March 12, 2023

Behind the US/Worldwide Weekend Box Office – 3.12.2023


OPENINGS:  Franchises continued to be the lifeblood (so to speak) of Hollywood, and this week it was SCREAM VI (Paramount) breaking its saga’s previous record with $44.5M, almost 50% higher than the $30M for last year’s Scream reboot.  It was also above the $40M for 2000’s Scream 3, although that would change with an adjustment for inflation.  The Scream movies are comparatively inexpensive to produce (although they carry large-scale marketing costs, including a Super Bowl ad this year), and Scream VI could become the first in the series to top $100M since the first two installments in the 1990s, ,so there should be plenty of profit.  Overseas, Scream VI launched with $22.6M in 53 markets, consistent with the last Scream, which found 59% of its worldwide box office in the US.

An opening can be better than expected but still not very good.  That’s the case with 65 (Columbia/Sony), which had a $12.3M start after expectations that fell below $10M.  Nevertheless, considering costs that will likely approach $100M with worldwide marketing, 65 is unlikely to break even.  Overseas was soft with $8.5M.

CHAMPIONS (Focus/Universal) generated limited interest with a $5.2M opening (plus under $1M overseas) and would need strong word of mouth to come near a profit.

HOLDOVERS:  CREED III (MGM/Amazon) withstood the arrival of Scream VI with a reasonable 53% Weekend 2 drop to $27.2M.  Comparisons with the other Creed movies aren’t apples-to-apples, as both opened over 5-day Thanksgiving weekends, but Creed III is on track to leap past their US totals ($109.8M/$115.7M) with $150M+.  Unsurprisingly, Amazon is reportedly already in talks about developing a multi-platform “Creed-verse.”  Overseas, Creed III has $78M after a $24M weekend in 75 territories.

ANT-MAN & THE WASP:  QUANTUMANIA (Marvel/Disney) dropped 45% to $7M in its 4th weekend, on its way to a $220M US total that would be just $3M or so above Ant-Man & the Wasp despite an opening that was $30M higher.  Although the international total is better with $249.6M after a $9.8M weekend in 52 markets, that’s considerably below the last installment’s $406M.

COCAINE BEAR (Universal) lost 45% to $6.2M in its 3rd weekend, and should top $70M in the US.  However it’s a lot less ferocious overseas, with $14M to date, and that may keep it barely profitable on roughly $75M in production/marketing costs.

JESUS REVOLUTION (Lionsgate) dipped 39% to $5.2M in its 3rd weekend, and should pass $50M in the US.  It still hasn’t opened overseas.

Best Picture nominee AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER (20th/Disney) continued to glide slowly to a box office landing, down 26% to $2.7M in its 13th weekend, and likely to top $680M in the US and claim #7 at the all-time US box office.  The gigantic international total is $1.6B.

PUSS IN BOOTS: THE LAST WISH (DreamWorks Animation/Universal, also on VOD), also an Oscar nominee, was down 40% to $1.7M in Weekend 12, still headed for $185M in the US, and with $281.9M overseas.

OPERATION FORTUNE: RUSE DE GUERRE (Lionsgate) fell 59% from last week’s opening to $1.3M, and may have to stretch to hit $10M in the US.  The $31.3M overseas total is a bit better.

LIMITED RELEASE:  THE QUIET GIRL (Neon) expanded to 244 theaters with an $1800 weekend per-theater average.  RETURN TO SEOUL (Sony Classics) averaged $1800 at 43.

NEXT WEEKEND:  The sequel of the week is SHAZAM: FURY OF THE GODS (DC/Warners).  Smaller releases include INSIDE (Focus/Universal) and MOVING ON (Roadside).


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."