Analyzing the box office numbers this weekend at a quick glance could point you to a pair of theories. One would be that taking a less-is-more approach to yearly release schedules allows a bit more time for audiences to catch up on films that opened in the far-away time of over a month ago. Another is that audiences are still going to see what they want to see, and you can un-crowd theaters as much as you want, but some will either wait or flat-out ignore it. Nevertheless, even with a few titles bucking the pandemic trends, it is still a different ball game out there, and we may need another week to answer a few more questions — whether or not The Batman is a success is, of course, not one of them.
(Photo by ©Warner Bros.)
Last week we said, “Now carrying the 24th best second weekend ever behind Captain Marvel, (The Batman’s) odds go up slightly next week (to hit $400 million) as long as it grosses over $30 million (66%) or, even better, over $35 million (85.7%).” The actual number this weekend is coming up $36.8 million. If that holds, The Batman becomes the 32nd film in history to reach $300 million by its 17th day of release, and 28 of those 31 films successfully crossed $400 million. Here is where The Batman has a bit of an edge: $36.8 million is the 23rd best third weekend ever, just ahead of The Dark Knight Rises, which had a $35.7 million third weekend (but also over $353 million on day 17 and a $448 million final haul). The average drop in the fourth weekend for a film with $35 million or higher the week prior is 42.9%. The Lost City may indeed grab the #1 slot from Matt Reeves’ film next week, but anything over $21 million for The Batman should keep it on pace for $400 million. Worldwide, it is just shy of $600 million.
(Photo by ©Crunchyroll)
It should not be a surprise anymore when a new anime film draws attention in its opening weekend. In January 2019, Dragon Ball Super: Broly opened to $7.7 million and grossed over $30 million. Last year’s Demon Slayer the Movie: Mugen Train opened to $11.8 million on the same weekend as WB’s Mortal Kombat and ended up outgrossing it with $45.9 million. This weekend Jujutsu Kaisen 0 pulled in an estimated $14.8 million in 2,297 theaters and a total of $17.7 million including previews. That gives it the fourth-best per-theater-average among wide releases in 2022 with $6,443, behind only The Batman, Uncharted, and Scream – and just ahead of Jackass Forever’s $6,428 if the estimates hold.
(Photo by A24)
Also opening this weekend was Ti West’s X. Released by A24, the film grossed $4.4 million in 2,865 theaters. Last summer, The Green Knight pulled in a $6.79 million opening for A24 in 2,790 theaters. That felt like quite the victory last July, when people were just getting back into the habit of going to theaters. X feels a little more muted now, even if it is still the sixth-best first weekend in the studio’s history, below the likes of The Witch, Midsommar, and It Comes At Night, but horror fans have not been coming out to support original films since the vaccines. Aside from M. Night Shyamalan’s Old, which opened to $16.8 million last July, there has been Malignant ($5.4 million/76% on the Tomatometer/also streaming on HBO MAX), Antlers ($4.2 million/60%), The Unholy ($3.1 million/26%), The Night House ($2.8 million/87%), and Separation ($1.8 million/7%). X is by far the best-reviewed of the bunch with a 96% Tomatometer score. In fact, it is the best collectively reviewed theatrical wide release of 2022 over even Jackass Forever (86%) and The Batman (85%). Maybe it will pick up enough horror fans by the time its announced prequel, Pearl, arrives.
Speaking of highly-acclaimed films, Focus Features released The Outfit this weekend, and it is now the second-highest-rated wide release of the year with a 91%. Wide releases without streaming have not exactly been Focus’ strong suit during the pandemic. They have only had two films open higher than $4 million (Stillwater and Last Night In Soho) and only three that grossed over $10 million (the aforementioned two and the original horror film Come Play, which opened to $2.2 million in 2020.) The Outfit opened to $1.4 million in 1,325 theaters. Sony & Stage 6 tried to sneak the Sandra Oh horror film, Umma, onto the theatrical schedule without a streaming option, and even in a dry marketplace, the film failed to break into the top 10. In 805 theaters, the film grossed $915,000, and its $1,136 per-theater-average is hardly the worst of the year, besting fellow wide releases Studio 666, The Wolf and the Lion, and The King’s Daughter (each of them in over 1,000 or 2,000 theaters).
(Photo by Clay Enos/©Sony Pictures)
Two films released a full month ago continue to put up solid numbers. Sony’s Uncharted remains in third place with just a 14% drop to $8 million in its fourth weekend. The film is now charting a course closer to Talladega Nights ($127.8 million in 24 days and an $8.1 million fourth weekend) and could be headed in the vicinity of $145 million domestically. Worldwide, it has made over $315 million. The film that opened against Uncharted was UA Releasing’s Dog. Channing Tatum is going to have two films in the top five next weekend with The Lost City and Dog, but the latter is really becoming the mini-champion of 2022. Next week it will pass Jackass Forever to become the fourth-highest-grossing film of the year, not to mention one of the highest-grossing original films since 2020, as it is headed towards $65 million.
By next weekend we will also be talking about Spider-Man: No Way Home hitting $800 million. With a mere 21% drop this weekend down to $3.2 million, its total is at $797 million and on the verge of making history as just the third film ever to reach that milestone domestically. Worldwide it has grossed over $1.88 billion. Holiday holdover Sing 2 marks its 13th straight week in the top 10 and should pass $160 million next week. Finally, Kenneth Branagh’s Death on the Nile is going to pass $45 million and hang around at least one more weekend before it begins streaming on HBO MAX.
(Photo by ©Paramount Pictures)
The Batman’s first serious challenger for the No. 1 slot arrives next weekend in the form of The Lost City, the Romancing the Stone-esque adventure comedy with Sandra Bullock, Channing Tatum, and Brad Pitt. Paramount would love to see a number higher than the 20s as much as studios in general would love another “original” film to break out, as the road is paved through April with films like Ambulance, The Bad Guys, and The Northman. Another original film opening wider in April gets a limited launch next week: A24’s Everything Everywhere All At Once with Michelle Yeoh, Ke Huy Quan, and Jamie Lee Curtis from the directors of Swiss Army Man opened the SXSW Film Festival last week and currently boasts a 97% on the Tomatometer.
[box office figures via Box Office Mojo]