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‘Bullet Train’ Right On Track With $30.1 Million, ‘Easter Sunday’ Needing Prayers At $5.25 Million

The unofficial final weekend of the summer box office came in with a total of $91.5 million, $6.2 million below last weekend, making it the weakest since May. The bad news is that this will likely be the best weekend until mid-to-late October. While the next few months may have a couple sleeper hits, the slate for the remainder of August and September is the weakest since early Spring 2021, before the semi-post-Covid “reopening” in the summer. The strength of the holdovers should keep the overall box office at decent levels for a few more weeks, but we may soon see the lowest overall weekend numbers since before Summer 2021.

‘Bullet Train’ To Zoom Ahead Of Competition As Summer Comes To An End

The summer is having its last stand for big studio movies this weekend with Sony’s Bullet Train, the comic action-thriller starring Brad Pitt. Based on the bestselling Japanese novel by Kōtarō Isaka, the film is set on the world’s fastest train between Tokyo and Kyoto. Pitt plays an assassin who wants to retire but is roped in to get his hands on a briefcase on the train only to discover that various world class assassins are on the same train with interconnected missions. David Leitch (former stuntman for Pitt as well as director of Atomic Blonde, Deadpool 2, Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw, Nobody, and uncredited co-director on the first John Wick) directs, and the large cast also includes Joey King, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, and Brian Tyree Henry.

‘DC League of Super-Pets’ Catches Solid $23 Million Opening, ‘Nope’ Falls 58% For $18.5 Million Second Weekend

July is at a close, and a look back on the month and a look forward at the months ahead gives a mixed portrait of the box office. The total box office for July came to roughly $1.13 billion, making it the first month to gross over $1 billion since December 2019 and not far behind a typical summer month from before the pandemic. This should be seen as a positive sign for the box office as a whole, even though the summer came down from its peak much faster than usual, with the last major blockbuster being Thor: Love and Thunder which opened three weekends ago. While a solid slate continued with Nope last weekend, DC League of Super-Pets this weekend, and Bullet Train next weekend, after that we may not see a film with real hit potential until October. Following next weekend, we’re looking at perhaps the lowest grossing two month stretch in decades going by pre-pandemic standards (and that’s without adjusting for inflation), where it will be unlikely for a single weekend to gross above $100 million (as this weekend failed to do, though next weekend may make it over that hump). The box office should pick up big time in the late fall and winter, but the weak late summer and early fall is a disappointment after a summer where the box office had nearly revived to former glories.

‘DC League of Super-Pets’ To Lead As Summer Winds Down

The summer continues to wind down faster than usual with the last of the major tentpoles (Thor: Love and Thunder) entering its fourth weekend and just two significant releases left (DC League of Super-Pets this weekend and Bullet Train next weekend). The overall box office risks falling under $100 million for the first time since May, though it may be able to stay above the nine-figure line for another two weeks before likely falling under until October, if not November. This is a disappointing sign after two months where the overall box office was doing a solid job of catching up to the pre-pandemic years.

‘Nope’ Debuts To $44 Million, The Best For An Original Film Since Jordan Peele’s ‘Us’ In 2019

Writer/Director Jordan Peele is back with Nope, the UFO-centered horror film starring Daniel Kaluuya, Keke Palmer, Steven Yeun, and Peele once again proves that he is one of Hollywood’s few directors whose name can consistently lure audiences into cinemas. The $44 million launch fell quite a bit short of Peele’s previous film Us, which opened to a whopping $71.1 million in April 2019. However, it happens to be the best wholly original film opening since then (beating Once Upon a Time... In Hollywood’s $41 million), and the best since the pandemic began by a significant margin (beating The Lost City’s $30.5 million). Between Nope, Minions: Rise of Gru, The Black Phone, and Jurassic World Dominion, Universal has four of the weekend’s top ten domestic grossers.

'Nope' To Score Biggest Original Opening Since Start Of The Pandemic

As the summer winds down, the stream of major franchise films has dried up, but there are still a few high profile releases left to beef up the box office and hopefully keep the overall weekend grosses above $100 million for another three weeks. The biggest of these titles is Nope, the latest horror film from Jordan Peele, who is one of the few brand-name directors in the business. With the Universal film a sure shot for the top slot, the studio should have four films in the top ten this weekend, with Minions: The Rise of Gru likely in third place and The Black Phone and Jurassic World Dominion towards the end of the list.

‘Thor: Love & Thunder’ Falls 68% In 2nd Weekend, ‘Where the Crawdads Sing’ Beats Expectations With $17 million Opening, ‘Paws of Fury’ Fails To Draw Family Audiences Away From ‘Minions 2’

It’s another blowout this week as Thor: Love and Thunder brought in $46 million, trouncing the new competition in its second weekend and bringing its total to $233 million domestic and $498 million worldwide. While these are undoubtedly strong numbers, it isn’t all good news for the 29th MCU film, as its 68% drop was one of the steepest falls the franchise has seen. The ten day cume is still the best yet for a Thor solo film, but it seems that the relatively so-so word of mouth on this, as signified by its B+ CinemaScore compared to its predecessor Thor: Ragnarok’s, is hurting the box office (by comparison, Ragnarok, also directed by Taika Waititi, had a second weekend drop of 53.5%).

