Monday, December 05, 2022

‘Bad Guys’ bests ‘The Northman’, Nick Cage at the box office

NEW YORK ( Associated Press) — An unusually overcrowded weekend at movie theaters that showed a prized Viking epic And Nicolas Cage is playing himselfDreamWorks Animation’s “The Bad Guys” bested the region, indicating a continued resurgence for the family film after a recession during the pandemic.

“the bad guys,” Released by Universal Pictures on Sunday, according to the studio’s estimates, it debuted with $24 million in US and Canada ticket sales. This came despite stiff competition from Paramount Pictures’ “Sonic the Hedgehog 2” for Families, which finished second with $15.2 million in its third week of release. It has grossed $145.8 million domestically so far.

The apparent health of family cinema is particularly good news for Hollywood as it approaches its lucrative summer season when films like Universal’s own “Minions: Rise of Gru” and The Walt Disney Company’s “Lightyear” — the first Pixar to hit theaters. The film’s debut is expected to reach pre-pandemic levels – in two years.

“There is reason to be more than cautiously optimistic,” said Universal’s head of distribution, Jim Orr. “I think audiences are going to flood theaters this summer.”

While studios have been hesitant to schedule several films against each other during the pandemic, the weekend saw a rarity: three new wide releases, all of them well received, none of them sequels or remakes. Is.

Based on Aaron Blabe’s children’s graphic novel series about a gang of devious beasts with a Quentin Tarantino-for-kids tone, “The Bad Guys”, critics (85% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes) and audiences (an “A” did well with CinemaScore.) “The Bad Guys” should play well for weeks, with little family competition until the release of “Lightyear” in mid-June. After debuting overseas, the animated film has already grossed $63.1 million internationally.

The weekend’s other new releases—Robert Eggers’ “The Northman” and the Cage-starring “The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent”—didn’t do as well, but still performed reasonably solid on their first weekend.

“Every weekend is a building block in recovery, but I don’t want to call it recovery either. I think cinema halls have been recovered. We are largely there,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at comScore. “The three newcomers were all well received, and they all found an audience.”

The risks were greatest for Focus Features’ “The Northman”, which saw its budget balloon to over $70 million, a major increase in scale for Eggers, director of previous indie historical horrors “The Witch” and “The Lighthouse”. . The film had no prospect of a profitable run even before its theatrical launch, but it opened above expectations with $12 million in ticket sales. It added $6.3 million internationally across 26 territories.

“The Northman” stars Alexander Skarsgard, Anya Taylor-Joy and Nicole Kidman in a brutal and bloody revenge saga.

“First and foremost, we wanted to work with Robert Eggers,” said Lisa Bunnell, Head of Distribution for Focus, which handled international distribution for Eggers’ first two films. “The key here is that we have to make a film that we want to make with a filmmaker we think is part of the future of American cinema. He has a very distinctive voice. That movie with the original IP is making, not just going in: ‘Let’s make a sequel!'”

Meanwhile, a brand new installment in the once-all-powerful brand new Harry Potter spinoff “Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore,” fell off a cliff in its second weekend in theaters. Warner Bros.’s release, the third “Fantastic Beasts” film, fell 67% in its second week with $14 million. This bodes well for the future of the franchise, should it be continued by Warner Bros. (The studio has so far held off on flagging off the fourth film.) Still, “Secrets of Dumbledore,” last week’s top movie, is doing better abroad. International sales of $213.2 million accounted for the lion’s share of the film’s $280.3 million global wealth.

Lionsgate’s “The Unassailable Weight of Massive Talent”, a gonzo meta comedy starring Cage as an exaggerated version of himself, opened with an estimated $7.2 million. The film, which was previously launched by Southwest to warm reviews from the South, will depend on good word of mind to achieve its $30 million budget.

Such has been the success of “Everything Everywhere All At Once”. A24 Released, A Crazy Metaverse Fantasy Starring Michelle Yoho, has been one of the brightest signs for the specialty film business, another sector of the industry that struggled dramatically during the pandemic. In its fifth week, “Everything Everywhere All At Once” grossed $5.4 million, down only 12% from the week before.

But the biggest success in theaters this April has been the family movie viewing. It’s a good time for the film industry, which will be held this week in Las Vegas for CinemaCon, the annual convention and trade show for Trumpet Theatrical Exhibition. Expect lots of announcements that movie theaters are back.

Estimated ticket sales in theaters in the US and Canada from Friday to Sunday, according to comScore. Final domestic figures will be released Monday.

1. “Bad Guys,” $24 million.

2. “Sonic the Hedgehog 2,” $15.2 million.

3. “Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore,” $14 million.

4. “The Northman,” $12 million.

5. “The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent,” $7.2 million.

6. “Everywhere at Once,” $5.4 million.

7. “The Lost City,” $4.4 million.

8. “Father Stu,” $3.4 million.

9. “Morbius,” $2.3 million.

10. “Ambulance,” $1.8 million.


Follow Associated Press Film writer Jake Coyle on Twitter:


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