Thanksgiving weekend has traditionally been a big one for Hollywood, with families looking to find some way to spend time together. This year was a bit of a mixed bag. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, in its third weekend, added another small fortune to its already sizable box office haul. Newcomers weren’t so lucky. The Koeran War aerial pic Devotion underperformed while Disney had a big bomb with the under-advertised Strange World. But there was one big success story, and it just happens to be a film that wasn’t playing that many theaters and will be yanked after only a week.
That film was Glass Onion, the first sequel to 2019’s murder mystery sensation. Last year, Netflix forked over a money bin for two more romps with Daniel Craig’s amateur sleuth Benoit Blanc and writer-director Rian Johnson. It was originally supposed to be a streaming-only affair, but Netflix agreed to let it play actual movie theaters — for one week only, before it drops online for the holidays. And though it only played about 700 theaters (for contrast, Strange World opened in over 4,000), a lot of those screenings must have sold out because it had the best per-screen average in the box office top 10, by far.
As per Deadline, by end-of-day Sunday, Glass Onion is expected to have amassed $13.3 million since opening last Wednesday, giving it a $13,505 per screen average. By the end of its one-week run, it will likely get to at least $15 million. It even opened in third place, not far behind Strange World (which opened to $18 million, with a measly $2,850 per screen average.
What does that suggest? That people really, really wanted to see a Knives Out sequel. The sequel is getting some of the best reviews of the year, and it’s not hard to find buzz on social media about how fun it is to watch with an audience. It also suggests Netflix, which has fallen on hard financial times of late, is probably leaving money on the table — a lot of money. (Now’s the time to point out the first Knives Out stayed in domestic theaters for 17 weeks, at which point it had made $165 million. Also worth noting is that Netflix has at least one more sequel, giving them the chance for a Mulligan.)
Glass Onion still has a couple days in theaters, leaving after Tuesday’s showings. It will be on Netflix on December 23, at which point those who couldn’t see it during its brief theatrical run can finally see what people are talking about. After all, it appears people legitimately want to see it.