February 5, 2023

Behind the US/Worldwide Weekend Box Office – 2.5.2023


OPENINGS:  KNOCK AT THE CABIN (Universal) won the eternal footnote that it was the film to finally dethrone Avatar 2 at the top of the box office, but its $14.2 start was at the low end of expectations, below the $16.8M for 2021’s Old and thus M. Night Shyamalan’s lowest opening since his pre-Sixth Sense days.  That may not keep it from ultimately being profitable, since production costs were reportedly kept low at $20M, but it won’t be one of the filmmaker’s bonanzas.  Knock was considerably softer overseas, where it launched with $7M in 60 markets.

80 FOR BRADY (Paramount) is difficult to gauge in the short term.  Its official $12..5M “weekend” included several days of previews.  In addition, the studio and several major theater chains agreed to discount ticket prices, which the studio hoped would boost word of mouth, while the theaters focused on their non-discounted concession stand sales.  Films aimed at older audiences often have leggy runs, but was that negated by the low-cost ticket prices?  We won’t know until the film has played out.  The release is US-only for now.

The concert movie BTS: YET TO COME (Trafalgar) earned $6.3M in only 1114 theaters, giving it the best per-theater weekend average of the newcomers.  Including its Wednesday-Thursday start, it has a $9.1M total.  It hasn’t opened overseas.

The season finale episodes of the Christian-themed series THE CHOSEN (Fathom) took in $3.6M for the 3-day weekend (massively frontloaded, with a 66% Friday-to-Saturday drop), and $5.3M since its Wednesday opening.  That compares to $8.8M for the 1st 2 episodes of the season (which had a Friday opening) over its first weekend.

HOLDOVERS:  AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER (20th/Disney) lost its #1 ranking, but it was down only 32% in its 8th weekend to $10.8M.  It’s currently at #10 on the all-time US box office chart, and with another $23M to pass $659.4M, it will top Titanic at #8.  Overseas, Avatar 2 is already #3 of all time, with $1.54B after a $27.9M weekend.

With no competition for the family audience since the holidays, PUSS IN BOOTS: THE LAST WISH (DreamWorks Animation/Universal, also on VOD) has held like a champion, down 24% to $8M in its 7th weekend.  It continues to have a clear track until Shazam 2 opens in mid-March, and should top $175M in the US.  Overseas, it has $217.3M after a $17.1M weekend in 80 territories.

A MAN CALLED OTTO (Columbia/Sony) dropped 37% to $4.2M in its 6th weekend, on pace for a solid $65M in the US.  It also has $30.4M overseas after a $3.8M weekend in 45 markets.

M3GAN (Blumhouse/Universal, also on VOD) fell 39% to $3.8M in its 5th weekend, and will stretch toward $100M in the US.  Its international total is $71M after a $4M weekend in 75 territories.

MISSING (Screen Gems/Sony) lost 34% to $3.7M in its 3rd weekend, on its way to $35M in the US.  That’s better than the $26M for its franchise predecessor Searching in 2018.  Missing hasn’t yet opened overseas.

Films geared for the Indian-language market tend to plunge quickly after strong openings, and PAATHAN (Yash Raj) was down 61% to $2.7M.  Nevertheless, a $20M+ US total would be a strong result for that genre.  The film is unsurprisingly much bigger overseas, with $48.9M in India and $23.3M from other markets.

PLANE (Lionsgate) was down 42% to $2.2M in its 4th weekend, and should reach $35M in the US.  It also has $6.8M overseas.

LIMITED RELEASE:  LET IT BE MORNING (Cohen) arrived with a $3K weekend per-theater average at 2 arthouses.  CLOSE (A24) expanded to 20 with a $5900 average.  ONE FINE MORNING (Sony Classics) widened to 12 and averaged $1500.

NEXT WEEKEND:  Super Bowl weekend is traditionally slow, and the only major arrival is MAGIC MIKE’S LAST DANCE (Warners).  In addition, a wide re-release of TITANIC (Paramount) will attempt to make up some ground on its director’s Avatar 2.


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."