What a strange weekend this was. Two movies exceeded all expectations, and one original movie crashed and bombed quite horribly. Three other movies passed $100 million, while another movie became the highest-grossing movie of the summer.
This Past Weekend
Patrick Wilson went behind the camera to direct and also star in Insidious: The Red Door, the fifth installment of the horror franchise created by James Wan and Leigh Whannell, which brought back his character and focused on the journey of Ty Simpkins as his son Dalton, now attending college. (Rose Byrne also returned for a small role.) That was enough to get the fans back into theaters, even if the late-breaking reviews weren’t great.
After bringing in $5 million in Thursday previews, Sony officially released the movie into 3,188 theaters, where it made $15.3 million on Friday (including previews) and an estimated $32.7 million over the weekend. That was the best opening for the franchise, other than the Wan-directed Insidious Chapter 2 in 2013, which opened with $40.3 million. The previous chapter, Insidious: The Last Key, opened with $29.6 million in Jan. 2018 and grossed $67.7 million.
The Red Door made another $31.4 million overseas for a global opening of $64.1 million, making it quite profitable based on its reported $16 million budget. It was the second-highest grossing horror movie of the year after Scream VI, but the highest grossing horror movie overseas since 2019. Mexico was one of the top oversea markets with $5.8 million, followed by the Philippines with $3.7 million, that being the highest-opening for a horror movie in that market ever.
Lately, Sony has been trying to keep the CinemaScore for its movies hidden, but in this case, the movie’s rating was released on Sunday, and it wasn’t good, getting a “C+,” the worst audience rating for the entire franchise. That’s not a good sign for any semblance of legs. Above the Line had the chance to speak with Wilson, an interview you can read here.
The Red Door also knocked Harrison Ford‘s Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny out of the top spot, as it dropped 56 percent from its mild opening weekend, to take second place with $26.5 million. It has grossed $121.2 million so far, but it will have a tough time going up against Tom Cruise and Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part 1. (You can read more about that below.)
Overseas, Dial of Destiny added another $31.8 million for an international total of $126.7 million and global total of $247.9 million. That isn’t great for a movie that’s reportedly budgeted at almost $300 million. The biggest overseas market so far is the UK with $16.8 million, followed by France with $11.4 million.
The big surprise of the week had to be Angel Studios‘ Sound of Freedom, starring Jim Caviezel (The Passion of the Christ) and Mira Sorvino, which opened on Tuesday, the 4th of July, in 2,634 theaters and won the day with a whopping $14.2 million (including Monday previews). It continued to do well over the next couple days to amass almost $22 million before the weekend. One might imagine that doing so well during the week wouldn’t leave much for the weekend. In fact, it ended up making an estimated $18.2 million over the weekend in 2,852 theaters, averaging $6,381 per venue. Essentially, the independently-financed film grossed $40.2 million in its first week, making it even more profitable than Insidious.
Disney-Pixar’s animated Elemental, opened poorly, but it continues to find an audience, this week dropping just 21 percent to take fourth place with $9.6 million, also crossing the $100 million mark with $109.2 million. It added another $30 million internationally with a $3.8 million UK debut, to bring its global total to $251.9 million. Again, not great, but the movie seems to be generating word-of-mouth business.
Another winner for the weekend was Sony’s animated sequel, Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, which officially became the highest-grossing movie of the summer by passing James Gunn‘s Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 3, by adding another $8 million (down 33 percent) for a domestic total of $357.7 million.
Things just weren’t as great for Crazy Rich Asians’ writer Adele Lim‘s directorial debut, the raunchy R-rated comedy, Joy Ride, starring Ashley Park, Oscar nominee Stephanie Hsu (Everything Everywhere All at Once), Sherry Cola, and Sabrina Wu. Despite receiving hugely positive reviews, it only pulled $1.1 million in Thursday and earlier previews and was hugely frontloaded by bringing in $2.6 million on Friday in 2,820 theaters. (That included the $1.1 million.) It ended up taking sixth place with an estimated $5.9 million, averaging just over $2,000 per theater, which is another bad showing for a Lionsgate release.
It did beat out Jennifer Lawrence‘s R-rated comedy, No Hard Feelings, which dropped to seventh place with $5.3 million (down 33 percent) to bring its domestic total to $40.4 million.
Dropping to eighth place was Paramount‘s Transformers: The Rise of the Beasts with $5 million, down 32 percent, having grossed $146.7 million domestically so far. It hits digital this week, so its theatrical release is going to come to an end soon.
As far as limited releases, Bleecker Street released Alice Troughton‘s The Lesson, starring Oscar nominees Richard E. Grant and Julie Delpy, into 268 theaters where it grossed $147,752 or $588 per theater.
