Frozen Empire takes in $16 million on opening day

“Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire” grossed $16 million in North American ticket sales throughout Friday and preview shows in 4,345 theaters. This almost matches The $16.6 million that its predecessor “Ghostbusters: Afterlife” made on its opening day in November 2021. The sequel to Sony's sci-fi comedy will easily top the domestic charts, though its work is far from done given its $100 million production budget.

This is a slight increase in the price of the movie “Afterlife,” which cost $75 million before marketing and distribution. This franchise revival nearly tripled its domestic opening weekend of $44 million, played well over the Thanksgiving holiday to finish with $129 million and $204 million worldwide. Likewise, the Frozen Empire could boost its fortunes with Easter at the end of the month.

Reviews were more lukewarm in comparison to “Afterlife” which it received. Early moviegoers are also a little cooler about the franchise now, with audience polling company Cinema Score giving it a B+ grade. (“Afterlife” received an A-.) “Frozen Empire” will face some competition next week with the arrival of another “empire,” in this case a “new empire”: Warner Bros. And the legendary “Godzilla X Kong: The New.” Empire.

Paul Rudd, Carrie Coon, Finn Wolfhard and McKenna Grace all return in “Frozen Empire,” as the group heads to the mysterious Big Apple, where the ghost-busting profession was invented. Original '80s stars Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson, Annie Potts and William Atherton also reprise their Ghostbusters roles. Gil Keenan directs.

Indie Banner Neon will also open this weekend, with horror film “Immaculate” showing in 2,354 locations. Titled by Sidney Sweeney and directed by “The Voyeurs” director Michael Mohan, the genre revue was financed and produced by Black Bear. Industry competitors expect “Immaculate” to open with about $5 million during the three-day window. It's not an impressive debut, but the film was made on a modest budget. Reviews are positive, while the audience's immediate feelings are not (C in cinema score) – as is usual in horror films.

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“Dune: Part 2” appears to be holding on to second place. Legendary Entertainment and Warner Bros. The feature grossed $4.45 million on Friday, down just 45% from the $8 million it earned a week ago. Denis Villeneuve's sequel will have another strong run in its fourth weekend of release, and is now looking to push its domestic gross to $230 million. “Frozen Empire” (and soon “Godzilla

Universal's “Kung Fu Panda 4” will take the bronze, with its $14.5 million weekend cume expected to drop just 52%. This is all the more impressive considering that “Frozen Empire” is now a new attraction for family audiences. The DreamWorks Animation sequel will take in $130 million domestically within its first 17 days of release. It will soon surpass the North American gross of its predecessor, “Kung Fu Panda 3,” which grossed $143 million in 2016.

Lionsgate's “Arthur the King” is in fifth place, earning $1.1 million on Friday. The Mark Wahlberg vehicle flopped in its opening and is now looking to cross $14 million through its first 10 days. Considering the modest production budget of $19 million, it wouldn't be too bad in the long run, but the dog story wouldn't be an improbable return after its debut.

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