April 23, 2023

Behind the US/Worldwide Box Office – 4.23.2023


OPENINGS:  EVIL DEAD RISE (Warners) modestly exceeded expectations with $23.5M, although that was still below the franchise’s last reboot in 2013 at $25.8M (which only reached a $54.2M total in the US and didn’t spawn a sequel).  Horror has become the most dependable genre in Hollywood, and Evil Dead Rise is the only one of the trio currently in release to boast a legacy title.  The international appeal wasn’t quite as high with $16.8M in 58 territories.

THE COVENANT (STX/Lionsgate) started far lower at $6.3M, below the $10.2M for the recent PlaneCovenant will have to hope that solid reviews (81% on Rotten Tomatoes) and its older-skewing audience will keep it in theaters for a while.  No international openings as yet.

Ari Aster’s 3-hour freakout BEAU IS AFRAID (A24) expanded from 4 theaters to 965, and unsurprisingly saw its weekend per-theater average plunge from $80K to $2900, for a $2.8M weekend total.  It isn’t clear how much wider A24 plans to spread the release, but the studio’s decision to bankroll such an epic piece of auteurist fiilmmaking (to the tune of $65M+ with worldwide marketing) was presumably more about image and talent relations than an expectation of profit.  It’s US-only so far.

CHEVALIER (Searchlight/Disney) opened in 1275 theaters and scraped up $1.5M (a $1200 per-theater average), unlikely to get past $5M in the US.  It hasn’t yet opened overseas.

Ray Romano’s directing debut SOMEWHERE IN QUEENS (Roadside Attractions/Lionsgate) launched at 602 and didn’t hit $700K, an $1100 average.  It hasn’t tried to get beyond US shores.

HOW TO BLOW UP A PIPELINE (Neon) disastrously expanded from 142 theaters to a barely-wide 530 for a $150K weekend, a per-theater average under $300.

HOLDOVERS:  None of the new releases provided direct (let alone effective) competition for THE SUPER MARIO BROS MOVIE (Illumination/Universal), which rolled on to a $58.2M 3rd weekend, down a mere 37%.  Depending on how hard it’s hit by Gardians Of the Galaxy Vol 3 in 2 weeks, it’s on track to pass $600M in the US, potentially putting it in the all-time Top 12 in the US.  It’s equally monstrous overseas, with $437.5M after a $70.7M weekend in 78 markets.

JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 4 (Lionsgate) dipped 29% to $5.8M in its 5th weekend, on its way to $185M in the US.  It also has $189.6M overseas.

DUNGEONS & DRAGONS: HONOR AMONG THIEVES (Paramount) continued to push toward $100M in the US after a 28% drop to $5.4M in Weekend 4.  The international total is $95.4M.

AIR (Amazon) lost 37% to $4.9M in its 3rd weekend, on track for $55M in the US.  The overseas response has been more subdued, with $27.1M after a $3.9M weekend in 67 territories.

THE POPE’S EXORCIST (Screen Gems/Sony) fell 63% from last week’s opening to $3.3M and may reach $25M in the US.  It benefits from relatively low costs and a solid overseas release, where it has $37.1M after a $5.7M weekend in 53 markets.

The more expensive RENFIELD (Universal) has no visible path to profit after a 61% drop to $3.1M, likely to end up below $25M in the US, and with a tiny $4.3M overseas after a $1.3M weekend in 50 territories.

Anime tends to be front-loaded, and SUZUME (Crunchyroll/Sony) fell 67% to $1.7M, with $15M in the US probably out of reach.  However, the international total is $150.5M.

LIMITED RELEASE:  SHOWING UP (A24) expanded to 85 theaters with a weekend per-theater $2300 average.  WILD LIFE (Picturehouse) widened to 14 and averaged $3200.  JOYLAND (Oscilloscope) averaged $4900 at 8.  OTHER PEOPLE’S CHILDREN (Music Box) opened at 3 with a $4900 average.  CARMEN (Sony Classics) started at 3 with a $4300 average.

NEXT WEEKEND:  The studios will throw a lot of product at the walls before Guardians 3 kicks off the summer movie season, including ARE YOU THERE, GOD?  IT’S ME, MARGARET (Lionsgate), BIG GEORGE FOREMAN (Affirm/Sony), POLITE SOCIETY (Focus/Universal), and SISU (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."