‘Thor 4’ To Reign Supreme Over Newcomers ‘Paws of Fury’, ‘Where the Crawdads Sing’, and Expanding Indie Hit ‘Marcel the Shell with Shoes On’

After an early summer jam packed with major franchise titles, things begin to slow down this weekend. Over the past two and a half months we hadTop Gun: Maverick, Jurassic World Dominion, Lightyear, and Minions: The Rise of Gru all sandwiched in between two MCU films, but the current slate doesn’t have any franchise titles until October (Halloween Kills and Black Adam), and we may not see another $100+ million opening until November (Black Panther: Wakanda Forever). There are still some potentially big titles coming out over the rest of the summer, most notably the Jordan Peele directed Nope next weekend and the Brad Pitt starring Bullet Train on August 5th. However, there’s no doubt that the summer peaked early, and last weekend’s overall gross of $238 million, the year’s biggest thus far, won’t be topped at least until November. While there are no more summer tentpoles on the way, there are still plenty of films going wide, including three this weekend.

'Love & Thunder' Scores Biggest 'Thor' Opening Yet With $143 Million, 'Minions: Rise of Gru' Surpasses $200 Million, 'Top Gun: Maverick' Nears $600 Million

The summer hot streak continues this weekend with Thor: Love and Thunder, which easily took first place as it brought in $143 million in its debut, with $29 million of that coming from Thursday previews. The Taika Waititi-directed superhero film, which opened in 4,375 theaters and got 36% of its gross from IMAX, PLF, 3D, and Motion screens, is the second Marvel Cinematic Universe release of the year, and while the opening numbers aren't up there with Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (still the year's biggest opening with $187 million), they are the biggest for the God of Thunder's solo films, beating Thor: Ragnarok by 16%. This continues the trend of each Thor film being bigger than the last, at least in the opening weekend, and in the coming weeks we'll get a sense of whether it can maintain its pace to surpass Ragnarok's $315 million domestic and $854 million worldwide cumes.

‘Thor: Love & Thunder’ To Strike Lightning At The Box Office

After the box office fireworks of the long 4th of July weekend, the streak should continue this weekend with the latest from Hollywood’s biggest moneymaker, the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Thor: Love and Thunder is the 29th entry in the MCU and the fourth standalone film for the Norse-inspired superhero. With the film certain to top $100 million in its opening weekend, this will be the first time since June 2018 that two weekends in a row had new releases debuting in the nine figures, following last weekend’s $107 million three-day gross for Minions: The Rise of Gru.

‘Minions: The Rise of Gru’ Opens With Boffo $108.5 Million Weekend; Poised to Shatter Fourth of July Record

Those little yellow guys racked up some serious green over the red-white-and-blue weekend.Minions: The Rise of Gru, the fifth and latest installment in Universal’s hit Despicable Me franchise, debuted to a stunning $108.5 million in its first three days of domestic release and is currently on pace to make $127.9 million by the time the Monday holiday is over—a number that would push it past 2011’s Transformers: Dark of the Moon ($115.9 million) as the biggest Fourth of July debut ever in North America.

‘Minions: The Rise of Gru’ To Lead Long July 4th Weekend

After a franchise-packed June which was the highest grossing month since December 2019 (though, to give some perspective, it was still lower than any pre-pandemic June since 2007), July kicks off with another franchise title for the long Independence Day weekend. Minions: The Rise of Gru should lead the way with a plethora of well performing holdovers flanking it for a strong holiday weekend at the box office.

‘Elvis’ and ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ Slug It Out For The Spot With $30.5 Million Each; ‘The Black Phone’ Also Scares Up Strong Numbers

Looking at this weekend’s box-office returns you may very well be wondering what year it is as Tom Cruise slugged it out with Tom Hanks for bragging rights over who has the top-grossing movie in North America. As Sunday’s receipts were still being tallied, it appeared as if the the two A-list veterans were locked in a virtual dead heat, with each of their latest films pulling in $30.5 million each. If a clear victor is not established by Monday, this one may come down to hanging chads and mail-in votes, folks. However, as it stands right now, it’s Cruise’s five-week-old blockbuster, Top Gun: Maverick, that looks to have the slight edge (by mere decimal points) over Hanks’ new razzle-dazzle biopic, Elvis. Meanwhile, Universal’s latest Blumhouse-produced chiller, The Black Phone, debuted in fourth place with a strong $23.4 million bow.

