Meanwhile, Crimes of the Future and Watcher are likely to pop into the top ten and add some genre diversity to the mix!
We’re catching a slight break this weekend before things really ramp up with the release of Jurassic World: Dominion. Having already opened in international territories (where its doing quite well), Dominion, to a certain degree, is essentially going to launch the summer moviegoing season, with Lightyear following the very next week, and Elvis, The Black Phone, Minions: The Rise of Gru, and Thor: Love and Thunder following soon after. Of course, one could argue that the summer season has already begun with the spectacular launch of Top Gun: Maverick totally blowing the doors off the box office last weekend. It’s set to dominate once again while other films in the top ten generally hold well, aside from newcomers which are likely to struggle thanks to their more niche fixations.
Like I said, Top Gun: Maverick totally blew everyone away last weekend and is likely to continue to do so this weekend given its complete lack of competition. The film has already hit $200 million domestically, scoring a minimum of $14 million per day for the past week and it has topped $329 million worldwide, showing just how well received it actually is. It’s a testament to the quality of the filmmaking, Paramount’s savvy release strategy, and also Tom Cruise’s sheer star wattage. I spoke at length about how he has crafted his star persona, and the strength of that persona is on full display here. Of course, a large part of Cruise’s box office draw is found in not his opening weekends, but rather his movie’s legs, and that is what will likely be showcased this weekend.
Part of the reason I personally lowballed Top Gun: Maverick last weekend is because, while Cruise has always been a draw, his movies have never (until now) opened all that large for a movie star of his caliber. I chalk it up to his commitment to his craft a high-quality production that results in a general sense that audiences don’t feel they need to rush out but absolutely will catch his movies in theaters at some point, causing them to have massively extended runs and incredible multipliers. Now, Maverick kind of breaks the model here in that it did end up opening very big, $100 million bigger than Cruise’s prior opening weekend benchmark of $64 million to be specific (when you count the 4-Day gross). This is in large part thanks to the cross-generational appeal of the film, with nostalgic older audiences being merged with younger audiences who tend to be action cinema aficionados, more hip to Cruise’s daring exploits as a literal stunt man. Such a large opening weekend, however, does beg the question as to whether or not Maverick will have a harsher drop than typical Cruise films do. The last two Mission Impossible films each dropped by around -40-50% which signaled just how well-received these movies were, but given how many people were so keen to see Maverick opening weekend, it would stand to reason that a much more standard blockbuster drop around -55-60% would be in order for Maverick. That said, I’m an optimist, and given the level of buzz the film has received, specifically for its old-school but still top-notch production values and action sequences, I am inclined to think that it will maintain its momentum and play like a Mission Impossible film. That would suggest around a -45% drop for a gross of $69.68. No matter what, the film will absolutely top then weekend, but with zero competitors, it will be interesting to see if it can go even higher.
With regard to most of the rest of the top ten, it’s going to be predominately holdovers. Second place is most likely to go to Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. If it continues to follow the Age of Ultron/ Spider-Man: Homecoming route (which I firmly believe it is doing), solid holds are likely to come about going forward. Now, to be fair, it could lose more screens given how well Maverick is doing, but I’m betting on a -45% drop for $8.8 million. The more interesting holdover is going to be that of The Bob’s Burgers Movie. I noted last weekend that the film performed in a notably similar fashion to that of recent anime releases like Demon Slayer: The Movie – Mugen Train and Jujutsu Kaisen 0, overperforming by a lot by catering to a highly niche audience. Of course, while that does make for a box office “event”, the pattern for those kinds of films is that they tend to fall off relatively quickly as most of the people who were planning on seeing the film end up seeing it for opening weekend. The drops for the previously mentioned anime films were each in the low 70s, setting a precedent for Bob’s Burgers, though I was hesitant to predict such a drop given that the film is based on an American cartoon and is thus slightly more accessible. For comparison, I looked into how The Simpsons Movie, a fellow FOX cartoon film adaptation, performed in its second weekend and was surprised to see that despite a huge opening weekend of $74 million, the film actually dropped -66%, mirroring the performance of these contemporary anime films. Thus, I’m predicting a drop of about -65% for Bob’s Burgers for a gross of $4.34 million in third place, a really solid hold given the circumstances.
