July 17, 2022

Behind the US/Worldwide Weekend Box Office – 7.17.2022


OPENINGS:  WHERE THE CRAWDADS SING (Columbia/Sony) launched with $17M, ahead of (low) expectations, and fueled by an audience of women in the midwest/south.  There’s no direct competition in sight, and it should be able to leg out past $50M in the US, which would be considered a win for the moderately-budgeted production.  Crawdads may have a tougher time finding its footing overseas, and it hasn’t yet opened outside the US.

PAWS OF FURY:  THE LEGEND OF HANK (Paramount) flopped with $6.3M, prompting the usual assertions that the studio had little on the line (it was an acquisition for Paramount, although they bear marketing costs).  The failure of Paws, coming after Lightyear, suggests that as with the adult audience, while there’s a crowd eager for films perceived as “events” (in this case, Minions), it’s a deep drop to everything else.  Distribution thus far hasn’t reached overseas.

MRS HARRIS GOES TO PARIS (Focus/Universal) opened in 980 theaters, aimed squarely at an older female audience, and was only able to find $1.9M despite solid reviews (93% on Rotten Tomatoes, compared to 37% for Crawdads).  Opening directly against another literary adaptation skewed to women was probably a mistake, but Mrs Harris was likely destined for a smaller niche in any case.  Following the Focus template, it will be on VOD after 2 more weekends, and may find its audience at home.  No international openings yet.

HOLDOVERS:  Despite a lack of meaningful competition, THOR: LOVE & THUNDER (Marvel/Disney) fell 68% to $46M in its 2nd weekend.  That’s similar to the 67% drop for Doctor Strange In the Multiverse of Madness, and much sharper than the 54% dip for Weekend 2 of Thor: Ragnarok.  The advantage Love & Thunder has over those two films is the strength of summer midweek business, as Love & Thunder‘s Monday-Thursday box office was down only about 5% from Doctor Strange 2, even though its opening weekend had been 23% lower.  That might lift Love & Thunder to around $350M in the US, which would be a tidy amount over Ragnarok‘s $315.1M despite the challenged word of mouth.  Overseas, Love & Thunder has a much more robust $479.7M after a $60.1M weekend in 47 territories.  That puts the international box office at 67% of the global total, more like Ragnarok (63%) than Doctor Strange 2 (57%).

MINIONS: THE RISE OF GRU (Illumination/Universal) dropped 44% to $26M in its 3rd weekend, better than Weekend 3 of the original Minions, which fell 54%.  Right now, both Minions are neck-and-neck, with Rise of Gru $100K ahead of its predecessor at the same point in release, but if it can continue to enjoy stronger holds, it may pull ahead of Minions‘ $336M US total.  Overseas, however, Rise of Gru has $270.1M, a long way from the first Minions‘ $823.4M.

The unstoppable TOP GUN: MAVERICK (Paramount) dipped just 23% to $12M in its 8th weekend, and has a $650M US total within its sights.  That would put it at #8 on the all-time box office list.  It’s also huge overseas, with $619.4M after a $19.2M weekend in 65 markets.

ELVIS (Warners) was down 32% to $7.6M in its 4th weekend, and may reach $125M in the US.  It’s quieter overseas, with $64.2M to date.

THE BLACK PHONE (Blumhouse/Universal, also on VOD) wasn’t damaged by its home availability, down 32% to $5.3M in its 4th weekend, and on course to top $85M in the US, a strong result for its budget and genre.  It also has $42.5M overseas.

JURASSIC WORLD: DOMINION (Universal, also on VOD) dropped 42% to $5M in its 6th weekend, and should end up at around $375M in the US, down just 10% from Fallen Kingdom.  Its international total is $542.8M (boosted by $150M from China, a market none of the other summer movies has been able to breach), although that’s still much lower than Fallen Kingdom‘s $892.7M.

LIGHTYEAR (Pixar/Disney) neared the end of its lackluster run, down 58% to $1.3M in its 5th weekend, and potentially about to become the lowest-grossing Pixar movie ever (other than the pandemic-shortened Onward) if it can’t beat The Good Dinosaur‘s $123.1M, which is still $7.6M ahead.  Things are no better internationally, where Lightyear has $97.5M.

LIMITED RELEASE:  MARCEL THE SHELL WITH SHOES ON (A24) tripled its theater count to 153 and started to find the limits of its appeal with a $3800 weekend per-theater average.  GONE IN THE NIGHT (Vertical) opened at 136 with a $900 average.  GABY GIFFORDS WON’T BACK DOWN (Briarcliff) averaged $250 at 302.  FIRE OF LOVE (Neon) widened to 14 with a $4500 average.  HALLELUJAH (Sony Classics) expanded to 25 with a $1500 average.  FIRE (IFC) averaged $450 at 81.  MURINA (Kino Lorber) averaged $800 at 10.

NEXT WEEKEND:  Jordan Peele’s NOPE (Universal) is one of the more intriguing question marks of the season, with little information available just days before its opening.

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."