Box office reports are a thing that's happening again, but they don't exactly read the same way they used to. Box office totals are a fraction of what they were, because in many places theaters aren't even open. And box office numbers don't even tell the whole story that they once did because many films are being released in homes either instead of theatrical releases or in addition to them. Bill and Ted Face the Music had itself a pretty solid opening weekend all things considered. While the film made only a fraction of what The New Mutants did in theaters this past weekend, it's putting up a strong showing via Premium VOD services.
Bill and Ted Face the Music made just over $1 million, showing in just over 1,000 theaters in the U.S. The majority of that success was found at drive-ins. While that number is only a fraction of the $7 million that The New Mutants made, Face the Music is doing much better at home as, according to Forbes, the film is at the top of the digital sales/rental charts for all the major platforms, including iTunes, Amazon, Fandango, and more.
While Bill and Ted Face the Music may be doing well at home, it's impossible to tell just what that really means in gross dollars. We don't know how many times the film was purchased. And a lot of the sales of Face the Music have come as part of a digital bundle that includes all three Bill and Ted movies, which only further skews the data as not every dollar being spent is technically going toward the new movie.
But the other part of the box office equation which is new is that box office success likely won't strictly come in the first couple of weeks of release as has been the pattern in the past. Movies like Bill and Ted Face the Music and The New Mutants are expected to build their box office numbers slowly over a period of weeks. As theaters reopen in places where they are closed or as viewers become more comfortable with the idea of visiting theaters, people may finally go see movies after they've technically been open for weeks.
Bill and Ted Face the Music is much better reviewed than The New Mutants though it's maybe not a shock that the X-Men film saw better returns in theaters as it's the bigger "blockbuster" full of superheroes that feels like the movie people might want to see on a big screen. Anybody under 40 excited for Bill and Ted Face the Music likely saw the first two movies at home anyway, so seeing the new one that way probably didn't feel too out of place.
While this certainly wasn't the debut that Bill and Ted Face the Music was expecting, it's not a bad one. The movie is pretty great and a lot of people got to experience that, one way or another.