In regards to moviegoing, the summer of 2022 ended on Friday, August 5th. As expected, BULLET TRAIN shot up to first place in its opening weekend but earned only $30M for the three days. This was less than exhibitors had hoped for and most analysts had predicted, with many estimating upwards of $35M for its debut. Even more concerning was a drop of 24% in ticket sales from Friday to Saturday, which would seem to indicate low interest in the film, and a dim future at the box office.
Sony had hoped that its action comedy starring Brad Pitt and Sandra Bullock would repeat the success Paramount found earlier this year with THE LOST CITY. The romantic comedy starring Sandra Bullock with an over-the-top cameo from Brad Pitt went on to a $105M North American run.
Based on this weekend’s soft results for BULLET TRAIN, we are now projecting a total take of $65M, which is merely two-thirds of the film’s $90M production budget. To add insult to injury, critics of Rotten Tomatoes panned the film by giving it a 55% fresh score.
Exhibitors had hoped BULLET TRAIN could become the last breakout title of the summer, helping to carry them through the next month or more. Alas, the slate of upcoming releases is woefully lacking in box office potential, with BLACK ADAM on 10/21 as the next title with anything close to a $100M potential. Until then, the industry will soldier on, but struggle to match results from last year, let alone 2019.
DC LEAGUE OF SUPER-PETS finished in second place with a gross of $11.2M, a 51% drop from last week’s opening. The animated feature has now taken in $45M over its 10 days in theatres. Jordan Peele’s NOPE finished third with $8.5M, which is a disappointment for the highly acclaimed film.
It seems on track to earn $120M for its full run in theatres, which would be only 70% of the $175M grosses for each of Jordan Peele’s first two features – GET OUT and the US. The top five for the weekend rounded out with THOR: LOVE AND THUNDER in fourth with $7.6M and MINIONS: THE RISE OF GRU in fifth with $7.1M.
The only other picture to open wide this weekend was Universal’s comedy EASTER SUNDAY which opened in 3,175 theatres. The film starring Filipino American standup comedian Jo Koy limped to an eighth-place finish with $5.3M. A24 also released its comedy horror suspense film BODIES, BODIES, BODIES in six initial locations in NY and LA, leading up to next week’s wide opening.
It produced a very healthy per-screen average of $36K at each of the six locations and critics are positive with a 91% fresh score on Rotten Tomatoes. Leave it to our favorite indie studio to slow walk the rollout of their horror film, which may emerge as a bright spot over the weeks ahead.