“Glass Onion” was a huge success in theatres. It has made $13 million and is expected to make up to $15 million. With an all-star cast that included Daniel Craig and Kate Hudson, not to mention scene stealer Janelle Monae, “Glass Onion” had the potential to be a box office smash. If “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery” had played in 3500 theatres for a month, it could have broken box office records. However, Netflix only released it in 700 theatres last week, and only for a limited time, until this Thursday. Then, if you want to watch “Glass Onion,” you’ll have to do so via Netflix.
According to reliable estimates, the sequel to 2019’s “Knives Out” grossed $13 million over the extended Thanksgiving holiday weekend, translating to a healthy $19,000 per-theater average. Over the weekend, more than $9 million of that total was collected. That means “Glass Onion” would have finished third on domestic box office charts, trailing “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” ($65 million from 4,258 theatres over five days) and Disney’s “Strange World” ($18.5 million from 4,174 theatres over five days), if Netflix had reported box office figures. And those films were showing in six times the number of theaters.
“Glass Onion” is remarkable for being the first Netflix film to play in the nation’s three largest chains, AMC Theaters, Regal Cinemas, and Cinemark. It features Edward Norton, Janelle Monáe, Kathryn Hahn, and Kate Hudson in addition to Daniel Craig’s wacky sleuth Benoit Blanc. At least ten Netflix movies have recently been offered by the third-largest circuit, Cinemark, but AMC and Regal have previously declined since the streamer would not accept the conventional theatrical frame. Netflix won’t start streaming “Glass Onion” until December 23.
The rare crowd-pleaser that doesn’t require superheroes or explosive stunts to appeal to audiences young and old, “Glass Onion” is the rare crowd-pleaser that theatre owners secretly wish Netflix had given a longer theatrical window to. It doesn’t take a detective like Benoit Blanc to realise that “Glass Onion” would have been a box office success in theatres if it had been able to play for more than a week and in more theaters.
Netflix paid a high price for the rights to the “Knives Out” series, shelling out $450 million for the rights to the second and third instalments.