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April 10, 2022

Behind the US/Worldwide Weekend Box Office – 4.10.2022

 

OPENINGS:  The first Sonic the Hedgehog had the final pre-pandemic smash opening in 2020 before theaters started to close, with $58M for its 3-day weekend ($70M for the full Presidents Day holiday).  Now SONIC THE HEDGEHOG 2 (Paramount) has gotten off to an even bigger start with $71M for 3 days.  Although the success of Sonic is being hailed as a sign that families are once again flocking to theaters, actually the key to the franchise is that it straddles a family audience with young male gamers–as a comparison, Sonic 2 had 61% male ticket buyers over the weekend, while the more conventionally targeted Encanto was at 37%.  So Sonic 2 doesn’t really change very much from what we already knew, that the 18-34 audience is dominating the industry right now.  Still, a hit is very much a hit, and Sonic 2 should handily beat the $149M US box office of its predecessor.  Overseas, Sonic 2 has $70M after a $37M weekend in 53 markets.

AMBULANCE (Universal) confirmed something else we already knew about the current box office:  the older audience is still largely absent.  Michael Bay’s non-franchise action thriller opened with a dim $8.7M, and although production costs were low, the studio reportedly made a high marketing commitment, so the film is unlikely to push out of red ink.  Things were a bit brighter overseas, with $22.4M in 68 territories.

EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE ALL AT ONCE (A24) expanded into wide release at 1250 theaters with a strong $6.1M, giving it a per-theater weekend average almost double the one for Ambulance.  (As usual with A24, the studio’s weekend estimate assumes a low Saturday-to-Sunday drop.)  Everything is making its case that it’s as much action and genre as “arthouse,” and the plan is for it to continue to expand.

While FANTASTIC BEASTS:  THE SECRETS OF DUMBLEDORE (Warners) arrives in the US next week, it’s premiered in 22 international markets with $58M.  That leaves much of the world still open, but it’s a worrisome sign that Fantastic 3 opened at $8M in the UK, where its immediate predecessor started with $15.8M, considering that 71% of that film’s worldwide total was earned overseas.

HOLDOVERS:  To no one’s particular surprise, MORBIUS (Marvel/Columbia/Sony) cratered in its 2nd weekend, plunging 74% to $10.2M.  It may not get past $85M in the US, and with 2 years of marketing costs piled onto its production budget, it seems unlikely to surpass breakeven.  Overseas, it has $69.3M after a $15M weekend.

THE LOST CITY (Paramount) dipped 38% to $9.2M in its 3rd weekend, hoping to reach $100M in the US.  It still hasn’t begun most of its international release, with $9.7M thus far.

THE BATMAN (DC/Warners) dropped 41% to $6.6M in its 6th weekend, on track for $380M in the US, and with $376.1M overseas.

UNCHARTED (Columbia/Sony) had the best hold in the Top 10, down 28% to $2.7M in Weekend 8, as it continued toward $150M in the US.  The overseas total is $240.5M.

LIMITED RELEASE:  The documentary VIVA MAESTRO (Greenwich) opened with a $7200 weekend per-theater average at 2 NY/LA arthouses.  ALINE (Roadside) averaged a bit over $300 at 61.

NEXT WEEKEND:  The Christian-aimed FATHER STU (Sony) arrives on Wednesday for a long Easter weekend, and then as noted, Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore reaches the US.



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 screened.com and the-burg.com. In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."