Universal’s kid-friendly cape “The Bad Guys” caused a century-long heist, taking the No. 1 spot at the domestic box office.
The animated comedy has raised $24 million in its debut at 4,009 North American theaters, enough to take the crown from “Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore.” On its second weekend of release, the latest chapter in the prequel series “Harry Potter” dropped to third place at $14 million, a disturbing sign for the Warner Bros.’ Wizarding movie franchise. After a precipitous drop of 67%, “The Secrets of Dumbledore” has generated $67 million so far.
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“The Bad Guys” may have towered over the competition, but it wasn’t the only newcomer to movie theaters. “The Northman,” a blood-soaked Viking epic from director Robert Eggers, and “The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent,” a meta-comedy in which Nicolas Cage plays a fictionalized version of himself, opened in theaters across the country with mixed results. . With three original films in wide release, this weekend indicates that Hollywood does indeed still have new ideas — but audiences aren’t always willing to make the trek to see them in theaters.
“The Bad Guys” has a $70 million price tag, so while the Dreamworks Animation movie tops the box office, it may have to make its way to profitability in its theatrical run. The international box office will be key to getting the film in black. The film has already grossed $63 million overseas, bringing the worldwide total to $87.1 million.
It helps that, in addition to strong reviews, audiences seem to rank highly on the film, earning an “A” CinemaScore from ticket buyers. And “The Bad Guys” won’t face much competition from the family audience until Disney’s “Toy Story” spin-off “Lightyear” opens in June. Sam Rockwell, Marc Maron, Anthony Ramos, Craig Robinson and Awkwafina lead the voice cast of “The Bad Guys,” which follows a crackerjack crew of animal crooks as they attempt their most daring scam yet – becoming model citizens.
“‘The Bad Guys’ is a thrilling family ride with new characters and a thrilling story that theater audiences will embrace for weeks and months as we close out spring and into summer,” said Jim Orr, Universal’s president of domestic distribution.
“The Northman” opened in fourth place, generating $12 million at 3,865 locations. That’s a nice result for an arthouse film, but unfortunately, “The Northman” doesn’t have the budget of an arthouse film. The film reportedly cost $90 million, although sources close to production say the final figure was closer to $70 million, taking tax breaks into account. And Focus Features, which shared the costs with New Regency, didn’t skimp on promotional efforts. “The Northman” has posted posters featuring stars Alexander Skarsgård, Nicole Kidman, Anya Taylor-Joy, Ethan Hawke, Björk and Willem Dafoe in Times Square.
At the international box office, “The Northman” made $5 million from 41 foreign territories, bringing the overseas total to $11.5 million and the worldwide total to $23.5 million.
“The reviews are excellent, but with a budget of about $75 million, ‘The Northman’ will struggle to recoup,” said David A. Gross, who leads film consulting firm Franchise Entertainment Research.
Don’t mind the huge price tag, which will make it nearly impossible for “The Northman” to escape the red during its run in theaters. Focus Features called this weekend’s result “a success on every level.”
“We’re thrilled that a film so bold and daring is resonating with audiences around the world,” said Lisa Bunnell, president of domestic distribution at Focus Features. “It is a towering artistic achievement and a win for us at the company. We have always believed in Robert Eggers’ unique vision as a trailblazing filmmaker – and are excited to join him on this journey.”
Lionsgate’s “The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent” took the number 5 spot with $7.1 million, a shaky start given its reported $30 million budget. Directed by Tom Gormican, the crazy kind of buddy comedy follows Cage, whose star declines when a billionaire superfan (played by Pedro Pascal) offers him $1 million to attend a birthday party in the Maldives. When events take a different turn, Cage teams up with the CIA and sends his most beloved movie characters to rescue his family from his biggest fan, who may well be a dangerous arms dealer.
The film has received good reviews, but “The Northman” and “The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent” may have cannibalized each other’s ticket sales, as both titles were aimed at adult males. Men represented 68% of moviegoers for “The Northman” and 59% of moviegoers for “Massive Talent”. By comparison, the family-oriented “The Bad Guys” targeted more women (55% of ticket buyers).
Despite the fierce competition, Paramount’s family-friendly sequel “Sonic the Hedgehog 2” sped past “Fantastic Beasts 3” and others to finish in second place with $15.2 million from 3,809 locations. After three weeks in theaters, the follow-up to “Sonic” has grossed a staggering $145.8 million. The film is less than $3 million from surpassing its predecessor’s $148 million pre-pandemic domestic box office, although 2020’s “Sonic the Hedgehog” would likely have had a longer run on the big screen without COVID-19. 19 ruining plans.
Elsewhere at the domestic box office, A24’s genre mashup “Everything Everywhere All At Once” kicked off another big weekend, taking $5.4 million from 2,133 screens to finish in sixth place. In total, the indie film — starring Michelle Yeoh and directed by Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert — has grossed an impressive $26.9 million in North America.
At the box office special, Celine Sciamma’s limited edition fantasy drama “Petite Maman” opened with $45,000 from four theaters, averaging $11,457 per venue. Neon bought the critically acclaimed film after its premiere at the Berlin Film Festival and reunited the director with the indie studio that released her critically acclaimed drama “Portrait of a Lady on Fire.”
Also new to arthouse screens, “The Duke,” a dramatic heist comedy starring Jim Broadbent and Helen Mirren, made $28,797 on four screens, averaging $7,199 per screen. At the Angelika Film Center, one of the few locations where ‘The Duke’ is played, Sony Pictures Classics launched an initiative called ‘Bring a Friend Back to the Movies’. A buy-one, get-one deal, in fact, opening weekend customers were given a free ticket to take a plus-one to see ‘The Duke’.
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