May 1, 2022

Behind the US/Worldwide Weekend Box Office – 5.2.2022


OPENINGS:  With the latest MCU extravaganza waiting in the wings, Hollywood studios kept their wares out of the market, and the only arrival was the latest Liam Neeson vehicle (incredibly, he’s had 6 films in release since Covid hit), this one entitled MEMORY (Open Road).  It launched with $3.1M, very similar to February’s Blacklight, which started at $3.5M.  That one didn’t make it to $10M in the US, and was even lower overseas, and the same will likely be true of Memory, but apparently when all platforms are counted, the economics of these products make sense for all concerned.  Neeson, it should be noted, currently has 4 more action movies in various stages of production.

DOWNTON ABBEY: A NEW ERA (Focus/Universal) doesn’t hit the US until May 20, but it’s begun its international run with a subdued $9.3M in 33 territories.  Downton 2 will be a significant test of whether older audiences are ready to return to theaters, since the first feature brought in $193.8M worldwide.

HOLDOVERS:  The lack of new competition was a favor to the films already in the market, starting with THE BAD GUYS (DreamWorks Animation/Universal), down 33% from last week’s opening to $16.1M, and with a chance to see $100M in the US.  It also has $74.3M overseas after a $9M weekend in 62 markets.

The family market continued to be strong with SONIC THE HEDGEHOG 2 (Paramount) dipping just 28% to $11.4M in its 4th weekend, possibly on its way to $200M in the US.  It has $162.6M overseas after a $14.5M weekend in 61 territories.  As with Bad Guys, the last major market yet to open is Japan.

FANTASTIC BEASTS: THE SECRETS OF DUMBLEDORE (Warners) dropped 41% to $8.3M in its 3rd weekend, and it can’t hope to get much past $100M in the US, which would be down almost 40% from the last installment.  Things are better overseas but not by enough, with $250M after a $25.8M weekend in all major markets.  If the new Warners management decides to continue the series, it will probably have to be at a lower budget level.

THE NORTHMEN (Focus/Universal) fell 49% from last week’s opening to $6.3M, on track for an insufficient $40M or so in the US.  It also isn’t showing much life overseas, with $18.8M after a $4.4M weekend in 45 territories.

The most impressive box office story of 2022 remains EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE ALL THE TIME (A24), which amazingly gained 2% to $5.5M in its 6th weekend.  If it can hold onto its theaters (less of a challenge with the depleted release schedules these days), it has a good chance of passing Uncut Gems‘ $50M and becoming its studio’s biggest hit.  It’s still barely in international release with $2.7M to date.

THE LOST CITY (Paramount) impressively slipped a mere 9% to $3.9M in its 6th weekend, and should pass $100M in the US.  It has $58.1M overseas after a $10.5M weekend in 61 markets, with Japan still to open.

THE UNBEARABLE WEIGHT OF MASSIVE TALENT (Lionsgate) dropped 45% from last week’s opening to $3.9M, and may reach a mild $25M in the US.  It has $2.5M in early international release.

FATHER STU (Sony) lost 34% to $2.2M in its 3rd weekend and will hope to see $25M in the US, with negligible overseas release to date.

MORBIUS (Marvel/Columbia/Sony) shed 35% to $1.5M in its 5th weekend, on its way to $75M in the US, and with $90M overseas.  Not much for what was planned as the start of a franchise.

AMBULANCE (Universal) was down 35% to $1.2M in its 4th weekend and will have to stretch for $25M in the US.  It has $28.8M overseas.

LIMITED RELEASE:  The horror movie HATCHING (IFC) opened at 186 theaters with a low $750 weekend per-theater average.  THE DUKE (Sony Classics) expanded to 57 with a $2200 average.

NEXT WEEKEND:  The box office will be a very different place with the expected blockbuster arrival of DOCTOR STRANGE IN THE MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS (Marvel/Disney).  Limited releases include HAPPENING (IFC).

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."