Box Office Rundown!! June 3rd-5th!! Top Gun does the impossible and has one of the best holds of all-time!!

Meanwhile, the rest of the top ten sees solid holds across the board, Crimes of the Future and Watcher do okay business, and Phantom of the Open finally arrives in the States!!!!!!

Weekend Box Office Top 10 (June 3rd-5th) / 3-Day Weekend Gross / Percent Change from Last Week / Weekend # / Distributor), Weekend Actuals:

  1. Top Gun: Maverick / $90.03 million / -29% / Weekend 2 / Paramount Pictures
  2. Doctor Stranger in the Multiverse of Madness / $9.17 million / -43% / Weekend 5 / Disney
  3. The Bob’s Burgers Movie / $4.63 million / -63% / Weekend 2 / Disney (20th Century Studios)
  4. The Bad Guys / $3.43 million / -24% / Weekend 7 / Universal (DreamWorks)
  5. Downton Abbey: A New Era / $3.19 million / -45% / Weekend 2 / Focus Features
  6. Everything, Everywhere, All At Once / $2.02 million / -18% / Weekend 11 / A24
  7. Vikram / $1.77 million / (N/A) / Weekend 1 / Prime Media Pictures
  8. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 / $1.7 million / -30% / Weekend 9 / Paramount Pictures
  9. The Lost City / $1.36 million / -35% / Weekend 11 / Paramount Pictures
  10. Crimes of the Future / $1.11 million / (N/A) / Weekend 1 / NEON

Notable Outsiders:

11. Watcher / $826K / (N/A) / Weekend 1 / IFC Midnight ($1,082 per theater in 764 theaters)

30. The Phantom of the Open / $25K / (N/A) / Weekend 1 / Sony Pictures Classics ($4,262 per theater in 6 theaters)

32. Poser / $15K/ (N/A) / Weekend 1 / Oscilloscope Laboratories ($15,250 per theater in 1 theater)

39. RRR / $5,100 / (N/A) / Weekend 11 / Sarigama Cinemas ($1,700 per theater in 3 theaters)

Even the loftiest of expectations are proving attainable with Top Gun: Maverick, which dominated the box office this weekend with an astounding hold, one I doubt any box office pundit could’ve ever predicted. Once again, a rising tide did lift all boats as most films overall had strong business this weekend, with the exception of films that were never going to do all that well in the first place (though even a few of those surprised!).

So what happened with Top Gun: Maverick? Well, I’d been predicting a strong -45% hold given how strong it was out of the gate and how great the word of mouth on the picture is. That’s a bit of a lofty prediction, I will admit, as most films that open to over $100 million tend to drop off somewhere between -50-60% in their second weekends. This is largely because films like this (aka blockbusters) are generally frontloaded. Frankly, almost all movies are frontloaded, with many making as much as 60-70% of their domestic revenue within the first month of release. Such a strong opening for Maverick would typically suggest that everyone who was really keen on seeing the film showed up on opening weekend; a conjecture corroborated by the fact that a slight majority of the audience on opening weekend was actually over the age of 45 (fans of the original who would show up to the new film no matter what). Given the fact that this film is a nearly-40 years-later sequel, you’d expect the appeal to peter out and have it drop around -55% at least.

Now, I went the more optimistic route in large part because of Cruise’s history of legging out (a highly punny phrase given his penchant for always running in movies). In large part because of his dedication to his crafts, both acting and stunt work, and the sheer professionalism of his films, Cruises movies ten to stick around at the multiplex for a long time and deliver in credible multipliers. Hell, his last movie, Mission: Impossible – Fallout delivered a staggering x3.6 domestic multiplier, growing from a $61 million opening to a whopping $220 million domestic haul when all was said and done. In fact, both of Cruises last M:I movies each fell around -45% in their second weekends, which was all the more reason to expect that to be the case with Maverick.

