Can ‘New Era’ of ‘Downton Abbey’ Replace ‘Doctor Strange 2’ Atop North American Box Office?

The May 22 North American box office finds Disney/Marvel Studios’ theatrical hit, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, up against the stoic Crawley family period drama sequel Downton Abbey: A New Era, from Universal Pictures’ Focus Features.

Based on the popular TV series, the Downton Abbey original movie release in 2019 generated $31 million at its domestic opening — a tally that could slip by a projected $30 million theatrical ticket haul for the third weekend box office of Doctor Strange 2.

Then again, industry estimates suggest the Downton Abbey sequel would generate about $20 million in revenue across more than 3,800 North American screens. Other box office newcomer, A24’s Men, isn’t expected to beat Universal Pictures/DreamWorks Animation’s The Bad Guys, which is projected to sell another $6.2 million worth of tickets across 3,500 screens in its fifth weekend of release.

Regardless of the outcomes, all will be reconfigured over the next weekend’s Memorial Day when oft-delayed Tom Cruise blockbuster Top Gun: Maverick opens in theaters worldwide.

Weekend Box Office Enters ‘Uncharted’ Waters

With just three domestic theatrical releases topping $10 million in their box office debuts, the 2022 North American exhibition business is off to a rocky start. Sony Pictures’ actioner Uncharted, starring Tom Holland (Spider-Man: No Way Home) and Mark Wahlberg, looks to break the trend over the President’s Day weekend with the latest film adaptation of a popular video game franchise.

Sony reportedly is projecting a $27 million North American opening over three days, which would put the title behind recent video game-themed releases Sonic the Hedgehog, at $58 million in 2020 from Paramount Pictures, and Warner Bros.’ Pokémon Detective Pikachu with $54.3 million in 2019. Uncharted generated more than $3.7 million in select Thursday night sneak peek screenings.

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United Artists Releasing’s new title Dog hits the big screen, starring Channing Tatum in a family-friendly movie that is projected to reach $11 million in North American ticket sales.

Weekend holdovers include 20th Century Studios’ Death on the Nile with more than $7 million in domestic revenue projected across its second weekend. The film, co-starring Gal Gadot, has generated more than $38 million at the global box office.

Sony’s long-legged Spider-Man: No Way Home is projected to add another $6.3 million, topping $770 million in North American ticket sales, and also besting Paramount’s Jackass Forever with $5.4 million. The prank comedy has sold north of $51 million worth of tickets globally.

Cinemark Narrows Q3 Fiscal Loss to $78 Million

Moviegoers may be returning to the box office, but the fiscal impact remains a mixed bag.

Cinemark Nov. 5 reported a third-quarter (ended Sept. 30) loss of $78 million on revenue of $435 million. That compares with a loss of $148 million on revenue of $35 million in the previous-year period when most U.S. theaters were shuttered or operating under limited seating capacity due to the pandemic.

Cinemark, along with AMC Theatres and Regal, ranks among the largest exhibitors in the world. It operates 5,872 screens across 42 states and several international markets.

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“We are highly encouraged by sustained positive trends in escalating consumer demand for theatrical moviegoing and growing momentum at the box office,” CEO Mark Zoradi said in a statement.

Zoradi said the chain saw a 61% quarter-over-quarter growth in worldwide attendance, which he said helped decrease the net loss by $64.7 million dollars from the second quarter (ended June 30).

“We expect a continued ramp-up in box office performance over the course of the coming months, and October already delivered the best monthly box office results since the onset of COVID-19,” he said. “As the pandemic further subsides, we remain confident in the future of theatrical moviegoing based on a robust content lineup in the fourth quarter.”

‘Shang-Chi’ and the Legend of Two Weekend Box Office ‘Rings’

Disney/Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings continued its reign at the domestic weekend box office, generating a projected $35.8 million in revenue through Sept. 12. The Asian-American-led actioner has tallied $145 million at North American screens ($257.6 million globally).

Runner-up: Disney-owned 20th Century Studios release Free Guy, starring Ryan Reynolds, which generated $5.8 million across 3,650 screens in its fifth week of release. The action comedy has now topped $100 million at the domestic box office.

The final podium spot went to Warner Bros. Pictures’ new release Malignant, which generated $5.57 million across 3,485 screens. The disappointing box office likely undermined by the movie’s concurrent availability to HBO Max subscribers.

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Universal Pictures’ horror film Candyman generated $4.8 million ($48 million total) in its third weekend, followed by Disney’s Jungle Cruise with $2.1 million ($109.7 million) after seven weeks of release.

