then, as there are still plenty of new titles to come on the 2023 movie release schedule.

Dream Scenario starring Nicolas Cage and Michael Cera will hit the big screen next week, along with The Marvels, so be sure to check back here next Sunday for more Box Office analysis.