Napping Box Office reporter caught unawares by surprising volume and semi-noteworthy performances of new releases, and Other Box Office News.
Note: this article originally ran on Set the Tape (link).
Me at 12pm on a Monday: Ah, what a lovely lie-in! After the busy-as-hell last few weeks I’ve been dealing with, I definitely needed a bit of time to destress; oversleep; play some video games recreationally; and loop that bit from Sunday’s F1 opener where Max Verstappen’s engine goes kaput like sweet, sweet nectar to my soul. I can totally get away with sacking off the Box Office Report til this afternoon, too, since, as I moaned about last week, nothing major was scheduled to open and so the chart should be pretty stagnant! Now, let me just open up those sheets whilst taking a good long sip of this glass of water to confirm my biases an-
This isn’t to insinuate that The Batman got bested. Of course not. Robert & Reeves’ Fantastic Voyage is still your #1, another effortless three-peater, with $36.8 million and now only the second movie since the end of the f***ing world to break $300 million domestic, likely ensuring that Batman remains in arrested development for another decade or so. That first film to crack $300 mil domestic was, of course, Spider-Man: No Way Home which is itself on the cusp of becoming only the third film in history to reach $800 million domestic. But it’ll have to do so without its supremely bonkers streak intact as, for the first time in 13 weeks, No Way Home finally sees the outside of the Top 5. Which titan of cinema felled the foul beast? Why, none other than an anime spin-off movie, of course! Continuing the mainstream legitimisation of weebs across America, the not-long-for-this-world FUNimation brand put out Jujutsu Kaisen 0: The Movie and raked in a ridiculous $14.8 million from 2,286 screens; the PTA of which ($6,482) was stronger than every non-Batman movie playing this weekend.
Also responsible for Spidey going splat was Ti West’s throwback exploitation-slasher X, what I had pegged going in as the only notable release. It managed decent enough business, although maybe mainstream audiences have caught wise to the A24 brand when it comes to horrors nowadays, since $4.4 million seems a little low for an old-school slasher. That said, X certainly slayed the other horror release of the weekend as the rush-released Sandra Oh ghost story Umma materialised on the borders of the Top 10 rather than inside the house, with $915,000 from 805 screens. Similarly falling straight into cow dung, and providing further evidence that absolutely nobody was asking for more Antebellum-esque stories of slavery thank you kindly, was Alice which could only manage $176,120 from its 170 screens. In contrast, Hindi-language drama The Kashmir Files pulled a blinder on 230 screens to break into the Top 10 and almost upset the NERD SHIT for second-best PTA of the weekend ($6,456). Lastly, but not least-ly, Mark Rylance’s mob tailor drama The Outfit – GET IT, IT’S A VERY SMART PUN COS “CLOTHING OUTFIT” AND THE MOB CALL THEMSELVES AN “OUTFIT” – suited up respectably with $1.5 million for eighth.
Meanwhile in the UK, our biggest release this weekend was The Nan Movie, a feature-length spin-off of Catherine Tate’s Nan character featured in her sketch show which ended in 2007. …no joke to make, here. Why waste the effort?
Gotta learn to stop tempting fate/calling shots in these pieces. Here’s a Full List.
US Box Office Results: Friday 18th March 2022 – Sunday 20th March 2022
1] The Batman
$36,800,000 / $300,091,000
Am in full agreement with Patrick H Willems; it’s time to try Robin again in live-action Batman films. It’s been as long between Batman & Robin and now as it was between the 1966 Batman movie and Tim Burton’s 1989 character-redefining Batman – actually, it’s been longer; 23 years separating West and Keaton, 25 years separating Clooney and Pattinson. Enough time has passed. Change the stagnant Batman character dynamic, just for the spice of variety if nothing else.
2] Jujutsu Kaisen 0: The Movie
$14,818,624 / $17,698,677 / NEW
The next BIG anime crossover to come along is apparently going to be SPY x FAMILY which, according to one in-the-know commenter who clearly has read the manga, can be described as “a wholesome action-comedy mixing The Incredibles with Mr. & Mrs. Smith.” This weirdly sounds and looks exactly like my kinda shit. Am I going to have to sign up for Crunchyroll?
$8,000,000 / $125,895,357
Video games! So many of them are hitting major anniversaries this week and last, and nobody has been able to stop Amy Walker from writing about them! For example, the current final mainline Silent Hill entry, Downpour, turns 10 today! At the weekend, Star Wars Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast turns 20 from those days when we got lots of Star Wars games instead of one every four years or something! And there’s also… err… Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City, the turgid online co-op shooter spin-off nobody liked, turning 10. Look, not all anniversaries are for winners, alright?
$4,407,750 / NEW
Y’know what’s scarier than a raucous slasher throwback? Film DISCOURSE during Awards Season, which is hitting its toxic “console fanboy” nadir as of late. Fortunately, we here at Set the Tape are above contributing to such damaging behaviour, which is why instead Nicholas Lay has crafted an actual betting guide for you to use on the Oscars this weekend! That’s much more responsible!
$4,096,420 / $54,227,993
Shocked by just how much I really liked this. Can tell that Channing Tatum and Reid Carolin have both learned a lot from their time working on Steven Soderbergh projects because this has a similar kind of amiable, kind-hearted, and old-fashioned approach to the material. It’s both goofier and more heart-wrenching than I’d expected, in a manner very reminiscent of late-90s/early-00s Movie Star comedy-dramas, and it works totally. I properly cried at the ending and for reasons not related to the extremely good girl who deserves all those loving ear-fusses she’s initially scared of! Yeah, real nice surprise.
6] Spider-Man: No Way Home
$3,200,000 / $797,543,553
Look, I know that COVID-era production necessitates stricter precautions and corners needing to be cut in order to protect your stars and crew, whilst attempting to facilitate the illusion of nothing having changed. I get it. But, this? Inexcusably lazy (and I did notice this plus dozens of other shots just like it whilst I was in the cinema before anyone accuses me of anything). Figure out something better. Cannot believe this is up for “Best Visual Effects.”
7] Death on the Nile
$1,700,000 / $43,574,499
Soooo… can’t wait for Knives Out 2.
8] The Outfit
$1,510,000 / NEW
Before anybody asks, no, I have not seen The Nan Movie yet.
9] The Kashmir Files
$1,485,000 / NEW
This has proved deeply divisive both in its native India and for those in the know about the Hindu exodus from Kashmir in the late 90s, with claims of historical revisionism and outright ruling-party propaganda being thrown its way. I and my completely uninformed British arse are not going to touch any of that discussion with a barge pole, but I would instead like to take this opportunity to applaud the recent successes of Indian cinema in the USA. Even outside of this controversial work, Indian films have really been finding a more consistent and not-insignificant audience footing since the pandemic kicked off which is really encouraging to see! A more expansive worldly palette in mainstream cinemas is better for everyone!
10] Sing 2
$1,480,000 / $158,470,040
See you in another five years to do this again, I guess.
Dropped out: BTS Permission to Dance on Stage – Seoul, Radhe Shayam, Jackass Forever, Scream
Callie Petch won’t quit on you, don’t quit on them.