It once again falls to anime to liven up a dead-zone on the release schedule, and Other Box Office News.
Yeah, we on the financial analysis side of things are also waiting with bated breath for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever to inject some semblance of life into the theatrical landscape. Especially after Halloween turned out to be a bust outside of Smile, and Black Adam is doing fine but not particularly spectacular.
Hell, I could even get away with skipping last week for other pieces on my ever-expanding barely-manageable workload cos what was I gonna talk about? Yet another low-quality, low-budget, low-performing horror only being a financial success on account of being made for pittance? Arthouse Awards Season faves struggling deeply when exposed to the harsh glare of Wide spotlights? My having to talk shit awkwardly about 80% of the films on the list due to my broken hip meaning I still can’t get out to cinemas for another four weeks?
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Nah, better to wait a week when the doldrums could be briefly resuscitated by, your friend and mine, the filler anime movie! Post-pandemic-closures – since we still are not “post-pandemic” and seemingly never will be – anime on the big screen has been having quite the boom period, perhaps following Sony’s acquisition of Crunchyroll and resultant realisation that there’s untapped gold in them thar there hills.
With that Sony backing and an aggressive theatrical release plan, targeting lulls in the box office schedule with proper saturation releases in premium formats like IMAX, the medium’s being knocking out a consistent string of hits these last 15 months. Demon Slayer, Jujutsu Kaisen 0, Dragon Ball Super all blowing past the $10 million opening mark, immediately doubling the number of anime to achieve that feat at the US Box Office; a feat originally only managed by the two Pokémon movies released at the turn of the century.
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Going into the weekend, everyone was looking to see that number be trebled from its pre-2021 days with One Piece Film: Red, which currently holds the distinction of being the ninth-highest grossing film of all-time in Japan. Alas, that level of fervour did not transfer overseas and we remain waiting for the sixth anime to cross the $10 mil opening weekend barrier. Still, that’s not to insinuate One Piece was some kind of major failure. It may not have troubled the third weekend of Black Adam for the top spot, but it did come real close to that $10 mil mark; landing in second-place with $9.4 million. A position not earned lightly, to be fair, since Ticket to Paradise is holding pretty excellent with a third weekend drop of just 13.6% for $8.5 million.
Lastly in the bright spot brigade, Martin McDonagh’s great Banshees of Inisherin expanded to 895 theatres this weekend and cracked the Top 10, although with a similar level of softness to Till and the already departed Tár last weekend; seventh place with $2 million. In case you’re wondering: yes, that is a lower per-screen average ($2,236) than One Piece managed on just under treble the number of screens ($4,003 from 2,367). Anime! It’s not just for weebs anymore! Even Drake’s posting hentai on his main feed now, the true mark of a mainstream crossover moment!
Alrighty, it’s time for a proper Full List. Haven’t done one of these in a while.
US Box Office Results: Friday 4th November 2022 – Sunday 6th November 2022
1] Black Adam
$18,520,299 / $137,366,000
On the one hand, my breaking me hip on the penultimate day of London Film Festival and the resultant landlocking to home whilst the initial healing phase gets dealt with means I don’t have to see this apparently mediocre at best (according to Dave Bond’s review) and garbage at worst (according to Kelechi Ehenulo’s messages to me) movie. But on the other hand, it feels kinda wrong that I’m not gonna get the chance to see it? Like, after dealing with that goddamned trailer in front of every single movie for half a frakkin year, I feel like I’m leaving an unresolved thread by not seeing the finished film, y’know? Maybe that’s what Stockholm syndrome actually is.
2] One Piece Film: Red
$9,475,251 / NEW
Not the direction I personally would’ve taken, but I nonetheless look forward to seeing how the rest of these Kieślowski’s Three Colours Trilogy remakes shake out.
3] Ticket to Paradise
$8,510,000 / $46,734,120
Shocked to find this one being torn apart or shrugged to death by critics, honestly. I had a really nice time! A fluffy rom-com with just enough of a caustic screwball spike performed winningly by Clooney and Roberts to land great with someone like me. Do I remember a single specific thing about it nearly two months later? No! But, not only do I have valid reasons for the memory space this originally occupied being taken over by something else, that’s also not inherently a bad thing!
$4,000,000 / $99,107,075
Guaranteed to cross $100 mil when we next meet. Who would’ve predicted going into October that Smile was gonna be the one to achieve that feat whilst the big Halloween conclusion would instead drown well below the nine-figure milestone? Well, me, at least partly. You did see how poorly Halloween Kills tanked after its opening weekend, right?
5] Prey for the Devil
$3,875,000 / $13,643,710
This was the “low-quality, low-budget, low-performing horror” I referred to in the opening paragraph, btw. Amy Walker was down to review the thing for ages, but I guess someone on the chain got cold feet and the screener never showed up. Oh, well, just meant she got to use her precious time talking about a great horror film instead! 28 Days Later, to be exact, which turned 20 last week.
6] Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile
$3,360,132 / $36,567,000
I got nowhere more natural to slide this in, so here’s me directing you to give my interview with dance-punk outfit !!!’s frontman Nic Offer a read! For something I practically winged my way through due to it taking place during the London Film Festival, the results are maybe one of the best interviews I’ve done? Long-time readers will know that means something since I pretty much never hype up anything I’m responsible for. Therefore, you’re duty-bound to read and share in order to mark this historic occurrence!
$2,001,900 / $3,035,002
Yeah, this was a long-overdue return to greatness for Martin McDonagh. Bitingly funny and achingly sad, with a metaphorical relationship to the Irish civil war which doesn’t belabour the point or overwrite the characters as characters. Also, the best Colin Farrell performance in a donkey’s age. Nicholas Lay expressed similar sentiments in his Vancouver International Film Festival dispatch.
$1,875,581 / $6,583,015
Almost unremittingly heavy and bleak, and yet possessed of such uncommon empathy and eye for detail that the results become transcendent. More mainstream than Chinonye Chukwu’s previous feature, the outstanding Clemency, but no less powerful especially with Danielle Deadwyler’s towering performance. This is so far the best performing of the Awards Season faves which I’m surprised by but nonetheless glad to see.
9] Halloween Kills
$1,400,000 / $63,445,190
You know what’s a much more effective horror than a rubbish Halloween movie? The horrors of war, of course! Charlie Brigden’s checked out the newest adaptation of All Quiet on the Western Front.
10] Terrifier 2
$1,220,625 / $9,858,975
Gotta be honest, I’d be much more inclined to take Awards Season seriously if more studios submitted exploitation nonsense like Terrifier 2 for consideration. And I’d be double-inclined to take Awards Season seriously if those bodies woman-d up and gave stuff like this the odd nomination. Do it, you cowards!
Dropped out: The Woman King, Tár