Movie goers sit in a theatre at a Cineplex in Toronto on October 6, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

On a quiet weekend, ‘Old’ tops, ‘Snake Eyes’ sinks

M. Night Shyamalan’s “Old” easily won a slower weekend at the North American box office, while the G.I. Joe pic “Snake Eyes” lived up to its name.

Although both fresh offerings from major studios, moviegoers turned out in modest numbers on a weekend where there was the notable distraction of the Olympics as well as rising concerns about the Delta variant.

Universal on Sunday said that “Old” grossed an estimated $16.5 million. Paramount’s “Snake Eyes” origin story brought in an estimated $13.4 million in ticket sales.

While not wildly far apart in grosses, “Snake Eyes,” starring Henry Golding as the warrior-in-training, cost significantly more with a reported $88 million price tag, excluding advertising.

Meanwhile “Old,” starring Gael García Bernal and Vicky Krieps as the heads of a family whose tropical vacation turns into a horror when they begin to rapidly age, was independently financed for around $18 million. Including international grosses, “Old,” which is based on the graphic novel “Sandcastle,” grossed $23 million worldwide in its first weekend.

“It’s an extraordinary debut,” said Jim Orr, Universal’s head of distribution. “M. Night Shyamalan is an amazing filmmaker and one of the best in the industry.”

Orr said he also expects “Old” will continue to play well in the coming weeks.

Neither audiences nor critics reviewed the two new films especially well. “Old” has a 52% on Rotten Tomatoes and got a C+ CinemaScore, while “Snake Eyes” is currently at 42% on Rotten Tomatoes with a B- CinemaScore, which historically does not bode well for long-term potential.

Disney and Marvel’s “Black Widow” crept ahead to third place with $11.6 million, bringing its global total to $314.9 million, while last week’s No. 1 film “Space Jam” grossed $9.6 million, down 69% from last weekend. Both are available to watch at home too: “Space Jam” is streaming on HBO Max, while Disney+ subscribers can rent “Black Widow” for $30.