Family-Friendly TOM AND JERRY Surprises with $13.7 Million Opening Weekend
By Movieguide® Staff
Warner Bros.’s live-action/animated family movie TOM AND JERRY opened with an impressive $13.7 million at the box office, which bodes well for future theatrical releases.
“With half of theaters still closed, the pandemic still a threat and ‘Tom & Jerry’ available at home, this is a very good opening,” Franchise Entertainment Research’s David A. Gross, said. “[It’s] a positive sign for the business and for theatrical’s pull over home entertainment.”
TOM AND JERRY became one of only two movies to break the $10 million mark for their three-day premiere during the coronavirus shutdowns. The family movie came in second for the most successful pandemic-era releases behind Warner Bros.’s WONDER WOMAN 1984, which debuted in December to $16.7 million.
While these numbers are feeble compared to the box office before COVID-19, the success could cause more theaters to open their doors to excited audiences.
According to Comscore, TOM AND JERRY played in 2,475 theaters in North America, where only 42% of theaters are open.
Moreover, TOM AND JERRY also is available to stream on HBO Max for 31 days. Warner Bros. announced the new deal with HBO late last year, which will see 16 more movies follow WONDER WOMAN 1984 and TOM AND JERRY with a joint release.
TOM AND JERRY’s success also emphasizes Movieguide®’s hypothesis that, even amid a pandemic, uplifting movies geared towards family would be what revives the struggling box office.
The top three movie premieres, in regards to domestic box office revenue, were WONDER WOMAN 1984, TOM AND JERRY, and the family-friendly THE CROODS: A NEW AGE, which earned $9.7 million.
One of the first blockbuster movies to be released was Christopher Nolan’s TENET which brought in $9.35 million.
Movieguide® previously reported that TENET lacked the redemptive and uplifting qualities that moviegoers were (and are) desperate for in a time of uncertainty and confusion.
Variety also reported that the majority of movies released during the pandemic contained family-friendly and moral content.
“Of the films that have been released during the pandemic (a fraction of the amount that would typically grace the big screen in normal times), those geared toward younger audiences have reaped the biggest rewards. Warner Bros. said ticket sales for “Tom and Jerry” were fueled by family crowds buying private theater rentals,” Variety wrote.
Warner Bros.’ success should encourage other studios to tap into the largest market of moviegoers, families.
“There’s undoubtedly an element of cabin fever among parents and kids at play with these successful family movies during the pandemic, but I also think we’re looking at the beginnings of a larger trend,” Shawn Robbins, chief analyst at Box Office Pro, said. “As virus cases decline, vaccines roll out, and more mainstream films start releasing, families are growing more comfortable with the idea of going back to the movies while practicing safe health measures such as mask-wearing and social distancing.”
Robbins continued, “With all due caution, though, ‘Tom and Jerry’s’ ability to exceed expectations despite a day-and-date streaming release, and without the biggest markets open, signals yet another positive step forward for the industry as a whole.”