In the end, I was wrong……..because Maverick did even better!!!!!!!! With actuals coming in, the film didn’t hold by -45%, not even -35%. No, this breakout hit instead held by an astounding -29% in its second weekend!!!! That hold gives the film a gross of $90 million which, incredibly, is the eighth highest grossing second weekend of all time in the US market. In other words, Top Gun: Maverick literally had once of the best second weekend holds in US film history. How did it accomplish this? As I mentioned in my post when it came out, it goes back to a cross-generational appeal for the film, merging nostalgia from older audiences with younger appeal thanks to Cruise’s stunt work and professionalism. This is actually observable in the demographics for this weekend as instead of continuing to skew older, the pic actually ended up reeling in moviegoers over 45 at 38%, a much smaller percentage than the previous weekend which suggests that it was the older die-hard fans that showed up on opening weekend and now the film is branching out to new, younger demos. Its a major testament to the film’s word of mouth, which is stellar (illustrated by its A+ Cinemascore) and seems to exceed everyone’s expectations, prompting even the biggest of skeptics to buy a ticket. This momentum has taken the film to a total domestic gross of $295 million in just 10 days and can even be felt overseas as the film’s international gross only dropped by roughly -20%, bringing its worldwide cume to $557 million in just two weeks. It begs the question as to whether or not Top Gun: Maverick could potentially become a billion-dollar grossing picture. I have my doubts on that front, but I also doubted Everything, Everywhere, All at Once and have been proven wrong at every turn; not to mention that Maverick is pulling similar holds. Only time will tell, but for now, Cruise, the cast, the crew, and Paramount have a lot to revel in.

Elsewhere in the top ten, I was delighted to see the top ten fall in line with many of my earlier predictions. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is thoroughly cemented in its Spider-Man: Homecoming-like behavior with another solid hold of about -43% for a gross of $9.17 million in second place. Domestically, it’s at $388 million and while there is a distinct possibility that it will be overtaken by Maverick very soon as that film moves at Mach 5, Multiverse of Madness is no slouch and has the potential to $400 million in the next few weeks (assuming it’s not K.O.’d by Jurassic World). Worldwide, the film did hit a milestone by making it to $900 million. The film may have suffered mixed reception but, box office-wise, the MCU is till going very strong. Third place, meanwhile, went to Bob’s Burgers which held roughly the same as The Simpson’s Movie, albeit at a much lower gross. Still, it’s way more than I would’ve ever expected the film to make with a weekend gross of $4.6 million, a domestic haul of $22.3 million, and a worldwide cume of $24.1 million. Expect that film to make a killing in the rental market.

Fourth place was once again home to The Bad Guys, which had another spectacular hold of -24% for a gross of $3.3 million. It will likely hit $90 million by next weekend but I don’t expect it to go much further than that. Internationally, the film actually grew its gross by +37% thanks to its opening in Ukraine (surprising given the conflicts in the area) and the surprising strength of its performance in the Chinese market where it is one of the only American films to get a release date there and is currently the highest-grossing American film in China for 2022. Worldwide, the film stands at $218 million. Fifth place went to Downton Abbey: A New Age with a -45% drop and a $3.2 million gross, taking its domestic haul to $35.9 million and its worldwide total to $79 million, meaning it will at least break even on its $40 million budget by the end of its run. I expect a final domestic tally right beneath $50 million and a worldwide cume of roughly $100 million total.

In sixth, Everything, Everywhere, All at Once continues to be unbeatable. Not even the blowout success of Top Gun: Maverick could prevent Everything, Everywhere from holding by a staggering -18% and gross another $2 million this weekend. It’s absolutely incredible that this film continues to do these kinds o numbers; a sentiment shared by theater owners, clearly, as the film gained 247 more theaters this past weekend. The fact that the film continues to maintain a per-theater average gross in the $1,400 range in its eleventh weekend of release is a major testament to its viability as a feature and A24’s distributional savvy as there is truly no end in sight for the film in terms of its domestic gross. It will be interesting to see what happens to it next week as it does hit the ancillary market for digital purchase which may cause theaters to begin to drop it. However, given that streaming availability doesn’t seem to hurt films at all when they are already doing well at the box office, I dully expect a multitude of theaters to keep the film running for the next few weeks. Domestically, it stands at a total of $60.5 million.

