What an interesting weekend we had at the box office this weekend, and that’s interesting as in pretty bad, since no movie, new or returning, made $20 million this weekend, despite it officially being summer.
This Past Weekend
The top movie of the weekend was Sony‘s Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, which managed to return to the #1 spot by having the smallest drop of the weekend, down just 29 percent to make $19.3 million. The well-received animated sequel crossed the $300 million mark on Friday with $317 million grossed over four weekends.
Disney’s Elemental came in a close second with $18.5 million, down 47% with $65.5 million grossed domestically so far. It added another $31.3 million overseas for an international gross of $55.6 million and $121.1 million as a global total, and there’s just no way to give any sort of positive slant to how poorly Pixar’s latest is doing.
The biggest disaster of the weekend was how badly Warner Bros‘ The Flash, starring Ezra Miller, fell in its second weekend, losing 72 percent of its business for $15.3 million with $87.6 million grossed domestically so far. It added another $26.6 million overseas to bring its global total to $210.9 million, but considering what’s coming ahead this coming weekend (see below), it’s likely to end up with less than $400 million globally, probably not enough to cover its rumored $200 million production budget and huge marketing budget. This is very bad for Warner Bros, who hasn’t had a single movie make over $100 million this year so far, having to put all its summer tentpole hopes on the upcoming Greta Gerwig Barbie movie.
Jennifer Lawrence‘s raunchy R-rated comedy, No Hard Feelings, came into the weekend with some controversy over its premise, but Sony released it into 3,208 theaters where it brought in an estimated $15.1 million with $2.1 million of that coming from Thursday and earlier previews. The movie received mixed-positive reviews, which might help it hold up against all the upcoming franchise fare, since it could act as counter-programming. (As has become the norm, Sony didn’t release CinemaScore audience rating data in time to be included in this report.) No Hard Feelings made another $9.5 million overseas for a global opening of $24.6 million.
Paramount and Hasbro Films‘ Transformers: Rise of the Beasts dropped to fifth place with $11.6 million, down 44 percent, in its third weekend in theaters, with $122.9 million grossed so far.
Wes Anderson‘s latest ensemble comedy, Asteroid City, did far better in its wide expansion by Focus Features than other movies, bringing in an estimated $9 million in 1,675 theaters, which is the best showing for any of the auteur’s prior releases, even 2013’s The Grand Budapest Hotel. With $10.2 million, it could act as counter-programming to all the franchise fare in theaters, though it received a “B” CinemaScore, which is not great for word-of-mouth from audiences that went out to see it over the weekend.
Disney’s The Little Mermaid continues to bring in business, adding another $8.7 million this weekend for seventh place, down 45 percent from last weekend. It has grossed $270.2 million domestically so far, and with the $9.4 million it made overseas this weekend, it’s up to $499.3 million globally, although it also has a reported production budget of $250 million.
Although the lack of a single movie making over $20 million this weekend is a little disappointing, it is nice to see the business spread out between movies. It feels like it’s been a minute since a movie in seventh place made as much as The Little Mermaid did.
A24 only expanded Celine Song‘s drama, Past Lives, into 296 theaters this weekend, so it remained outside the top 10 with $1.1 million with $3.6 million grossed so far just in limited release.
|Rank||Entry||Distributor||Revenue||Theater Count||Total Revenue|
|1||Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse||Sony Pictures||$19,300,000||3,785||$317,051,000|
|3||The Flash||Warner Bros.||$15,265,000||4,256||$87,644,000|
|4||No Hard Feelings||Sony Pictures||$15,100,000||3,208||$15,100,000|
|5||Transformers: Rise of the Beasts||Paramount Pictures||$11,600,000||3,523||$122,948,000|
|6||Asteroid City||Focus Features||$9,000,000||1,675||$10,215,000|
|7||The Little Mermaid||Walt Disney||$8,674,000||3,275||$270,241,764|
|8||Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3||Walt Disney||$3,518,000||2,010||$351,122,883|
|10||The Boogeyman||20th Century Studios||$2,541,000||1,640||$37,710,059|
Last June came to a close with the release of Baz Luhrmann‘s Elvis, starring future Oscar nominee Austin Butler and former Oscar winner Tom Hanks. It opened in 3,906 theaters to $31.2 million, averaging $7,991 per theater, which wasn’t quite up to the opening of Lurhmann’s last theatrical release, The Great Gatsby, which opened with more than $50 million. Still, it was a relatively good start for a movie that would generally be received well, even getting a Best Picture nomination. In fact, it received 8 Oscar nominations, though it didn’t win a single one.
