Fantastic flops and where to find them, Father Stu is forsaken, Dual dies, and Other Box Office News.
Note: this article originally ran on Set the Tape (link).
As a non-binary person who is unfortunately Online despite their best efforts, a very loud and very large part of me is very happy about the below-par performance of your new #1 movie in America, Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore. That very loud and very large part of me which is very happy would like nothing more than to get very smugly political and insinuate some minor semblance of karma for the $43 million opening being, by a considerable margin, the worst opening weekend of any Harry Potter-related movie. Said very loud and very large part of me which is very happy would focus on the fact that the latest entry in one of the world’s biggest media franchises (at press time) failed to clear the opening weekend of the Uncharted movie from two months ago ($44 million), whilst minimising the fact that Dumbledore has so far taken a not-insignificant $150 million internationally because it conflicts a little with the triumphalist narrative and snappy headline pun I’d want to push. The aforementioned very loud and very large part of me which is very happy would then conclude this paragraph with a lot of frankly not-undeserved shots at Joanne Rowling and her unrepentant bigotry over the years that’d be pretty cathartic for myself as someone who keeps having to deal with the mental anguish of her platformed views day after day in this miserable country.
A very loud and very large part of me which is very happy would like to do all that. Unfortunately for it, letting that side of me take the wheel would almost definitely run the risk of us either getting sued or doxed by the very angry and Very Online contingent of fans who also buy into Joanne’s bullshit. Neither scenario being one I want our already-suffering Editor to have to deal with. So, instead, I did one of my usual insufferable bits which also functioned as a nice ‘just the facts’ presentation of things that no-one could possibly be angry about! Victory?
Mind you, Fantastic Beasts wasn’t alone in coming well under acceptable levels. We have bombs all round because, let’s be real, it’s not like the studios are sending their finest over here into cineplexes at the moment. Since it twas the season of forgiveness and improbable resurrections, Sony Pictures Releasing figured that meant audiences would be more than willing to give their money to a faith-based biopic starring Mark Wahlberg and Mel Gibson. After all, what’s a little highly-public anti-s- [REDACTED] and hat- [REDACTED, FOR FUCK’S SAKE, CALLIE], eh? Boys will be boys, and all that? Alas, the whole ‘not marketed at all and being pretty shit’-ness of Father Stu forced it to pay penance for those sins with a pitiful $5.7 million for fifth place. In the Limited sphere, Riley Stearns returned with an apparently excellent sci-fi dark-comedy starring Karen Gillan named Dual – which I cannot wait to see the same way I saw his other excellent movies: in two years when it gets unceremoniously dropped on Netflix cos no UK distributor could be bothered to pick it up. The lucky Americans who can see it now, however, opted not to and it scored a horrendous $125,000 from 157 screens (a PTA of $796).
We do have a couple of bright spots, though. The highly-acclaimed indie horror-drama We’re All Going to the World’s Fair pulled out a tidy little sum for itself from three theatres; $13,665 and a PTA of $4,555. A24 and DANIELS’ breakout hit Everything Everywhere All at Once continues to break further and further out in spite of all common sense about how these things are supposed to go, nearly doubling its screens from last weekend to over 2,200 and slightly increasing its three-day performance as a result. Brightest spot of all? Spider-Man: No Way Home has finally fallen out of the Top 10! After a stupid 17 week run, No Way Home has at long last left home! It’s truly the end of an era.
Trans men are men. Trans women are women. Non-binary people are non-binary. They all deserve rights. Fuck TERFs. Fuck Joanne Rowling. Here’s the Full List.
US Box Office Results: Friday 15th April 2022 – Sunday 17th April 2022
1] Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore
$43,000,000 / NEW
Fucking dog-shite film, too. And I’d be saying that even if Joanne were a saint. Just a miserable, lifeless, pointless, slog of a time. Stop hiring David Yates to direct anything, please.
2] Sonic the Hedgehog 2
$30,000,000 / $119,612,388
The half of this which is a Sonic movie and focusses on adventure whilst letting the game’s cast interact with each other is, shockingly, really good. The half which is the same awful reheated early-00s kids’ film as the last one with “Uptown Funk” dance-offs and maybe the worst human side-cast of any such movie is, not shockingly, intolerable. That’s still progress from the first film where there was only the second-half of that equation! At this rate of improvement, my calculations predict Sonic 3 will be the greatest movie ever made.
3] The Lost City
$6,500,000 / $78,575,759
Was meant to have seen this last week, but one of the insulin pods I require to live malfunctioned before I got to the cinema and forced me to cut my day out short. Don’t get Type 1 Diabetes, folks. If your genes try to give you it, order them to pack that shit in immediately. It’s not fun.
4] Everything Everywhere All at Once
$6,187,118 / $17,696,059
Well, well, well. I had initially written out one of my usual semi-comedic rants about this not having a specific UK release date when filing the Report, only for Daniel Kwan to announce a specific UK release date between filing and publication risking me look quite the fool unless I hopped in and whipped up something new. Touché, Mr. Kwan. The date is 13th May, btw, mark calendars.
5] Father Stu
$5,700,000 / NEW
Rather than making more jokes that risk giving my Editor a heart attack, let me instead shout out Amy Walker’s review of trans-awakening graphic novel Call Me Nathan by Catherine Castro. I’d also very much like it if any Harry Potter fans reading this decided to maybe pick up the book for themselves once they’d browsed the review. Y’know, for karmic balance.
$4,700,000 / $65,118,131
This was Sony’s failed attempt to kill superhero movies from inside the system, and you cannot convince me otherwise.
$4,040,000 / $15,649,040
Well, that’s a pisser. But I guess also not the least bit surprising when the most notable piece of marketing/press for the movie was its own director throwing his VFX team under the bus. I know I already brought it up a couple of weeks ago, but it bears repeating: don’t do that, for fuck’s sake.
8] The Batman
$3,800,000 / $365,035,121
Oh, mother of God, no to all of this! I kinda prefer DC throwing all sorts of shit at the wall, at the moment. That gives them a unique identity of their own, filling a niche Marvel aren’t, and has also sent out three creative home-runs in the last three years – Shazam!, Birds of Prey, and The Suicide Squad; movies you would not get when hemmed into a rigid brand like Marvel. Not every movie is for me or even good, but they’re all interesting especially without Snyder in any position of influence. Make good movies first, then start figuring out how, if at all, you could tie them together! Not everything needs to be a giant interconnected brand synergistic universe!
And, for the love of all that is holy, please no “more stuff like Joker!” Society could do with significantly less stuff like Joker.
9] K.G.F.: Chapter 2
$2,874,000 / NEW
In lieu of having anything insightful to say here, please imagine my saying “four for Bollywood; you go, Bollywood!” in the exact same manner as “you go, Glen Coco!”
$1,170,445 / $144,986,000
Who needs crummy fictional adventures when you can instead have non-crummy real adventures documented by film crews struggling through production hell? Lost in La Mancha, the first documentary about one of Terry Gilliam’s many aborted efforts to get his Don Quixote movie made, celebrates 20 years of life this month and has subsequently seen a restoration! Lee Thacker checked it out.
Dropped out: Jujutsu Kaisen 0: The Movie, Spider-Man: No Way Home, RRR
Callie Petch gets high on your love.