In a surprising turn of events, SPIDER-MAN: ACROSS THE SPIDER-VERSE swung back into first place at the weekend box office by grossing $19.3M, a decline of 29% from last weekend. While it was the top-grossing picture, the number itself is quite low for a summer weekend.
Every #1 film over the 13 weekends in May, June, and July last year came in higher ACROSS THE SPIDER-VERSE this weekend. In fact, had it been released this weekend last year it would have come in fifth place behind the $23.6M opening of THE BLACK PHONE.
The animated Spider-Man sequel has followed an unusual path by winning its first two weekends ($120.7M and $55.5M), dropping to third in its third weekend ($27.0M) and now, amazingly, returning to first place. This was made possible by disappointing openings for THE FLASH and ELEMENTAL last weekend, which dropped steeply in their second week.
After 24 days, Sony’s superhero has earned $317M in the U.S. and Canada and we project it to finish up at approximately $380M, making it the second biggest film of the year behind THE SUPER MARIO BROS. MOVIE ($573M). Next week, Spidey will cede first place to INDIANA JONES AND THE DIAL OF DESTINY when it premieres.
ELEMENTAL finished in second place with a three-day total of $18.5M and a decline of 38% from last week’s $29.6M debut. Prior to its release, Disney was hoping that ELEMENTAL would mark a return to Pixar’s success at the box office, especially after last year’s LIGHTYEAR flop.
ELEMENTAL opening was 58% of LIGHTYEAR’s $50.6M opening, which itself was viewed as disappointing. At this rate, we expect ELEMENTAL to end its domestic run with approximately $110M, somewhat lower than LIGHTYEAR’s $118.3M. After ten days, ELEMENTAL stands at $65.5M domestic compared to LIGHTYEAR’s $89.3M, despite ELEMENTAL’s week two drop being only 38% compared to LIGHTYEAR’S 64% decline.
After spending $200M to make the film and additional funds on its marketing, ELEMENTAL is guaranteed to be a financial bust. This places even more pressure on the fortunes of Pixar’s next release, next year’s sci-fi animated ELIO. In fact, the future of Pixar Studios may be riding on it.
Falling from first to third was DC’s THE FLASH, which stumbled even further in its second week with a catastrophic drop of 72% and a three-day box office of $15.3M. After a disappointing opening, Warner Bros. had lowered its sights on THE FLASH, still hoping that it might match the results of the original SHAZAM! from 2019. Here’s how those two films match up after ten days.
THE FLASH (2023)
- Opening Day: $24.1M
- Opening Weekend: $55.1M
- 2nd Weekend: $15.3M (-72%)
- 10-Day: $87.6M
- Opening Day: $20.4M
- Opening Weekend: $53.5M
- 2nd Weekend: $24.5M (-46%)
- 10-Day: $94.3M
While the match-up seems close after the first ten days, a closer look shows how THE FLASH is fading fast. In fact, THE FLASH should have had an advantage compared to SHAZAM! because the earlier film opened in April, when schools were still in session and moviegoing in general tends to be lower.
After exceeding SHAZAM!’s opening day total by almost 20%, THE FLASH has dropped down to a lower second weekend. If this deceleration continues, which seems likely, THE FLASH’s flame-out will have dire consequences for DC Studios and Warner Bros.
SHAZAM! produced a final domestic gross of $140.5M and a worldwide gross of $367.8M, on a production budget of $100M. This was considered justification enough to make the sequel SHAZAM! FURY OF THE GODS, even though this wound up being a dud with a total of $57.6M domestic and $133.8M worldwide.
After spending $125M on production, the end of the SHAZAM! the franchise seems likely. THE FLASH is certainly headed for that fate after DC spent $200M to make the film. After a few more weeks in theatres, it will show up on streaming…in just a flash.
Sony’s R-rated comedy NO HARD FEELINGS finished in fourth place with $15.1M in its opening weekend. The film stars Academy Award-winning actress Jennifer Lawrence as a 32-year-old woman on the verge of losing her childhood home. In order to rustle up some money, she agrees to date a wealthy couple’s introverted and awkward 19-year-old son in the summer before he heads off to college.
According to Rotten Tomatoes, the movie has met with a mixed reaction with critics lukewarm at 67% but audiences more positive at 88%. Many are wondering what prompted Jennifer Lawrence to take on a coming-of-age rom-com. In addition to being friends with the film’s director Gene Stupnitsky, Lawrence has a taste for eclectic scripts that send her in challenging directions, such as NO HARD FEELINGS’ role as a down-on-her-luck Uber driver. While a raunchy teen comedy is not likely to earn J-Law an Oscar nomination, she must have felt that it would be a worthy challenge.
This year has been dominated by family-friendly titles such as THE SUPER MARIO BROS MOVIE and SPIDER-MAN: ACROSS THE SPIDER-VERSE. JOHN WICK 4 was the last R-rated movie to come out on top on its opening weekend earlier this year from March 24-26. The last R-Rated comedy to achieve this was way back in August 2019 when GOOD BOYS…also directed by Stupnitsky… opened with $21.4M domestic on a budget of $20M.
Because of Jennifer Lawrence, the production budget for NO HARD FEELINGS was $45M, more than two times that for GOOD BOYS, while it only produced 71% of the earlier film’s opening weekend gross. Prospects in the weeks ahead are not very good, and perhaps Lawrence should be more selective with her projects if she wants to keep her spot at the top of A-list Hollywood actresses.
TRANSFORMERS: RISE OF THE BEASTS finished in fifth place with a gross of $11.6M and a drop of 44% from last weekend. After last weekend’s 67% decline in its second week, the largest in franchise history, this weekend dropped by only 44%, which may show that there is still some juice left in the sequel.
After 17 days, BEASTS has taken in $122.9M domestically and we expect it to end up with approximately $160M domestic and $385M worldwide. However, it was an expensive movie to make at $200M, leaving its profitability in doubt. An upcoming animated version of TRANSFORMERS ONE is scheduled to open on 9/13/24 and this may be just the ticket to renew interest in the franchise.
Wes Anderson’s ASTEROID CITY from Focus Features expanded from six locations last week to 1675 this weekend, earning $9M and landing in sixth place. Its all-star cast headlined by Tom Hanks and Scarlett Johansson was greeted with a 75% critics score on Rotten Tomatoes and 66% from audiences. With this box office coming in on the higher side for a Wes Anderson-directed film, we expect many more Anderson movies ahead, especially because he is a favorite director among actors.
All movies this weekend earned $109.6M domestic, compared with $135.8M last year when ELVIS led all films with $31.2M in its opening weekend, followed by THE BLACK PHONE which also opened with $23.6M.
WHERE ARE WE AS OF 6/22
The first 24 weeks of 2023 have generated 122% of the box office earned at the same point in 2022, but only 81% compared with 2019.