The Invitation is sparsely RSVP-d, George Miller can’t even manage three million dollars of Longing, our biggest success this weekend is a goddamn Rogue One re-release, and Other Box Office News.
Note: this article originally ran on Set the Tape (link).
Yeah, things really are already that bad, dear readers. Because Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero did the anime movie thing of being so comically front-loaded that it fell apart like a house made of gingerbread in a rainstorm on its sophomore weekend, we do have a new #1. However, in a sort of reverse-Super Hero which broke some records last weekend, Jessica M. Thompson’s gothic horror The Invitation broke a very dubious record in the process. Ladies, gentlemen, and others, you are looking at the lowest-scoring #1 movie in America (not counting the pandemic times) since Dickie Roberts: Child Star in September 2003. That noxiously-received David Spade comedy topped a horrendous, inertia-laden Labor Day weekend chart with a mere $6.6 million. Meanwhile, Thompson’s noxiously-received horror topped a horrendous, inertia-laden pre-Labor Day weekend chart with $7 million, barely avoiding a Spade spanking.
Just a reminder: yes, Labor Day is next weekend. We aren’t even at the bottom of this pit yet.
And The Invitation was the best-performing of the three new releases, too. Well, well, well behind that was George Miller’s return from the post-Fury Road wilderness with dark fantasy drama Three Thousand Years of Longing. Turns out, however, that spending seven years not making a single peep and returning with a niche little adult-centric movie which is hard to market and not even buoyed by enthusiastic reviews isn’t a recipe for success; seventh place and a dismal $2.8 million. Well, well, well, well behind even that was Bleecker Street’s latest total failure to sell a well-received adult drama to even their target audience with Breaking, in which John Boyega plays a struggling former-Marine who holds up a bank. Whether or not you wanna blame the studio failing to market, the heavy/depressing subject matter – it’s based on a true story and one you will not be surprised to hear did not end well – people being philistines, or whatever, Breaking flopped spectacularly into fifteenth place with $1.02 million from 902 screens. The closest thing to a modicum of a silver lining on the chart right now is, shit you not, an IMAX-re-release of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story to build anticipation for the Andor series. With those 255 big boy screens, this near-seven-year-old movie raked in $1.1 million; a PTA of $4,313 which, yes, is the biggest of any film on the chart this week.
Like I said, next weekend is Labor Day. No wonder Cineworld’s going bankrupt.
My wish is that your favourite artist who created music which helped keep you going through truly distressing times doesn’t turn out to be an alleged predatory asshole. Oh, also for a Full List to appear.
US Box Office Results: Friday 26th August 2022 – Sunday 28th August 2022
1] The Invitation
$7,000,000 / NEW
Up until I had a browse at the predictions this weekend, I had no idea this was being directed by Jessica M. Thompson. She previously made the really-affecting sexual-assault aftermath drama The Light of the Moon which I saw back at the 2017 London Film Festival and I was really intrigued to see what she’d do next. Did not have “getting sucked into the dismal Screen Gems horror trough” on my potential next moves list. Shame.
2] Bullet Train
$5,600,407 / $78,207,000
So, as you may have heard, cinemas are in a bit of a perilous financial state at the moment and could do with the movie studios which they are reliant upon for continued survival throwing them a bone or six. Instead, Warner Bros. chose to cancel all but three of their 2022 releases – allegedly because they literally do not have the money to release any more films – and Universal are sending Halloween Ends to Peacock on the same day as its theatrical release. Genuinely believe I could do a better job running a movie studio than these clowns, at the moment.
$4,900,015 / $20,091,000
A couple of major milestones in sci-fi horror history had their anniversaries this past week and our resident horror head Amy Walker was on the scene to give them their due diligence! First, John Carpenter’s seminal creature feature The Thing turned 40 and remains one of the greatest sci-fi, horror, and sci-fi horror movies ever made! Second, none other than Jason X turned 20 and remains the gift that keeps on giving for hacks like me who want to make played out “[x franchise] IN SPAAAAAAAAAAAAAAACE!!!” gags! Both equally important anniversaries to celebrate, I’m sure you’ll agree.
$4,750,143 / $691,213,000
Next week’s biggest release – cos, let’s be real, Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul isn’t going to set any tills alight no matter how many Kelechi Ehenulo raves we throw at it – is an extended re-release of Spider-Man: No Way Home. Disney are so salty about Tom Cruise stealing the biggest movie of the year accolade from them, it’s quite funny the level of pettiness on display.
5] Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero
$4,565,668 / $30,761,982
Case you were wondering exactly how frontloaded Dragon Ball Super ended up being, this is a 78.4% sophomore drop. It’s the second-largest ever sophomore drop for a film playing on 3,000+ screens, behind only the 2009 Friday the 13th reboot which sank 80.4% because nobody wanted a rubbish Friday the 13th reboot.
6] DC League of Super-Pets
$4,225,191 / $74,089,000
I must give begrudging respect to Matt Latham for the stellar write-up job he did on the 20th anniversary of Sugababes’ Angels with Dirty Faces. At the time he snuck in and claimed writing duties before me, I was in full Dolph Ziggler “IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN ME!!” mode, but he did great work and he actually turned in something unlike myself, so credit must be given. Go read!
7] Three Thousand Years of Longing
$2,876,000 / NEW
Hopefully will try and see this at the weekend, since I now have a Saturday freer than I was expecti-NO CALLIE DON’T THINK ABOUT THE WIN BUTLER THING AGAIN IT’S JUST GONNA MAKE YOU SAD
8] Minions: The Rise of Gru
$2,740,365 / $354,781,000
New Arctic Monkeys, Carly Rae Jepsen, Tegan & Sara, and now Taylor Swift all on the same weekend, with The 1975 the weekend before?! Get yer Doc Martens, your fishnets, your vinyl, your Tumblr aesthetics, get em’ all out!
$2,700,000 / $336,570,158
No, I did not start Ms Marvel this week like I promised I was going to. My excuse is that I realised I’m dogsitting for a week very soon and a show like Ms Marvel would be a perfect thing to work through on an episode-per-night basis, so I’m gonna save it til then.
10] Where the Crawdads Sing
$2,324,652 / $81,888,000
My reason is that I’ve been quite heavily depressed and staying up til nearly 3am in the morning playing DOOM Eternal. Turns out chainsawing demons in half during hi-octane free-for-all melees whilst pounding industrial-metal blares over everything is quite the salve, for at least a little while.
Dropped out: NOPE, Bodies Bodies Bodies
Callie Petch wishes they could smash their fucking screen up so they don’t have to see ya.