Film Discussion

US Box Office Report: 08/07/22 – 10/07/22

Thor brings the Love and Thunder, the Minions cannot be stopped, Marcel is doing swell, and Other Box Office News.

Before we get into the Thor-ny topic of how the latest entry in Marvel’s undying ego-trip performed, let’s flashback one weekend to quickly fill-in the July 4th period that we here at the BOR took off.  After literal years of aborted starts in getting the thing out the door, Illumination’s Minions: The Rise of Gru was finally unleashed upon a general populace so utterly broken down by the state of things right now that they’ll proudly turn these not-very-good movies into the latest inexplicable viral meme sensation.  Fortunately, due to the aforementioned scheduling situation going on a STT Towers, I was saved from having to spend any stretch of time whatsoever discovering what a “gentleminion” is and can instead just tell you that Gru rose to record levels.  $107 million over the three-day and $123 million over the four-day, the biggest of any July 4th opening movie ever; dethroning Transformers: Dark of the Moon and proving that Michael Bay can in fact be out-America-ed… by the French!

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And we initially seemed poised to have a second straight record-breaking weekend as this Friday got going, albeit on a smaller scale.  Whilst Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness$187 million+ stat is likely gonna stand until either Black Panther 2 or Avatar 2 loom into view, it’s fair to say that Marvel certainly had the #2 opening of the year in their sights when Thor: Love and Thunder slammed down a mighty $69 (nice) million on Friday.  Gunning for Jurassic World Dominion’s skull to hang above the mantle place, along with its $145 million opening take.  Alas, that game appears to have successfully given the insatiable Marvel hunter the slip this time, at least on estimates.

Thor: Love and Thunder is your new #1 but I’m sure everybody back at base will be just devastated that their latest entry could only manage $143 million across the weekend.  Sure, that’s comfortably the best-opening Thor so far, besting Ragnarok’s $122 million, but it’s not all the money, is it?!  This is the kind of chink that’s certainly gonna keep Marvel bean-counters up all night in floods of tears!  Not even a $159 million international total will come as much comfort to the indefatigable movie monolith!  If only you’d all been nicer and turned your brains off for the bad movie, that “B+” Cinemascore and worrying word-of-mouth wouldn’t have happened!

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Meanwhile, the sophomore weekend of Minions provided further evidence that mediocrity wins out over all, dropping a very healthy 57% to $45.5 million, the best non-opening #2 performance I’ve seen in an age other than Top Gun: Maverick.  Speaking of that deathless movie about Tom Cruise’s perpetual efforts to flip death off in increasingly elaborate ways, it’s still hanging on very well to the podium steps in its seventh week of asking.  And whilst its drop of 40% this weekend is a mortal performance, I want to bring up that last weekend, the July 4th one we weren’t here for, where Maverick only sank 12% despite being in its sixth week as patriotic Americans did their due diligence dammit!  Very impressive!

Also impressive?  Marcel the Shell with Shoes On which goes wide next week but has been cutting a rug in the initial limited release run, outright breaking into the Top 10 despite only playing on 48 screens with a strong $7,083 per-screen average!  Admittedly, the impressiveness dies down a tad once you see just how poor the lower-end of the Top 10 is looking, but I’m instead focussing on the evidence that people want Marcel the Shell with Shoes On so WHY DOES IT STILL NOT HAVE A UK RELEASE DATE, A24?!  I’M GONNA KEEP PUBLICLY BLASTING YOU ABOUT THIS UNTIL IT’S OUT!  FIX IT!

Take me down to the Full List city where the grass is green and the rock-people are pretty.

US Box Office Results: Friday 8th July 2022 – Sunday 10th July 2022

1] Thor: Love and Thunder

$143,000,000 / NEW

Yeah, sorry, this is a mess and at times flat-out bad.  You can check out my Letterboxd scrawl for slightly more insight, but this is the first outright bad MCU film I’ve seen since… hell, Thor: The Dark World?!  There have been messes, there have been compromised films, there have been ones which I’ve felt insulted by, but I’ve never seen an MCU film which feels as actively tired, unfun, totally spent on ideas, and haphazard in its construction as Love and Thunder.  I came out of this one sad.  Dave Bond can break it down a little more for you.

2] Minions: The Rise of Gru

$45,550,420 / $210,079,000

Not gonna get to see this for a little while longer, but I do hope I at least laugh a bit.  My patience with Illumination has been thoroughly documented as “well-worn,” to put it charitably, but I do still rate the original Minions as a fun time with lots of great zany humour!  I’d like to enjoy one of their films again!  Please?

3] Top Gun: Maverick

$15,499,887 / $597,406,000

As we speak, Tom Cruise is definitely driving around L.A. begging for the number to Robert Towne’s phone so he can pitch a Days of Thunder legacyquel.  Why’d you think he was all over the British GP the other weekend?  Research!  He saw that Zhou Guanyu crash and was taking notes for himself!

4] Jurassic World Dominion

$16,368,380 / $332,533,315

Well, not all of the recent legacyquels have been miserable tosh.  At least according to Amy Walker who adored the Obi-Wan Kenobi series which wrapped up a couple weeks back!  Her extensive write-up can be found here.

5] Elvis

$11,000,298 / $91,123,000

Should be seeing this by the time the article you’re currently reading has gone live!  I hope it’s good!  At the rate blockbusters are breaking my heart this year, I’m having to prepare for Jordan Peele falling face-first into a pile of horse dung with NOPE and I don’t like entertaining that possibility.

6] The Black Phone

$7,659,590 / $62,312,000

According to the stat boffos over at Box Office Mojo, this weekend’s performance makes Black Phone the most successful non-sequel horror flick since the plague kicked off!  …I didn’t realise things were that bleak in the horror realm but, ay, congrats anyway!

7] Lightyear

$2,900,000 / $112,322,200

We have a fresh-faced new whippersnapper to introduce to the STT fold!  Please give a warm welcome to Sam Judd, making his debut by interviewing director Dan Mirvish about the latter’s newest feature, Watergate drama 18 ½!

8] Marcel the Shell with Shoes On

$340,000 / $963,416


9] Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

$262,000 / $411,062,441

Even as Smallville descended further and further into its quality rut, there were still some episodes worthy of praise.  Supposedly.  Eamon Hennedy’s long-running odyssey back through the series continues apace with one such bright spot.

10] Mr. Malcolm’s List

$245,416 / $1,638,979

No clue, either.  But considering I last said that about Brian and Charles – a film which finally opened over here this past weekend and I absolutely loved – this could be a good thing!  Maybe it’ll be the soothing balm I need after a Summer of disa-oh wait it’s a period drama never mind forget I said anything.

Dropped out: Everything Everywhere All at Once, Jug Jugg Jeeyo

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