‘Doctor Strange 2’ On The Horizon, But Quiet Weekend With ‘Bad Guys’ – Deadline

After all the praise about the theater’s return at CinemaCon last week, the major studios are skipping programming for a new wide-release this weekend. All of this resulted in a market forecasting total ticket sales of $64 million, down 33% from last weekend. Ugh. As for when the major will be out again this year, it’s June 3, and possibly August 12 (Searchlight is holding back the date for the untitled wide entry).

D
Disney

If it feels like the desert on the multiplex, get ready for a rainy Thursday night, with Disney/Marvel’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, which is expected to rain anywhere from $150M-$200M. Tracking sees a minimum of $150 million; it wouldn’t be surprising if the photo hit $200 million, but Disney didn’t want to forget about the skis. Already, Doctor Strange 2 see the best presale of the year, higher than batman, with $42M. This is all the start of a very rich summer, and after the rapturous response from Best Weapon: Maverick out of CinemaCon, Tom Cruise must prepare for the biggest global and domestic opening of his career, overtaking World War ($64.8 million, domestic high) and Mummy ($172.3 million, 3x largest Oscar-nominated world debut).

With that said, this weekend will see Universal/DreamWorks Animation’s Bad People at No. 1 again in weekend 2, with $14.4M-40%, for a total of ten days tomorrow from $42.7 million. With nothing else in the hood, it’s no surprise after today’s matinee that it’s higher. And all the other family exes hold on to their top spot, which is Paramount’s Sonic the Hedgehog 2 looking for the fourth weekend $9.7 million in 2nd place, -38%, for the overall total $159.3 million, and Warner Bros.’ Fantastic Beasts: Dumbledore’s Secret, with estimates $7.5 million in 3rd weekend at 3rd, -46%, on revenue of $78.8 million by EOD Sunday.

Everything Everywhere At Once
A24

Continuing to show evidence that there is an appetite for genuine fare at the box office is A24’s great handle Everything Everywhere all at once, who saw $5.3 million at weekend 6, dipped a massive 2%, for the running total $35.2M. This AGBO production is easily headed for $40M+. Forget it, some say $50 million, which means the film may topple the highest-grossing film of all time A24, Uncut Gems ($50 million).

Storage
“Storage”
Briarcliff Entertainment

Open Road are zigging into the big studio zaggings, bringing out their wide entry from Liam Neeson’s action film, Storage, from director Martin Campbell, who seeks $3.1 million at 2,555. While I’m sure the exhibits are grateful for the new product, what’s disappointing here is that in a better market, the feature is doing similar business to what other Neeson Open Road images did when NYC and LA closed during Covid, namely Sniper ($3.1 million) and Honest Thief ($4.1 million).

Storageyesterday’s top five markets, in a day of need $1.1 millionwere Los Angeles, New York, Phoenix, Dallas – Ft Worth and Chicago, with the best-selling cinema of the day being the iPic Theater at Fulton Market in Manhattan.

Well, it’s all about home supporters and friends for this Neeson cookie-cutter action title. Critics had fed up with Neeson-with-gun photos at 29% Rotten, and those who decided to pop in and sit in the dark and eat popcorn for nearly two hours gave it 66% and 49% on Comscore/PostTrak Screen Machine. Good grief.

Voter turnout was male at 51%, 84% over 25, and 46% over 45. Diversity demos were 49% Caucasian, 20% Hispanic and Latino, 20% Black, & 11% Asian/other. The largest amount of money seen in this photo came from the West and the Southeast. RelishMix says that social media awareness about Storage “is below the genre norm for action thrillers at 18.6 million on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and TikTok.”

Ahead of the unveiling, the social media analytics firm said, “Chat goes mixed, with very clear expectations — on any Neeson film on the assumption that someone will be kidnapped and that ‘we’ll bring them back’. The storyline and filmmaking components are incidental to this super fan, who also felt that Neeson would make the perfect Batman with his voice, plus another chat about his stack of burner phones. Superfans also rank Neeson and Denzel Washington as ‘unironically the best action stars of recent times’. Fans uncover the secret algorithm behind this film; Taken + Unknown=Storage… and, memories Unknown = Storage.”

Epic Vikings Features Focus Northerners look at the second weekend which is -51%, with $6 million for ten days $22.5 million.

Also trying to fill the void on the weekends is the Telugu language action drama Acharya, ready to get estimates $2 million in 396 theaters in 117 markets. The photo did see some big numbers in NYC, Dallas, San Francisco, Atlanta, Houston, Seattle, Charlotte, and Baltimore. The film Koratala Siva, written and directed, centers around a Naxalite social reformer who launches a fight against the Department of Endowments over the misuse of temple funds and donations.

The Unbearable Weight of Great Talent
Lion Gate

Satire Nic Cage from Lionsgate The Unbearable Weight of Great Talent is seeing $3.6M on weekends 2, -49%, 10 days $13.1M for what appeared to be a final $20 million domestic gross when all was said and done.

A few thoughts emerged from this at CinemaCon: Despite the film’s disappointing opening after a lively world premiere at SXSW, rival distributors who have tackled similar products believe the film has an over-index in home entertainment, which is Cage’s bread and butter.

Although Cage is arguably on the rise, career-wise, posting his critical acclaim Pig, he’s been having fun at the box office for some time; his last live-action tentpole was in the 2007s National Treasure: Secret Book ($220 million domestic, $459 million WW). Therefore, the reach was limited for this critically acclaimed great comedy (87% certified fresh), which fueled the audience who eventually came to see it. If Neeson did a comedy self-parody, we’d expect a similar outcome.

Still, thumbs up to Lionsgate for showing the film theatrically, and not dumping it into PVOD or streaming. Why is that? Chances are history will be active Unbearable weight‘s, and it will turn into a cult classic in the same breath as This Spine Tap ($4.7 million domestic by 1984 standards) and Big Lebowski ($18.2 million in 1998 dollars). If this photo were a direct home release, it wouldn’t have that resonance.

1.) Bad People (Union) 4,042 (+34) Cinema, Fri $3.7 million (-54%), 3 days $14.4M (-40%)/Total $42.7 million/Mg 2

2.) Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (Par) 3,801 (-8) theater, Friday $2.5 million (-37%), 3 days $9.7 million (-38%)/Total $159.3 million/Mg 4

3.) Fantastic Beasts… Dumbledore(WB), 3,962 (-283) theater, Friday $2.1M (-47%) 3 days $7.5 million (-46%)/Total $78.8 million/Mg 3

4.) Northerners (Focus) 3,234 (+50) theater, Friday $1.8 million (-64%), 3 days $6 million (-51%)/Total $22.4M/Mg 2

5.) Everything Everywhere At Once (A24) 2,213 (+80) theater, Friday $1.56M (+1%)/3-day $5.3 million (-2%)/Total $35.2M/Mg 6

6.) The Unbearable Weight of Great Talent (LG) 3,036 cinemas, Friday $1.1 million (-62%), 3 days $3.6M (-49%)/Total $13.1M/Mg 2

7.) Lost City (Par) 2,595 (-233) cinema Fri. $1 million (-21%), 3 days $3.5 million (-19%)/Total $90.4 million/ Week 6

8.) Storage (Open Street) 2,555 theater, Friday $1.1 million3 days $3.1 million/week 1

9.) Acharya (Prime Media) 396 theaters, Friday $832K3 days $2 million/week 1

10.) Stu dad (Sony) 2,476 (-229) cinemas, Friday $615K (-40%), 3 days $1.98M (-40%), Total $17.3M/Mg 3

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