April 30, 2023

Behind the US/Worldwide Weekend Box Office 4.30.2023


OPENINGS:  History seems to be repeating itself for filmmaker Kelly Fremon Craig, whose extremely well-reviewed ARE YOU THERE GOD?  IT’S ME, MARGARET (Lionsgate) opened with a soft $6.8M (and that studio estimate assumes an unusually strong Sunday).  That’s very similar to Craig’s also critically-praised 2016 The Edge of Seventeen, which had a $4.9M opening at 40% fewer theaters.  Margaret may not hit $20M in the US (Seventeen ended its run with $14.4M), on $50M+ in production/marketing costs.  Demographic polls of Margaret‘s weekend audience showed that ticketbuyers were predominantly older women who’d grown up with the novel, rather than attracting contemporary teens and tweens.

The Indian-language PONNIYIN SELVAN: PART TWO (Red Giant) hit the mark with its target audience, earning $3.8M in just 600 theaters.

SISU (Lionsgate) had a $3M start in 1006 theaters, unable to get beyond the genre fans attracted by its ultra-violence.

BIG GEORGE FOREMAN [etc] (Affirm/Sony) was an attempt to broaden the audience for Christian-themed movies via a celebrity biography, but it fell flat with $3M at over 3000 theaters.

Indie distributors continue to struggle with wide releases that once would have been platformed over time, the latest being POLITE SOCIETY (Focus/Universal), with a sad $800K at 927 theaters, a weekend per-theater average under $900.

HOLDOVERS:  In its last weekend before facing actual competition, THE SUPER MARIO BROS MOVIE (Illumination/Universal) had another great hold, down 33% to $40M in its 4th weekend.  Depending on how hard it’s hit by Guardians 3 next week, it could be on track for $600M+ in the US, with the $634.6M animation record held by The Incredibles 2 not outside the realm of possibility.  Super Mario is even more huge overseas, where it has $532.5M after a $68.3M weekend in all major territories, including a $14.3M premiere in Japan, propelling it to $1B worldwide with plenty of runway left.

By horror genre standards, EVIL DEAD RISE (Warners) held rather well, down 50% to $12.2M, on its way to $75M+.  It has a slower $17.9M overseas.

JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 4 (Lionsgate) slipped just 14% to $5M in its 6th weekend, now the highest-grossing of the franchise and aiming at $190M in the US.  The overseas total to date is $226M.

DUNGEONS & DRAGONS: HONOR AMONG THIEVES (Paramount) is still hoping to reach $100M in the US after a 26% drop to $4.1M in its 5th weekend, although even that wouldn’t be enough for profitability on $250M in costs.  It has $106M overseas.

AIR (Amazon) lost 27% to $4M in its 4th weekend, with a chance of hitting $60M in the US.  The project has had less appeal overseas with $27.1M to date, leaving red ink on $150M or so in costs.

THE COVENANT (MGM/Amazon) dropped 43% to $3.6M, on its way to a light $25M in the US.  It’s thus far had a negligible international release.

THE POPE’S EXORCIST (Screen Gems/Sony) was down 49% to $1.8M in its 3rd weekend, and probably won’t reach $25M in the US.  The international number is better at $37.1M.

Despite jumping its theater count by 120% to 2125, BEAU IS AFRAID (A24) fell 46% to $1.4M (put another way:  its weekend per-theater average plummeted by more than 75%).  A24 has little if any room to expand further, which means that next week’s drop may be ugly.  Beau has little chance of getting much past $10M in the US (it’s barely opened overseas), and its advocates have wisely switched to a “money isn’t everything” take.

RENFIELD (Universal) tumbled 61% to $1.3M in its 3rd weekend, and can only hope to see $20M in the US.  The overseas total is even worse at $6.1M.

LIMITED RELEASE:  In the “rich get richer” department, RETURN OF THE JEDI (Lucasfilm/Disney) had a 40th anniversary re-release at 475 theaters, and took in $4.7M, a better per-theater average than Super Mario Bros.  SHOWING UP (A24) expanded to 115 and averaged $700.  JOYLAND (Oscilloscope) widened to 30 with an $1100 average.  OTHER PEOPLE’S CHILDREN (Music Box) spread to 7 with a $2100 average.  CARMEN (Sony Classics) averaged $900 at 11.

NEXT WEEKEND:  As noted, the summer movie season kicks off with GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL 3 (Marvel/Disney).  Counterprogramming comes from the rom-com LOVE AGAIN (Screen Gems/Sony).

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."