(Photo by Allen Fraser/©Universal Pictures)
Los Angeles theaters have been opening back up. More chains are opening up in April. Black Widow’s move may have delayed the summer season back to pre-1996 scheduling, but with vaccine availability being accelerated in many states, we continue to tiptoe back towards normalcy. Yet even in these stranger times, we must look for a silver lining. One such lining: the second-biggest theatrical launch of 2021 occurred this weekend. It stars Bob Odenkirk and it opened at number 1. Let’s take a moment to appreciate that.
Critics are certainly showing their appreciation for action flick Nobody, lifting the movie to a Certified Fresh Tomatometer score of 80%. That’s an improvement over Ilya Naishuller’s debut film, Hardcore Henry (52%) from 2015. Nobody also bested that film’s opening ($5.1 million in 3,015 theaters) with an estimated $6.7 million in 2,460 theaters with limited capacity. (Tom & Jerry opened in 2,475 theaters.) That’s the third-best opening of the year to date behind only the family entries of T&J and Raya and the Last Dragon. Is this the first good sign that adults (hopefully of the vaccinated variety) are headed back into theaters? The Little Things opened to $4.7 million on the last weekend in January , while also available on HBO Max. Last summer’s attempt to reopen with Russell Crowe in Unhinged netted a $4 million wide release (1,823 theaters); the movie then slowly made its way to $20 million. It’s going to be interesting to chart the progression of Nobody as new wide releases enter the marketplace almost every week going forward.
(Photo by ©Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)
After three weeks at number 1, Disney’s Raya and the Last Dragon dropped to second place, falling 32% to $3.5 million for a total of $28.4 million to date. The year’s top grosser fell to third place, as Tom & Jerry took in another $2.5 million for a total of $37.1 million. That makes it the 11th-highest-grossing film since the beginning of 2020 and the fourth-highest since the pandemic behind only Tenet, The Croods: A New Age, and Wonder Woman 1984; the latter two are still in the top 10 with The Croods sequel still creeping up on Tenet’s total.
After four weeks, the long-delayed Chaos Walking has crept over the $11 million mark after opening to $3.77 million. That’s a feat unattained by fellow wide March releases that opened between $3.5-4 million: Slither, Missing In Action II: The Beginning, Boat Trip, Unsane, 3 Strikes, Amos & Andrew, and Pride.
The Benedict Cumberbatch spy thriller, The Courier, added 208 theaters and fell 48% but still grossed another $1.04 million for a total of $3.48 million. That makes it the 32nd highest-grossing release in Roadside Attractions’ history, which – all things considered – is not too shabby. Especially when it will take less than just another million for it to join the company’s top 25.
(Photo by © 20th Century Fox Film Corp. )
March 26: Back in 2011, Gore Verbinski’s Oscar-winning Rango grossed $4.39 million on its 23rd day of release to pass the $100 million mark. Two years earlier, Zack Snyder’s Watchmen passed the same milestone in just 21 days after grossing $556,443. (Rango would outgross Watchmen by over $15 million.) Eight years after Watchmen, another comic book-based film, Logan, would pass the $200 million line in only 23 days with $4.39 million. (It would gross just $24 million and change over its next 88 days.) Finally, on this day on 1998, James Cameron’s Titanic grossed $1.43 million on its 98th day of release to pass the $500 million mark.
March 27: One day after Rango crossed the $100 million link in 2011, Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston did it with their film, Just Go With It. The film grossed $350,105 on its 45th day to achieve the milestone. At the time it was Sandler’s 10th $100 million grosser; his 11th would come two years later with Grown Ups 2.
March 28: Then for the quickest milestone grab of the lot on these three days, Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who! grossed $5.25 million to cross $100 million on just its 15th day of release. It would go on to gross over $154 million. Four years later it would only take Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax nine days to cross $100 million and go on to gross over $214 million.
This weekend was supposed to see the release of The Boss Baby: Family Business but the animated sequel has been delayed to September 17 where it will now open against two more sequels including Kenneth Branagh’s Death on the Nile (okay, a quasi sequel!) and the recently moved Venom: Let There Be Carnage.
In this corner a giant prehistoric creature birthed by nuclear testing in 1954 who goes by the name of GODZILLA! In that corner, direct from Skull Island, he has survived (in spirit) the likes of Dino de Laurentiis, Peter Jackson and Samuel L. Jackson, the eighth wonder of the world, you know him as the King, it’s KONG! That’s right, on Wednesday this week, Adam Wingard’s Godzilla vs. Kong will also fight amongst audiences in theaters as well as those taking advantage of its appearance on HBO MAX the sane day. Warner Bros. moved up its release from May and this will be the next big test to see the public’s comfort level on returning to theaters and will be closely watched by everyone in the industry. The film has managed to already gross over $70 million in China and over $100 million overseas in total. Also, Screen Gems will be testing the levels on a smaller scale with the horror film, The Unholy, with Jeffrey Dean Morgan – it is about a girl who may be channeling the Virgin Mary or something far more evil.
[box office figures via Box Office Mojo]
Thumbnail: Allen Fraser /© Universal Pictures