Weekend Box Office

Weekend Box Office Results: Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore Records Lowest Opening of Franchise

The latest chapter of the Wizarding World saga won the Easter weekend but disappointed overall, putting the future of the franchise in jeopardy on the weekend of April 15-17, 2022.

by | April 17, 2022 | Comments

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The Harry Potter prequel series has steadily declined since the first film. Even beyond the many controversies with members of the series’ cast and its originator, it was evident moviegoers were not thrilled with Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. Now there are reports that the planned five-movie series may be on hold if this weekend’s third chapter does not reinvigorate the numbers. Hopefully the die-hards will be fine with a trilogy.

King of the Crop: The Secrets of Dumbledore Records Lowest Opening of the Franchise

The cast of Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore

(Photo by Jaap Buitendijk/©Warner Bros.)

Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them opened to $74.4 million the week before Thanksgiving in 2016 and went on to gross $234 million and over $814 million globally. The sequel, The Crimes of Grindelwald opened the same weekend in 2018 to half the positivity with critics (garnering a 37% on the Tomatometer compared to original’s Certified Fresh 74%) and $62.1 million which was multiplied by just 2.56 into $159.5 million. Thankfully for Warner Bros. its international take was still over $653 million and kept the $200 million-budgeted film in profit. Now comes Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore. $6 million in Thursday previews (which started in the early afternoon) suggested that a total between $50-55 million was possible this weekend. The final estimate rests at $43 million, which makes it the lowest opening weekend total of any Wizarding World film and does not bode well for the future of the franchise.

That is another 30% drop in its opening from the previous film and may spell the beginning of the end for this series. Internationally the film has made an additional $150 million, with the first two films doing $580 million and $494 million, respectively. The Secrets of Dumbledore could be headed for somewhere in the vicinity of $122 million if it doesn’t go full Morbius. That is going to put a $478 million burden on the international community. Even if WB were to pull that off, it seems highly unlikely they would risk going for another chapter, let alone two, when those grosses are likely to continue to plummet. Critics scored this third film at 49%, better than the third Divergent film for certain (which scored a dismal 11%). Pretty much everything is better than that franchise from the money on down (none of which reached $300 million worldwide), but the one thing they likely will have in common is that neither finished the full story they set out to tell.

Rotten Returns: Morbius Continues to Tumble

Jared Leto in Morbius (2022)

(Photo by ©Sony Pictures Releasing)

Sony’s Morbius earns a second straight week in this category. Last week it had the worst second weekend for a film opening to over $35 million. This week it had one of the worst third weekends for a film that has grossed at least $60 million in its first 12 days. The Jared Leto vampire tale fell another 59% down to $4.7 million, which is worse than Cloverfield ($4.84 million) and Alien vs. Predator ($4.90 million). Only Alien: Covenant ($4.12 million) and The Lone Ranger ($4.38 million) had worse third weekends on that list. Boo! A Madea Halloween made $64.9 million in its first 17 days and grossed $7.7 million in its third frame. Morbius is up to $65.1 million and falling fast. But here is the kicker: If it fails to get over $77.62 million (and it has about a 0.01% chance to reach that) it will set a new record for the worst multiple over opening weekend for a film launched in over 4,000 theaters, and with Fantastic Beasts this weekend that is a list of 167 films. The worst multiple to date on that list has been Batman v Superman and at least that can boast a $166 million opening weekend.

The Top 10 and Beyond: Sonic 2 Holds Steady, Everything Everywhere Is an A24 Success

Ben Schwartz as the voice of Sonic the Hedgehog in Sonic the Hedgehog 2

(Photo by ©Paramount Pictures)

