Downton Abbey: A New Era debuted at the number two spot in its first weekend with $16 million, which is lower than Friday’s $18 million forecast, but good enough for Focus Features’ best weekend debut of the pandemic era. This is less than half of the $31 million that the first Downton Abbey film opened to back in 2019, but a win nonetheless for a marketplace struggling to lure older audiences to theaters.
Downton Abbey 2 comes with a heftier production budget compared to the first film ($40 million against the first film’s $20 million), but brings back fan favorite cast members Hugh Bonneville, Elizabeth McGovern, Maggie Smith, Michelle Dockery, Laura Carmichael, Jim Carter and Phyllis Logan. Both films are a continuation of the hit television series, which ran for six seasons on ITV in the U.K. and on PBS in the U.S. The first film legged it to nearly $100 million domestically, finishing with $194 million worldwide. Internationally, Downton Abbey 2 made $35 million, pushing its worldwide tally to over $51 million.
Nearly 50% of Downton Abbey 2’s audience was over the age of 55, which is a healthy sign considering how poorly other adult-skewing titles such as West Side Story and King Richard have performed. Possibly the sole outlier was directed Ridley Scott’s House of Gucci, which tapped out with over $50 million domestically.
Disney’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness held on to the top spot for the third (and probably last) time, before Top Gun: Maverick clips its wings next weekend. With another $31.6 million, the film’s running domestic total stands at $342 million. Doctor Strange 2 has made over $460 internationally, pushing its worldwide total to over $800 million. It’s the biggest hit of the year. There’s a chance that it becomes the second film of the pandemic era to make over $1 billion worldwide, following in the footsteps of its immediate predecessor, Spider-Man: No Way Home.
Two kid-friendly titles—Universal’s The Bad Guys and Paramount’s Sonic the Hedgehog 2—took the third and fourth spots, with $6.1 million and $3.9 million, respectively. The Bad Guys has made over $74 million domestically and $182 million worldwide, while Sonic 2 has made $181 million domestically and $368 million worldwide.
Rounding out the top five was director Alex Garland’s follow-up to the well-reviewed Annihilation, the A24 horror picture Men, which failed to generate much attention with a $3.29 million debut weekend. The film earned a terrible D+ CinemaScore, which is very common for arthouse horror fare. But A24 has reason to celebrate this weekend, with the word-of-mouth hit Everything Everywhere All at Once overtaking Uncut Gems to become the indie outfit’s biggest-ever domestic release.
Expect Top Gun: Maverick to fly away with a top-spot finish next weekend, as Paramount prepares to put a cherry on top of an already excellent year.
Sunday AM estimates:
1.) Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (Dis) 4,534 theaters, Fri $8.5M (-50%), Sat $13.8M, Sun $9.3M, 3-day $31.6M (-51%)/Total $342M/Wk 3
2.) Downton Abbey: A New Era (Foc) 3,820 theaters, Fri $7.38M, Sat $4.75M, Sun $3.89M, 3 Day $16M/Wk 1
3.) The Bad Guys (Uni) 3,705 (-83) Theaters, Fri $1.46M (-14%), Sat $2.7M, Sun $1.9M, 3-day $6.1M (-13%)/Total $74.3M/Wk 5
4.)Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (Par) 2,943 (-173) theaters, Fri $925K, Sat $1.83M, Sun $1.18M, 3-day $3.94M (-15%)/Total $181M/Wk 7
5.) Men (A24) 2,212 theaters Fri $1.4M, Sat $1M, Sun $832K, 3-day $3.29M/Wk 1
6.) Everything Everywhere All at Once (A24) 1,576 (-150) theaters, Fri $889K (-3%), Sat $1.2M, Sun $962K, 3-day $3.1M (-6%)/Total $52.3M/Wk 9
7.) Fantastic Beasts…Dumbledore (WB), 1,923 (-655) theaters, Fri $500K (-24%)/Sat $825K/Sun $580K/ 3-day $1.905M (-25%)/Total $93M/Wk 6
8.) Firestarter (Uni) 3,413 theaters, Fri $560K (-64%), Sat $830K, Sun $510K, 3-day $1.9M (-50%)/Total $6.79M/Wk 2
9.) The Lost City (Par) 1,396 (-279) theaters Fri. $415K (-12%), Sat $685K, Sun $400K, 3-day $1.5M (-12%)/Total $99.26M/ Wk 9
10.) The Northman (Foc) 1,263 (-671) theaters, Fri $290K (-41%), Sat $430K, Sun $300K, 3-day $1.02M (-42%)/Total $33M/Wk 5