‘Violent Night’ makes solid start in quiet session
With less than three weeks to go until Christmas Day, and more than a week before Avatar: The Way Of Water arrives to provide one almighty distraction for cinemagoers, Violent Night has made a promising start for distributor Universal Pictures.
The festive action comedy debuted in second place at the North America box office with an estimated $13.3m for the December 2-4 weekend, also adding $7.1m in 72 international markets. The film’s setting on Christmas Eve means that Universal needed to hit its main international targets in a timely manner – and the imminent threat of Disney’s Avatar sequel is also presumably a factor in the rapid rollout.
With a production budget reported at $20m, Violent Night should prove profitable by the end of its lifetime, factoring in revenue shares with cinemas and marketing costs, but also future ancillary revenue streams.
UK/Ireland led the international pack with an estimated $997,000 for the weekend. That estimate, published on Sunday, takes account of anticipated weaker takings on Sunday evening due to competition with the England-Senegal World Cup football match.
France, which also participated in a World Cup game on Sunday, delivered an estimated $585,000 opening, just behind Mexico with $593,000.
Germany (an estimated $461,000) and Australia ($443,000) round out the top five international territories on the title.
Norwegian filmmaker Tommy Wirkola (Dead Snow) directs the crime comedy about a gang of mercenaries who target a wealthy family on Christmas Eve – and face off against unlikely adversary Santa Claus (David Harbour).
Universal says Violent Night has already hit 94% of its international footprint. Key market Japan is set for February 3.