Bullet Train arrives on time, Easter Sunday isn’t celebrated around these parts, and Other Box Office News.
Note: this article originally ran on Set the Tape (link).
Welp, here we are, folks. The last hurrah of the 2022 Summer Movie Season and also movies in general for a long-ass while since, as I moaned about last week in a column written long before Discovery decided to commit public arson on Warner Bros., absolutely fuck-all is coming out between today and, at the absolute earliest, late September. I hope you’re looking forward to lots of streeeeeeeeeeeeeeetching for tiiiiiiiiiiiiiiime! But not this week. This week, we got a good old fashioned R-rated action flick with strong buzz and critical acclaim to discuss! Yes, I am of course referring to Prey, Dan Trachtenberg’s back-to-basics nasty-as-hell jump-start for the Predator franchise which was on life-support beforehand but now has been revitalised with… a direct-to-Disney+/Hulu dumping. Ah, shit.
Still, we also had Bullet Train, David Leitch’s unlicensed attempt to reboot Smokin’ Aces for 2022 which, just like Smokin’ Aces, has gotten a much more contentious critical reception than I’d argue it really deserves – for whatever value Rotten Tomatoes means (it’s none btw). Due to being the only major new release of the weekend, and last week’s only major new release DC League of Super-Pets having barely opened to $20 million, Leitch’s latest is obviously your new #1. But its $30 million haul is still worthy of note and minor celebration, being the second-best R-rated non-IP opening weekend since the pandemic kicked off behind only Jordan Peele’s NOPE. Perhaps this is a sign that there are still appetites a plenty for star-laden pure actioners in a theatrical space rather than being consigned to cheapo Netflix obscurity? Or perhaps the power of the Pitt pulverises public providence over this particular product? Who’s to say, but, as mentioned, we got fuck-all out in the next month so let’s see how well it holds before definitively answering those questions.
Oh, it appears we also had another Wide release this week, too. Not that you could tell from either the buzz surrounding it, Universal’s efforts to get the word out about its release, or especially its dismal chart performance, mind. That movie was Easter Sunday, a Filipino-centric comedy from Broken Lizard’s Jay Chandrasekhar which, like 90% of Broken Lizard’s efforts, bombed out critically and financially. In continued evidence that it’s real hard out here for pure comedies on big screens nowadays, Easter Sunday – which was inexplicably delayed from an actual Easter Sunday release to the dead of Summer – plonked down into eighth place with $5.25 million. That’s almost $2 million less than Top Gun: Maverick just managed in its eleventh week, for the record. Bubbling just under the surface, meanwhile, we have A24’s latest potential mainstream crossover in the wings with comedic slasher Bodies Bodies Bodies. Unlike the studio’s other attempt at a slasher in 2022, Ti West’s X from back in March, this one looks like it may have some legs, ones which are attached to Bodies and potentially capable of outsprinting the big scary murderer. Starting off in Limited Release before expanding next week, Bodies boasts a $226,526 take from 6 theatres; a PTA of $37,754.
The next station is Full List, where this train terminates.
US Box Office Results: Friday 5th August 2022 – Sunday 7th August 2022
1] Bullet Train
$30,125,000 / NEW
Like I said, I had a blast with this. A much-needed blast, at that, since I’ve been a bit down the last week and the theatrical landscape has just been so miserably dire for so much of the year. Mind, I’m a massive homer for “cast of wacky assassins with intersecting goals trapped in a confined location” movies so you gotta go out of your way to ruin that buzz for me. Dave Bond’s got his own positive take, though, if you want a second opinion.
2] DC League of Super-Pets
$11,200,118 / $45,102,000
Been a week and I’m still apoplectic about Zaslav shit-canning Batgirl and SCOOB! Holiday Haunt despite both films, which cost $130 million between them, being near-enough done. ESPECIALLY Batgirl which I was damn excited for and now gets the added ignoble accolade of being one of the most-expensive shelved films of all-time. And I do not for a second buy any bullshit about test screenings, good or bad, or a claim that “we’re not gonna launch a movie if we don’t believe in it” after the shit that WB and DC have released or the fact that The Flash is still getting a full-tilt release despite starring a walking red flag. But sure, can the Latina-led, trans-co-starring, African-directed female superhero pic for a pithy tax write-off that frankly should be illegal to do. Fuck this studio.
$8,499,945 / $97,969,000
LALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALA ONLY ONE MORE WEEK OF THIS BIT HOPEFULLY LALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALA
4] Thor: Love and Thunder
$7,600,000 / $316,064,051
On the subject of contentious follow-ups to beloved superhero re-inventions, The Dark Knight Rises turned 10 this week. A movie I watched in the cinema, liked well-enough despite being a total goddamn mess, then haven’t thought about since – a.k.a. the story of Christopher Nolan’s post-Inception career aside from Dunkirk. Amy Walker has evidently thought a lot about the movie since, however, and her retrospective is a little more negative than our Throwbacks usually entail.
5] Minions: The Rise of Gru
$7,110,315 / $334,578,000
God, please give me at least one decent animated film at London Film Festival this year. I’m malnourished, over here.
$7,029,756 / $662,510,000
Now then, could Maverick somehow some way crawl across the $700 million domestic mark? If it can, then it’ll be the fifth highest-grossing film of all-time domestically. That seems like a big, big ask but, then again, I never saw this thing making even a third of that current $662 million total so never say never.
7] Where the Crawdads Sing
$5,649,596 / $64,623,000
lol White Southerners wanna be victimised so frickin’ badly.
8] Easter Sunday
$5,250,000 / NEW
Since this currently has no planned UK release date, how about you instead check out Studiocanal’s Vintage Collection reissue of pseudo-Ealing comedy The Galloping Major? It’s got Charlie Brigden’s seal of approval!
$4,000,259 / $136,517,000
Have you heard the sax on the outro of the latest The 1975 single? Pure serotonin! Uncut Peruvian cocaine-type shit! God, music is so good this year! Unlike movies.
10] The Black Phone
$1,460,465 / $85,898,000
Prefer your horror a little more cannibalistic, a little more coming-of-age drama-y, and a lot more muddled on the metaphors? Maybe you’ll dig the Second Sight 4K reissue of Julia Ducournau’s acclaimed feature debut Raw, available now. Shaun Dewhirst has got more details.
Dropped out: Jurassic World Dominion, Vengeance
Callie Petch is actin’ like they know themselves.