May 22, 2022

Behind the US/Worldwide Weekend Box Office – 5.22.2022


OPENINGS:  Considering that DOWNTON ABBEY: A NEW AGE (Focus/Universal) is something like a fresh MCU chapter for the older female audience, the fact that the sequel opened at $16M despite solid reviews–a painful 48% drop from the first theatrical entry in the franchise just 3 years ago–is a sobering sign that this demo just isn’t coming back to theaters anytime soon.  Notwithstanding the efforts of some pundits to spin these numbers somehow positively, the vanishing of half a target demo will inevitably have a ripple effect on what indies are financed and released, especially since the Downton international results are similarly diminished, with $35.7M after 4 weekends of release, compared to a $95.3M total for the first film.  Based on around $100M in production and worldwide marketing costs, A New Age may ultimately break even, but a third installment would likely require a slimmer budget.

The quasi-horror fable MEN (A24) was inevitably going to be divisive, and it found a narrow audience at $3.3M, below the studio’s other “elevated horror” openings like Midsommar ($6.6M) and The Witch ($8.8M).  It hasn’t yet opened overseas.

HOLDOVERS:  DOCTOR STRANGE IN THE MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS (Marvel/Disney) dropped 49% to $31.6M, and will hope to exceed the $426.8M US total of Captain Marvel.  Worldwide, a $1B total is still on the table, with $461.1M overseas after a $40M weekend in 49 territories.  However, the summer movie season is about to begin in earnest, which means Doctor Strange 2 will start losing its premium screens as competition rolls in.

THE BAD GUYS (DreamWorks Animation/Universal, also on VOD) dipped 15% to $6.1M in its 5th weekend, and may get past $90M in the US.  It has $107.8M overseas after a $6.6M weekend in 68 markets, with Japan still to come.

SONIC THE HEDGEHOG 2 (Paramount) also held well, down just 15% to $3.9M in its 7th weekend, and on its way past $190M in the US.  It’s reached $194M overseas.

Remarkably, the 9th weekend of EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE ALL AT ONCE (A24) almost matched the opening of the studio’s Men with $3.1M (down a tiny 6% from last week), despite showing at 25% fewer theaters.  Everything Everywhere hit twin milestones this weekend, passing $50M to date in the US (and well on its way to $60M+) and becoming the highest-grossing release in A24’s history.  There’s still no rush on the international release, with $4.7M in limited distribution to date.

FANTASTIC BEASTS: THE SECRETS OF DUMBLEDORE (Warners) dropped 25% to $1.9M in its 6th weekend, and still might crack $100M in the US.  It has $249.9M overseas, which is certainly a better result, but still not enough to reach any profit.

FIRESTARTER (Universal, also on Peacock) fell 50% from last week to $1.9M, and probably won’t see $15M in the US.  It has $3.6M overseas.

THE LOST CITY (Paramount, also on Paramount+) shed 12% to $1.5M in its 9th weekend, and should pass $100M in the US next week.  Overseas is a bit lower at $76.6M.

THE NORTHMEN (Focus/Universal, also on VOD) lost 42% to $1M in Weekend 5 and won’t get much beyond $35M in the US.  It has $30.5M overseas.  None of this is good news on production/marketing costs above $100M.

LIMITED RELEASE:  The right-wing documentary 2000 MULES (D’Souza Media) averaged $1800 in 415 theaters.  PLEASURE (Neon) expanded to 44 and averaged $700.  MONTANA STORY (Bleecker Street) widened to 24 and averaged $800.  LUX AETERNA (Yellow Veil) spread to 19 with an $800 average.

NEXT WEEKEND:  The box office should perk up considerably with the arrival of TOP GUN: MAVERICK (Paramount), and the family market has its first new entry in several weeks with THE BOB’S BURGERS MOVIE (20th/Disney).



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."