a still from The Flash
ManOfTheCenturyMovie News As “The Flash” slumps, it set the wrong kind of box office record this weekend

As “The Flash” slumps, it set the wrong kind of box office record this weekend

a still from The Flash

On a weekend like this it’s easy to bury the good news, so let’s start with the good stuff.

Three non-franchise original films, all with budgets under $50 million, achieved credible results. Sony’s “No Hard Feelings” starring Jennifer Lawrence, an R-rated comedy, earned about 25% more than its pre-release estimates (about $15 million, compared to $12 million, pending Sunday actuals ). Wes Anderson’s “Asteroid City” (Focus) proved its platform’s opening weekend was no fluke with $9 million (in 1,675 theaters, less than half of a normal circulation). And Celine Song’s slower-released “Past Lives” (A24) is already at $3.5 million while playing fewer than 300 theaters.

Add to these the continued strong performance of ‘Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse’ (Sony), which returned to the top spot and achieved a domestic total of $375 million – $400 million (twice the initial admission of 2018). Pixar’s “Elemental” saw a credible hold (-38 percent) to hold onto the second spot. And “The Little Mermaid,” down just 22%, is at $270 million domestic, while Disney’s “Boogeyman” (its fourth top-10 title) is down just 40%. It’s headed for over $40 million, a believable showing for a low-budget original in the dead of summer, and equal to or better than its sleeper “Barbarian” last fall.

That’s not bad for any given weekend at the box office. Here’s the problem: it’s not. It’s the middle of summer, and no film has grossed more than $20 million. A late June weekend like this often sees openings exceeding $100 million, multiple movies over $30 million, and total gross of $200 million or higher.

This weekend it’s around $110 million (pending Sunday’s results – the order for the Top 10 looks correct, but some of the estimates may be a bit high). It is the second worst weekend in June in 20 years by a considerable margin (excluding 2020-2021). In 2019, its last regular year, the weekend grossed $164 million.

Part of the deficit comes from the continued weakness of “The Flash” (Warner Bros. Discovery). The DC Comics film is down 72% from its weak $55 million start, adding just $15 million to the weekend. Other studios have steered clear of him (seen only in the counter-programming of “No Hard Feelings”), possibly anticipating a $40 million second verse.


However, part of the blame goes to “Elemental”. As a summer Pixar stock in its second weekend, one would expect to nab at least $40 million; it grossed $18.5 million.

The weekend total is down $25 million from last year, and summer remains about three percent ahead of last year. While there are prospects for improvement ahead, this projects a $3.5 billion season, below optimistic hopes. If so, and 2023 continues its 21% jump over 2022, that would bring the year to $8.9 billion.

The success of “No Hard Feelings” remains to be seen. The first overseas results come in at just under $25 million. Its $45 million budget (marketing could double the cost) requires a multiple of three times or more.

Weekend showings for “Asteroid City” were an upbeat $6 million, making $9 million a huge win for Focus and Specialty Films. It expanded faster, but that performance is better than any single week for “Everything Everywhere All at Once” or Anderson’s previous weekend best performer, “The Grand Budapest Hotel.” This level of performance doesn’t suggest it will reach those levels, but $30 million domestic (too early to suggest) would be a huge accomplishment. “The Whale” and “The Fabelmans,” the top two contenders for the late 2022 awards, earned less than $20 million.

It is significant that “Asteroid” and “Past Lives” include many lesser cinemas in their breaks; especially as they are among the highest-grossing screens for both films. In its fourth weekend, “Lives” grossed over $1.1 million in 297 theaters. Slow implementation is key as it catches on among a larger audience. This is a very encouraging performance.

Building the sets of "City of Asteroids"
Building “Asteroid City” setsAntonio Motolese

Top 10

1. Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (Sony) Week 4; Last weekend #3

$19,300,000 (-29%) in 3,785 (-88) theaters; PTA: $5,099; Cumulative: $317,515,000

2. Elemental (Disney) Week 2; Last weekend #2

$18,500,000 (-38%) in 4,035 theaters (no change); PTA: $4,576; Cumulative: $65,514,000

3. Lightning (WBD) Week 2; Last weekend #1

$15,265,000 (-70%) in 4,256 (+22) theaters; PTA: $3,587; Cumulative: $87,644,000

4. No hard feelings (Sony) NEW – Metacritic: 58; Est. budget: 45 million dollars

$15,100,000 in 3,208 theaters; PTA: $4,707; Cumulative: $15,100,000

5. Transformers: Rise of the Beasts (Paramount) Week 3; Last weekend #4

$11,600,000 (-44%) in 3,523 (-157) theaters; PTA: $3,293; Cumulative: $122,948,000

6. Asteroid City (Focus) Week 2; Last weekend #11

$9,000,000 (+955%) in 1,675 (+1,669) halls; PTA: $5,373; Cumulative: $10,215,000

7. The Little Mermaid (Disney) Week 5; Last weekend #5

$8,674,000 (-22%) in 3,275 (-205) theaters; PTA: $2,649; Cumulative: $270,242,000

8. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (Disney) Week 8; Last weekend #4; also on PVOD

$3,518,000 (-33%) in 2,010 (-1,165) salt; PTA: $1,750; Cumulative: $351,123,000

9. Blackening (Lionsgate) Week 2; Last weekend #6

$3,025,000 (-50%) in 1,775 theaters (no change); PTA: $1,704; Cumulative: $12,267,000

10. The boogeyman (Disney) Week 4; Last weekend #8

$2,541,000 (-30%) in 1,640 (-500) theaters; PTA: $1.549; Cumulative: $37,710,000

Other specialized titles

Movies (limited, expansions of limited releases, as well as award-oriented) are listed by week out, starting with those open this week; after the first two weeks, only films with grossing over $5,000 are listed.

The Last Knight (Roadside) NEW – Festivals Include: Telluride 2022

$53,740 in 105 theaters; PTA: $512

See Paris again (Music box) NEW – Metacritic Score: 71; Festivals include: Cannes, Toronto 2022

$8,086 in 2 theaters; PTA: $4,043

Past lives (A24) Week 4

$1,121,162 in 296 (+211) halls; PTA: $3,788; Cumulative: $3,564,000

The rundown (Blue Fox) Week 4

$58,769 in 14 theaters; Cumulative: $780,176

You hurt my feelings (A24) Week 5

$97,065 in 151 (-98) theaters; Cumulative: $4,613,000

It’s not over (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 7; also on PVOD 97

$26,799 in 64 (-33) theaters; Cumulative: $631,159

Related Post