Audiences showed up in droves for a pair of new movies this weekend. Some were experiencing a revolution for their Lord and Savior. Others went to worship a bear high on cocaine. Even more continued to hand over money to Marvel, but far less than the studio certainly hoped this weekend. The three of them combined did not result in one of the top three weekends of the year, but it is another where at least three films grossed over $10 million, and we could see a lot more of that throughout the month of March.
Despite a coked-up bear and converted hippies, the top film at the box office this weekend was once again Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. Do you hear that record scratch, though? That’s because it just had the largest second-weekend drop for any film in the MCU. The Universe has had its share of 67% drops recently with Black Widow (67.8%), Thor: Love and Thunder (67.7%), Spider-Man: No Way Home (67.5%), and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (67%). In fact, Marvel’s six biggest drops have all come since 2021 (including Black Panther: Wakanda Forever and Eternals). Now you can make it seven with Quantumania leading the way with a fall from $105 million down to $32.2 million (69.7%).
That $32.2 million is just a smidge over what Ant-Man and the Wasp did in its second weekend ($29 million). Only six films in the MCU had a second frame lower than $30 million and Quantumania’s take brings its 10-day total to $167.3 million, below the first Guardians of the Galaxy ($176.5 million) but still ahead of Captain America: The Winter Soldier ($158.8 million). Both of those films made over $41 million in their second weekend and over $25 million in their third. Quantumania will certainly fall back even further. At present, it hopes to at least maintain a similar pace to its own predecessor, which it is currently $34 million ahead of, and finish its run somewhere between $240-250 million. That means it would need to clear around $350 million for it to stay out of the red in Marvel’s ledger. Its international haul currently stands at $196.3 million.
Lionsgate was hoping to have its first big cash cow since Knives Out when John Wick 4 opens in a month, but they got a nice little boost this week from Jesus Revolution. Based on the true story of California hippies-turned-Jesus freaks (as they were called at the time), the $15 million-budgeted film turned in $15.5 million over the weekend. That is on par with 2016’s Miracles from Heaven, which had a $14.8 million weekend after pulling in $3.5 million on Weds and Thurs. This is certainly the best faith-based opening since 2018’s I Can Only Imagine, which grabbed $23 million by its Sunday collection plate. We will see if the Revolution can catch on again, though the film should find itself with a bare minimum floor of $36 million based on the history of these films that do grab an audience. It will need around $45 million for the film to not need any additional donations.
Did you hear about the bear that did cocaine? Apparently a lot of people did, as Cocaine Bear pulled in just over an estimated $23 million in its opening weekend. The average finish for a February release opening between $20-23 million is roughly $67.6 million with only one film (2006’s When a Stranger Calls remake) finishing below $50 million. Cocaine Bear received the same B- Cinemascore as When a Stranger Calls, which had just a 2.21 multiple over its opening weekend. Other films in that group that also earned a B- include Vantage Point, Fool’s Gold, Payback, and The Woman In Black, and three of those finished over $70 million. Cocaine Bear has a higher score with critics than any of them (currently Fresh at 70%) and a lowball gross of $50 million would already be halfway to ensuring the film is in profit. If the international crowd is as enticed by the high concept as we apparently are here, this should be another winner for Universal.
The good news continues for Universal as Puss In Boots: The Last Wish spent its 10th straight week in the top five. Another $4.1 million over the weekend brings its total to over $173 million. With over $442 million worldwide, it is about to surpass the profit margin of the 2011 original. Struggling a bit to meet its threshold is M. Night Shyamalan’s Knock at the Cabin, which has maintained a minimum consistency after its initial big drop and is just under $34 million total. If it can still find $10 million in tickets across the globe it will maintain the filmmaker’s winning streak that he hopes to now continue over at Warner Bros. The only film he made over there, Lady in the Water, was the biggest money loser of his career.
Warner Bros.’ Magic Mike’s Last Dance dropped 50% to $2.7 million over the weekend, bringing its total to around $23 million. This is going to be the fifth straight theatrical loser for the studio (after House Party, Black Adam, Don’t Worry Darling, and DC League of Super Pets), which has not had a full success story since last summer’s Elvis. Tom Brady reportedly had his last dance in January, but 80 For Brady keeps limping along like his final season. After dropping 55% to $1.7 million this weekend its total is just over $36 million. With no international cash to speak of yet, the GOAT worship film is still in need of $50 million to get over the profit goal line.
Finally, of course, Avatar: The Way of Water continues to make money. It is now in its 11th week in the top five, taking in $4.8 million to bring its total to over $665 million. That is just a smidge over what Black Panther did in its 11th week ($4.73 million) and it remains $23 million off that film’s pace, making it unlikely it will hit $700 million, especially as sequel after sequel will knock it back throughout March. Still, it should find itself passing Avengers: Infinity War’s $678.8 million and becoming the seventh highest-grossing domestic release of all time and third highest worldwide.
Sequel month begins next week as we enter March and wait for Creed III to lead the box office. Michael B. Jordan steps into the director’s chair for the third entry in the Rocky spin-off that grossed $109 million and $115 million in parts one and two. The film is currently enjoying a 90% approval from critics and is hoping to best the $35 million opening of the second film. Guy Ritchie’s Operation Fortune: Ruse de guerre is also finally opening in theaters. Filmed in 2021 and originally scheduled for an early 2022 release, the STX sendoff landed at Lionsgate, who will put the film in theaters before it heads for a quick streaming turnaround on Amazon Prime Video on April 7.
[box office figures via Box Office Mojo]
Thumbnail image by ©Marvel Studios