is Everyone on holiday?
That would be a plausible explanation for the major box office slowdown; Total ticket sales hit $66.4 million, the lowest total in months, according to Comscore. Though three new films hit theaters, none managed to crack the top five in the domestic charts and only two — A24’s satirical slasher ‘Bodies Bodies Bodies’ and Lionsgate’s dizzyingly low-budget thriller ‘Fall’ — made it into the top five Top 5 to infiltrate Top 10.
Worse still, Sony’s action thriller “fast train‘, which ranked first for $13.1 million out of 4,357 North American locations for the second straight weekend, was the only film to rake in at least $10 million in ticket sales. After two weeks on the big screen, Brad Pitt-directed “Bullet Train” has grossed $54.4 million at the domestic box office. This weekend marks the first time since February 11-13 – when ‘Death on the Nile’ opened to a weak $12.3 million and Jennifer Lopez’s romantic comedy “Marry Me” stumbled upon even fewer – that just one film grossed at least $10 million between Friday and Sunday.
And the icy drop, drop, drop in ticket sales is only going to get worse as the box office heads down a near-dismal stretch with few new offerings from major studios on the horizon. As theater owners prepare for the downturn, they bow to Harry Styles in the hope that the pop heartthrob will inspire audiences to flock to theaters to see director Olivia Wilde’s stunning Don’t Worry Darling ‘ that doesn’t work. until 23 September is not open. Until then, exhibitors will have to make do with smaller thrillers and dramas like Idris Elba’s “Beast,” which comes out on August 19; “Three Thousand Years of Longing,” a fantasy romance starring Tilda Swinton and Elba (again) on August 26; and the historical epic, The Woman King, directed by Viola Davis, on September 16.
David A. Gross, who runs film consultancy Franchise Entertainment Research, says that despite the lack of blockbusters, there’s still reason for optimism.
“The benefit of the thin schedule is that films are starting up and running on more screens than before, and they’re being played longer for larger domestic multiples,” he says. “There is more space in the market and every film is benefiting from that. But there’s no question,” he adds, “that the overall box office would be bigger with more studio releases.”
“Bodies Bodies Bodies” secured the best start among newcomers at number eight and exceeded expectations with $3.2 million from 1,290 locations. After launching in a limited edition last weekend, the film has grossed $3.5 million so far and plans to expand to over 2,000 theaters next weekend. But other than that, audiences wanted little to do with Fall and Diane Keaton’s body-swap comedy Mack & Rita, the other film to debut over the weekend.
“Fall” came in at number 10 with $2.5 million from 1,548 venues. The film, which centers on two best friends who climb 2,000 feet to the top of an abandoned radio tower and find themselves stranded with no way down, was for Relatively low-risk, Lionsgate, costing only $3 million to produce and less than $4 million to advertise. It doesn’t take a lot of money to turn a profit; Home entertainment will be helpful in this mission.
Meanwhile, Steven Spielberg’s sci-fi classic ET – which debuted 40 years ago – raked in more cash than Keaton’s Mack and Rita over the weekend. The Gravitas Ventures release premiered at #13 with $1.03 million from 1,930 screens. Universal’s re-release of “ET” grossed $1.07 million on just 389 Imax screens.
As expected, Mack and Rita primarily produced older women, with 74% of ticket buyers identifying as female and 69% over 30 years old. They didn’t like the film, which got a “D+” CinemaScore. Reviews were similarly harsh, resulting in a dismal score of 26% on Rotten Tomatoes.
With the murky involvement for most other films, Paramount’s ever-powerful blockbuster “Top Gun: Maverick‘ finished in second place on its 12th weekend of release. The action sequel continues to do unprecedented business, adding $7.1 million from 3,181 venues over the weekend, taking its domestic balance sheet to $673.8 million. That means Maverick is roughly $5 million away from dethroning Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War as the sixth-highest-grossing film in domestic box office history.
Elsewhere on the domestic box office charts, holdover titles DC League of Super-Pets, Jordan Peele’s UFO thriller Nope, and Disney’s Thor: Love and Thunder ranked third through fifth.
The animated “DC League of Super-Pets” also added $7.1 million from 3,181 theaters in its third run, down 35% from the previous weekend. So there’s a chance it could climb to second place ahead of “Maverick” once the final numbers are out on Monday. To date, the kid-friendly DC Comics adventure has grossed $58 million at the domestic box office.
“Nope”, now in its fourth weekend of release, has raised $5.3 million from 2,760 locations, down 38% from its last appearance. To date, the film has grossed $107 million in North America, making it the director’s third feature film (of three) to surpass $100 million. However, Nope still has some way to go to surpass Peele’s debut film Get Out ($176.1 million) and sophomore Us ($175 million) in North American ticket sales.
Thor: Love and Thunder grossed $5.3 million at 3,175 locations over the weekend. After six weekends on the big screen, the fourth Thor film has grossed $325.4 million domestically, surpassing its beloved 2017 predecessor Ragnarok ($315 million). Globally, however, “Love and Thunder” trails “Ragnarok” at $720 million, compared to $853 million for the third entry. However, “Ragnarok” played in China and Russia, while “Love and Thunder” did not secure a release in those territories.
At the indie box office, Aubrey Plaza-directed crime thriller Emily the Criminal earned $668,990 across 473 screens — equivalent to $1,414 per location. Roadside Attractions bought the film after it premiered at the Sundance Film Festival to rave reviews. The film’s backer is hoping festival fever will impact ticket sales as ‘Emily the Criminal’ expands to more filming locations in the coming weeks.
Another Sundance film, Bleecker Street’s coming-of-age drama Summering, fared worse, grossing just $31,317 across 260 venues, averaging a disappointing $120 per location. The young adult story follows four best friends as they spend the last weekend of summer together before going to middle school.