Universal had the most to boast last night at the box office, hitting the 18-34 arthouse demo with Robert Eggers’ Focus Features Viking epic, The Northman, which drew $1.35M last night in previews, and families with Dreamworks Animation’s The Bad Guys, which made $1.15M.
Lionsgate’s Nicolas Cage satire The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent made $835K in pre-opening big. That number includes paid screenings from last weekend as well as previews which started at 6PM last night. All three movies have solid reviews and are certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes: Northman (89%), Bad Guys (86%) and Unbearable (89%). That should be convincing enough to spur non-frequent moviegoers to go to one of these three movies, however, Unbearable might come up short.
Despite the onslaught of wide release fare, it’s expected that either Warner Bros.’ Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore in its second weekend or Paramount’s Sonic the Hedgehog 2 in its third weekend take No. 1 with $18M-$20M a piece. It wouldn’t be shocking to see The Bad Guys muscle its way in there despite the fact that pre-release tracking has the animated pic at $15M; the movie booked at 4,000 locations. Last night’s previews for The Bad Guys began at 5PM in 3,000 rentals.
Dumbledore took 2nd place to sonic 2 on Monday and Wednesday. The lackluster audience response is believed to be impacting Dumbledore‘s traction. Last night the Warner Bros. sequel made an estimated $1.93M to sonic 2‘s $1.9M. Fantastic Beasts 3 ends the week with an estimated $53.1M at 4,208 to sonic 2‘s $41M at 4,258. The latter’s running total is $130.6M, which is 16% ahead of the two-week cume of Sonic the Hedgehog back in 2020.
Northman, which was co-financed by New Regency, is expected to make $8M-$12M at 3,223 theaters, which is low for a movie that costs $70M net. More on that later. Focus has been supporting the movie extensively with TV spots. Northman‘s Thursday is ahead of the Tuesday night previews of MGM/UAR’s House of Gucci ($1.3M), another adult skewing wide release, and next to pre-pandemic titles, specifically male-leaning, the Eggers movie is ahead of Warner Bros.’ action comedy War Dogs which did $1.25M and opened to $14.6M in late August 2016.
Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent hopes to find an audience. Tracking has this one in the $5M-$7M range, which is a sad start for a movie that played like gangbusters out of its SXSW world premiere. The pic cost $30M before P&A, and Lionsgate held this one for theatrical rather than sell it off during the pandemic. The comedy is playing at 3,036 theaters and opens abroad in 40 territories including France, Australia, Benelux and the UK. Pre-opening money is higher than UAR’s Wrath of Man which did $500K and an $8.3M opening, and Lionsgate’s previous moonfall which did $700K and a $9.8M opening.
Elsewhere on Thursday night: A24’s Everything Everywhere All at Once made an estimated $873K in third at 2,220 taking its four-week running total to $21.4M. The movie, as we told you yesterday, is bound to become the fourth highest for the New York-based indie studio with an ultimate stateside end around $28M.
Paramount’s The Lost City at 3,430 theaters posted an estimated $550K for a fourth week near $9M and a running total of $81M.
In fifth place was Sony’s Father Stu at 2,705 venues, which grossed $542K yesterday for a first week of $8.2M and running total of $10.5M.