Universal’s kid-friendly production of The Bad Boys pulled off a heist for the ages, taking first place at the domestic box office.
The animated comedy grossed $24 million from 4,009 North American theaters on its debut, enough to take the crown from Fantastic Beasts: A Dumbledore Mystery. In its second weekend of release, the latest chapter in the Harry Potter prequel series dropped to number three with $14 million, a worrying sign for Warner Bros. Magic movie franchise. After a steep 67% drop, Dumbledore’s Secrets has grossed $67 million to date.
More from variety
The Bad Boys may have towered over the competition, but it wasn’t the only newcomer to theaters. The Northerner, a blood-soaked Viking epic directed by Robert Eggers, and The Unbearable Weight of a Great Talent, a meta-comedy in which Nicolas Cage plays a fictionalized version of himself, have been shown in theaters across the country with varying results. With three original films in wide release, this weekend shows that Hollywood does still have new ideas, but audiences aren’t always ready to go camping to see them in theaters.
Bad Boys is priced at $70 million, so while Dreamworks Animation’s film tops the box office, it may have to fight its way to profitability in theaters. The international box office will be critical to the film’s bottom line. The film has already grossed $63 million overseas, bringing its total to $87.1 million.
It helps that, in addition to strong reviews, the audience seemed to appreciate the film, which secured a CinemaScore of “A” from ticket buyers. And Bad Boys won’t have a lot of competition from family audiences until Disney’s Toy Story spin-off Light Year comes out in June. Sam Rockwell, Marc Maron, Anthony Ramos, Craig Robinson and Awkwafina voice The Bad Boys, about a gang of stray animal criminals trying to pull off their biggest scam yet: to become model citizens.
“Bad Boys is a family-friendly thrill ride with new characters and a compelling story that theatergoers will enjoy for weeks and months as we wrap up spring and move on to summer,” said Jim Orr, Universal’s president of domestic distribution.
The Northerner opened in fourth place, earning $12 million from 3,865 locations. This is a great result for an art-house film, but, alas, The Northerner does not fit the budget of an art-house film. The film was reported to have cost $90 million, although sources close to the production say the final amount was closer to $70 million after tax credits. And Focus Features, which shared the costs with New Regency, didn’t skimp on advertising. Times Square has posters for The Northerner featuring stars Alexander Skarsgård, Nicole Kidman, Anya Taylor-Joy, Ethan Hawke, Björk and Willem Dafoe.
Internationally, The Northerner earned $5 million in 41 foreign territories, bringing its overseas total to $11.5 million and its global gross to $23.5 million.
“Reviews are great, but with a budget of around $75 million, Northerner will have a hard time recovering the costs,” said David A. Gross, head of consulting firm Franchise Entertainment Research.
Not to mention the hefty price tag that will make it almost impossible for The Northerner to avoid red when it hits theaters. Focus Features called the weekend’s result “a success on every level.”
“We are delighted that such a bold and daring film is resonating with audiences around the world,” said Lisa Bunnell, president of Domestic Distribution at Focus Features. “This is an outstanding artistic achievement and a victory for our company. We have always believed in the exceptional vision of Robert Eggers as a groundbreaking filmmaker – and are thrilled to be with him on this journey.”
Lionsgate’s “The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent” came in at number five with $7.1 million, a shaky start considering a reported $30 million budget. The sort of wacky buddy comedy directed by Tom Gormican follows Cage, whose star is on the decline as a billionaire superfan (played by Pedro Pascal) offers him $1 million to attend a birthday party in the Maldives. As events take a turn, Cage teams up with the CIA and sends his most beloved movie characters to save his family from his biggest suitor, who may turn out to be a dangerous arms dealer.
The film received excellent reviews, but The Northerner and The Unbearable Weight of Enormous Talent may have swallowed each other’s ticket sales as both titles were aimed at grown men. Men accounted for 68% of the viewers of the film “The Northerner” and 59% of the viewers of the film “Big Talent”. In comparison, the family-oriented “Bad Boys” are more targeted towards women (55% of ticket buyers).
Despite strong competition, Paramount’s family sequel Sonic the Hedgehog 2 overtook Fantastic Beasts 3 and others for second place with $15.2 million from 3,809 theaters. After three weeks in theaters, the Sonic sequel has grossed an impressive $145.8 million. The film has less than $3 million left to surpass its predecessor’s pre-pandemic box office gross of $148 million, although 2020’s Sonic the Hedgehog would likely have had a longer run on the big screen if COVID-19 hadn’t ruined those plans. .
In terms of domestic box office performance, A24’s genre mashup “Everything Everywhere at Once” was another big weekend, adding $5.4 million from 2,133 screens and finishing in sixth place. In total, the indie film starring Michelle Yeoh, directed by Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, grossed a whopping $26.9 million in North America.
At specialty box office, Celine Syamma’s fantasy drama Little Mama opened in limited release with $45,000 in four theaters, averaging $11,457 per seat. Neon bought the well-received film after its premiere at the Berlin Film Festival, reuniting the director with the independent studio behind its acclaimed drama Portrait of a Woman on Fire.
Also new to arthouse screens was the heist-drama comedy The Duke, starring Jim Broadbent and Helen Mirren, which earned $28,797 from four screens, with a per-screen average of $7,199. At the Angelica Film Center, one of the few places where The Duke is shown, Sony Pictures Classics has launched an initiative called Bring Your Friend Back to the Movies. The “buy one, get one” deal was essentially that on the first weekend, customers were given a free ticket to take plus one to see “Duke”.
Subscribe to the Variety mailing list. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Click here to read the full article.