Is everybody on holiday?
That would be a plausible explanation for the large checkout delay; total ticket sales came in at $66.4 million, according to Comscore, the lowest collective result in months. Though three new films were widely released, none managed to crack the top five of the domestic charts and only two — A24’s satirical slasher “Bodies Bodies Bodies” and Lionsgate’s low-budget, staggering thriller “Fall” — managed to the top 10.
It’s even worse that Sony’s action thriller “Bullet Train,” which took the top spot for the second weekend in a row with $13.1 million in 4,357 North American locations, was the only film to bring in at least $10 million in ticket sales. . After two weeks on the big screen, the Brad Pitt-led “Bullet Train” has generated $54.4 million at the domestic box office. This weekend marks the first time since February 11-13—when “Death on the Nile” opened for a feeble $12.3 million and Jennifer Lopez’s romantic comedy “Marry Me” stumbled with even less—that just one movie has had at least $4 million. 10 million reached between Friday and Sunday.
And the glacial trickle, trickle, trickle of ticket sales is only going to get worse as the box office moves into an almost desolate stretch with hardly any new offerings from major studios on the horizon. As movie owners brace for the downward trend, they bow at the altar of Harry Styles in hopes that the pop heartthrob will inspire audiences to return to theaters en masse for director Olivia Wilde’s brain teaser “Don’t Worry Darling.” “, which won’t open until September 23. Until then, exhibitors will have to make do with smaller thrillers and dramas like Idris Elba’s “Beast,” which comes out on August 19; “Three Thousand Years of Longing”, a fantasy novel starring Tilda Swinton and Elba (again) on August 26; and the Viola Davis-led historical epic “The Woman King” on September 16.
David A. Gross, who runs film consulting firm Franchise Entertainment Research, says there’s still reason for optimism despite the lack of blockbusters.
“The advantage of the thin schedule is that movies open up and contain more screens than before, and play longer for larger domestic multiples,” he says. “There is more space in the market and every film benefits from it. But there’s no question,” he adds, “the total box office would be bigger with more studio releases.”
In eighth place, “Bodies Bodies Bodies” got the best start among newcomers, surpassing expectations by $3.2 million at 1,290 locations. After going into limited release last weekend, the film has grossed $3.5 million to date and plans to expand to more than 2,000 theaters next weekend. But otherwise, audiences wanted little to do with “Fall” and Diane Keaton’s body-swap comedy “Mack & Rita,” the other film that debuted this weekend.
“Fall” just landed in 10th place with $2.5 million from 1,548 locations. The film, centered on two best friends climbing 2,000 feet to the top of an abandoned radio tower and stranded with no way out, was a relatively low-risk for Lionsgate as it cost only $3 million to produce and less than $4 million to produce. promote . It doesn’t take a lot of money to make a profit; home entertainment will be helpful in that mission.
Meanwhile, Steven Spielberg’s sci-fi classic “ET” — which debuted 40 years ago — brought in more money on weekends than Keaton’s “Mack and Rita.” The release of Gravitas Ventures premiered in 13th place with $1.03 million from 1,930 screens. Universal’s reissue of “ET” raised $1.07 million from just 389 Imax screens.
As expected, “Mack and Rita” highlighted mostly older women, with 74% of ticket buyers identifying as female and 69% over the age of 30. They were not fond of the film, which earned a “D+” CinemaScore. Reviews were equally harsh, resulting in a dismal 26% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
With the dismal turnout for most other films, Paramount’s ever-potent blockbuster “Top Gun: Maverick” shot to second place on its 12th weekend of release. The action follower continues to do unprecedented business, with $7.1 million from 3,181 locations over the weekend and a domestic counter at $673.8 million. That means “Maverick” is about $5 million away from dethroning Marvel’s “Avengers: Infinity War” as the sixth highest-grossing film in domestic box office history.
Elsewhere on the domestic box office charts, the titles “DC League of Super-Pets”, Jordan Peele’s UFO thriller “Nope” and Disney’s “Thor: Love and Thunder” took slots three through five.
The animated “DC League of Super-Pets” also added $7.1 million from 3,181 theaters in its third appearance, a 35% drop from the weekend before. So there’s a chance it could rise to second place, above ‘Maverick’, once the final numbers are tallied on Monday. To date, the kid-friendly DC Comics adventure has grossed $58 million at the domestic box office.
Now in its fourth weekend of release, “Nope” collected $5.3 million at 2,760 locations, a 38% drop from the last outing. So far, the film has collected $107 million in North America, making it the director’s third feature film (out of three) to cross the $100 million mark. However, “Nope” has another way to match with Peele’s debut film “Get Out” ($176.1 million) and his second attempt “Us” ($175 million) in North American ticket sales.
“Thor: Love and Thunder” grossed $5.3 million in 3,175 locations this weekend. After six weekends on the big screen, the fourth “Thor” film has grossed $325.4 million domestically, surpassing its beloved 2017 predecessor “Ragnarok” ($315 million). Globally, however, “Love and Thunder” is behind “Ragnarok” by $720 million compared to the third entry of $853 million. However, “Ragnarok” played in China and Russia, while “Love and Thunder” has not secured a release in those territories.
At the indie box office, the Aubrey Plaza-led heist thriller “Emily the Criminal” made $668,990 from 473 screens — which works out to $1,414 per location. Roadside Attractions bought the film after it premiered at the Sundance Film Festival to rave reviews. The film’s financier hopes festival fever will translate into ticket sales, as “Emily the Criminal” expands to additional locations in the coming weeks.
Another Sundance film, Bleecker Street’s coming-of-age drama “Summering,” fared worse, grossing just $31,317 in 260 locations, averaging $120 per location. The story that skews young adults follows four best friends as they spend the last weekend of summer together before entering high school.