April 9, 2023

Behind the US/Worldwide Weekend Box Office – 4.9.2023


OPENINGS:  Box office expectations were high for THE SUPER MARIO BROS MOVIE (Nintendo/Illumination/Universal), but the video game adaptation blew past them with a record-smashing $204.6M 5-day opening (passing the $200.1M for Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen) that was huge in all quadrants.  Even though Friday was its 3rd day of release, the 3-day weekend $146.4M was the 2nd highest ever for an animated release, behind only The Incredibles 2 (which opened on a Friday) and its $182.7M.  International was similarly massive at $172.8M in 70 markets.  With no major competition on the schedule until Guardians of the Galaxy 3 a month from now, Super Mario seems to be headed for the $1B club.

On a much lower scale, AIR (Amazon) had a mildly successful launch as Amazon’s first wide self-produced and distributed release, with $20.2M since Wednesday and $14.5M over the 3-day weekend.  A $60M US total would look good in the context of other adult-aimed dramas during the pandemic era, but would still leave Air with a big hill to climb toward breakeven against $175M+ in production/marketing costs.  It hasn’t yet opened overseas.

PAINT (IFC) is the latest indie to attempt a wide release with low results, in this case $750K at 819 theaters, a $900 weekend per-theater average (less than 25% of the average for Air).  No international openings yet.

HOLDOVERS:  JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 4 (Lionsgate) dropped 49% to $14.6M in its 3rd weekend, and no longer seems likely to reach $200M in the US.  Nevertheless, it should beat Chapter 3‘s $171M by about 10%.  Overseas, Chapter 4 has $153.5M to date.

Despite the holiday weekend and spring break, DUNGEONS & DRAGONS: HONOR AMONG THIEVES (eOne/Paramount) had an ugly 61% drop to $14.5M in its 2nd weekend, and probably won’t get much past $100M in the US.  Things would have to be much better overseas for it to get out from under red ink on $250M in costs, but they aren’t, with $61.8M so far.

SCREAM VI (Paramount) dipped 38% to $3.3M in its 5th weekend, becoming the highest-grossing entry in the franchise (not adjusted for inflation) and likely to reach $115M in the US.  The overseas result remains less exciting with $57.8M.

Easter crowds gave HIS ONLY SON (Angel) a 41% drop to $3.3M, with a chance to hit $20M in the US on low costs.  There hasn’t been a meaningful international release.

CREED III (MGM/Amazon) lost 44% to $2.8M in its 6th weekend, on its way past $160M in the US.  The international total is $116.2M.

SHAZAM: FURY OF THE GODS (DC/Warners) is almost done with its woeful run, down 65% to $1.6M and unlikely to even see $65M in the US.  There was no relief overseas, with $66.4M to date.

LIMITED RELEASE:  LA USURPADORA (Pantelion) opened at 313 theaters with a dim $450 weekend per-theater average.  HOW TO BLOW UP A PIPELINE (Neon) launched at 12 with a $10.1K average.  SHOWING UP (A24) averaged $16.7K at 4.

NEXT WEEKEND:  Horror movies RENFIELD (Universal) and THE POPE’S EXORCIST (Screen Gems/Sony) will counterprogram the wholesome Super Mario Bros, and Mafia Mamma (Bleecker Street) will try to find a comedy foothold.

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."