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Box Office Breakdown: Greta Gerwig’s Barbie Becomes Highest-Grossing Film Ever Directed by a Woman, Dracula Spin-Off Demeter Sinks

There were only two new wide releases this weekend, but neither stood a chance against so many stronger movies already in theaters.

This Past Weekend

The big news is that the “Barbenheimer” tag team was back on top with Barbie winning its fourth weekend at #1 with $33.7 million, a drop of 36 percent to bring its first month domestic take to $526.3 million. Not only is that the second-biggest grosser of the year after Universal PicturesThe Super Mario Bros. Movie, but it’s the 18th-highest grossing movie domestically of all time, creeping up to the $535 million made by Christopher Nolan‘s The Dark Knight in 2008. Passing that would make Barbie Warner Bros‘ top-grossing movie of all time.

Barbie added another $45.1 million overseas for a global total of $1.18 billion, and director Greta Gerwig can take a hearty victory lap for being the woman behind the highest-grossing movie ever, both domestically and globally, directed by a woman.

Meanwhile, Nolan’s latest film, Oppenheimer, is also doing huge business, bouncing back into second place with $18.8 million, down just 35 percent from last weekend. It has grossed $264.3 million domestically so far, which is putting it less than $30 million behind Nolan’s previous hit, Inception. Overseas, Nolan’s biopic added another $31.9 million overseas this weekend to bring its international total to $384.8 million and global total to $649 million. That makes Oppenheimer, Nolan’s fifth-biggest movie of all time ahead of Dunkirk, but it’s also Nolan’s biggest hit of all time in 50 global markets. $134.4 million of that global total comes from IMAX screens, which Oppenheimer has claimed since opening and will continue to hold through the end of August.

Paramount Pictures‘ animated Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem took third place this weekend with $15.8 million, a 44 percent drop from its opening weekend, with $72.8 million grossed so far domestically.

The biggest drop of the weekend went to Warner Bros’ action sequel, Meg 2: The Trench, starring Jason Statham, which took a massive 58 percent cut off its opening weekend to drop to fourth place with $12.7 million. It has grossed $54.1 million domestically, but it has quite a few strong movies coming into the next few weekends to keep it from coming even close to $100 million domestic. It continued to do better overseas where it added another $43.7 million – $16.5 million of that came from China where it has grossed $90.2 million to date. With an international gross of $202.8 million, Meg 2 has made $256.9 million globally.

Corey Hawkins in The Last Voyage of the Demeter / Universal-Amblin (Photo by Rainer Bajo)

The widest new release this weekend was Universal’s Last Voyage of the Demeter, an expansion on one section of the Dracula tale, directed by André Øvredal and starring Corey Hawkins, Liam Cunningham, David Dastmalchian, and more. It was released into 2,715 theaters on Friday, but after a minimal $750,000 in Thursday previews, it only grossed an estimated $6.5 million over the weekend. Demeter received little help from the mostly lousy reviews from critics, and audiences agreed, going by the movie’s “B-” CinemaScore (the same as Meg 2).

Disney‘s Haunted Mansion held better in its third weekend with a 39 percent drop to sixth place with $5.6 million and $52.9 million grossed domestically so far. Disney began the summer so well with Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 3 and The Little Mermaid, but it seems to have petered out, and as of now, it doesn’t have any new movies (besides 20th Century Studios productions) to release before November.

A24‘s horror film, Talk to Me, had a minimal 18 percent drop from last week, bringing in $5.1 million to take seventh place with $31.3 million. It was probably helped by A24 announcing it had greenlit a sequel earlier this week.

Angel Studios‘ biopic, The Sound of Freedom, continues to lose theaters, and this weekend, it made $4.8 million (down 36 percent) in 2,803 locations for eighth place, bringing its domestic cume to $172.8 million.

That’s more money grossed domestically than Tom Cruise‘s Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part 1, although the action movie seems to be pulling a comeback this weekend with a 29 percent drop to take ninth place with $4.7 million and $160 million grossed in North America.

Bleecker Street released Marc Turtletaub‘s quirky comedy, Jules, into 780 theaters on Friday after it received mostly positive reviews, but it only made $834,000 or just over $1,000 per location, not enough to get into the top 10.

Weekend Box Office

Rank Entry Distributor Revenue Theater Count Total Revenue
1 Barbie Warner Bros. $33,833,294 4,178 $526,442,188
2 Oppenheimer Universal $18,812,970 3,761 $264,282,445
3 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem Paramount Pictures $15,276,936 3,950 $72,316,437
4 Meg 2: The Trench Warner Bros. $12,845,534 3,604 $54,282,451
5 The Last Voyage of the Demeter Universal $6,504,950 2,715 $6,504,950
6 Haunted Mansion Walt Disney $5,797,073 2,860 $53,054,219
7 Talk To Me A24 $5,116,277 2,379 $31,321,186
8 Sound of Freedom Angel Studios $4,868,216 2,803 $172,849,614
9 Mission: Impossible Dead Reckoning Part One Paramount Pictures $4,605,034 2,135 $159,495,904
10 Jailer Ayngaran International $2,500,000 450 $4,088,000


Last Year

The “Dog Days of Summer” came even earlier last year with five wide or moderate releases that weren’t even able to crack the top 7. Because of that, Brad Pitt‘s Bullet Train remained #1 for a second weekend in a row with just $13.4 million (down 55 percent) and $55.5 million grossed in its first ten days.n

Much more surprising was that Paramount expanded Top Gun: Maverick into 421 more theaters, which was enough for it to bounce back into 2nd place with $7 million to bring its domestic total to $673.7 million. It just beat Warner Bros’ animated DC League of Super-Pets, which settled for third place right behind it.

