Beyoncé Is Queen Bee At The Weekend Box Office With Renaissance, But The Numbers Are Not Taylor Swift-Esque

The first weekend of December is typically a down one for the box office. In the wake of Thanksgiving and the glut of new films that arrive in theaters to take advantage of the holiday, a lot of folks seem to go for a calm, do-nothing stretch that includes not going to their local movie theater. Because of this audience behavior and intense market competition, studios typically save their big new titles for deeper into the month. 

This year is a bit different, however – and it’s thanks to Beyoncé. Following the blockbuster success of Sam Wrench’s Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour, 2023 has now seen the release of a second major concert film with Renaissance: A Film By Beyoncé. Thanks to the titular star’s massive fanbase, the new feature easily took the #1 spot in the Top 10 this week… though the numbers don’t quite compare to those that Swifties were able to generate.

Check out the full Top 10 in the chart below and join me after for analysis.

Weekend Box Office Renaissance: A Film By Beyoncé

(Image credit: Trafalgar Releasing)
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1. Renaissance: A Film By Beyoncé* $21,000,000 $21,000,000 N/A 2,539
2. The Hunger Games: The Ballad Of Songbirds & Snakes $14,500,000 $121,243,408 1 3,776
3. Godzilla Minus One* $11,031,954 $11,031,954 N/A 2,308
4. Trolls Band Together $7,600,000 $74,833,000 4 3,613
5. Wish $7,412,000 $41,955,942 3 3,900
6. Napoleon $7,125,000 $45,740,000 2 3,500
7. Animal* $6,140,000 $6,140,000 N/A 700
8. The Shift* $4,358,377 $4,358,377 N/A 2,450
9. Silent Night* $3,000,000 $3,000,000 N/A 1,870
10. Thanksgiving $2,630,000 $28,377,633 5 3,204

Renaissance: A Film By Beyoncé Is Another Concert Movie Win, But The Numbers Pale Compared To Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour

When Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour arrived in theaters in mid-October, it was, for lack of a more appropriate word, historic. Prior to October 15, the biggest concert film of all time had been Jon M Chu’s Justin Bieber: Never Say Never, which made $99 million worldwide in its full theatrical run. The Taylor Swift release made that much money in three days. It was an eye-opening development, and it instantly geared a lot of industry anticipation toward Renaissance: A Film By Beyoncé.

Now, the latest massive concert movie of 2023 is here, but the results aren’t quite as Earth-shattering. The Beyhive flocked to cinemas and easily made the new wide release the number one film in North America, but it made only about 20 percent of what The Eras Tour did during its first Friday-to-Sunday. The results are more in line with the performance of the aforementioned Justin Bieber: Never Say Never, which made $29.5 million when it debuted on the big screen in February 2011. Three years before that, Bruce Hendricks’ Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert made $31.1 million in the three-day wake of its domestic premiere (it went on to make $65.3 million in the United States and Canada and $70.7 million worldwide).

According to The Numbers, the Beyoncé movie has made $6.4 million overseas thus far, bringing its global box office haul to an estimated $27.4 million to date.

Beyoncé Silhouette in Renaissance: A Film By Beyoncé

(Image credit: Trafalgar Releasing)

So what is the industry to take away from this? For starters, it continues to be a challenge to put out films in the first weekend of December, and it seems that even appealing to a massive fanbase can’t quite get a new release to overcome that massive hurdle. It also doesn’t appear that concert films are now set up to be the hottest new thing on the big screen. Gold was clearly struck with Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour, and there was hope that it might be the start of a special theatrical trend, but the first effort to try and recreate that success hasn’t gone exactly as planned. Renaissance: A Film By Beyoncé registered as the perfect title to follow-up the success of the big October win, but things didn’t quite work out as planned. 

Naturally, what will be interesting to see from this point forward is how the film may or may not develop legs. It’s possible that this was simply a terrible weekend to put out anything new, and the Beyhive will be more into the experience next week. This coming Friday isn’t exactly overflowing with massive new blockbusters, and that vacuum could end up being a big opportunity for the Beyoncé film. It will certainly be a focus of my box office column next week.

Godzilla Minus One Has A Solid Opening Weekend While Silent Night Fails To Find An Audience

With Renaissance: A Film By Beyoncé expected to take the top spot at the box office this weekend, arguably the biggest surprise of the last three days has been the performance by Takashi Yamazaki’s Godzilla Minus One. While the American MonsterVerse featuring both Godzilla and Kong regularly produce massive big screen movies, the kaiju imports from Japan haven’t historically done as well. For example, Hideaki Anno and Shinji Higuchi’s Shin Godzilla only made $1.9 million during its extremely limited domestic release in 2016. 

But the new feature has ridden a wave of buzz to a great start in the United States and Canada. Godzilla Minus One has earned rave reactions from critics, and it has been the subject of extremely positive word of mouth from audiences. The movie is currently sporting a 97 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and it has gotten an “A” grade from surveys by CinemaScore. That has led to an $11 million opening weekend, and it may end up continuing to do well as more people tell their friends and family about their big screen experience.

Existing on the opposite side of the spectrum is John Woo’s Silent Night. Coming out in the first weekend of December, Lionsgate was clearly hoping to recreate the success of Tommy Wirkola’s Violent Night from last year (featuring David Harbour as a killer Santa Claus), but things did not go as planned with the dialogue-free new release. The 2022 feature made $13.5 million in its first three days, and thanks to buzz through the holiday season, it ended up making over $50 million domestically. Joel Kinnaman’s new film will not have matching success.

Silent Night was released in over 1,800 locations this past Friday, but it only made about $1,604 per theater in the last three days, equating to a $3 million opening weekend. With a 59 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes and a “C” grade from CinemaScore, it’s hard to see a comeback story developing through the rest of the month. 

Coming up this Friday, Hayao Miyazaki’s The Boy And The Heron will be arriving in wide release, while Yorgos Lanthimos’ Poor Things starring Emma Stone, Mark Ruffalo and Willem Dafoe will be making its theatrical debut in limited theaters following its very successful run during the fall festivals. These titles are others should help shakeup the Top 10, so be sure to head back here to CinemaBlend next Sunday to check out the weekend box office results.

In the meantime, you can check out our 2023 Movie Release Calendar to learn about everything still to come out before December 31, and you can get a jump start on next year by checking our our Upcoming 2024 Movies guide.


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