October 2, 2022

Behind the US/Worldwide Weekend Box Office – 10.2.2022


OPENINGS: As studio greenlight and release strategies continue to morph, one thing that’s clear is that there will never be a shortage of low-budget horror movies.  SMILE (Paramount) is the latest successful arrival with $22M, following such recent releases as Barbarian, The Invitation, Pearl, and The Black Phone.  Although Smile will have to face off with Halloween Ends in 2 weeks, it should easily top $50M in the US.  The grin was a little less wide overseas, where Smile earned $14.5M in 58 territories, but a $100M woeldwide total would provide a tidy profit.

From the start, BROS (Universal) was positioned to be the first R-rated gay rom-com targeting a mainstream audience, but it failed miserably at that goal with a $4.8M launch, despite a 91% score on Rotten Tomatoes and any number of supportive feature stories tied to its release.  Think pieces aplenty will no doubt be written about why people didn’t show up, but barring an outstanding result overseas (where it hasn’t yet opened), the financial result will be red ink, due not so much to the moderate production budget as the substantial marketing campaign.

The Indian-language niche continued to show its strength with two arrivals:  PONNIYIN SELVAN (Sarigama) with $4M at only 500 theaters (almost 3000 fewer than Bros), and VIKRAM VEDHA (Reliance) with $1M at a similar number of theaters.  These films tend to burn out quickly–Brahmastra, which opened 4 weeks ago, hasn’t even come close to doubling its opening weekend–but assuming they succeed in their home market, the US result is probably close to pure profit, since they have little if any conventional marketing.

THE GOOD HOUSE (Roadside) opened low with $800K in almost 1100 theaters.

We’re still weeks away from the US opening of TICKET TO PARADISE (Universal), but the Julia Roberts/George Clooney rom-com has taken in $45.3M after a $9.4M weekend in 59 markets.

HOLDOVERS:  DON’T WORRY DARLING (New Line/Warners) fell 63% from last week’s opening to $7.3M, and may get past $50M in the US, with a slower $21.9M overseas after a $6.4M weekend in 63 territories.  Although Don’t Worry‘s production budget was moderate, its marketing had an expensive footprint, and at $100M worldwide it may not break even.

THE WOMAN KING (TriStar/Sony) dipped 36% to $7M in its 3rd weekend, and could reach $65M+ in the US.  The big question mark is the film’s international appeal, still unknown because it’s barely opened elsewhere with $3.4M thus far.

The re-release of AVATAR (20th/Disney) dropped 55% to $4.7M, and should end up with over $30M from the US to add to its world-record coffers.  As in its initial release, Avatar‘s re-release has been even bigger overseas, where it has $39.5M after a $12.3M weekend in 51 markets.

BARBARIAN (20th/Disney) continues to hold very well for its genre, down 41% to $2.8M, and on its way to $40M+ in the US.  It has $1.7M early in its overseas release.

The summer veterans continue to sell tickets.  BULLET TRAIN (Columbia/Sony) hit a milestone, as its 23% drop to $1.4M put it at $101M in the US, and it’s even bigger internationally with $133.8M.  LEAGUE OF SUPER-PETS (DC/Warners) was down 25% to $1.3M, and may not quite reach its own $100M milestone in the US, although it now has $101.6M overseas.  And of course TOP GUN: MAVERICK (Paramount), after 19 weeks in the box office Top 10, lost just 24% to $1.2M as it inches toward $720M in the US, with another $762.9M overseas.

SEE HOW THEY RUN (Searchlight/Disney) fell 47% to $1M, and won’t get much past $10M in the US.  It has $8.4M internationally to date.

LIMITED RELEASE:  VESPER (IFC) had a weekend per-theater average under $500 in its 44-theater opening.

NEXT WEEKEND:  AMSTERDAM (20th/Disney) will attempt the difficult feat of finding a wide audience for an essentially indie (although all-star) production that has a 33% Rotten Tomatoes score, and LYLE, LYLE, CROCODILE (Columbia/Sony) will provide the first new family product since mid-summer.  In addition, the festival-praised TAR (Focus/Universal) begins its platform rollout.

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."