February 19, 2023

Behind the US/Worldwide Box Office – 2.22.2023


OPENINGS:  There was no question that  ANT-MAN & THE WASP: QUANTUMANIA (Marvel/Disney) would dominate Presidents Day weekend and become 2023’s first blockbuster.  Its $104M 3-day weekend (projected to reach $118M including Monday) was in line with expectations.  The film’s decent 2.26 Friday-to-weekend multiplier also demonstrated that, at least in the short term, the MCU is relatively unaffected by reviews, with Quantumania at a dismal 47% on Rotten Tomatoes.  The weekend number was much higher than the openings for the previous Ant-Man entries ($57.2M/$75.8M), although Quantumania was sold as (pun not intended) a much bigger chapter in the overall MCU than those had been.  Despite that hype, and despite the holiday, Quantumania started far below the last MCU releases, Doctor Strange In the Multiverse of Madness ($187.4M) and Thor: Love & Thunder ($144.2M).  A $250M US total would be fair for the MCU but not outstanding.  Overseas, Qnantumania took in $121.3M, much softer than expected in China where Western releases are still in an uncertain position.

MARLOWE (Open Road), remarkably the 5th Liam Neeson vehicle released by that studio since 2020, was presumably intended as counterprogramming to Quantumania, but it had little pulse at $1.9M ($2.3M with Monday, a total of $3M since its Wednesday opening).  The economics of these must work for Open Road, but even by the standards of what’s become their franchise, this was a low start (and that includes titles that went into release when most US theaters were still closed due to the pandemic).  Marlowe hasn’t yet opened overseas.

HOLDOVERS:  Due to the combination of last week’s Super Bowl Sunday and this week’s holiday, declines were for the most part quite low.  Even with the arrival of Qnantumania and the consequent loss of Imax and other premium-format screens, AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER (20th/Disney) dipped just 15% to $6.1M ($7.5M with Monday) in its 10th weekend, with a chance of reaching #7 on the US all-time list by beating the $678.8M for Avengers: Infinity War.  It hit #3 on the worldwide list by nudging past its director’s own Titanic, with a global $2.243B that includes $1.59B overseas.

MAGIC MIKE’S LAST DANCE (Warners) dropped 35% to $5.4M.  A $35M US total would put it just above half of Magic Mike XXL and about 70% below the original Magic Mike.  Overseas is at $19.6M.

PUSS IN BOOTS: THE LAST WISH (DreamWorks Animation/Universal, also on VOD) continued its string of phenomenal holds, down 6% to $5.3M ($7M with Monday) in its 9th weekend, and on its way past $180M in the US.  It has $255.6M overseas.

KNOCK AT THE CABIN (Universal) lost 28% to $3.9M ($4.5M with Monday) in its 3rd weekend, and might reach $45M in the US, around the same as Shyamalan’s Old.  The international total to date is $16.9M.

80 FOR BRADY (Paramount) was down 38% to $3.6M ($4.3M with Monday) in its 3rd weekend, on track for $45M in the US, about 2/3 of the $68.6M earned by Book Club (which is getting a sequel).  Thus far it’s US-only.

James Cameron’s other little movie TITANIC (Paramount), apart from losing its #3 place on the worldwide box office chart, fell 66% to $2.3M ($2.7M with Monday), and the re-release should pass $20M in the US, with another $35.6M so far overseas.

MISSING (Screen Gems/Sony) shed 32% to $1.7M ($2M with Monday) in its 5th weekend, en route to $35M in the US.  Only a negligible overseas release to date.

A MAN CALLED OTTO (Columbia/Sony) dropped 40% to $1.6M ($1.9M with Monday) in its 8th weekend, heading to $65M in the US, and with $38.4M overseas.

M3GAN (Blumhouse/Universal, also on VOD) fell 45% to $1.3M ($1.6M with Monday) in its 7th weekend, and may not quite reach $100M in the US.  The international total is $76.6M.

LIMITED RELEASE:  The much-buzzed WINNIE THE POOH: BLOOD & HONEY (Fathom) opened on Wednesday in 445 theaters with a $680K 3-day weekend ($1.6M over 6 days), giving it a $1500 weekend per-theater average.  OF AN AGE (Focus/Universal) launched with a $1400 average at 289.  EMILY (Bleecker Street) averaged $8K at 5.  RETURN TO SEOUL (Sony Classics) had a $15K average at 2.  CLOSE (A24) expanded to 115 with an $1100 average.

NEXT WEEKEND:  Competition for Quantumania will come from contrasting directions, the R-rated COCAINE BEAR (Universal), and the not-R-rated JESUS REVOLUTION (Lionsgate).

About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."