In seventh, Indian black-ops thriller, Vikram, pulled into the top ten but will not be doing RRR business with just a $1.77 million haul (side note, I’ve been incrementally catching up with the three-hour epic that is RRR on Netflix and wow! Sure, the action balls-to-wall insane, violent, and stylish, and the melodrama is certainly turned up to an 11, but RRR is wildly compelling thanks to strong performances, particularly from Ram Charan, and a captivating and emotional story at its center. If you have the time, I highly recommend it!). Sonic 2 held by -30% for a gross of $1.7 million in eighth place and is definitely beginning to lose momentum, although that hardly matters as the film is probably going to hit $190 million domestically by the end of its run. Worldwide, there are some conflicting reports, but if Deadline is to be believed, the film has hit $392 million and will likely top out somewhere between $395 and $400 million. Eighth place, meanwhile, was home to a fellow Paramount release, the venerable The Lost City, which held gracefully with a -35% drop and a $1.36 million gross for a domestic total of $104 million and a worldwide cume of $185 million. I am still awaiting that Japanese release to pull it comfortably into the $190 million range though it looks like $200 million is a pipe dream (though my fingers are still crossed!).

Finally, tenth place was home to this weekend’s major specialty offering, David Cronenberg’s Crimes of the Future starring Viggo Mortensen (who apparently can’t keep his foot out of his mouth to save his life), Lea Seydoux, and Kristen Stewart (who apparently steals the film. Oscar buzz?). Unsurprisingly, the film was not a hit with mainstream audiences and only took in $1.1 million. That said, being released in a moderate 773 theaters, it did take in a per-theater average of $1,446, right on par with Everything, Everywhere‘s $1,409 per-theater average which tells me that Crimes of the Future did managed to capture the attention of its specific audience. Given the pedrigee of the film, and NEON’s sheperding, I certainly expect it to stay around longer than A24’s Men.

Elsewhere in the specialty market, the other major release this weekend was Watcher, starring Maika Monroe, which, at first glance, did not make even remotely any kind of dent at the box office with a gross of $826K; expected given that the rights to the film were purchased jointly by IFC Films and Shudder, queuing up the film for a streaming release on the latter, horror-centric SVOD service sooner rather than later. However, to my surprise, a much bigger deal was made of the film than the trades for some pretty specific reasons. In large part due to the fact that Watcher was released not directly through IFC Films, but rather its horror-specifc sub-label, IFC Midnight, Watcher‘s gross was heralded as the biggest opening weekend (and the widest release) for an IFC Midnight title ever, which is pretty neat! While obviously not expecting a huge gross, IFC execs clearly saw something in the film and made a good call sending it out in their largest amount of theaters ever; and it did manage to take in a “not too shabby” $1,082 per-theater average which is on par with The Bad Guys and above both Downton Abbey ($921) and Sonic 2 ($816), both established properties. The film is, as I predicted, being rolled out on digital on June 21st, but this headline is a feather in its cap and the kind of promotion you’d want to get for this film in order to set it up for success. I’m personally keenly interested in it, largely because I’m a Maika Monroe fan, and so I hope to check it out soon.

As for the rest of the specialty releases, new release Poser, a dark music drama about a podcaster who interviews musical artists uses her friendship with one to illicitly forge her own musical career, took the highest per-theater average of the weekend (outside of Top Gun: Maverick‘s $18K) with $15K in single theater while RRR return to cinemas in three theaters, coinciding with its Netflix release, and roped in $1,700 per theater. My biggest delight, however, was seeing Mark Rylance’s The Phantom of the Open open (haha) and begin its specialty roll out. I’m quite a fan of Mark Rylance’s low-key acting style and firmly believe he should be in the awards conversation for his fantastically underplayed turn in this year’s highly underseen The Outfit. In light of my Rylance fandom, I’ve been anticipating the release fo The Phantom of the Open for a few years now, back when it was packaged as The Fantastic Flitcroft. Telling the true story of a crane operator who, through sheer lack of vanity and believe in himself (as well as the support of a loving family and wife, played by the delightful Sally Hawkins) managed to gain entry into the 1976 British Open and compete dispite having never picked up a golf-club before, this Simon Farnaby (co-writer of Paddington!) penned film is the kind of quirky British comedy that is directly up my alley, and with any luck, it will have the sort of semi-commercial specialty run that The Duke managed a few weeks ago. It’s off to a sturdy star with a $25K opening gross ($4,263 per theater in six theaters) and the fifth highest per-theater average of the weekend! I’m eagerly awaiting its arrival in Miami!

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