July 16, 2023

Behind the US/Worldwide Weekend Box Office – 7.16.2023


OPENINGS:  There had been an expectation, or at least a hope, that MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – DEAD RECKONING PART I (Skydance/Paramount) would get a boost from the spectacular performance of Top Gun: Maverick, but that didn’t come to pass, and Mission 7 performed in line with others in the franchise.  That meant $56.2M over the 3-day weekend and $80M since Wednesday (plus earlier “advance screenings”), rather than the projected low end of $60M/$90M.  In fact, in the US Mission 7 almost duplicated the box office for Mission 2, the franchise’s only other wide Wednesday opening, which launched with $57.9M/$78.8M–however, that doesn’t account for far higher production/marketing costs (reportedly $400M+) or 23 years of ticket price inflation.  The Mission franchise tends to have high multiples, and Mission 7 may well pass $225M in the US, but that wouldn’t be enough to recoup its costs.  The international results (72% of global for the last installment) will be the key to profit, and those were somewhat subdued as well, with $155M rather than the projected $160M after opening in all major markets except Japan, the shortfall largely traceable to a low start in China.  What remains to be seen is whether the box office will feel a negative impact from next week’s high-profile releases (the competition against Weekend 2 of Mission 6 came from Christopher Robin and The Spy Who Dumped Me).

THE MIRACLE CLUB (Sony Classics) attempted to counterprogram by aiming at the older female demo, but managed just $680K at 678 theaters.

HOLDOVERS:  Part of Mission 7‘s underperformance may be attributable to SOUNDS OF FREEDOM (Angel), which has become a red-state phenomenon.  Although it increased its theater count by about 15%, ticket sales outstripped that with a remarkable 37% rise to $27M, putting the low-cost thriller on track for $150M in the US.  It probably won’t perform at a level like that overseas, where it hasn’t yet opened, but with those US numbers, it won’t need to in order to be one of the year’s most profitable releases.

INSIDIOUS: THE RED DOOR (Blumhouse/Screen Gems/Sony) fell 61% to $13M, not unusual for horror, and should still end up above $75M in the US.  International may be even higher, with $64.5M to date after a $21.5M weekend.

Things are looking bleak for INDIANA JONES AND THE DIAL OF DESTINY (Lucasfilm/Disney).  In the US, it fell 56% to $12M in its 3rd weekend, and may not get much past $175M.  More ominously, it has only $157M overseas after a $17M weekend.  Even at $400M worldwide, it won’t recoup its enormous costs.

ELEMENTAL (Pixar/Disney) continued to rule the family market, down a mere 13% to $8.7M in its 6th weekend.  With no direct competition until Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in August, it should finish above $150M, which would be an impressive 5x multiple off its opening.  Overseas, it has $186.4M after a $28.2M weekend in 51 markets, with Japan still to open.  Although significant profit is still probably too far a goal, the film might nose its way to breakeven.

SPIDER-MAN: ACROSS THE SPIDER-VERSE (Marvel/Sony Animation) dipped 25% to $6.1M in Weekend 7, on its way to $385M in the US, where its only obstacle to claiming the summer crown may be Barbie.  It’s quieter overseas, with $294.7M after a $5.4M weekend in 63 territories.

TRANSFORMERS: RISE OF THE BEASTS (Hasbro/Paramount) lost 33% to $3.4M in its 6th weekend, en route to $165M in the US.  The international total is $268.2M after a $4M weekend in 61 markets.

NO HARD FEELINGS (Columbia/Sony) dropped 39% to $3.3M in its 4th weekend, and should pass $55M in the US.  It’s had less appeal overseas, with $31M after a $2.2M weekend in 54 territories, and may not reach breakeven.

JOY RIDE (Lionsgate) fell 56% to $2.6M, unlikely to reach $20M in the US.  It’s had negligible openings overseas thus far.

THE LITTLE MERMAID (Disney) continued to squeeze its way to $300M in the US, down 36% to $2.4M in its 8th weekend.  However, the international total is $253.6M.

ASTEROID CITY (Focus/Universal, also on VOD) was down 49% to $1.2M, and may stretch to $30M in the US.  The overseas total is $17.1M after a $1.2M weekend in 38 markets.  The worldwide number will end up very close to The French Dispatch‘s $46.3M, although there the proportions were reversed with $16.1M in the US and $30.2M internationally.

RUBY GILLMAN, TEENAGE KRAKEN (DreamWorks Animation/Universal) limped to the end of its theatrical run, down 65% to $1M in its 3rd weekend, and likely unable to reach $20M in the US.  It has $19.8M overseas after a $2.6M weekend in 68 territories.

LIMITED RELEASE:  THEATER CAMP (Searchlight/Disney) had a solid start, averaging $45K in 6 NY/LA theaters.  PSYCHO PATH: PROVIDENCE (Crunchyroll) averaged $500 at 419.  AFIRE (Sideshow) had a $10K average at 4.  BLACK ICE (Roadside) averaged $200 at 144.

NEXT WEEKEND:  The box office weekend people have been eying for months finally arrives, with the dual openings of BARBIE (Warners) and OPPENHEIMER (Universal).  It seems less likely to be a “face off” than was once expected, as Barbie is projected to swamp Christopher Nolan’s 3-hour R-rated biography.  However, strong business for both would be a good story for the industry, which could use some.  These two may be the last blockbusters to arrive for some time, especially since actors won’t be able to promote their films during the SAG strike.

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."