‘Space Jam 2’ Slam Dunks ‘Black Widow’ in Weekend Box Office Upset

Warner Bros. Pictures’ Looney Tunes live-action/animation hybrid sequel Space Jam: A New Legacy, with LeBron James taking over Michael Jordan’s role in the 1996 original, is projected to dethrone Disney/Marvel Studios’ blockbuster Black Widow after just one stint atop the domestic weekend box office.

Industry estimates peg A New Legacy generating from $32 million to $35 million across almost 4,000 screens over the three-day weekend ending July 18. Widow, starring Scarlett Johansson in the title role, is projected to generate about $25 million across nearly 4,300 screens, bringing its total around $130 million.

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While the weekend box office won’t come near the $100 million threshold, Space Jam and Widow grosses are relatively strong considering the renewed government mask mandate in theaters in Los Angeles, and both titles being available to consumers in the home. A New Legacy is streaming for free for 31 days to subscribers on HBO Max, while Widow is available as a $29.99 add-on for Disney+ subscribers.

Among other releases, Sony Pictures’ freshman thriller Escape Room: Tournament of Champions is projected to generate more than $8 million, according to the studio. Universal Pictures/Focus Features’ Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain is expected to top $1 million, while Neon’s Pig, featuring Nicolas Cage as a truffle farmer in search of his lost truffle-sniffing hog, could top $500,000.

Mainstay holdovers such as F9: The Fast Saga and The Boss Baby: Family Business are projected to sustain their theatrical momentum, with the former generating another $6.7 million in ticket sales, and the latter $4.4 million. F9 joins A Quiet Place Part II topping $150 million in domestic business.

‘Black Widow’ Bites Big as Marvel Cinematic Universe Returns Atop Domestic Weekend Box Office

Disney/Marvel Studios super hero tentpole release Black Widow ended the domestic box office weekend (through July 11) as most of its Marvel predecessors did: at No. 1.

The Scarlett Johansson-starrer generated $80 million across 4,160 screens over the three-day period. The first Marvel theatrical release in two years saw $39.5 million in ticket sales on Friday July 9 — the 10th biggest opening night for a June movie release. Black Window had generated generated more than $22 million at the foreign box office entering the weekend, pushing the title’s global haul past $215 million.

The movie also generated more than $60 million on subscription streaming service Disney+, where it is available for $29.99 purchase only.

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Meanwhile, Universal Pictures’ trio of sequel releases that dominated the previous weekend’s box office continued strong, with F9: The Fast Saga generating more than $10 million, followed by The Boss Baby: Family Business with more than $8 million, and The Forever Purge with almost $7 million. Paramount Pictures’ enduring A Quiet Place Part II held strong with about $3 million — topping $150 million in domestic ticket sales.

The tallies suggest vaccinated moviegoers are returning to cinemas in greater numbers as business-as-usual returns to many public events following the pandemic — despite the increasing prevalence of the Delta variant in new COVID-19 infections.

(This story was updated on July 12)

A ‘Quiet Place’ No More: Memorial Day Weekend Box Office Soars Past $100 Million

It’s business as usual for the summer blockbuster. Paramount Pictures’ A Quiet Place Part II outdid the original, opening at an estimated $48.3 million across 3,726 screens over the three-day Memorial Day weekend, according to the studio. Adding Thursday’s record sneak peak, and the tally tops $58.5 million, which would surpass the original’s $54.3 million in 2018.

The post-apocalyptic sequel from director John Krasinski, and starring his wife Emily Blunt, was the biggest opening domestic weekend since Warner Bros. Pictures’ Godzilla vs. Kong, which tracked $34.1 million over four days in March, and was available concurrently for free on HBO Max. A Quiet Place Part II is available exclusively in theaters for 45 days, before streaming concurrently on Paramount+.

In No. 2 is Disney’s Cruella, with an estimated $26.5 million across 3,892 screens over four days. The title is also available for $29.99 purchase on Premier Access to Disney+ subscribers. The movie, starring Emma Stone, tracked another $16.1 million internationally for global haul of $43 million.

When combined, the two movies helped the domestic box office surpass $100 million — the highest tally since the pandemic began, shuttering movie theaters for much of 2020 and into this year. The figure still pales in comparison to the 2019 Memorial Day gross of $232 million.

Meanwhile, Universal Pictures’ F9 topped the $229 million globally, despite a 85% drop in theatrical revenue in China. The long-running actioner opens in the United States June 24.

