US Box Office Report: 08/04/22 – 10/04/22

Audiences gotta go fast to make Sonic 2 screenings, Ambulance is pronounced dead on the scene, we live in the universe where Everything Everywhere All at Once is a hit, and Other Box Office News.

Note: this article originally ran on Set the Tape (link).

We shall now refer to the pandemic era of both the Box Office and life in general via Sonic the Hedgehog movie bookends.  The bad times, after all, truly started for those of us in the West a week or two after the first Sonic sped its way into theatres on Valentine’s 2020.  Its $58 million opening not only the biggest for any video game movie ever, but the biggest opening weekend any film was going to manage for almost 15 months.  Well, Sonic taketh away, but Sonic also giveth back once every half-decade or so as, much like how the original’s smash-success heralded the beginning of the end days, the highly-anticipated sequel heralds a full return to box office normalcy.  Specifically, families and kids as if the continued nigh-unkillable successes of No Way Home and Sing 2 hadn’t already confirmed that demographic’s return, DISNEYSonic 2 is your new #1, decidedly not the victim of a #MorbiusSweep, and with a thunderous $71 million to boot.  Obviously, that’s a new record for biggest video game movie opening of all-time, but it’s also more in three days than the original Sonic made in four days on a holiday weekend ($70 million on President’s Day).

So, it’s pretty clear that audiences have been starving for some proper family film content and aren’t exactly picky about where they get their food from.  Perhaps not the right time for Michael Bay to return with a full-Bay R-rated noise-fest, then.  Or perhaps everyone’s just been so tired of the world being ultra-chaotic these past two years that they’ve lost their appetite for Bay’s signature exhausting sensory-overload.  Or perhaps audiences have gotten so used to seeing their mid-budget action vehicles on Netflix that they have no desire to watch one in cinemas anymore, even when the film is way better than Netflix’s algorithm-bait.  Or perhaps it’s because the trailer made the film look really crap.  Whatever the reason may be, Ambulance crashed out and needs a medic for itself, stalling in fourth place with $8.7 million.

Meanwhile, the big talking point going into the weekend for those not invested in the Sonic redemption arc was that of A24 and the Daniels’ Everything Everywhere All at Once which STILL.  DOES.  NOT.  HAVE.  A.  UK.  RELEASE.  DATE.  If you’re just joining us, the Michelle Yeoh-led multiverse sci-fi-fantasy-action-comedy-drama has been tearing new ones throughout all the specialist theatres in America for the previous fortnight ahead of its Wide expansion.  But despite rave reviews, massive cineaste hype, and multiverses being so hot right now, a question mark hung over that nationwide release: would general audiences embrace a defiantly weird film so readily?  It has been a rough few years, after all, for arthouse/prestige barnstormers to cross-over when given a mainstream stage like they used to be able to in The Before Times.  Fortunately, as the headline states, we live in the universe where Everything gets to be a bit of a smash.  Not only was it whiskers away from stealing fifth place from The Batman, but its day-to-day holds across the weekend were absurdly strong for an A24 project; coming in overall with $6 million for the weekend from 1,250 theatres.

As for Morbius?  A catastrophic, and frankly unheard of for blockbusters which open below $50 million, 74% drop in its second weekend.  Guess the only #MorbiusSweep going on here are cinema janitors sweeping Morbius out of their screens and into the trash.


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Grab yourself a chilli dog and tuck into this Full List.

US Box Office Results: Friday 8th April 2022 – Sunday 10th April 2022

1] Sonic the Hedgehog 2

$71,000,000 / NEW

I haven’t seen this yet at writing time, but should have done so by publishing time.  Think of my approach to cinemagoing at this point as like when expert-level Halo players wait for three or more targets to line themselves up neatly so they can knock off multiple victims at once with maximum efficiency and minimal wasted ammo.  That metaphor totally makes sense.  Anyway, admitted Sonic fanboy Matt Latham put on his reluctant unbiased critic hat to rate the harbinger of normalcy for y’all.

2] Morbius

$10,200,000 / $57,077,221

Man, that Uproxx interview with Morbius director Daniel Espinosa is maybe the most damning read-between-the-lines film piece I’ve seen in forever.  Every single answer is the kind of ‘diplomatic’ response which feels like someone trying so very hard not to dig a cemetery’s worth of holes for himself, the stars whose bullshit he had to deal with, and the idiot studio bankrolling everything.  It’s almost enough to make me feel bad for laughing so much at Morbius’ misfortune…  almost.

3] The Lost City

$9,165,000 / $68,854,159

Finally out here this week.  Nice of the studios to drop the films which actually interest and/or excite me all in the same seven-day span rather than spreading them around or, in the case of Everything Everywhere All at Once, just not giving them a GODDAMN RELEASE DATE WHY.  Lets me go back to existentially worrying that I don’t enjoy films anymore for month-long stretches during the ever-increasing dead zones; my favourite new hobby.

Anyways, please let The Northman be good, let me have this one.

4] Ambulance

$8,700,000 / NEW

Bay’s best film since Pain & Gain and a damn-fun borderline-great action flick in its own right.  Like, it’s a Michael Bay film, don’t get me wrong, but it’s the first time in ages he’s felt actively engaged and locked in with the material.  Focussed in a way that his work in the near-decade since Pain hasn’t, frenetic yet considered in its orchestration of melodramatic action, and exhausting in a clearly-intentional manner which befits the narrative.  I hope this becomes one of those sleeper hits which sticks around week after week not falling a whole lot as people slowly come around to how good it is, but that’s unlikely to happen.

5] The Batman

$6,550,000 / $359,052,000

Will this start plummeting calamitously with the HBO Max debut this Friday?  Tune in next week, Bat-fans, same Bat-time, same Bat-channel to find out!

6] Everything Everywhere All at Once

$6,059,263 / $8,428,962

Think I’ve used all my allotted moans about this still not having a UK release for the week, so let’s instead turn our attention to the recently-concluded Easter 2022 edition of Grimmfest!  Shaun Dewhirst has cast his eye across some of the festival’s wares to determine their worth!

7] Uncharted

$2,650,000 / $142,952,218

Speaking of uncharted waters, Dave Bond finds himself wishing that TNT’s Snowpiercer series would start treading some rather than sticking rigidly to the circular rail it’s been on to ever-diminishing returns in its third season.

8] Jujutsu Kaisen 0: The Movie

$825,000 / $33,140,000

Give localisation teams the pay rises they deserve.

9] Spider-Man: No Way Home

$625,000 / $803,815,848

Vin, buddy.  The Fast & Furious franchise is already my favourite blockbuster series going and it ain’t even close.  You don’t need to start actively pandering to me even harder by casting Brie Larson in it!  I gave you my credit card info with the three funny numbers on the back when you started battling tanks!  There’s nothing else of mine left to give!

10] RRR: Rise, Roar, Revolt

$570,000 / $13,661,077

Stream/buy Diaspora Problems by Soul Glo.  Trust me, do it.  You want to hear the Marxist Black militant hardcore punk Rage Against the Machine.  You want to spontaneously start power-bombing chairs through tables and spearing through brick walls.  Don’t lie, I know you do.  Do it.

Dropped out: Dog, X

Callie Petch got big plans coming up in this motherfucka.

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