Top Gun: Maverick moved up to second place with $29.6 million, proving to be relatively unstoppable as it reached $520.8 million after five weeks. That was followed in third place by Jurassic World: Dominion, which crossed the $300 million mark with $26.7 million. Either way, last year’s box office brought in quite a bit more money than this weekend.
Scott Derrickson‘s horror film, The Black Phone, starring Ethan Hawke, was released by Universal into 3,150 theaters where it grossed $23.6 million or $7,503 per theater for fourth place. It was a great start to a relatively low-budget movie produced by Blumhouse, going on to gross $161 million worldwide on an $18 million budget, so not bad at all.
After a quieter weekend, we get a movie that in any other year might have been the biggest blockbuster of said year, but Harrison Ford‘s return as his popular action-adventurer in Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny faces a few hurdles that might keep it from being the year’s fourth movie to open over $100 million.
First of all, this is the first movie in the franchise not directed by Steven Spielberg, as James Mangold (Ford v Ferrari, Logan) has taken over the directorial reigns, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing considering the reactions to Spielberg’s previous Indiana Jones movie. Ford is also pushing 80, which might make him the oldest action star still doing action.
For this one, Ford is joined by Phoebe Waller-Bridge, the popular creator of Fleabag and Killing Eve and star of the first of those, which is actually something positive, since she’s generally liked, and she could draw in some women who might not have as much interest in Ford’s character.
For comparison, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of Crystal Skull opened over Memorial Day weekend in 2008 with $100 million in the three-day portion. Even though it was not received well by the fans, it still grossed $317 million domestic and $766.6 million worldwide. That was better than all three previous movies, although some might wonder why it took so long to release a fifth movie.
An interesting comparison might be 2015’s Jurassic World, which was released 14 years after the previous installment, Jurassic Park III, in 2001. Spielberg had already left that franchise and the third movie suffered for it, yet Jurassic World opened with $208.8 million despite moderate reviews.
Another interesting comparison might be last year’s Top Gun: Maverick, which was the top-grossing movie of the year with $1.47 billion worldwide, and that was 35 years after Tom Cruise last played the title character, which shows that a long gap between installments doesn’t necessarily hurt a sequel, for those who think that Indiana Jones (and Ford) won’t have much interest for younger moviegoers
Dial of Destiny premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in May to mixed reviews, and they’ve only gotten slightly better in the month since then as other critics have seen it across the country. In fact, its 61 percent on Rotten Tomatoes is a franchise worst, even compared to Crystal Skull, which could be another worrying factor.
Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny will probably still make upwards of $85 million this weekend, with a nice bump on Monday and Tuesday for the 4th of July holiday. We will then have to see how far it falls once it loses all its premium screens to Paramount’s Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part 1 when that opens July 12.
Also, Universal – having just had a rare weekend without a release in the top 10 (if you don’t include Focus Features) – releases the latest DreamWorks Animation film, Ruby Gillman: Teenage Kraken, into roughly 3,500 theaters, in hopes of getting some family business away from Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse and Elemental. In this case, it just might not work, as they haven’t put nearly as much time or money into marketing the movie that was only recently scheduled for release this weekend.
As the title implies, the movie follows a teenager voiced by Lana Condor (To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before), who turns into a sea creature when she touches salt water, and yeah, it certainly does sound a lot like Pixar’s Luca, which never received a theatrical release due to COVID. It also might seem a little too much like Disney’s The Little Mermaid in reverse, and that is still playing in theaters, too, so Ruby Gillman isn’t really offering anything unique to be a big draw for family audiences with many better choices.
Because of this, I can definitely see Ruby Gilman bombing badly, and unlike Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, which opened with just $12.4 million, this new DreamWorks Animation release won’t have the benefit of the holidays and a few months of no family films to get up to $185 million domestic. No, Ruby Gillman will probably open somewhere in the mid-teens and will struggle to get to $50 million, especially if the reviews are as bad as word-of-mouth from early previews. (It also won’t help that Netflix will be streaming Nimona that same weekend.)
Opening in limited release is Julie Cohen‘s excellent doc, Every Body, that follows the journey of three intersex individuals, an incredibly enlightening and quite educational film about members of the LGBTQ+ community who may not be as well understood as others.
Also, Vertical is releasing Catherine Hardwicke‘s drama Prisoner’s Daughter, starring Brian Cox and Kate Beckinsale, following its premiere at least year’s Toronto International Film Festival.
Edward Douglas has been writing about the box office for 21 years at places like ComingSoon.net, The Tracking Board, and many others, but mostly under the banner of “The Weekend Warrior.” He’s also a film critic with bylines at Film Journal, The New York Daily News, Den of Geek, and more.