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Retired quarterback Tom Brady defeated armies of blue people at the weekend box office.
His “80 for Brady” comedy, starring Jane Fonda, Sally Field, Rita Moreno and Lily Tomlin as octogenarians who plot to cheer on their hero Brady at the 2017 Super Bowl, beat “Avatar: The Way of Water” after the blockbuster spent 7 straight weeks at the top.
Tom Brady with “80 for Brady” costars (from left) Rita Moreno, Sally Field, Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda at the L.A. premiere of “80 for Brady.”
Axelle/Bauer-Griffin via Getty Images
But Brady, who appeared in the movie and produced it, still got out-grossed by the M. Night Shyamalan thriller “Knock at the Cabin,” which finished No. 1 with $14.2 million in ticket sales.
“80 for Brady” opened with an estimated $12.5 million. Shortly before announcing his retirement from football (again), Brady attended the film’s premiere.
Paramount Pictures employed a unique strategy in releasing “80 for Brady.” While many films have sought to capitalize on higher ticket prices through large-format or 3-D screenings or surge pricing, which films like “The Batman” have tried, Paramount went the other direction on “80 for Brady.” The studio partnered with exhibitors, including the largest chains, to play “80 for Brady” at matinee prices to help lure its largely older audience. (Half of ticket buyers were over the age of 55.)
It seemed to work. At a time when comedies have struggled mightily in theaters, “80 for Brady” (with a production budget of $28 million) had one of the best openings for a live-action comedy in years. Discount pricing is to continue for the rest of the film’s run.
“Avatar: The Way of Water” slid to third with $10.8 million domestically in its eighth weekend. The film’s No. 1 streak matched the run of 2009′s “Avatar.” In the last four decades, only those two by Cameron and his “Titanic” (1997) have had such sustained reigns atop the box office.
“The Way of Water” continues to perform especially strongly overseas, where its $27.9 million this weekend pushed its overall total to $2.17 billion worldwide. That puts it at fourth highest gross of all-time; Cameron — with two “Avatar” films and “Titanic” — now accounts for three of the top four.
“BTS: Yet to Come in Cinemas” took in $5.1 million to land in fifth place. The BTS concert film is drawn from their October 2022 performance in Busan, South Korea — a send-off show before the group began a two-year hiatus. It opened in 1,111 locations.
Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Comscore. Final domestic figures will be released Monday.
1. “Knock at the Cabin,” $14.2 million.
2. “80 for Brady,” $12.5 million.
3. “Avatar: The Way of Water,” $10.8 million.
4. “Puss in Boots: The Last Wish,” $8 million.
5. “BTS: Yet to Come in Cinemas,” $5.1 million.
6. “A Man Called Otto,” $4.2 million.
7. “M3gan,” $3.8 million.
8. “Missing,” $3.7 million.
9. “The Chosen Season 3 Finale,” $3.6 million.
10. “Pathaan,” $2.8 million.