TAGGED AS: Box Office, movies, news
March has ended. None of its sequels lasted longer than a single week at No. 1 due to competition, and the latest franchise attempt is likely to suffer the same fate next week as a new video game adaptation takes over. Nevertheless, March produced three $100+ million grossers, two of which are headed over $150 million and one that’s still shooting for $200 million. Will they be joined by a fourth? The new Dungeons & Dragons film certainly has its supporters from both its fandom and even critics, but its opening numbers likely aren’t impressing those who put up the dough for it.
So what are we to make of a $38.5 million weekend by Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves? Fans of number-watching got excited on Friday morning when some reported a $5.6 million take in Thursday previews. Those would have been the best Thursday numbers of the year. Alas, those reports buried the lede that $1.5 million of that was from earlier previews. Thus the potential estimates for a huge weekend were dashed. Still, those are better numbers than Shazam! Fury of the Gods, right? Well, yes and no.
Yes, $38.5 million is a higher number than the $30 million that DC dud limped out of the gate with (and certainly higher than the $33.9 million the 2000 attempt at this franchise made – and that’s globally). On the other hand, an extra $8.5 million is not much to write home about when your film costs anywhere from $26-41 million more than one that is already poised to be one of the biggest bombs of 2023. It’s all up to fans now to spread word of mouth, especially overseas where this film really needs to be saved.
The numbers this weekend put Honor Among Thieves behind the company of three late March releases – Ready Player One ($41.7 million opening), G.I. Joe: Retaliation ($40.5 million), and 2017’s Power Rangers ($40.3 million). That latter comes up a lot when measuring franchise failures, as it barely doubled its opening weekend towards a $85.3 million gross. Spielberg’s film and the G.I. Joe sequel domestically grossed $137.6 million and $122.5 million, respectively. They also had solid international hauls of $445.2 million and $253.2 million. Yet, with their budgets of $175 million & $130 million, they were still considered disappointments overall. Somewhere in there are the numbers that the $151 million-budgeted D&D needs to turn a theatrical profit; so far, it has grossed just $71.5 million worldwide.
John Wick: Chapter 4 fell 61.8% in its second weekend down to $28.2 million; that’s just a bit over Chapter 3’s $24.5 million over its second frame. Currently, the fourth chapter is at $122.8 million and about $21 million ahead of its predecessor’s pace. Chapter 3 ultimately finished with $171 million, putting the new film on a very narrow path to $200 million. If it wants to keep chugging ahead of the last film’s pace, it will need to earn at least around $15 million next week. Chapter 4 now owns the 12th-best 10-day total for a film released in March, but it’s also behind the pace of Jordan Peele’s Us, which had a $33.2 million second outing and $127.8 million after 10 days to finish with $175 million. Us dropped off further in weekend three, so if the word of mouth is out there, Wick can push further, but right now it’s looking like it will land somewhere between $180-195 million. In the meantime, it is over $245 million worldwide.
Creed III made another $5 million in its fifth weekend, bringing its total up to $148.5 million (and over $255 million worldwide). The film is still falling off the pace of Kong: Skull Island but could still tiptoe its way to just over $160 million. Scream VI is just shy of the $100 million line, which it will cross this week and ultimately land between $105-110 million to make it the highest-domestic-grossing film in the franchise. With $143 million worldwide, it still needs another $30 million to top the global gross of the 1996 original.
Tucked into third this week is a release from faith-based Angel Studios called His Only Son, about the story of Abraham being called to sacrifice his son, Isaac. $5.5 million went into the collection plate a week before Easter. That outgrossed Zachary Levi in Shazam! Fury of the Gods in just its third weekend; it made $4.6 million, bringing its total to $53.4 million. Another DC Zach – Snyder, that is – debuted in 2004 with his remake of Dawn of the Dead, which had a $4.5 million third weekend. It had $51.7 million in the bank after 17 days and finished with $59 million, suggesting Fury of the Gods is going to get itself just over the $60 million line and join the $100+ million loser club. That and Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, down to $1.2 million in week seven, are the two biggest money losers of the year, though they could be joined by Dungeons & Dragons if its international sales don’t pick up.
Wrapping up the top 10, Jesus Revolution finished its sixth weekend by getting over $50 million, Sony’s sci-fi disappointment 65 managed to cross $30 million, and Focus’ Sundance winner A Thousand and One grossed $1.8 million in 926 theaters. Then, outside the top 10, Zach Braff’s A Good Person with Florence Pugh expanded to 687 theaters from just 157 a week ago and grossed $510,210. It has made $1.7 million in 10 days of release. Braff’s crowd-funded Sundance effort, Wish I Was Here, grossed $3.59 million in 56 days of release in 2014.
The film that set Twitter ablaze with is voice casting is poised to light up the box office next when The Super Mario Bros. Movie becomes the first family-oriented film to hit theaters since Puss In Boots: The Last Wish. Universal is currently doing the Lord’s work for families, especially over the upcoming holiday. Adults, meanwhile, will have their own chance to get out to see Ben Affleck’s Air, which has jumped up to 98% on the Tomatometer; Amazon is hoping to have their biggest release to date. Speaking of flying, Dennis Quaid and Heather Graham take to the skies and hope to get down safely when their pilot dies in UA Releasing’s On a Wing and a Prayer. The film comes from the director of Soul Surfer and Bratz: The Movie.
90% Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves (2023)
94% John Wick: Chapter 4 (2023)
82% His Only Son (2023)
76% Scream VI (2023)
88% Creed III (2023)
49% Shazam! Fury of the Gods (2023)
96% A Thousand and One (2023)
35% 65 (2023)
46% Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania (2023)
58% Jesus Revolution (2023)
Erik Childress can be heard each week evaluating box office on Business First AM with Angela Miles and his Movie Madness Podcast.
[box office figures via Box Office Mojo]
Thumbnail image by ©Paramount Pictures