Fourth is likely to go to The Bad Guys, continuing a pattern of strong holds as it corners the “kiddie” market with a likely drop of -25% and a gross of $3.28. Holds like this actually guarantee at least a $90 million domestic finish and genuine potential for a $100 million total haul. Normally, this would be the point where I would start talking about Sonic 2, but SHOCKINGLY a chasm has opened between the two! Thanks in part to their being more recent releases as well as, in one case, super strong holds, Downton Abbey: A New Age and Everything, Everywhere, All at Once have sprung up between the two formerly inseparable kid-flicks. Downton, I predict will continue to follow its predecessor’s pattern of holds with about a -45% drop in fifth place with a gross of $3.18 million. Meanwhile, Everything, Everywhere, All At Once will probably hold by around -15% given its incredible holds up to now. That would give it $2.09 million in sixth while Sonic 2 then appears to bring up the rear in seventh with a drop of -30% and gross of $1.71 million.
Eighth place is likely to be home to our first new release, David Cronenberg’s highly anticipated Crimes of the Future. Distributed by NEON, this is release is crazy to think about, not only because it’s THE David Cronenberg’s first movie in eight years, but also because the film debuted at the Cannes Film Festival just a week ago. Normally, such a film would take months to get the general public but, is an example of major changes that continue to sweep across the film landscape. NEON knows its audience, specifically that its audience is filled with young, highly film literate, and thoroughly Twitter-savvy cinephiles who will absolutely eat this movie up. They also know that the vast majority of money they are likely to make on this movie is going to come through the ancillary market and that the theatrical release of a film like this, an avant-garde story taking place in a world where body mutation and synthetic organs are the norm, is going to play more like a promotional run for an eventual streaming debut rather than a lucrative run at the box office. I could be wrong as the film is receiving a pretty wide release in at least 900 theaters (it’s even playing at my local theater which is notoriously spare when it comes to more arthouse fare), but my direct comparison here is going to be to a fellow NEON release, Spencer. Similarly artsy, similarly directed by an acclaimed director, and similarly starring Kristen Stewart, that film was sent out in a much wider release than it should’ve been in order to drum up awards buzz. Spence did take in $2.1 million on opening weekend, but given that awards season is so far off from this point and that Crimes of the Future failed to win anything at the Cannes Film Festival, I think the likely gross here is probably closer to $1.5 million.
Closing out the top ten are likely to be two female-fronted films, The Lost City and Watcher. By this point, we all know The Lost City quite well. Having grossed over $100 million domestically off of a $30 million opening (a fantastic x3.37 multiplier), taken in over $180 million worldwide, and becoming an extremely popular rental title since its ancillary market debut, the Sandra Bullock vehicle truly has nothing left to prove. Funnily enough, given theaters clearly seem to think this too as The Lost City‘s theater count is reportedly dropping by quite a bit this weekend. Last weekend’s loss of theater resulted in a jump in this weekend to weekend gross, but that’s less likely this weekend so I’m predicting a drop of about -45% for a gross of $1.1 million in ninth place. Finally, Watcher from IFC Films, directed by Chloe Okuno and following a younger new bride (played by the ever underrated Maika Monroe) who moves with her husband to Bucharest only to be stalked by an unseen presence, is likely to finish up the top ten in solidly unspectacular fashion. Once again, as with Crimes of the Future, this theatrical release is likely more of a tee-up for an eventual streaming debut, something I am absolutely certain of given that IFC Films purchased the US distribution rights to the film specifically in conjunction with horror-centric streaming service Shudder. Expect the film to come in tenth place with somewhere between $500K and $1 million.