Film Discussion

US Box Office Report: 02/06/23 – 04/06/23

There’s a lotta money Across the Spider-Verse, America wants to be part of The Little Mermaid’s world, and Other Box Office News.

With respect, I know that I have two weeks of hot Box Office statistical action to recap, but my soul is still at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium from last Monday’s Beyoncé concert and I’m starting to fear that it’s never coming back.  I mean, the Tina Turner cover?  That voice?  The “Sweet Dreams” interpolation on “ALIEN SUPERSTAR”?  The return of Les Twins?  “BREAK MY SOUL” in a stadium of people losing their goddamn minds?  The Blue Ivy cameo?  The chrome-covered APC?  “Love on Top” into “Crazy in Love”?!  The mermaid costume?!  The “HEATED” outro?!  The goddamn bee get-up?!  “PURE/HONEY” and the ballroom break?!?!  How am I expected to go back to being a functional human being when my sheltered queer non-binary arse got to see that incredible ballroom break to 2022’s sexiest gayest track?!  It’s not fair!  Still, I must begrudgingly trundle onwards back into society.

READ MORE: Star Trek Annual 2023 – Comic Review

Last week was live-action Little Mermaid weekend – plus a whole heap of failed attempts at counter-programming we have neither the time, space, nor shit to write about.  Disney’s big effort to radically re-envision their most iconic Renaissance-era animation by *checks notes* making it an hour longer, with less expressive character animation, and grading what used to be one of their most colourful films like it’s goddamn Schindler’s List.  Still, in the words of the Internet’s current #1 enemy Matty Healy, nostalgia is a sickness and a lot of people are very happy to suffer from it.

Perhaps bolstered by the fact that, no matter what a bunch of very loud racists who should probably see a therapist if a Black mermaid really is such an affront to their fragile being would tell you, it’s the best of these remakes since Pete’s DragonThe Little Mermaid 2023 took in a very strong current of $118.8 million over Memorial Day weekend.  With the caveat that Disney spent almost the entire holiday weekend revising down their initial projections, that is still a little more than the Aladdin remake made over the same weekend in 2019.  And, in its second three-day weekend, it’s falling quite steadily in-line with industry projections against much stronger competition than Aladdin faced.  So, yeah, another win for the Mouse House.  Just don’t look to the International waters, it’s a lot choppier there

READ MORE: Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse – Film Review

But that’s yesterday’s news.  Y’all wanna hear about Across the Spider-Verse.  The movie that, incredibly, almost no outlets had pegged as breaking the $100 mil barrier despite it being a sequel to one of the most beloved animated movies of the last decade, starring the most beloved comic book hero, and that famously had the kind of ridiculously long tail movies of the 2010s just never showed.

To everyone else who doesn’t underrate animation out of instinctual biased habit, just like those same outlets did when Mario was getting very conservative projections prior to release, Spider-Verse being a smash was not a surprise in the least.  Coming in as the second-biggest opening weekend of the year so far, though, at an astonishing $120.5 million – which, for you math-heads out there, is 3.4x what the original opened to in 2018 during a cramped Xmas season – is still a hell of a feat I don’t think any of us put money on.  Overseas, there’s another $88.1 million in the spider-bank which, according to Deadline, is 2.8x what the original pulled in like-for-like on its overseas opening weekends.  So, when are all y’all gonna stop paying animation dirty, movie industry?  It’s saving your arses right now!

Alright, people, let’s do this Full List one last time.

US Box Office Results: Friday 2nd June 2023 – Sunday 4th June 2023

1] Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse

$120,500,000 / NEW

Apart from Return of the King-ing when exactly to drop the curtain, and also being the first half of a story so the vast majority of the transcendental cathartic moments are clearly being saved for Beyond in March, this was everything I hoped for in a Spider-Verse sequel.  Wilder, more abstract in the animation, more ambitious in the storytelling, and all without losing sight of the core emotional journeys of Miles and Gwen.  If anything happens to those two or Rio Morales in Beyond, it is ON SIGHT with the filmmakers, I swear!  Dave Bond’s got your review duties for STT, but check out Kelechi Ehenulo’s excellent write-up over at Movie Marker too.

2] The Little Mermaid

$40,600,000 / $186,207,067

I look forward to seeing Halle Bailey kill it in the Color Purple musical adaptation coming out at Xmas.  She’s way, way better than this lifeless remake deserves.  She nails the headstrong impulsivity and yearning of Ariel, whilst completely feeling the musical numbers and being very expressive even when stripped of her voice.  Shame she’s stuck in the lethargic choreography of a Rob Marshall film and forced to try sparking chemistry with Duplo Ryan Gosling.

3] The Boogeyman

$12,300,000 / NEW

Oh, yeah, there was also this counterprogramming effort from Rob “Host/Dashcam” Savage which presupposes the best part of all Stephen King stories is when something goes “BOOGIE-BOOGIE-BOO!!” into the ear of a particularly-fraidy orchestra.  Rob Jones wasn’t much of a fan.

4] Guardians of the Galaxy, vol. 3

$10,200,000 / $322,711,454

I really need to get the time to squeeze another viewing of this in.  Life, and also the relentless churn of the Summer release schedule that’s even (allegedly) claiming Tom Cruise, is just getting in the way right now.  Then again, that may be a good thing since it’s probably not healthy to lose so much water from one’s body in such a short amount of time as what happened when I first saw this.

5] Fast X

$9,240,000 / $128,465,765

This is being carried by the overseas numbers like you wouldn’t believe.  So, yeah, definitely don’t try stretching this out to Fast X: Suki Returns, Universal.

6] The Super Mario Bros. Movie

$3,350,000 / $566,277,270

I know that we’ve now moved onto normalising six-week theatrical windows for new release films before they hit Digital, which is cool from an accessibility standpoint with COVID still around and cost-of-living being unnecessarily out-of-control – TAX CORPORATIONS AND BILLIONAIRES PROPERLY, FOR FUCK’S SAKE.  But it’s still going to throw me when I see ads on TV for something like Mario being available on Digital despite it being in the middle of a strong run at cinemas.  The traditionalist part of me, I guess.

7] About My Father

$2,100,000 / $8,824,093

Set The Tape could more accurately have been titled as “Set The Lee” or “Thacker The Tape” last week, since he pumped out a bunch of pieces for us!  First, did you know The Italian Job turned 20?  No, not the Michael Caine one, obviously.  I’m talking about the American remake with Mark Wahlberg that’s honestly overall the better film DON’T BOO ME YOU KNOW I’M RIGHT!

8] The Machine

$1,750,000 / $8,708,436

Next up, he went and devoured Disney’s star-studded adaptation of American Born Chinese, being mostly impressed by the results of a show I am yet to watch blame Beyoncé.

9] You Hurt My Feelings

$769,814 / $3,001,134

Finally, for good measure, he rounded off by showering stars all over the new Sparks album, The Girl is Crying in Her Latte, like they were dollar bills at a strip show.  Busy boy!

10] Kandahar

$765,000 / $4,236,887

Meanwhile, Leslie Byron Pitt got the far less glamorous job of reviewing low-budget Australian thriller Roadkill.  Not all assignments can be winners.

Dropped out: Evil Dead Rise, Book Club: The Next Chapter

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