Whilst the new releases are away, the Spider-Men will play, and Other Flailing Attempts to Fill 500 Pre-Amble Words.
Note: this article originally ran on Set the Tape (link).
Since Spider-Man: No Way Home has been selling like hot cakes shaped in the beloved visage of Andrew Garfield, Sony Pictures made the not-unreasonable decision at the start of January to move the release of Spidey-adjacent Jared Leto-normaliser Morbius from its original 28th January release date to the 1st of April instead. Not wanting to cut down the money-spider whilst it’s still spinning solid gold bars in favour of a pig wallowing in its own shit; strong business strategy. This, however, left a pretty major hole in the release schedule since Morbius was the only film releasing Wide on the last weekend of January. Would anyone step up? Maybe Disney would pull forward their constantly-embattled Death on the Nile to get it over with before any more of the film’s stars found themselves cancelled? Perhaps Paramount could schedule Jackass Forever a week early, taking advantage of that sweet sweet promo during the worst Royal Rumble in over half a decade? Mayhaps Lionsgate drop the moon on cinemagoers sooner, like they’ve allegedly been craving for months now?
Or… there could just be not a single new Wide release film for the last weekend of January 2022, meaning that this week’s chart is mostly identical to last week’s, all the takings are horrendous, and I have basically nothing to talk about. That’s also a viable option, I guess, and regrettably the one which has come to pass. Nothing came out this week. By which I mean: no new Wide releases. Not a one. So, the chart stays pretty much exactly the same just with Ghostbusters: Afterlife making a jump-scare-worthy resurrection and the tiny tuna fish of The King’s Daughter failing to last even seven days in the great ocean that is general release. Guillermo del Toro’s Nightmare Alley itself tried to do a Ghostbusters by suddenly pulling 713 new theatres out of its arse to get back into full Wide release status, but sadly remained stalled out at #11, bested to the tune of $80,000 by Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story clinging on for dear life. In Moderate Release, meanwhile, somebody made a documentary about that time 12 months ago when Reddit decided to bet it all on Gamestop for the lols and named it *wretches* Gamestop: Rise of the Players. Unsurprisingly, absolutely fucking nobody wanted this shit and it crashed out to the tune of $80,001 from 267 screens, a PTA of $299 which would get you almost three full shares of Gamestop stock.
Otherwise, that’s about yer lot. Normally, I’d try stretching for time or do some kind of conceptual piece in an effort to make up for the lack of content to base haha funnies on. But frankly I think I’ve indulged in that approach a bit too often recently which dilutes the impact. Like how the vast majority of adult animated shows in recent years introduce themselves with pilots that have a gratuitous amount of gory violence and swearwords to indicate that they’re Hardcore Shit Not for Kiddies, usually playing that initial explosion of blood and curses for shock gags of an “oh my God, this Kiddie-looking thing is actually Hardcore Shit, well have I ever been swerved, tee hee!” Except that said joke doesn’t work anymore when literally everybody is already doing it, so it just comes off as more than a little desperate and insecure, underselling the quality of the rest of the show in the process. On an unrelated note, those first three episodes of Critical Role: The Legend of Vox Machina were mostly good.
God, it’s brutal out here. Let’s do the Full List.
US Box Office Results: Friday 28th January 2022 – Sunday 30th January 2022
1] Spider-Man: No Way Home
$11,000,000 / $735,886,280
For those of you like me who long ago ran out of things to say regarding the OK Spider-Man movie everyone’s going to see largely because there is nothing else the least bit exciting out right now and are therefore unreasonably interested in the financial statistics, I got good news. The good news being that there’s news at all. No Way Home just crossed the $1 billion international threshold, only the tenth film ever to do so. We can pretty definitively rule out the film breaking the $2 billion worldwide mark at this point, meaning it’ll firmly finish out as the sixth-biggest film of all-time, but it is a mere $25 million away from dethroning Avatar of the latter’s third-place standing on the all-time domestic charts. Likely to be a photo finish on that front! We’ll be sure to bring you non-exclusive coverage of the result if it happens… mainly cos, as mentioned, there is nothing else to talk about right now.
$7,350,000 / $62,138,780
By far the scariest movie to release this month was not the Scream legacyquel but rather Dan Olsen’s outstandingly researched and presented video essay/full-blown documentary about NFTs. Yes, you should go watch it all. Yes, I know it’s longer than many Marvel movies. Yes, it is significantly more essential and captivating than at least half of them.
3] Sing 2
$4,800,000 / $134,508,860
Won’t be seeing this for another two weeks because a] I’m actually more than a little busy right now, b] Mamoru Hosada’s Belle is releasing this Friday and is excellent and you should all go see it this not a request, and c] my self-hatred is currently only at “recklessly spend money I don’t really have on things I honestly don’t need” depths rather than “voluntarily check out the new Illumination feature on opening weekend” depths.
4] Redeeming Love
$1,850,000 / $6,531,765
Speaking of redeeming love, Amy Walker has made an effort to redeem the semi-forgotten 2002 entry in the Legacy of Kain video game series, Blood Omen 2, with the love she feels it truly deserves on its 20th anniversary.
Yes, I know that was tortured as all heck. I’m trying here.
5] The King’s Man
$1,754,000 / $34,044,436
Found out the other day that this is set for its UK DVD and Blu-Ray release on the 22nd February. That’s not even two months after the theatrical release. It’s been doing alright in cinemas over here (surprisingly), so I’m kinda intrigued by the extremely fast turnaround on that home media release. Dear Evan Hansen will have taken twice as long as King’s Man’s entire theatrical run to get its home media release, although that one may have just been Universal hoping everyone forgot about how awful that movie is before they tried releasing it again.
6] The 355
$1,400,000 / $13,089,625
Dammit, Disney! How did you know that the one way to get me to actually watch one of your Star Wars TV series was casting Mary Elizabeth Winstead in it?! My forever one true weakness! Exploited yet again!
7] American Underdog
$1,225,000 / $24,782,428
Zachary Levi taking over the role of Rocky from Mel Gibson in the new Chicken Run is such a mega trade-up, both in terms of current acting level and not being a piece of shit human being. I mean, the worst skeletons in Levi’s closet at the moment appear to be his being a centrist. And, sure, I strongly dislike centrists but I also have enough situational awareness to know he’s at least preferable to the other guy.
If you must know, I am rapidly knocking this wood table right now because I want to and not because I’m superstitious about my awful luck on these things.
8] Ghostbusters: Afterlife
$770,000 / $128,058,897
OK, that’s enough snark and negativity for a moment. Let’s have something completely unproblematic and wholesome. There’s a documentary about beloved children’s institution Sesame Street out on Digital right now and Paul Regan’s been expectedly bowled over by it!
9] Licorice Pizza
$691,186 / $11,816,738
Music! Paul Thomas Anderson loves it, which is something that he and our very own Joel Thornton have in common! Joel’s put together a list of the albums he’s most excited for in 2022 that maybe you should check out, hmm?
10] West Side Story
$614,000 / $36,035,009
Thank fuck for Jackass in a few days.
Dropped out: The King’s Daughter
Callie Petch can’t even parallel park.