As we reported last week, THE MATRIX RESURRECTIONS was facing several challenges that had the potential to erode its theatrical grosses. Sadly, many came to fruition. With an estimated $23M gross over five days and $13M for the weekend, the theatrical numbers for THE MATRIX RESURRECTIONS fell well below expectations. Now we’re beginning to see why.
ISSUE #1: SPIDER-MAN: NO WAY HOME
Every once in a while, a film comes along that sucks all the oxygen out of the room. Right now, that film is SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME. The web-slinger accounted for more than 60% of all ticket sales over the holiday weekend even though there were five new wide releases.
ISSUE #2: FRONT-LOADED GROSSES
Large-budget films are always susceptible to front-loaded grosses, but that was especially true for MATRIX. The film made $6.4M on its first day of release. As you can see below, across its five-day opening, it made the most on Wednesday (left side). That first day accounted for 28% of its five-day gross.
The right side of the chart includes other films that had five-day openings that stretched across the Christmas holiday. In most cases, the opening Wednesday accounts for about 18-20% of the weekend total. At 28%, MATRIX easily had the highest number of the group.
ISSUE #3: BAD EXIT POLLS
This goes hand-in-hand with front-loaded grosses. When audiences don’t like a film, that leads to bad word-of-mouth, which in turn leads to a lower future box office.
MATRIX walked away with a B- Cinemascore. That ties LITTLE FOCKERS for the lowest score of the films listed above.
ISSUE #4: PIRACY
As Deadline reported, MATRIX was the victim of rampant piracy over the weekend. That’s somewhat baked into the equation by the studios when a film is released day-and-date, but the data suggests that this film was hit especially hard.
In the end, MATRIX was a victim of a perfect storm of unfortunate events. It went up against one of the biggest films of all time, it was available at home as well as in theaters, fans didn’t especially like it, and in the end, poor word-of-mouth combined with easily accessible pirated copies doomed the film’s theatrical grosses.