What did this weekend prove at the box office?
It’s not just about tentpoles.
The overall champs of the weekend were lower-budgeted releases, with Universal’s Cocaine Bear trampling its teen projections with $23.09M, and Lionsgate’s Jesus Revolution turning water into cash with $15.5M after being initially forecast in the $6M-$7M range.
However, both movies had something that propelled audiences: They had sticky titles. It doesn’t get much better than Cocaine Bear and Jesus in your movie titles when it comes to creating want-to-see marketing.
Los Angeles, despite being drenched and snowed upon,didn’t falter when it came to Cocaine Bear, the market +7.6% from its 52-week norm.
Not all animals-maul-people movies outside of sharks and King Kong open to great heights. Read Paramount’s alligator movie Crawl ($12M) and Uni’s Idris Elba lion movie, Beast ($11.5M). However, Cocaine Bear was different. She wasn’t all horror or serious, but had campy comedy. Audiences noticed that promptly in the trailer, and saw that it was a movie they could have fun with for an hour and 35 minutes. The pic also pawed another $5.3M abroad in 50 markets for a global start of $28.4M. While AMC, Regal, and Cinemark naturally led all circuits, Alamo Drafthouse was 100% over its 52-week norm with the title, leaning into it with their fanboy demos.
Said Universal Domestic Distribution chief Jim Orr, “This is a tremendous debut for Cocaine Bear, an outrageous comedy so well-crafted by director Elizabeth Banks. Audiences across North America were eager to see this original, hysterical film that continues what is shaping up to be a very good year at the domestic box office.”
Other top markets for Cocaine Bear included NYC, Chicago (+10% over 52 week norm), Dallas, San Francisco, DC, Philly, Atlanta, Boston (+10% over 52 week norm), and Phoenix. Detroit overperformed with Cocaine Bear by 25%. Northeast and West coast were the overindexing regions.
Jesus Revolution is a faith-based win for Lionsgate, as it looks to have a better 2023 stateside than it did in 2022. It’s director Jon Erwin’s (who directed here) fourth A+ CinemaScore of his career, after American Underdog, I Can Only Imagine, and Woodlawn. Lionsgate built word of mouth through several word of mouth church and university screenings, as well as an outreach to contemporary Christian musicians. Am hearing the movie was screened over 150x.
Tracking only saw this movie at the single digits? How did they miss this? The theory is that tracking only polled those people who had been to theaters in recent movies. That said, it’s been a while since the faith-based crowd has had a wide release like this. It’s mostly been short-run Fathom Events. Not just that, but the pic’s soundtrack is a huge magnet here as well for its followers, and Kelsey Grammer’s star power didn’t hurt. Also, Jesus Revolution stars Jonathan Roumie, who played Jesus in Angel Studios’ $34M-grossing franchise The Chosen; he’s a very popular faith-based star. Huge amount of walk-up business here with Comscore/Screen Engine’s PostTrak showing 74% of those seeing the movie either bought their ticket the day of or the day before.
Lionsgate is already hearing from exhibition about repeat business over the weekend. And the definite recommend here on PostTrak is — well, miraculous, at 90%. You never see that on any movie, including MCU and Star Wars titles. The pic was 97% positive on PostTrak. Females over 25 led (54%), men over 25 (37%), females under 25 (6%), and guys under 25 at 3%. Can we get an Amen?
Disney/Marvel’s official numbers for Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania still show the worst drop for an MCU title at -69, with $32.2M after an estimated $14.6M Saturday, +76%, for a running total of $167.2M in first place.
How will Marvel post-mortem this? Aren’t they already “plus-ing” with every movie they make?
One insider close to the film isn’t worried, telling us, “Marvel takes something away from movie including Black Panther, including Avengers. I can say we’re incredibly proud of the film, Jonathan Majors does a fantastic job as Kang. It’s the movie we wanted to make. Box office is what it is. But it’s not going to stop people from going back to the theaters.”
Overall weekend looks to be around $91.6M for all movies, +47% from a year ago, but off 29% from the same frame in 2019, when Uni’s How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World led with $55M, and the second weekend of Alita: Battle Angel did $12.3M.
1.) Ant-man and the Wasp Quantumania (Dis) 4,345 theaters, Fri $8.3M (-82%) Sat $14.6M Sun $9.3M 3-day $32.2M (-70%), Total $167.3M/Wk 2
2.) Cocaine Bear (Uni) 3,534 theaters, Fri $8.65M, Sat $8.8M Sun $5.5M 3-day $23.09M/Wk 1
3.) Jesus Revolution (LG) 2,475 theaters, Fri $6.95M (includes $3.3M previews) Sat $4.7M Sun $3.8M 3-day $15.5M/Wk 1
4.) Avatar: The Way of Water (Dis) 2,495 theaters (-180), Fri $1.1M (-19%) Sat $2.3M Sun $1.3M 3-day $4.7M (-28%)Total $665.3M /Wk 11
5.) Puss in Boots: Last Wish (Uni) 2,840 theaters (-172), Fri $900K (-26%) Sat $1.95M Sun $1.27M 3-day $4.1M (-23%), Total $173.4M/Wk 10
6.) Magic Mike’s Last Dance (WB) 2,918 (-116) theaters,Fri $905K (-46%) Sat $1.23M Sun $865K 3-day $3M (-45%) total $23.2M/Wk 3
7.) Knock at the Cabin (Uni) 2,115 (-486) theaters, Fri $520K (-49%) Sat $870K Sun $480K 3-day $1.87M (-53%) Total $33.9M /Wk 4
8.) 80 for Brady (Par) 2,397 (-722) theaters, Fri $480K (-52%) Sat $820K Sun $530K 3-day $1.83M (-51%)/Total $36.4M/Wk 4
9.) Missing (Sony) 1,006 (-510) theaters, Fri $263K Sat $485K Sun $262K 3 day $1M (-41%) Total $31.4M/Wk 6
10.) A Man Called Otto (Sony) 1,118 (-607) theaters, Fri $217K Sat $391K Sun $242K 3-day $850K (-47%) Total $62.2M/Wk 9