‘The Bad Guys’ Wins The Weekend With A Solid $24 Million Debut

In a grim “times have changed” comparison, less than five years ago I was a little disappointed that DreamWorks was fun Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie opened with “only” $23 million. That’s way below “normal” for DreamWorks (Troll opened with $46.5 million in November 2016 and Boss Baby opened with $50 million in March 2017), so it’s a drop closer to Turbo ($21 million in 2013) from Monsters vs. Aliens ($59 million in 2009). However, captain’s panties only cost $40 million (Turbofor example, cost $135 million), making $125 million in global gross revenue ended up being a modest success. Five years later, it’s heartfelt reason to celebrate that Universal and DreamWorks have been so well reviewed and received. Bad People (review) has opened at the top of the domestic box office with $24 million.

The film, about a crew of anthropomorphic animal-robbers (Sam Rockwell, Awkwafina, Marc Maron, Anthony Ramos and Craig Robinson) making a manufacturing effort to go straight, scored DreamWorks’ biggest opening weekend since. How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World ($55 million) in early 2019. It is also their biggest non-sequel debut since Boss Baby ($50 million) in early 2017. This is not 2010, when DWA How to train your dragon would “disappoint” with a $44 million debut but $220 million domestically. It’s also not 2010, when How to train your dragon cost $165 million and worldwide uncategorized on Twitter, YouTube and Netflix. Considering the struggle, even before Covid, for non-sequel films, I would count Bad People as a relative win for now.

Toon DWA has become cheaper (closer to Illumination’s $80 million budget than Pixar’s $150 million budget), and expectations for any animated film have shrunk. Of course, if you How to Train Your Dragon: Hidden World, Frozen II or maybe) Minions: Rise of Gru, you can expect to create a bank. Unfortunately, the idea of ​​a big-budget animated theater is no longer an automatic event, which is why Sony hired Mitchells Vs. Machines to Netflix. We haven’t had a non-sequel animated blockbuster since Pixar’s Coconut ($800 million, including $209 million domestic and $189 million from China) in November 2017. Four years later, Disney is trying to sell Encanto’s $255 million gross worldwide as a success as many kids watch (great) music multiple times “for free” on Disney+.

However, Bad People, directed by Pierre Perifel and adapted by Etan Cohen, topped the domestic box office with $24 million from 4,008 theaters. That includes $1.15 million in Thursday previews, again showing the difference in terms of Thursday-to-weekend legs when it was a film targeted at kids versus the franchise’s anticipated sequel. Couple that with solid reviews (85% fresh and 6.8/10 on Rotten Tomatoes) and A’s from Cinemascore, and that sees a “normal for DreamWorks” 3.25-3.75x weekend-to-total multiplier for a $78 domestic finish. -$90 million . Consider Bad People (which has grossed $88 million worldwide) is the first kid-friendly film since Illumination Sing Last Christmas (after Disney sent Be Red to Disney+) and is now the last big kid-friendly film until Pixar’s light year on June 17 (since Warner Bros. moved DC Super-Pet through July 29), a domestic total of $100 million and more wouldn’t surprise me.

The Focus feature, also owned by Comcast, releases Robert Eggers’ Northerners (review) to 3,231 theaters over the weekend. R-rated, original (based on an inspiring story Hamlet with cute similarities to Lion King), stellar (Alexander Skarsgard, Nicole Kidman, Anya Taylor-Joy, etc.) received strong reviews (89% fresh and 7.7/10 on Rotten Tomatoes) but a B from Cinemascore. Northerners earned $12 million in its domestic debut and $18.5 million globally, raising its worldwide total to $23.5 million. The film, which was split between Regency and Focus, cost $70 million after being discounted. Budget aside, it would be a decent show for a film like this even in pre-Covid times. Other than that, you can’t complain that Focus doesn’t market this stuff. Call it a (possible) loss for distribution but a win for cinema.

Lionsgate releases Twitter friendly Movie The Unbearable Burden of Great Talent (review) to 3,036 cinemas. Well reviewed (89% fresh and 7.3/10 on Rotten Tomatoes), $30 million original stars Nicholas Cage as Nicolas Cage who accepts a $1 million offer to attend a superfan’s birthday party only to find out that the man (Pedro Pascal) might be a king crime. The film earned just $7.175 million during its opening weekend. Big talent aside, Nicolas Cage hasn’t been a winner since Full of meaning in early 2009. This is his first major studio star vehicle since Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance in early 2012. It’s an example of online fandom not meeting the general audience’s interest (and how Hollywood expects our old stars to keep opening films like the 1990s). Still, it’s not like JCVD great success in 2008.

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