DreamWorks/Universal “The Bad Guys” debuted at the top of the domestic box office last weekend with $24 million, according to estimates from measurement firm Comscore.
Another animated film, Paramount Pictures”https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2022/apr/29/bad-guys-steals-top-spot-sonic-lags-in-second/”Sonic the Hedgehog 2,” took second place in weekend three, adding $15.2 million for a North American cumulative of $145.8 million. Rounding out the top three is Warner Bros.”https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2022/apr/29/bad – guys-steals-top-spot-sonic-lags-in-second/”Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore,” which maintained a 67% drop in ticket sales and grossed $14 million last weekend for a cumulative North American gross of $67, 1 million .
Directed by Pierre Perifel, “The Bad Guys” centers on a group of former criminals — wolves, piranhas, snakes, tarantulas, and sharks — on a mission to bolster their evil reputation.
Leading the star-studded voice cast of the cartoon adventure are Sam Rockwell, Anthony Ramos, Awkwafina, Marc Maron and Craig Robinson. The family film posted a solid 85% score on review aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes and favorable A’s from audiences surveyed by CinemaScore.
The apparent health of watching family movies is especially good news for Hollywood as it enters a lucrative summer when films like Universal’s “Minions: Rise of Gru” and Walt Disney Co. — the first Pixar film to open in theaters in two years — hopes to approach pre-pandemic levels.
“There’s reason to be more than optimistic,” said Jim Orr, Universal’s head of distribution. “I think audiences this summer will flood the theaters.”
While studios were hesitant to program many of each other’s films during the pandemic, the weekend saw a rarity: three new broad releases, all well-received, none a sequel or remake.
Also new to theaters last weekend was the Focus Feature”https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2022/apr/29/bad-guys-steals-top-spot-sonic-lags-in-second/”The Northman” and Lionsgate’s “The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent,” which took fourth and fifth respectively. “The Northman” premiered with $12 million domestically, while “The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent” opened with $7.2. million.
Hosted by director Robert Eggers, “The Northman” stars Alexander Skarsgard as a Viking prince on a journey to avenge his father’s death.
Among the supporting cast of the action film are Anya Taylor-Joy, Claes Bang, Bjork, Ethan Hawke, Willem Dafoe and Nicole Kidman. The period epic received 89% shine on Rotten Tomatoes and a lackluster B rating from audiences surveyed by CinemaScore.
“Every weekend is a building block in recovery, but I don’t even want to call it a recovery. I think cinema is recovering. We’re pretty much there,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for Comscore. “The three newcomers were all well received, and all of them found an audience.”
“The Northman,” whose budget swelled to over $70 million, was a huge increase in scale for Eggers, director of previous indie historical horror films “The Witch” and “The Lighthouse.” The film’s path to profitability was unlikely even before it premiered in theaters, but it opened on the side of higher expectations with $12 million in ticket sales. It added $6.3 million internationally in 26 territories.
“First and foremost, we wanted to work with Robert Eggers,” said Lisa Bunnell, head of distribution for Focus, which handled international distribution for the first two Eggers films. “The key here is that we have to make the films that we want to make with a filmmaker that we feel is part of the future of American cinema. He has a very distinctive voice. He makes films with real IP. [intellectual property]don’t just go in: ‘Let’s make a sequel!'”
Lionsgate’s “The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent,” a comedy starring Nicolas Cage as an exaggerated version of himself, opened with an estimated $7.2 million. The film, which first received rave reviews from South by Southwest, will rely on good word of mouth for a $30 million budget.
That’s the kind of success “Everything Everywhere at Once” has. The release of A24, a crazy fantasy metaverse starring Michelle Yeoh, has been one of the brightest signs for the specialty film business, another sector of the industry struggling theatrically during the pandemic. In its fifth week, “Everything Everywhere All at Once” grossed $5.4 million, down just 12% from the previous week.
Opening in today’s wide release is Open Road Films’ crime thriller “Memory,” starring Liam Neeson.