EXCLUSIVE: Disney/Lucasfilm’s Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny is posting an estimated $6 million-$7.5 million Thursday night, per sources, which is where previous older-skewing action-guy comps live.
We’re specifically referencing the Thursday night starts of No Time to Die, which grossed $6.3M (started at 4 p.m.) before its $55.2M opening weekend in October 2021, and 2018’s Mission: Impossible – Fallout which made $6M before its $61.2M weekend start. Dial of Destiny, which started previews at 3 p.m. Thursday, is expected to gross between $60M-$65M at 4,500 theaters, making is the second-highest stateside opening for the Steven Spielberg-George Lucas franchise after 2008’s Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, which posted a five-day opening of $151.9M, after a 3-day of $100.1M. Crystal Skull didn’t have previews but opened fully on the Thursday before Memorial Day weekend with $25M at 4,260 theaters.
Why aren’t weekend projections up to the same level as the previous chapter? It’s two-fold: part of that has to do with this Indy getting the worst reviews ever at 66% coming out of its Cannes Film Festival world premiere, but also, its audience is graying and on par with 007 franchise. You can’t say that Mission: Impossible is getting older just yet as that movie is set to see a franchise-best start with Dead Reckoning of $100M over five days starting July 12; that sequel is expecting to nab a Top Gun: Maverick halo effect.
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What’s social media saying about Dial of Destiny? RelishMix reports, “Chatter on Indy 5 runs mixed-leaning-positive with fans who think ‘this will be a masterpiece, filled with heart-pounding action’ and that Ford as Indy will be missed as one the best heroes ever — along with adoration for John Williams’ historic contribution and career. Plus, there’s excitement for James Mangold at the helm as fans talk about their lives over the 39 years [of the] franchise and wish there had been more episodes. Hecklers are taking pot shots at everything from the story, throwback elements and cliché comments about sequels, but are nowhere as loud as lovers of the franchise.”
Social media universe for Dial of Destiny counts 296.4M across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok and YouTube views “predominately on Lucas channels and cross-promoted on several Disney movie channels with brand tie-in spots which are also well integrated into the push,” says RelishMix. That figure is above Fallout‘s SMU of 234M, but well below that of No Time to Die (692.5M), Top Gun: Maverick (401M) and Hobbs and Shaw (961.4M).
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No Time to Die‘s Thursday previews repped 27% of its $23.3M first Friday, while Fallout‘s previews repped 26% of its $22.8M Friday. Indy here will, of course, have the extra legroom of the Monday and Tuesday in the extended holiday, though July 4th is always a downer day for moviegoing. No Time to Die, released in October 2021, drew 64% guys, 57% over 35, and Fallout pulled in 58% men, 41% of that demo over 25, and 17% under 25. Crystal Skull skewed 66% over 25 and with a third of its audience comprised of kids under 12 and parents.
Dial of Destiny will have the exhibition treasures of 400 Imax auditoriums, 900 PLF screens, 280 D-Box theaters and 85 Screen X hubs in its theater swath.
Logan filmmaker Mangold took over directing the finale from longtime franchise architect Spielberg. In this latest installment, Indy teams with his goddaughter played by Phoebe Waller-Bridge and is on the search for a device which, as Cher has always sung, “can turn back time.” If you thought Indy was old in Crystal Skull, he’s even older here with the action taking place in 1969. That said, he’s still dealing with Nazis, one of them played by Mads Mikkelsen.