‘Cocaine Bear’ Gives ‘Ant-Man 3’ a Scare at the Weekend Box Office

Universal Pictures’ horror-comedy Cocaine Bear was the big winner at the box office this weekend, debuting at No. 2 with a projected domestic gross of $23 million — significantly higher than its expected $17 million to $19 million.

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania remained No. 1 at the box office through Feb. 26 for its second consecutive win. But its projected gross of $32 million signaled a steep drop of nearly 70% from its opening weekend tally.

Cocaine Bear boosted its earnings with an additional $5 million overseas.

Directed by Elizabeth Banks and based in part on a 1985 incident in which a deceased black bear was found in Chattahoochee National Forest in Georgia with 70 pounds of ingested cocaine in its stomach, the movie is the third in a trio of studio releases (M3GAN and Violent Night) marketing farcical storylines to box office success.

“It’s an outrageous comedy that absolutely delivers on its premise,” Jim Orr, president of domestic distribution at Universal, said in a statement. “People were ready to see something over the top.”

No. 3 at the box office was Lionsgate’s faith-based Jesus Revolution, which opened to $15.5 million in ticket sales — easily topping projected revenue projections.

To reach its audience, Lionsgate worked to build word-of-mouth among faith-leaning audience sectors organizing viewing to tens of thousands across the country via church screenings, University screenings, and other initiatives, including outreach to CCM music artists, among other grassroots efforts.

Like Lionsgate’s recent hit Plane, given its budget, financial model and marketing campaign, Jesus Revolution appears well-positioned to become another fiscal hit for the studio distributor.

Kelsey Grammer in Jesus Revolution

Rounding out the top 5 was 20th Century Studios’ Avatar: The Way of Water and Universal’s Puss in Boots: The Last Wish. Director James Cameron’s Avatar sequel sold about $4.7 million worth of tickets to up its global haul to $2.267 million, third all-time.

The Last Wish added $4.1 million to reach $442 million globally after 10 weeks of release. The movie is concurrently available in the home across premium VOD and premium electronic sellthrough retail channels.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

Marvel’s ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania’ Eyes Repeat Weekend Box Office Win

Disney-owned Marvel Studios’ threequel Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania appears set to buzz easily to a second weekend atop the North American box office with an estimated $38 million in ticket sales through Feb. 26.

Co-starring 2015 Ant-Man original cast members Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly, the third entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe sub-franchise has generated more than $261 million at the global box office since its Feb. 17 debut, including $131.3 million across North American screens.

Among new releases for the weekend is the buzzy action-comedy Cocaine Bear from Universal Pictures, with a movie trailer that generated overwhelmingly more social media support for the coked-up grizzly than its human co-stars. Directed by Elizabeth Banks and headlined by Kerri Russell, Margo Martindale and the late Ray Liotta, the title is projected to sell upwards of $15 million worth of tickets, according to the studio. The movie generated a promising $2 million in Thursday sneak previews.

Separately, Lionsgate’s faith-based Jesus Revolution is eyeing around $10 million in its theatrical debut.

The rest of the weekend slate includes box office holdovers such as 20th Century Studios’ blockbuster Avatar: The Way of Water, Universal/DreamWorks Animation’s Puss in Boots: The Last Wish; Warner Bros. Pictures’ Magic Mike’s Last Dance; Universal’s Knock at the Cabin; Paramount Pictures’ 80 for Brady; and Sony Pictures’ Missing and A Man Called Otto.

The Last Wish, Missing and Knock at the Cabin are concurrently available in the home for premium digital rental and premium digital purchase.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

‘Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania’ Delivers Franchise Record $104 Million North American Box Office Debut

Marvel Studios’ Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, the third installment in the superhero movie franchise headlined by Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly, didn’t disappoint, generating an estimated $104 million in North American ticket sales through Feb. 19.

That’s the highest box office opening for the trilogy, which is expected to approach $120 million through the Presidents Day holiday Feb. 20 — upping the movie’s global total to around $225 million. The original 2015 Ant-Man opened to $57.2 million domestically, while the 2018 sequel, Ant-Man and the Wasp, opened to $75.8 million.

In the runner-up box office spot, 20th Century Studios’ enduring Avatar: The Way of Water added an estimated $6.2 million in revenue through the weekend, and $7.5 million through Monday — upping the movie’s global haul past $2.219 billion, ahead of 1997’s Titanic as the all-time No. 3 grossing movie.

Universal Pictures’ Puss in Boots: The Last Wish continued to show strong legs, adding an estimated $5.3 million in weekend revenue, rising to more than $7 million through the holiday.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

Warner Bros. Pictures’ erstwhile HBO Max original movie moved to theatrical Magic Mike’s Last Dance dropped to No. 4 from the previous weekend’s pole position, adding a projected $5 million through Sunday; $6 million through Feb. 20.

Universal’s psychological thriller Knock at the Cabin added $3.9 million, which is projected to increase to almost $4.5 million through Monday. Paramount Pictures’ Super Bowl-themed 80 for Brady realized another $3.6 million in ticket sales, followed by Sony Pictures’ A Man Called Otto with $1.6 million and Universal’s newest horror movie M3GAN with $1.3 million.

Both M3GAN and Puss in Boots: The Last Wish are available to rent or purchase on PVOD and PEST.

Marvel Studios’ ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania’ Looks to Dominate President’s Day Weekend Box Office

Disney/Marvel Studios’ latest franchise superhero actioner Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania looks to add to a strong 2023 box office start with projected debut weekend revenue exceeding $100 million through Feb. 19. The sequel to 2018’s Ant-Man and the Wasp, also featuring Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly in the title roles, sold $17.5 million in Thursday sneak preview ticket sales, according to Disney.

To exhibitors, Quantumania represents a notable follow-up to 20th Century Studios’ Avatar: The Way of Water, Universal Pictures’ Puss in Boots: The Last Wish and M3GAN, which collectively have generated more than $440 million in North American revenue this year. The Way of Water is now the No. 4 all-time box office grossing release with $2.217 billion in global revenue.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

Returning box office releases over the weekend include The Last Wish, which is also available on PVOD and PEST (premium electronic sellthrough) with $5 million in additional ticket sales, Warner Bros. Pictures’ Magic Mike’s Last Dance ($4.6 million), The Way of Water ($4.5 million), Paramount Pictures’ Super Bowl-themed 80 for Brady ($4.3 million), which is also available on PVOD/PEST, the studio’s Titanic (25th Anniversary re-release) at $3.4 million, Universal’s Knock at the Cabin ($3.3 million) , and Sony Pictures Entertainment’s A Man Called Otto with $2.2 million in ticket sales.