Netflix is staying tight-lipped about the box office performance of “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery.” However, sources speculate the well-reviewed whodunit scored in its special theatrical release, earning as much as $15 million during its week-long run in roughly 600 theaters.
Based on informed estimates, the sequel to 2019’s “Knives Out” brought in $13 million over the extended Thanksgiving holiday frame, translating to a robust $19,000 per-theater-average. More than $9 million of that figure came over the weekend. That means “Glass Onion” would have placed third on domestic box office charts, following “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” (which grossed $65 million from 4,258 cinemas over the five days) and Disney’s “Strange World” (which grossed $18.5 million from 4,174 cinemas over the five days), had Netflix actually reported box office figures. And those films were playing in six times as many theaters.
Netflix declined to comment for this article. Some rival studios pegged Netflix’s results as slightly lower at $12 million for the five-day holiday.
“Glass Onion” — which brings back Daniel Craig’s quirky sleuth Benoit Blanc and adds a motley crew of starry suspects, like Edward Norton, Janelle Monáe, Kathryn Hahn and Kate Hudson, to the fun — is also notable as the first Netflix movie to play in the country’s three biggest chains — AMC Theaters, Regal Cinemas and Cinemark. The third-largest circuit, Cinemark, has offered at least 10 Netflix films in recent months, but AMC and Regal previously refused because the streamer would not agree to the standard theatrical window. “Glass Onion” won’t be available on Netflix until Dec. 23.
Privately, theater owners wish that Netflix granted “Glass Onion” a longer theatrical window because it’s the rare crowdpleaser that doesn’t require superheroes or explosive stunts to appeal to audiences young and old. It doesn’t take a detective like Benoit Blanc to figure out that “Glass Onion” would have made a killing in theaters if it were able to screen in more locations and play for longer than a week.
The first film, which Lionsgate released in theaters in 2019, opened to $26 million over the Thanksgiving weekend. “Knives Out” continued to slay on the big screen, eventually earning $165 million in North America and $311 million worldwide, providing much-needed optimism for the state of mid-budget original fare at the box office.
Netflix paid handsomely for the rights to the “Knives Out” series, forking over $450 million for the right to make the second and third installments.