Weekend Box Office

Weekend Box Office Results: Godzilla x Kong Holds Strong

Dev Patel's directorial debut Monkey Man and the well-received antichrist prequel The First Omen failed to end the reign of the MonsterVerse.

by | April 8, 2024 | Comments


Godzilla and Kong teamed up once again to lead the box office, but they weren’t as strong as some had hoped. Well below them, the battle for second place came down to a spiritually reborn avenger in a monkey mask trying to take down a religious guru vs. the church masking itself in righteousness trying to birth the antichrist. Together they drew in less than the kings of the MonsterVerse, though.

King of the Crop: Godzilla x Kong Holds Strong

After an opening that surprised most of the guesstimators last week, Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire surprised them again this week, even though it fell a bit back to Hollow Earth. A $28 million haul in weekend two is a 65% drop. It’s the second hefty fall in two weeks from a frontloaded piece of IP after Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire dropped a similar number. It all has a “pandemic streaming on HBO MAX” kind of feel to it all. That is not to say that the damage is already done for The New Empire. At $131 million, it has the 11th-best 10-day start for a film in March, just ahead of 300 ($129.1 million), Us ($127.8 million) and John Wick: Chapter 4 ($123.0 million). Those first two titles made $32.8 and $33.2 million, respectively, in their second frames. Godzilla x Kong is closer to Wick’s $28.3 million, which was also a 61.6% drop from opening. That could mean the film may still come up short of the $200 million it would love to reach in order to become the highest-grossing MonsterVerse film to date. Following the John Wick path going forward would have it around $195 million, but with over $361 million in the bank worldwide right now, the film should be headed past the profit margin for Warner Bros. by next weekend.

The Top 10 and Beyond: Monkey Man Outperforms The First Omen

Second place this week belongs to Dev Patel and his film Monkey Man. Acquired by Netflix in 2021 for $30 million, the film was later shopped around until Jordan Peele’s production company got Universal to grab it for $10 million and release it theatrically, which it did to an opening of $10.1 million over the weekend. The SXSW premiere audience ate it up (as they tend to) and critics have been strong on it on the Tomatometer. Among April releases opening between $9-12 million, Dev got the same “B+” Cinemascore as other action stars as Vin Diesel (A Man Apart), Steven Seagal (Out for Justice), and Paul Walker (the District B13 remake, Brick Mansions). Depending on word of mouth, Monkey Man is likely headed somewhere between $25-30 million total.

Back to the aforementioned Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire, which we suggested last week might have a problem getting to $100 million domestic. Is that still a possibility? Even after it dropped 65.4% last week, it was. After dropping another 42% this week with $9 million, though, less so. It’s more likely to limp over the total like its current pacing counterpart, Darren Aronofsky’s Noah. That film had $84.9 million in its first 17 days and a $7.5 million third weekend. Frozen Empire has $88.8 million, putting it on a path to somewhere between $105-110 million, which would make it the lowest-grossing of the franchise. Internationally its numbers are not great, adding just another $49.3 million to its haul. All of the films have grossed over $200 million worldwide, but this one appears likely to come up short.

Fourth place belongs to the antichrist, or its origin, at least, as 20th Century Studios released The First Omen. Disney has not done particularly well with its acquisition releases over the years, aside from a Free Guy or an Avatar sequel. They got their horror films Barbarian and The Boogeyman over $40 million domestic, but The First Omen is their second-lowest non-pandemic weekend after 2022’s Amsterdam. It earned just $8.3 million (and another $9.1 million internationally) for a recognizable horror entry that fell below even this year’s openings of studio releases Night Swim ($11.7 million) and Imaginary ($9.9 million). Those films registered critic scores of just 22% and 27% on the Tomatometer, while The First Omen is Certified Fresh. But horror fans being polled just aren’t buying it, as each have received a C+ or a C Cinemascore (as did Immaculate). Marketing either missed or got skittish promoting the devil and unwanted birthing through Disney and may have left this acclaimed $30 million production to fend for itself.

Rounding out the top five is Kung Fu Panda 4 with $7.8 million. That brings its total up to $166 million. Over $410 million worldwide has already pushed the fourth film into profit. Its fifth weekend was about a million higher than John Wick: Chapter 4 but below animated counterparts The Croods ($9.2 million), Home ($8 million), and Ice Age ($8.5 million), all of whom KFP4 still maintains a $11+ million lead on. All in all, it is still headed in the vicinity of $185-190 million domestic. Right behind it with $7.2 million is Dune: Part Two, whose domestic total now stands at $264.8 million domestic and over $660 million worldwide.

The release of Someone Like You from Fathom Events grossed $3 million over the weekend. The romantic drama (not to be confused with the 2001 Ashley Judd/Hugh Jackman rom-com) is based on the 2020 bestseller by Karen Kingsbury, and the few critics who reviewed it were not exactly impressed. Mark Wahlberg and the dog known as Arthur the King hung around for another week with $1.5 million, bringing its total to $22.2 million. The $20 million film is still in the red for Lionsgate.

Michael Mohan’s Immaculate, aka the other First Omen, took in another $1.4 million, bringing is total to over $14 million. It is now firmly the third highest-grossing film in the history of its studio, Neon. Late Night with the Devil, starring David Dastmalchian, fell out of the top 10 but still made another $1.1 million, bringing its total to $8.4 million, passing The Death of Stalin to become IFC Films’ fourth highest-grossing film ever. Sony Classics’ Wicked Little Letters did get into the top 10, though, thanks to an expansion into 1,002 theaters. It grossed $1.5 million to give the company their second $1+ million release in a row after Yolo earlier last month. The Beast from director Bertrand Bonello opened in four theaters and grossed $48,000 for Janus Films. Housekeeping for Beginners from Focus also made its way into four theaters in NY and LA and grossed $45,000 in four locations.

On the Vine: Prepare for Civil War

A24 is bringing Civil War to the country(‘s) theaters next week. The highly-anticipated (or feared) new film from Alex Garland will very likely have the highest opening weekend ever for the studio. Could word of mouth make it the event film to see until the summer season opens in three weeks? That will be the test to see if it can outgun the studio’s top grossing film of all time, Everything Everywhere All At Once.

Full List of Box Office Results: April 5-7, 2024

  • $31.7 million ($135 million total)

  • $10.1 million ($10.1 million total)

  • $9 million ($88.8 million total)

  • $8.4 million ($8.4 million total)

  • $7.85 million ($166 million total)

  • $7.2 million ($264.8 million total)

  • $3 million ($3 million total)

  • $1.56 million ($1.65 million total)

  • $1.54 million ($22.2 million total)

  • $1.41 million ($14.1 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]

Thumbnail image by ©Warner Bros.

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