 

Jason Statham’s ‘Wrath of Man’ Tops Domestic Weekend Box Office

Following consecutive weekends of fantasy monsters and Japanese anime ruling the domestic box office, down-to-earth shoot-’em-up Wrath of Man reclaimed theatrical supremacy. The MGM/United Artists Releasing title, starring Jason Statham, is reportedly projected to take in $8.1 million in revenue across 2,800 screens through May 9. To date, the title, which is not concurrently available to stream, has taken in $17.6 million internationally.

In doing so, the action thriller would top recent vigilante box office openings for Universal Pictures’ Nobody ($6.8 million) and Open Road Films’ The Marksman with $3.1 million.

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Another box office newcomer, Sony Pictures comedy Here Today, starring Billy Crystal and Tiffany Haddish, took in $900,000 across 1,200 screens.

Meanwhile, recent box office leaders such as Funimation’s Demon Slayer: Mugen Train ($3 million, $435 million globally), Warner Bros. Pictures’ Godzilla vs. Kong ($1.9 million, $422 million) and Mortal Kombat ($2.3 million, $72 million), and Disney’s Raya and the Last Dragon ($1.8 million, $105 million), all remained resilient at movie screens, while also available on streaming and digital platforms.

The total domestic box office, which encompassed most screens operating at 50% capacity due to the pandemic, approached $20 million.

 

Funimation’s ‘Demon Slayer’ Tops ‘Mortal Kombat’ in Domestic Weekend Box Office

Anime appears to be topping video games at the domestic weekend box office through May 2. Funimation’s Demon Slayer: Mugen Train is projected to best Warner Bros. Pictures’ Mortal Kombat with an estimated $6.4 million in ticket sales to $6.2 million, respectively. The results, if they hold, reverse the previous week’s tally that saw Kombat edge Slayer by about $2.1 million. Both titles saw their box office plummet more than 70% from their debuts.

Mortal Kombat

Demon Slayer, which reportedly ranks as the third-highest anime theatrical release in the U.S. (behind Pokemon: The First Movie and Pokemon: The Movie 2000) remains Japan’s all-time box office champ with more than $394 million. The title has tracked about $435 million in ticket sales globally.

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Kombat has generated $34 million across about 3,000 domestic screens, topping $63 million worldwide. The movie is streaming concurrently on HBO Max as part of WarnerMedia’s 2021 strategy to release the studio’s entire theatrical slate on SVOD.

Rounding out the podium is Warner’s international monster epic, Godzilla vs. Kong, which tracked about $2.7 million in ticket sales, $90 million worldwide. The movie is also streaming on Max.

Among the top five theatrical releases, new horror flick Separation tallied about $1.7 million in revenue across 1,700 screens. The Open Road release topped Disney’s Raya and the Last Dragon and Universal Pictures’ Nobody with more than $1.2 million each. Both movies are available on digital retail platforms, yet have generated $23.3 million and $41.4 million at the box office, respectively.

 

‘Raya and the Last Dragon’ Repeats Atop Domestic Weekend Box Office Concurrent With Disney+ Access

Walt Disney Studios’ strategy of simultaneously releasing films in theaters and on its branded subscription streaming service, at an additional cost, appears to be working.

Despite its availability on Disney+ at a $29.99 purchase price, Raya and the Last Dragon topped the domestic box office for the second weekend March 14 with a reported $5.5 million in projected ticket sales from more than 2,100 screens nationwide. That’s down just 35% from $8.5 million in domestic ticket sales in the previous-week period. So far, the animated Raya has generated $15.8 million in U.S. ticket sales and $52.6 million globally since debuting March 5.

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The remaining top theatrical releases mirrored the previous weekend, with Warner Bros. Pictures’ Tom & Jerry generating $4.1  million ($26 million total) from 2,434 screens; Chaos Walking (Lionsgate) with $2.25 million ($6.9 million total) from 1,995 screens; and Boogie (Universal/Focus Features) with $730,000 ($2.2 million) from 1,272 screens.

Impressively, The Croods: A New Age (Universal/DreamWorks Animation) continues to resonate across multiple platforms with $530,000 ($54.3 million) in weekend ticket sales. The title, which was released on DVD and Blu-ray Disc Feb. 23, currently ranks as the top-selling packaged-media release in 2021, according to The NPD Group’s VideoScan tracking service.

In the meantime, with Los Angeles area theaters slated to re-open next weekend at 25% capacity, the box office is expected to continue a slow but steady return to normalcy as moviegoers get vaccinated. More than 101 million arms have received the COVID-19 vaccine through March 12, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The domestic box office was up 16.5% last weekend (March 5-7) from the previous-year period with $22.95 million in revenue; and up 166% Feb. 26-28 with $19.74 million.