Mel Eslyn‘s two-handed sci-fi comedy, Biosphere, starring Mark Duplass and Sterling K. Brown, was released by IFC Films into 48 theaters where it grossed a paltry $34,000 or $708 per theater. (You can read my interview with Eslyn and Duplass here.)
|Rank||Entry||Distributor||Revenue||Theater Count||Total Revenue|
|1||Insidious: The Red Door||Sony Pictures||$33,000,000||3,188||$33,000,000|
|2||Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny||Walt Disney||$26,500,000||4,600||$121,205,329|
|3||Sound of Freedom||Angel Studios||$18,219,879||2,952||$40,207,249|
|5||Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse||Sony Pictures||$8,025,000||3,023||$357,693,000|
|7||No Hard Feelings||Sony Pictures||$5,350,000||2,686||$40,512,000|
|8||Transformers: Rise of the Beasts||Paramount Pictures||$5,000,000||2,475||$146,723,000|
|9||The Little Mermaid||Walt Disney||$3,500,000||2,430||$289,038,945|
|10||Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken||Universal||$2,800,075||3,408||$11,600,000|
Marvel Studios released its second movie of 2022 with Thor: Love and Thunder, once again starring Chris Hemsworth and bringing back Natalie Portman and Tessa Thompson, with Christian Bale playing Gorr the Godkiller and director Taika Waititi also returning. It opened in 4,375 theaters to $144.2 million, averaging $32,952. It was the best opening for the Thor series but lower than Doctor Strange into the Multiverse of Madness a few months earlier.
It replaced Minions: The Rise of Gru as the #1 movie, as that fell to second place with $46.1 million, down 57 percent, which was a lot for an animated movie, although that had already grossed $210.7 million domestically.
Top Gun: Maverick fell to third place with $15.5 million, down 40 percent, as that neared the $600 million mark with $597.4 million after seven weeks.
A24‘s Marcel the Shell with Shoes On entered the top 10 in eighth place with $322,167, after adding 26 theaters, bringing its domestic total to $945,583.
Opening on Wednesday with previews on Tuesday and Monday night is the return of Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt in Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One, the third movie written and directed by Christopher McQuarrie. This one begins a new story that has Hunt and the IMF (Impossible Mission Force) trying to find a key that could stop an “Entity” from taking over all technology. Simon Pegg, Ving Rhames, Rebecca Ferguson, and Vanessa Kirby all return, joined by new characters played by Esai Morales, Pom Klementieff, and Shea Whigham, all who want to get the key before Hunt.
There are two major factors to consider when analyzing the latest Mission: Impossible, the first being Cruise’s entire career, but more to the point, the history of the Mission: Impossible movies. We should probably start with the latter, and in particular, McQuarrie’s last two movies, which were fairly well-received by critics. Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation opened in late July 2015 with $55.5 million and ended up grossing $195 million, the third-highest showing for the franchise, and then Mission: Impossible – Fallout opened three years later with $61.2 million and topped out the franchise with $220.1 million.
The positive reception to Fallout is a good indicator for Dead Reckoning, but the other major factor to consider is that Cruise is coming off Top Gun: Maverick, a sequel that not only had the biggest opening of Cruise’s career, but it was also the first movie of his to make more than $300 million domestically. In fact, it was the biggest movie of 2022, grossing $1.5 billion worldwide and really helping to improve reception to Cruise as a bonafide A-list star. We can’t discount the fact that Cruise’s 40-year career has led to nearly $8.5 billion worldwide, so there’s no reason why Dead Reckoning can’t open very big.
Dead Reckoning has already received an astounding 99 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, which is even better than the reviews for Fallout. In fact, it’s probably one of the best-reviewed movies of the year, as that’s even better than Past Lives, which is thought to be an Oscar contender.
Because Dead Reckoning is opening so early in the week, it’s likely to gross a lot of its money on Wednesday (which will have Monday and Tuesday rolled into it) and Thursday, though it should have enough interest to make another $60 to 70 million over the weekend, so expect it to get through Sunday with upwards of $100 million or more. It might drop a little with the release of Barbie and Chris
Opening in 6 theaters in New York and L.A. is Molly Gordon and Nick Lieberman’s Theater Camp, one of the more popular Sundance movies, for which Searchlight Pictures paid $8 million for its distribution. Starring Ben Platt, Gordon, and Ayo Edebiri from Hulu‘s The Bear, the movie is pretty much what it sounds like, a comedy set at a theater camp.
Kino Lorber releases Final Cut, the French remake of the Japanese horror-comedy One Cut of the Dead, by Oscar-winning filmmaker Michel Hazanavicius (The Artist), starring Romain Duris as a filmmaker making a zombie movie that’s attacked by zombies. The Artist‘s Oscar-nominated Bérénice Bejo plays his actress wife.
Christian Petzold‘s character drama Afire also opens in select theaters after playing at Berlinale and Tribeca Festival, distributed by Sideshow.
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.