By Matthew Moorcroft
As the world awaits the release of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, it’s a slower week at the box office for most of the releases, but some films still managed to impress into the weekend. Let’s break it down.
1 – The Bad Guys ($16.1 million)
Taking the first place crown for the second week in a row is The Bad Guys, which dropped only 33% in it’s second weekend of release to make $16.1 million. With $44.4 million so far domestically, it’s excellent holds and $120 million worldwide haul shows that the film does have staying power like I predicted last week as audiences seem to desperately want a good theatrical animated film.
And now comes the long game domestically as the film continues into the later week. It’s unlikely the film will hit $100 million domestically but how far could it go, theoretically? It will likely hit $50 million during the week, but could it reach the break even point of $70 million within two weeks? My gut feeling is that it will but it’s gonna be all dependent on how much Doctor Strange takes away from it’s screens next week.
Still, this is excellent stuff for the film and bodes well for future holds and weeks. In fact, this one of the lowest drops in recent memory for an animated film as the last one, Encanto, fell 54%. And while this is likely it’s final weekend at number one, we will be keeping an eye on it in future weeks as it continues it’s trek.
2 – Sonic the Hedgehog 2 ($11.4 million)
Falling just 28% from last weekend, Sonic 2 is still running fast with $11.4 million as it picks up one last batch of cash before it gets booted out of theaters thanks to Doctor Strange. And if anything, this was one of the best weekends yet for it as it passed several milestones and proved the Sonic franchise is now one not to be messed with.
For starters, it has hit $160.9 million domestically, becoming the highest grossing video game movie of all time in the US/Canada, and passed $323 million worldwide which puts it past it’s predecessor in terms of worldwide total. While it still has $100 million to go to beat Warcraft, it’s looking more and more like a possibility that it will surpass it. This would be a massive win for Paramount and could turn the tide and Sonic officially a marquee franchise for them.
Will it cross $200 million domestic? Hard to say, as it’s drops have been strong and it has a chance but Doctor Strange is going to put the breaks on it for sure. We’ll have to wait until next week’s holds to know for sure but right now the film is in a strong position to do so. And if anything, this bodes even better for Sonic the Hedgehog 3, which will more then likely be a $100 million+ weekend opener for a studio that desperately needs one.
3 – Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore ($8.3 million)
While it’s drop of 41% isn’t as bad as expected considering it’s initial hefty drop (it’s a stronger third weekend then Crimes of Grindelwald, for what that’s worth), Secrets of Dumbledore was already crippled by weak holds through the week and with Doctor Strange on it’s toes next week it’s all but guaranteed to be missing out on $100 million domestically.
Sitting at $79.6 million domestically right now, this is a really bad number for the franchise and while it could recoup the costs worldwide somewhat (it’s at $329.6 million worldwide right now) the lackluster word of mouth and overall ambivalence towards the whole Fantastic Beasts series in general really put into perspective how little gas in the tank the franchise has left.
And this was it’s last chance to really make some money, as it’s already starting to lose theaters and bound to lose more as Doctor Strange rolls up to multiplexes with record breaking numbers next week. We’ll see how the damage is next week but I can already predict it’s not going to be pretty.
4 – The Northman ($6.3 million)
In a decent but not exceptional hold, The Northman manages to cling to the Top 4 with $6.3 million, dropping 49% in it’s second weekend of release. The film’s within expectations underperformance was initially somewhat mitigated by it unexpectedly taking the #1 spot on Monday, which caused some pundits to predict an exceptional hold for the film going into the weekend as word of mouth seemingly got around.
Alas, while the hold is easily the strongest of these historical epics that have come around recently (Last Duel fell 57% and Green Knight a whopping 62%) it still isn’t enough to really save it. It’s $22.8 million domestic haul and $41.6 million worldwide just isn’t enough to get past that $90 million price tag sadly and while the film will likely garner a cult following, that hefty price tag is just gonna tell studios to not spend that kind of money on these kinds of films anymore.I
It’s a shame too, as The Northman‘s word of mouth has shown that audiences are liking them. It just comes down to marketing and release date placement – the film needed a bigger push by Focus Features/Universal, who are likely somewhat reeling by this as they are also in the press for Fast X drama and are likely turning to Firestarter in two weeks to see if they can get any semblance of good news.
5 – Everything Everywhere All At Once ($5.5 million)
In probably the most shocking development of the week to people not following the specialty market, the indie sci-fi darling Everything Everywhere All At Once actually went up this week by 2% to gross another $5.5 million to it’s domestic total of $35.5 million. It’s low budget of $20 million will likely be doubled within the next week and is exceptional business for the small film which has gotten by on word of mouth alone.
And what word of mouth! Outside of incredible critical reception, the film is currently in the iMDb Top 100 and is the highest rated film of all time on Letterboxd, and general audiences have been more then kind to it over the month. With Oscar talks in serious consideration and A24 shifting their focus to this film in particular, we could be seeing a Greatest Showman like run in the making as the film just keeps trucking along.
It’s likely that Doctor Strange will cut into some of it’s business, mainly due to crossover appeal (both the MCU and Everything Everywhere are popular with the same crowds), the film is likely going to hold well for at least a couple of more weeks until A24 switches gear to focus on Men. Until then though, the donut has risen.
In terms of other films in the Top 10, two notable ones of note are The Lost City and Memory – the former for good reasons, the latter for terrible reasons.
The Lost City fell just 9% this weekend as it nears $100 million domestic, hitting $90.8 million domestically this past weekend. This puts it in a good position to reach it within the next two weeks and would be a massive win for smaller, mid budget films. It’s hit $149 million worldwide as well which is solid numbers for the film and proves that Sandra Bullock and Channing Tatum still have star power.
Who doesn’t have that star power anymore though is Liam Neeson, whose newest actioner Memory opened at #8 with a dreadful $3.1 million, the lowest action opening of Neeson’s career. This is likely the nail in the coffin for Neeson’s action movie side, which had a strong presence throughout the 2010s but finally seems to be fizzling out.