February 26, 2023

Behind the US/Worldwide Weekend Box Office – 2.26.2023


OPENINGS:  The surprise isn’t so much that COCAINE BEAR (Universal) “overdelivered,” but that expectations were so low for a picture that had been the subject of pop culture fascination for months.  The $23.1M weekend seems like a realistic reflection of that fact, and although business is likely to drop quickly now that audiences have seen the titular protagonist, it should still top $50M in the US.  International interest, however, was much less stoked, with just $5.3M in 53 markets.

The $15.5M “weekend” for JESUS REVOLUTION (Lionsgate) was somewhat inflated by about $2M in Wednesday screenings, but this was still the strongest start for a Christian-themed title in some time.  Films in this genre can be extremely leggy (I Can Only Imagine started with $17.1M and rode all the way to $83.5M), and with limited production and marketing costs, Jesus Revolution has the potential to be quite profitable.  It hasn’t yet opened overseas.

The arthouse release EMILY (Bleecker Street) expanded to the low end of wide release at 579 theaters and had a $400K weekend, which translated into a low weekend per-theater average of $700.

HOLDOVERS:  The headlines about the “largest MCU drop ever” for ANT-MAN & THE WASP:  QUANTUMANIA (Marvel/Disney) are somewhat overstated, as the 70% fall to $32.2M is just a couple of percentage points worse than the one for Thor: Love & Thunder, and Quantumania is coming off a holiday weekend.  However, the fact that these large drops are becoming a recent MCU trend (with the 67% plunge for Doctor Strange In the Multiverse of Madness in there too) is certainly worrisome for the mega-franchise.  Even worse, Qnantumania is sharply underperforming overseas, especially in China and elsewhere in Asia, and running just 20% ahead of the US after a $46.4M weekend in 52 territories, while the last in the Ant-Man franchise almost doubled its US business abroad.  It’s rather alarming that despite a US opening roughly 30% higher than Ant-Man & the Wasp, Quantumania may end up with a worldwide total $100M below that film’s $622.7M.

AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER (20th/Disney) remained muscular in its 11th weekend, down 28% to $4.7M, and headed for $680M in the US.  Its massive overseas total is $1.6B after a $9.4M weekend in 52 markets.

PUSS IN BOOTS: THE LAST WISH (DreamWorks Animation/Universal, also on VOD) continued to hold remarkably well, down 23% to $4.1M in its 10th weekend as it moved toward $185M in the US.  The international total is $269.1M after a $7.4M weekend in 80 territories.

MAGIC MIKE’S LAST DANCE (Warners) fell 50% to $2.7M in its 3rd weekend, and may pass $30M in the US.  It also has $24.7M overseas.

KNOCK AT THE CABIN (Universal, also on VOD) lost 53% to $1.9M in its 4th weekend, on its way to $40M in the US, and with $18.2M overseas.

80 FOR BRADY (Paramount) was down 51% to $1.8M in its 4th weekend, and might reach $45M in the US.  It still hasn’t opened internationally.

MISSING (Screen Gems/Sony) dropped 42% to $1M in its 6th weekend, and will hope to pass $35M in the US.  The overseas total so far is $5.1M.

LIMITED RELEASE:  The Indian-language SELFIE (indie) had a $700 weekend per-theater average at 308.  CLOSE (A24) expanded to 233 theaters with a $500 average.  THE QUIET GIRL (Neon) opened at 6 and averaged $10K.  RETURN TO SEOUL (Sony Classics) widened to 11 with a $4K average.

NEXT WEEKEND:  The franchise arrival is CREED III (UA/MGM/Amazon).  Other openings include Guy Ritchie’s long on the shelf OPERATION FORTUNE (Liongate).


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."