April 24, 2022

Behind the US/Worldwide Weekend Box Office – 4.24.2022


OPENINGS:  THE BAD GUYS (DreamWorks Animation/Universal) had a solid $24M start, above (low) projections.  It’s unclear whether the release for the film will fall under the normal Universal non-blockbuster 17-day exclusive theatrical policy, or if Bad Guys will fully be able to take advantage of the lack of family movies in the market until The Bob’s Burgers Movie arrives over Memorial Day weekend.  In any case, it’s unlikely to get higher than $100M in the US, putting it at the lower end of DreamWorks Animation releases, although perhaps enough to pass breakeven on a $70M production cost plus marketing.  Overseas results to date are fairly quiet as well, with $63.1M after a $5.9M weekend in most of the world.

Pundits tend to refer to THE NORTHMAN (Focus/Universal) as an “arthouse” film, but arthouse projects don’t cost $70M to produce (with commensurate marketing) and open at 3000+ theaters.  Viewed as a moderately-budgeted mainstream action movie (albeit on the auteurist end of the spectrum), The Northman‘s $12M opening is weak, and with the film scheduled for a 17-day exclusive theatrical run, red ink seems inevitable.  The international result has also been dim, with $11.5M after a $5M weekend in 41 markets.

No one figured out how to sell the meta-action comedy THE UNBEARABLE WEIGHT OF MASSIVE TALENT (Lionsgate) to a general audience, and with a $7.2M launch, it seems unlikely to earn back its $30M in production costs plus marketing.  It has $2.4M overseas.

HOLDOVERS:  SONIC THE HEDGEHOG 2 (Paramount) dropped 48% in its 3rd weekend to $15.2M, and could get close to $200M in the US, which would be significantly higher than the first Sonic‘s $145.8M (although the latter end of that film’s release was curtailed when Covid hit).  Sonic 2 has $142M overseas after a $19M weekend in 57 territories, and should pull ahead of the first Sonic‘s $170.8M.

There was nothing but bad news for FANTASTIC BEASTS: THE SECRETS OF DUMBLEDORE (Warners) which crashed by 67% to $14M from last week’s disappointing premiere, and may have to struggle past $100M, a long way down from The Crimes of Grindelwald‘s $159.6M, and on extremely high costs.  Things are similarly challenged overseas, where Dumbledore has $213.2M after a $38.3M weekend in 67 markets, and won’t get close to Grindelwald‘s $495.3M international total.  The new Warners ownership has shown a willingness to make tough calls with the instant axing of CNN+, and they may not have much more patience for the Fantastic Beasts franchise.

In a brighter part of the box office, EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE ALL AT ONCE (A24) has become a genuine sleeper, now in fully wide release at 2000+ theaters, and down just 12% to $5.4M, likely on its way past $40M in the US.  That would put it in the running among A24’s highest-grossing releases, behind Lady Bird‘s $49M and Hereditary‘s $44.1M.  Its very limited international release to date has earned $1.3M.

THE LOST CITY (Paramount) continues to hold well, down 29% to $4.4M in its 5th weekend, and stretching toward $100M in the US.  It has $42.7M overseas, after a $17.1M weekend in 58 territories.

FATHER STU (Sony) was down 38% from last week’s opening weekend to $3.3M, although that’s somewhat misleading because it had a Wednesday launch.  It could reach $25M in the US, and hasn’t yet been released overseas.

MORBIUS (Marvel/Columbia/Sony) fell 52% to $2.3M in its 4th weekend, on its way to a subpar $75M in the US.  International is only slightly better with $87.4M thus far.

AMBULANCE (Universal) dropped 56% to $1.8M in its 3rd weekend and will likely tail off at $25M in the US.  It has $27.5M overseas.

THE BATMAN (DC/Warners), now widely available on HBO and HBO Max, neared the end of its theatrical run with a 60% drop to $1.5M in its 8th weekend, and may not get to $375M in the US.  It’s reached $386.6M overseas.

LIMITED RELEASE:  Y COMO ES EL (Pantelion/Lionsgate) opened at 325 theaters with a mild $1900 weekend per-theater average.  Ecstatic reviews could only get PETITE MAMAN (Neon) to a $11.5K average at 4.  THE DUKE (Sony Classics) averaged $7200 at 4.

NEXT WEEKEND:  With the latest Doctor Strange 2 weeks away, the studios are already steering clear, and the only wide opening is the latest Liam Neeson vehicle MEMORY (Open Road).


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."