Quirky Horror Comedy ‘Cocaine Bear’ Now Available on PVOD

The quirky horror comedy film Cocaine Bear is now available for digital rental and purchase, at a premium price, Universal Pictures Home Entertainment confirmed.

The film, about a failed cocaine drop in the Georgia forest in which the drugs were consumed by a bear, has earned $53.3 million in the United States and Canada and $68.5 million worldwide.

Cocaine Bear can be rented for $19.99 and purchased for $24.99 from most digital retailers, including Vudu, Redbox On Demand, Prime Video, Apple TV+, Xfinity, Microsoft, DirecTV, YouTube, Verizon, Spectrum, Row8 and AMC Theatres On Demand.

Directed by Elizabeth Banks, Cocaine Bear opened theatrically on Feb. 24.The film is based on the true story of drug smuggler Andrew Thornton II, who on Sept. 11, 1985 jumped from an auto-piloted Cessna after dropping packages of cocaine in the forest near Blairsville, Georgia. Thornton died when his parachute failed to open, while much of the coke was believed to have been ingested by a bear, who promptly died.

In the movie version, the bear does not die; instead, he becomes addicted to the white powder and embarks on a killing spree while chasing after more.

The cast includes Keri Russell, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Christian Convery, Alden Ehrenreich, Brooklynn Prince. Isiah Whitlock Jr., Margo Martindale, and, in his final film appearance, the late Ray Liotta.

It was released digitally March 14, 17 days after its theatrical debut, per Universal’s new windowing policy.

‘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.

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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.

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