August 6, 2023

Behind the US/Worldwide Weekend Box Office – 8.6.2023


OPENINGS:  The 3-day weekend in the US went narrowly to MEG 2: THE TRENCH (CMC/Warners) with $30M.  That was down more than 1/3 from the $45.4M start for The Meg in 2018, which would ordinarily be concerning for a film with $250M in production/marketing costs, but Meg 2 overperformed internationally even more strongly than its predecessor had, with $112M from 76 markets representing 79% of the worldwide weekend total.

TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES: MUTANT MAYHEM (Nickelodeon/Paramount) rebooted its franchise, with $28M for the 3-day weekend and $43.1M since its Wednesday opening, at the higher end of projections.  Although the box office was significantly lower than the $65.6M start for the 2014 live-action installment in the series, this Turtles was relatively thrifty by summer tentpole standards with around $175M in total costs.  The film opened overseas with $8.5M.

THEATER CAMP (Searchlight/Disney) crept into the low end of wide release by nearly doubling its theater count to 555.  Despite that expansion, ticket sales were down 10%, translating into a low $1000 per-theater weekend average.

HOLDOVERS:  The phenomenon that is BARBIE (Warners) remained the story of the summer, taking the weekend in its 3rd outing with a 43% decline to $53M.  With $459.4M to date, it seems to be en route to unseating The Super Mario Bros Movie and its $574.2M for the 2023 US box office crown.  Worldwide, it’s passed a magic milestone at $1.03B, and the international weekend added $74M from 69 territories.  The global Super Mario number is $1.35B, which may be reachable.

OPPENHEIMER (Universal) held even better than Barbie, down 39% to $28.7M, and heading past $300M in the US, which would be ahead of Inception‘s $292.6M.  The overseas performance was even more remarkable, with a $52.8M weekend.  Oppenheimer has a chance of catching Interstellar‘s $773.4M worldwide total (it’s already well past that film’s $188M in the US), although probably not Inception‘s $870.8M.

All the good box office news was interrupted by HAUNTED MANSION (Disney), which plunged 63% from last week’s bad start to $9M, and may not get past $70M in the US.  The overseas total is just $17.6M.

SOUND OF FREEDOM (Angel) dropped 45% to $7M in its 5th weekend, on its way to $185M in the US.  No international openings as of yet.

MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – DEAD RECKONING PART 1 (Skydance/Paramount) lost 39% to $6.5M, and might reach $170M in the US.  Although the overseas number is more robust at $342.8M, on a worldwide basis Dead Reckoning will likely end up close to 30% below its predecessor Fallout‘s $791.7M, and breakeven isn’t certain on $450M in total costs.

TALK TO ME (A24) had an exceptional hold for low-budget non-franchise horror, down 40% to $6.3M, and on the road to $40M in the US.  It also has $2.7M in early overseas release.

INDIANA JONES AND THE DIAL OF DESTINY (Lucasfilm/Disney) lost almost half its theaters and fell 62% to $1.5M, on its way to $175M in the US.  The $197.8M overseas won’t be enough to get the film anywhere near breakeven.

ELEMENTAL (Pixar/Disney) also saw its theater count chopped, and it was down 65% to $1.2M in its 8th weekend, aiming to pass $150M in the US before it’s done.  It has $275.4M overseas.

INSIDIOUS: THE RED DOOR (Blumhouse/Screen Gems/Sony, also on VOD) lost more than half its theaters, and shed 66% to $1.1M, probably needing too much of a stretch to hit $85M in the US.  The international number is $101.8M.

LIMITED RELEASE:  SHORTCOMINGS (Sony Classics) opened at 404 with a muted $800 per-theater weekend average.  DREAMIN WILD (Roadside) started at 402 and averaged a sad $300.  PASSAGES (MUBI) averaged $21K at 3 NY/LA arthouses.  WHAT COMES AROUND (IFC) averaged $300 at 14.

NEXT WEEKEND:  The pickings are August-slim, with more horror from THE LAST VOYAGE OF THE DEMETER (Universal), and offbeat comedy from JULES (Bleecker Street).

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."