A scene from Bodies Bodies Bodies / A24

A24 expanded Halina Reijn‘s horror film, Bodies Bodies Bodies, into 1,290 theaters, following its platform release, but that only allowed it to make $3.1 million or $2,425 per theater for eighth place.

Opening in 1,548 theaters was the Lionsgate thriller, Fall, which opened with just $2.5 million or $1,623 per theater.

Laal Singh Chaddha, the Bollywood remake of Tom HanksForrest Gump, opened in 516 theaters to make just $1.5 million for 12th place with $1.8 million including Thursday.

The body-switching comedy Mack & Rita, starring Diane Keaton, was released by Gravitas Ventures into 1,930 theaters, the most theaters for any of the new movies, but it tanked badly with just $1 million or $538 per theater.

Aubrey Plaza‘s Sundance hit, Emily the Criminal, was released by Roadside Attractions into 470 theaters where it made $669,000 or $1,424 per theater.

Upcoming 

Xolo Maridueña as Blue Beetle in Blue Beetle / Warner Bros.

After a down weekend, we’re getting a last gasp for the summer with the release of two new wide releases that might normally do very well any other time of the year, though both movies still have the dangling Sword of Damocles of “Barbenheimer” hanging over their head.

Warner Bros. is releasing the superhero underdog, Blue Beetle, based on the DC Comics character, for this movie played by Xolo Maridueña with Angel Manuel Soto (Charm City Kids) directing. Possibly the biggest draw for the film is that it’s the first time a LatinX superhero is getting his own solo movie. Since Latino audiences are well-regarded for their theater attendance, there’s a bit of a crusade to make this movie a success similar to Crazy Rich Asians in 2018. Soto does have a few better known faces and names in his film, like George Lopez and Susan Sarandon, to help convince anyone unsure about this one.

There are definite pluses and minuses to the theatrical release of Blue Beetle, which at one point was meant for a release only on streamer HBO Max (now just MAX). Obviously, early reactions from test screenings convinced WBD to give it a theatrical release, but only in mid-August with not nearly as much promotion as it might have gotten if not for the strikes going on.

Early reactions have generally been good, so I think Blue Beetle should get a nice post-reviews bump to open with $30 million or slightly more, which will be enough for it to dethrone Warners’ Barbie for the first time in five weeks.

A scene from Strays / Universal Pictures

Offering some serious competition is Universal’s Strays, an R-rated comedy featuring the likes of Will Ferrell, Jamie Foxx, Randall Park, and Isla Fisher voicing lovable stray doggies, putting a twist on the Disney version of this movie like Beverly Hills Chihuahua. The movie also stars Will Forte as a human and Dennis Quaid as himself? (Other voices include that of Josh Gad, Rob Riggle, and Sofia Vergara.) It’s another movie produced by Phil Lord and Chris Miller, who had the enormous summer animated blockbuster, Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, as well as the R-rated Cocaine Bear earlier in the year.

This movie was originally going to be released in June and the Red Band trailer was in front of everything for months, but then Universal decided oddly to move it to this mid-August weekend, which isn’t great but has seen quite a few comedy hits, including Superbad in 2007, which grossed $121.5 million. Quentin Tarantino‘s Inglourious Basterds also did huge business opening in late August in 2009, as did Universal’s NWA biopic, Straight Outta Compton, in 2015. Still, those August hits are few and far between, especially in recent years.

Strays does benefit from looking very funny and having its trailer in front of other R-rated movies, but late summer means going on vacation and going to the beach before going back to school, and that might keep Strays from opening over $20 million, although it’s going up against Oppenheimer for third place.

Less is known about the weekend’s third wide release, Chris Spencer‘s Back on the Strip, starring JB Smoove, Tiffany Haddish, and Wesley Snipes, a comedy about a young man who moves to Las Vegas to become a magician, only to end up as a male stripper. Yup, that’s the plot, I’m not making this up. Not knowing if it’s getting a release into 500 or 1,500 theaters makes it harder to scope out an opening projection, but it would probably need more than $2 million to get into the top 10.

MGM is giving a limited release to its adaptation of M.T. Anderson‘s young adult novel, Landscape with Invisible Hand, written and directed by Cory Finley (Thoroughbreds, Bad Education), which ALSO stars Tiffany Haddish, as well as Asante Blackk and Kylie Rogers. The latter two play teenagers living on an earth left impoverished and destitute after an alien invasion, who get into a relationship for the sake of a podcast. Imagine if A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy author Douglas Adams wrote a young adult novel.


Edward Douglas
Edward Douglas

Edward Douglas has been writing about the box office for 21 years at places like ComingSoon.netThe Tracking Board, and many others, but mostly under the banner of “The Weekend Warrior.” He’s also a film critic with bylines at Film JournalThe New York Daily NewsDen of Geek, and more.

Box Office Breakdown will be posted each week by Monday morning. You can read other features by Edward Douglas over at Below the Line and Above the Line.

Edward Douglas
Edward Douglas
Edward Douglas has written about movies for print and the internet for over 20 years, specializing in box office analysis, reviews, and interviews. Currently, he writes features for Below the Line and Above the Line, acting as Associate Editor for the former and Interim Editor for the latter.
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