May 8, 2022

Behind the US/Worldwide Weekend Box Office – 5.8.2022


OPENINGS:  After an interruption for The Batman, the MCU resumed its place at the top of popular culture with the arrival of DOCTOR STRANGE IN THE MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS (Marvel/Disney), which launched within the industry’s very high expectations at $185M in the US.  That’s roughly the same as Avengers: Age of Ultron ($191.3M), and since the two blockbusters are getting a similarly mixed-to-positive response (Multiverse is at 75% on Rotten Tomatoes and Ultron was at 76%), Multiverse may be headed to a $450M US total, which would land it at #6-7 in the MCU.  As with virtually all major hits in the pandemic era, the box office for Multiverse was largely fueled by the M18-34 demo.  The MCU mega-franchise tends to earn the majority of its revenues overseas, and Multiverse opened in 49 markets (it’s unlikely to be released in China, Russia or some of the Middle East) at $265M.  With 2 weeks ahead before anyone dares to offer direct competition, Disney will be hoping for a $1B+ worldwide total.

HOLDOVERS:  The imposing shadow of Doctor Strange 2 dented some veterans more than others, with Mothers Day assisting several titles aimed at women and families.  THE BAD GUYS (DreamWorks Animation/Universal) dropped 40% to $9.8M in its 3rd weekend, and may reach a moderate $90M in the US.  Overseas, it has $90.6M after a $7.2M weekend in 64 territories.

SONIC THE HEDGEHOG 2 (Paramount) lost 46% to $6.2M in its 5th weekend, on its way to $190M in the US.  It’s at $179.5M overseas after 61 markets contributed a $8.2M weekend, with Japan among the regions yet to open.

FANTASTIC BEASTS: THE SECRETS OF DUMBLEDORE (Warners) sank by 53% to $4M in its 4th weekend, and may become the first Potterverse title not to reach $100M in the US.  Business is stronger overseas, where it has $277.7M after a $10.8M weekend in 74 territories, but a worldwide total around $400M doesn’t lead to profit at the budget level of these productions.

EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE ALL THE TIME (A24) took its first real box office hit, down 40% to $3.3M in its 7th weekend, but that still keeps it on track to pass Uncut Gems and $50M to become A24’s highest-grossing release.  It has $3.9M in early international distribution.

THE NORTHMEN (Focus/Universal) fell 57% to $2.8M in its 3rd weekend, and it won’t get much higher than $40M in the US, with $23.5M overseas to date.  That’s a subpar result for a film with production/marketing costs well over $100M.

THE LOST CITY (Paramount) is projecting a strong Mothers Day, which would put its 7th weekend down 35% to $2.5M, with $100M in its US sights.  Overseas, it has $68.4M.

THE UNBEARABLE WEIGHT OF MASSIVE TALENT (Lionsgate) plunged 61% to $1.5M in its 3rd weekend, and won’t get much past $20M in the US.  The $4.5M earned overseas thus far doesn’t help.

MEMORY (Open Road) was fated to be smacked in its 2nd weekend by the dominance of the MCU, and it fell 61% to $1.2M, perhaps not even reaching $10M in the US.  That compares to a 51% drop in the 2nd weekend of Liam Neeson’s last vehicle BlacklightMemory has barely begun international release.

LIMITED RELEASE:  HAPPENING (IFC), more topical than its distributor could have expected, opened at 4 arthouses with an $8500 weekend per-theater average.  THE DUKE (Sony Classics) expanded to 350 and averaged $1000.  PETITE MAMAN (Neon) widened to 224 and averaged $800.

NEXT WEEKEND:  Even assuming a standard 55-60% drop for Doctor Strange 2‘s second weekend, no one wants to square off with it, and the only wide opening is FIRESTARTER (Universal), which will simultaneously debut on Peacock.

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."