Last week’s big debut of Sonic the Hedgehog 2 instantly put the film on a path towards $200 million. Its percentages were well into the 90th percentile, and factoring in the course of “PG”-rated films, it seemed like a sure bet. This week is another story. The family dollar got split with Fantastic Beasts and sent Sonic falling 58% down to $30 million. This drop still aligns the sequel ahead of “Fast and Furious: The Return of Vin Diesel” (aka Fast & Furious) from back in 2009. Sonic 2’s 10-day total of $119.5 million is ahead of F&F’s $116.4 million, and its second weekend also beats that family’s $27.2 million. While this still has Sonic 2 in line to be one of the top 10 April releases ever (it is currently 15th) its path towards Fast Five’s $209 million is going to need some commitment from families. Sonic’s falls going forward seem unlikely to match F&F’s steep decline. After next week’s The Bad Guys, we don’t really see a true family film enter theaters until Lightyear nearly two months later. So it  will be splitting the difference between the Furious films while very likely becoming the first “PG” film in history to open to over $72 million and not break $200 million, though it has hit that total worldwide and still hopes to chase Warcraft’s $439 million, the biggest total ever for a video game adaptation.

Paramount’s The Lost City had a nice hold in its fourth weekend. Down just 28% for a $6.5 million haul, its total now resides at $78.6 million. In the pack of films released in March that grossed between $75-85 million in 24 days, only one of them (A Wrinkle In Time) eked out $100 million. The rest have finished between $83-99 million. The Will Ferrell/Kevin Hart film Get Hard is the one it is most in line with right now, suggesting that The Lost City will get itself over $90 million but may come up shy of $95 million. Still, as original films go, this is registering as a big win for the studio and for theaters.

Michelle Yeoh in Everything Everywhere All At Once

(Photo by David Bornfriend/©A24)

Last week’s expansion of Everything Everywhere All At Once put the film on a path towards $25 million. A24 added another 970 theaters this week and saw an increase to 4th place with $6.2 million (it grossed $6.05 million last week). The indie studio waited an additional week to make a similar move years ago with Alex Garland’s Ex Machina, and now their latest success story with the Daniels is now pacing $5.6 million ahead of that film and could be headed between $30-35 million. With $17.7 million, their film has currently outgrossed Michael Bay’s Ambulance, which fell to 7th place this week with a 54% drop to $4 million. Earning just $15.6 million to date and securing a place as Bay’s lowest-grossing film, Ambulance has just given an anecdote that Dan Kwan and Daniel Schneider can take to heart.

The star of three Michael Bay films, Mark Wahlberg, has a new passion project out in every sense of the word. Father Stu was hoping to grab some of those Easter Egg coins from the collection plate this week just as previous Sony releases Heaven Is For Real (2014) and Miracles from Heaven (2016) did. The difference is that Father Stu is rated “R” for some naughty words and probably was not going to generate the $90 million and $60 million that those other two did, respectively. That isn’t to say this week’s haul was terrible; it grossed $5.7 million this weekend and has amassed $8 million since opening on Wednesday. That’s more than faith-based films like Woodlawn and The Case for Christ had in their first five days but trails God’s Not Dead 2’s $8.8 million. If word-of-mouth among the faithful ceases to catch on, Father Stu is headed for somewhere between $15-20 million.

On the Vine: Bad GuysMassive Talent, and a Northman

Nicolas Cage and Pedro Pascal in The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent

(Photo by Katalin Vermes/©Lionsgate)

As mentioned earlier, families get a third week in a row to make a decision with the kids. This time its an animated film, The Bad Guys, about criminal animals trying to go straight. Nicolas Cage stars as a version of himself in The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent, which is currently sporting a 97% on the Tomatometer thanks to its premiere at SXSW last month. Then there in Robert Eggers’ The Northman, a viking revenge tale starring Alexander Skarsgård, Nicole Kidman, and Anya Taylor-Joy, which is currently Certified Fresh at 89% on the Tomatometer.

Full List of Box Office Results: April 15-17, 2022

  • $43 million ($43 million total)

  • $30 million ($119.6 million total)

  • $6.5 million ($78.6 million total)

  • $6.19 million ($17.7 million total)

  • $5.7 million ($8 million total)

  • $4.7 million ($65.1 million total)

  • $4 million ($15.7 million total)

  • $3.8 million ($365 million total)

  • $2.87 million ($2.87 million total)

  • $1.17 million ($145 million total)

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]

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