BOX OFFICE CHECK-IN! MAY 27TH-29TH (PT.2)! A RISING TIDE USUALLY LIFTS ALL BOATS, WILL THAT BE THE CASE THIS WEEKEND? I THINK SO!

With Top Gun: Maverick out of the way (see my last post for predictions on that film), let’s look at the rest of the top ten:

Obviously, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness will be coming in second. Yes, I said “obviously”, because it’s still the biggest movie in the market outside of Maverick. The question is now: how big is it still? After last weekend’s “much more solid than expected” hold of-48%, I’m willing to argue that it is indeed following the Age of Ultron/Spider-Man: Homecoming route of dropping big in its second weekend and then stabilizing through the rest of its run. I was originally predicting a -40% drop for a gross of $19.4 million, though the Friday numbers suggest I am off as it came in with about $4.4 million which sets the stage for a $17 million gross this weekend. That’s still not bad, is a drop closer to -47%, and I suspect that it results from loss of IMAX screens to Maverick, but I am still hewing closer to the idea of Multiverse holding stronger. After all, we’ve seen in the past few weeks that a rising tide does lift all boats in the box office harbor, or at least the ones that were already on the rise in the first place. I’m an optimist, so I’ll split the difference with a -45% predicted drop and a final weekend gross of $17.76 million.

Third place is a weird one. If you didn’t already know, The Bob’s Burgers Movie is coming out this weekend! I’ve nothing against Bob’s Burgers, I’ve never even seen an episode, but I am hard-pressed to understand why this movie is getting released. There was an age where a film based on a popular animated series like Bob’s Burgers could be released in theaters and do incredible business; in fact, that age was in 2007 with the release of The Simpsons Movie which did $183 million domestically(!) and $527 million worldwide(!!!). It is certainly not today, where The Simpsons and Family Guy and Bob’s Burgers are all still on the air in larger part because while, yes, they do still have a lot of fans, the Fox Broadcasting Network still needs (despite not owning the copyrights to them anymore) them as stalwarts to anchor their Sunday night “Animation Domination” line-up as they try to launch new animated shows to compete in the broadcast television market, a prospect that gets more challenging year after year (RIP Bless the Harts, you deserved to be the next King of the Hill). I say this because while Bob’s Burgers has its fans and makes a ton of money in syndication, I don’t see the justification for making this movie. To be fair, PAW Patrol just released a film that actually did very well at the box office but 1) its a kiddie-family film and thus cast a wider net in terms of audience appeal, 2) it was relatively cheap to make, and 3) The Bob’s Burgers Movie was greenlit prior to the Disney-Fox merger and thus likely preceded the development of a PAW Patrol movie. Bob’s Burgers’ audience is pretty insular, so much so that advertisements for it are now trying to comedically recap the series to viewers.

Even more weird when it comes to this film is the fact that, despite everything, it actually looking to rope in a bigger audience than I would’ve expected. With a reported Friday gross of $5.5 million, pundits have it coming in with a potential $14.7 million in the 3-Day frame and $18 million in the 4-Day (what?!). As with Top Gun: Maverick, I’ll be happy to eat crow if this really does come to pass, but for now I remain skeptical. Clearly, my original prediction of $8 million in the 3-Day frame is absolutely wrong, so I’ll adjust to $10 million given that I still think Bob’s Burgers audience is still insular. We’ll just have to see, but hey, Maverick is looking to do quite well so once again, a rising tide might just lift all boats.

Fourth place is looking to do to Downton Abbey, which I am expecting to hold almost identically to its predecessor with a drop of -55% in its second weekend which would result in a gross of $7.2 million. Overall, I think A New Age will mirror the original Downton Abbey movie’s performance in practically every way (holds, multiplier, etc..), just with depressed grosses this time around. Rounding out the top five is likely to be that of The Bad Guys with another fantastic hold of -20% and a gross of $4.88 million while Sonic 2 trails right behind it (don’t tell Sonic that I phrased it that way) with a similarly spectacular hold of -25% and gross of $3.06 million in sixth.

In seventh, I’m expecting another fantastic hold from our reigning box office champ, Everything, Everywhere, All at Once. Given how its been holding in the single digits for the past two weekends in a row, and how Maverick is swooping in to take away the last few IMAX screens it has, I’m expecting a slightly harshing drop this weekend, but I can’t imagine it being far off from -10%. That would give it a gross of $2.79 million and would take it past $56 million domestic by the end of the weekend. Similarly, The Lost City should continue to hold beautifully as it continues to cater specifically to the older-female market who are less inclined to seek out Top Gun: Maverick (unless they want to watch hot shirtless Air Force members glisten with sweat as they play volleyball, you know, Magic Mike-style). Unless it loses an exorbitant amount of screens (which is a possibility given Mavrerick‘s entrance into the fray as a fellow Paramount release as well as The Lost City‘s concurrently availability on Paramount+), I expected a -15% hold for a gross of $1.32 million which should FINALLY pull it past $100 million domestic.

Finishing off the top ten, Men is about to take a pretty big nose dive. I did not expect that film to be particularly commercial (it’s an A24 release by Alex Garland, that’s a no-brainer) but having seen the film, I know for a fact that it’s going to lose a lot of its audience this weekend. I didn’t hate the film. On the contrary, I actually thought it was intriguing and had some interesting things to illustrate about misogyny and the way that women are forced to operate in relation to the men in their lives and how suffocating it can be. It was on the nose, for sure, but in the heightened genre world of Alex Garland, that’s an additive and not a defect. Combined with a typically great performance from Jessie Buckley, an evocative atmosphere, and an unsettling Rory Kinnear in multiple roles, the movie felt like one worth resisting soon after the first viewing to unpack. Then, then the ending happened……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………it was………………something special. The imagery that is on display in the closing minutes of Men is gnarly. At once nasty and captivating, it will leave you speechless. I know there must be something more there, some thematic weight underneath the utter insanity of what occurs in those final minutes, but I am so shell-shocked by it that I am not sure when I will be able to revisit the film to unpack it. At least I can’t accuse Garland of being unoriginal. Such an ending, however, has made the film deeply polarizing to audiences, so much so that it seems to be getting pulled from theaters as general audiences run from it like the plague (I can’t say I blame them). Here in Miami, the film actually ceased playing in theaters this past Thursday, so I can’t imagine how many more theaters are pulling it from their lineup to make room for more Top Gun screenings. I am predicting at least a -65% drop-off from last weekend to this weekend for a gross of $1.32 million in ninth place. Rounding out the top ten will likely be Fantastic Beasts 3 with $1.17 million in its swan song for its time in the top ten.

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