Box Office Rundown!! April 29th-May 1st!! Great Holds Abound as we Get the Quiet Before a Marvel Storm!!

Weekend Box Office Top 10 (Apr 29th-May 1st) / 3-Day Weekend Gross / Percent Change from Last Week / Weekend # / Distributor), Weekend Actuals:

  1. The Bad Guys / $16.2 million / -32% / Weekend 2 / Universal (DreamWorks)
  2. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 / $11.54 million / -26% / Weekend 4 / Paramount Pictures
  3. Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore / $8.3 million / -41% / Weekend 3 / Warner Bros.
  4. The Northman / $6.7 million / -48% / Weekend 2 / Focus Features
  5. Everything, Everywhere, All At Once / $5.5 million / +2% / Weekend 6 / A24
  6. The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent / $3.87 million / -46% / Weekend 3 / Lionsgate
  7. The Lost City / $3.81 million / -12% / Weekend 5 / Paramount Pictures
  8. Memory / $3.1 million / (N/A) / Weekend 1 / Open Road Films (Briarcliff Entertainment)
  9. Father Stu / $2.2 million / -34% / Weekend 3 / Sony (Columbia Pictures)
  10. Morbius / $1.5 million / -34% / Weekend 5 / Sony (Columbia Pictures)

Notable Outsiders:

16. Spider-Man: No Way Home / $154K / +80% / Weekend 20 / Sony (Columbia Pictures)

18. The Duke / $116K / +353% / Weekend 2 / Sony Pictures Classic (57 theaters, $2,050 per theater)

20. Petite Maman / $59K / +29% / Weekend 2 / NEON (31 theaters, $1,911 per theater)

26. Vortex / $16K / (N/A) / Weekend 1 / Utopia (1 theater, $16,803 per theater)

27. We’re All Going to the World’s Fair / $13K / -52% / Weekend 3 / Utopia

With this past weekend being the last before Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness comes along to siphon all audience interest away from every other title, all the holdovers this weekend ended up holding remarkably well; making one last stand before they likely get obliterated. It’s pretty typical for a major blockbuster to suck the air out of the room and cause most of the other films in the top ten to drop heavily. Every so often, a studio is able to counterprogram the major feature that week, but Marvel is such a ubiquitous brand that it is highly likely that all of the films next weekend will be dented. All the more reason to celebrate the fantastic holds we saw this weekend.

Funnily enough, this past weekend looks very similar to that of the previous in terms of the order of films. Expectedly, The Bad Guys held on to the number one spot, though it held much better than I expected with just a -32% for a gross of $16.2 million, taking its domestic haul to $44.58 million and its worldwide total to $119.7 million. On a budget of somewhere between $60-80 million, and with just 37% of its worldwide total coming from the US, its intriguing to note that The Bad Guys is playing more so like a movie from Illumination Entertainment than a DreamWorks picture; a notable fact given that both animation houses belong to Universal and both are overseen by Illumination CEO, Chris Meledandri. Whether or not the merging of brands is a good thing creatively is up for debate, but it certainly is good from a business standpoint as Illumination films are cheap to make and tend to rake in big bucks (a rare thing to see in a world where movie budgets only continue to skyrocket). As of yet, the film is still performing closer to Abominable (a DreamWorks movie) here in the states, but if it keeps up the solid holds, it will be a solid success for Universal overall. Speaking of solid success, Sonic 2 repeated its second place victory from last weekend, this time showcasing its best hold yet with just a -26% drop for a gross of $11.54 million. With that, its domestic gross rose to $161 million, officially making it the highest-grossing videogame movie of all time (unadjusted for inflation) in the United States. Combined with $142 million overseas, Sonic 2 currently stands at $303 million, 3.4x its $90 million budget thus firmly justifying the greenlighting of a third film along with the Knuckles spin-off show for Paramount+. The amazing part though is that Sonic 2 still has plenty of runway given that, along with The Bad Guys, the films are the only movies in the top ten aimed more so at kids and thus have much more of a chance at weathering the Doctor Strange storm coming their way. I’m intrigued to see how they hold up next weekend, but I think it will be solid no matter what.

As for third and fourth place, two would-be stinkers actually got slight reprieves this weekend. Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore used the lack of competition this weekend to pull out a more-than-decent hold of -41%, showing there is still interest in this installment of the franchise. Now, it’s not that much of a help to the film as Secrets of Dumbledore did start from a place of great weakness and this hold only allows it to gross $6.36 million for a domestic total of $79.5 million, but it’s much less embarrassing than another drop in the 60%s. Still, we can rest assured that Secrets of Dumbledore will definitively not be hitting $100 million domestically; more likely closer to $85-90 million, especially with the whallop it’s about to receive from Doctor Strange 2. The Northman is also unlikely to fare well in that scenario, especially since Doctor Strange is likely to steal away any IMAX screens that are adding to The Northman‘s grosses. Still, a drop of -48% in its second weekend is pretty good. It’s better than the -50% I was picturing and shows genuine audience support for the $90 million Viking epic. At $22.8 million domestic, it should have a good level of word-of-mouth buzz as it hits PVOD for rental likely next week.

Fifth place will be getting it own section, of course, as it’s home to everyone’s favorite box office miracle, Everything, Everywhere, All at Once. Taking full advantage of the empty weekend, A24 managed to steal back some of the screens it lost last weekend (including IMAX screens) and boosted the film’s weekend-to-weekend gross by +2% to $5.5 million. It’s a box office performance that some pundits are now equating with that of The Greatest Showman, a comparison that really is warranted as Everything, Everywhere is legging out like that of a Christmas release. As of now, it stands at $35.5 million domestic and is guaranteed to hit $40 million by the end of its run. Of course, with such strong holds (and growth from week to week), many pundits are now arguing that a $50+ million domestic finish is in sight, but I would slow my roll if I were them, largely because Everything, Everywhere will face its biggest test next weekend when it slams straight into Doctor Strange 2. That latter film is a Marvel movie, this bigger in scale and scope, connected to a very firmly established universe, and is rumored to contain major cameos and take the franchise in a new direction with its own multiverse story. I did suggest last weekend that Everything, Everywhere may potentially be able to function as counterprogramming to Doctor Strange 2, functioning essentially as the more “adult and sophisticated” version of the same basic premise, and this weekend’s gross makes me more confident in that assertion. That said, I refuse to predict anything more than a $40 million domestic total for Everything, Everywhere until I see how well it holds against Doctor Strange. For now, I’m only cautiously optimistic.

As for the rest of the top ten, we got more great holds for holdovers. To my shock, The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent did not sink like a stone (-60-65% drop) as I predicted, instead holding quite well (all things considered) with -46% for a gross of $3.87 million in sixth place. Massive Talent is still a theatrical flop with only $13.4 million total domestically, but by taking advantage of this weekend, it managed to advertise itself as a fun film to general audiences who will likely rent it down the line where Nicolas Cage’s most recent films have tended to fair very well. The Lost City, on the other hand, continues its strong domestic run with a drop of just -12%! This gave it a gross of $3.8 million which brought it past the $90 million mark domestically and has officially cemented it with a strong x3 multiplier, the symbol of an overall leggy movie. I finally got to see the film this past weekend and it was everything that the trailer promised it would be. I could not have asked for more from the film creatively (Bullock and Tatum are excellent, Radcliffe and Da’Vine Joy Randolph are scene-stealers, and the Nee Brothers have great comedic directing chops!), though I wouldn’t mind a pinch more box office power. No, I’m still not completely convinced that The Lost City will hit $100 million domestic, especially with Doctor Strange 2 next weekend unless it managed to pull through there as well. $95 million seems like the endpoint, though I continue to have my fingers crossed that the film still has a little bit of oomph left in it. Worldwide, it’s up to $149 million and looks like it has a shot at a final gross of $200 million given its legginess overseas as well as the fact that it still needs to open in Hong Kong and Japan, both of which are big markets. $200 million would be a solid, if not spectacular finish for the film worldwide, and would be the highest-grossing female-led film not based on an existing IP since House of Gucci (though its likely already going to take that title next weekend).

Coming in eighth place was Memory which, true to form for a Liam Neeson actioner, opened with $3.1 million, right on par with Neeson’s last feature, the critically panned Blacklight. To be fair, Memory doesn’t have that much better reviews (though they are better) but it is a testament to Neeson that he has so solid and unchanging a fanbase. Don’t expect Memory to last long here, but it may very well explode on rental, Netflix, or Amazon when it gets there. Finally, Father Stu and Morbius closed out the top ten in ninth and tenth place respectively, each with a surprisingly strong hold of -34%. Father Stu continues to follow closely with Courageous in terms of its performance, though it still lags behind by about 20% and will likely end its run with about $21 million, while Morbius continues to cling tight to the top ten, taking in just $1.5 million for a domestic total of $71.4 million and a worldwide haul of $161 million. Morbius will not be getting any further than that in both metrics and will most certainly be knocked out of the top ten next weekend.

As for the specialty market, Black Site did not register given its likely simultaneous RedBox release, and Sound of Violet and Firebird each barely registered. What did register was actually kind of fascinating though. For one, Spider-Man: No Way Home grew its dwindling theater count back up to 528 in anticipation of Doctor Strange 2 and saw a solid +80% bump up to $154K. The Duke also expanded into 57 theaters for a gross of $116K and a per-theater average of $2,050 (the sixth-highest of the weekend). Petite Maman also flexed its muscles in that department, growing its count to 31 theaters, but came up short with $1,911. The real specialty box office winner, however, was actually a film that I totally missed last Friday, Vortex by infamous filmmaker Gaspar Noe. Both renowned and reviled by critics and audiences for his aggressive, strobing, provocative oeuvre (including, but not limited to Irreversible, Enter the Void, Love, and Climax), Noe crafts a much more sobber and grounded tale with Vortex, telling the story of a woman and her husband who both wait in their apartment while she begins to succumb to dementia. Of course, Noe adds his interesting stylistic flourishes, but it is clear that his audience will show up for him anywhere as even though Vortex was released in just one theater this weekend, $16K worth of people showed up to that one theater this weekend to see the film. Congratulations to you Noe!

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