Musical Biopic ‘Elvis’ & Horror Flick ‘The Black Phone’ To Cap Off Strong June

From the Top Gun and Jurassic Park sequels to the Toy Story spinoff, the past month at the box office has been one fueled by nostalgia. Now, the nostalgia train continues, not with a sequel or spinoff, but with Elvis, the first feature biopic about the King of Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley. As for audiences more in the mood for shivering than shimmying, they can dial into The Black Phone, the latest from horror practitioner Scott Derrickson. While neither film is expected to top the charts, the month is still ending on a positive note as the top four titles this weekend should all come in above $20 million, which would be the first time for this to happen since November 2018.

‘Lightyear’ Opens In Second Place Behind Still-Roaring ‘Jurassic World’ With Soft $51 Million Bow

Well, it didn’t quite reach infinity and beyond. In fact, it didn’t even reach first place—a rarity for a big-budget Pixar tentpole. But despite its disappointing blast-off, Disney’s Lightyear still managed to rack up $51 million during its domestic debut over Father’s Day weekend. Maybe it was the absence of Woody and the rest of the gang, but either way the Toy Story spin-off fell short of expectations and failed to blast past Universal’s still-roaring dino sequel, Jurassic World Dominion, which held onto the top spot thanks to a massive $58.7 million second-week haul.

‘Lightyear’ To Create A Buzz This Father’s Day/Juneteenth Weekend

There’s a starman waiting in the sky, and audiences of all ages should flock to see his intergalactic adventures this weekend. 27 years after Pixar launched with Toy Story and revolutionized CG animation, the landmark film’s conceited plastic co-hero, Buzz, finally gets a starring role in Lightyear. The film doesn’t take place in the world of toys, however. Rather, the conceit of the stand-alone sci-fi adventure is that it's the actual 1995 film about the eponymous space ranger (now voiced by Chris Evans) on which the Toy Story "Buzz" toy which Andy received is based. Even if we can’t expect the spinoff to reach the box office highs of the latest Toy Story sequels, it should do strong business over the Father’s Day/Juneteenth weekend.

‘Jurassic World Dominion’ Roars With $143.4 Domestic Debut; ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ Keeps Flying High

It’s peak summer movie season, which means what’s old is new again. After two back-to-back first-place finishes for a follow-up to the biggest box-office hit of 1986 (Top Gun), this weekend multiplexes were dominated by the latest sequel to the biggest box-office hit of 1993 (Jurassic Park). Not that anyone at Hollywood’s major studios is complaining about this latest wave of deja-vu. These days their very survival seems to depend on franchise nostalgia. Leaving a monster footprint at home and abroad, Universal’s Jurassic World Dominion, the sixth and latest installment in the dinos-run-amok franchise, stomped the competition over the frame with an eye-popping $143.4 million domestic bow, bumping reigning champ Top Gun: Maverick from the top spot even though Tom Cruise and company held on far better than expected in its third session with a still-impressive $50 million North American haul.

‘Jurassic World: Dominion’ Set For Huge Opening Weekend As Legacy Franchise Season Is In Full Swing

Prehistoric DNA is used to revive extinct species for the purpose of thrilling audiences… is that a Michael Crichton plot or a commentary on the state of cinema? Either way, audiences aren’t complaining. The past two weeks have been dominated by the sequel to 1986’s biggest hit, Top Gun, and now we are moving on to the fifth sequel to 1993’s biggest hit as Jurassic World Dominion roars into theaters. It is the third mega-movie of the summer, though as of now the two tentpole releases have been holding up a tent with little inside of it, with no major releases in the two weeks following Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness or in the week following Top Gun: Maverick. The good news is that from this weekend onwards the summer is packed with big films nearly every week, though the quantity of titles in the slate is still lower than pre-pandemic levels.

‘Top Gun: Maverick’ Still Flying High in Sophomore Weekend with $86 Million While ‘Jurassic World Dominion’ Roars Overseas

Another week, another box-office lesson. While the Memorial Day session reminded us that there are still such things as old-school Hollywood movie stars—the kind whose name on a marquee can single-handedly open a movie—thanks to the blockbuster debut of Tom Cruise’s Top Gun: Maverick, this week we were given a refresher course in the power of positive word of mouth. Cruise’s buzzy sequel just kept soaring at the multiplex with a negligible drop off, taking in another $86 million at North American theaters. It’s especially newsworthy since the smash-hit sequel is one of the few recent out-of-the-gate moneymakers without no connection to either superheroes or comic-book I.P. Meanwhile, another eagerly awaited tentpole follow-up, Jurassic World Dominion, was met by dino-sized returns in its early overseas roll out.

‘Top Gun: Maverick’ To Fly High In Second Weekend

There is no doubt that the box office is flying high after a stratospheric $127 million three-day and $161 million four-day holiday opening for Top Gun: Maverick, which was the biggest non-superhero debut since 2019 and nearly double the previous best Tom Cruise opening. The three-and-a-half decade in the waiting sequel also delivered a new record for Memorial Day weekend, beating Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End. Despite these highs, the lack of new releases is still holding back the box office, which is why May, despite being the second highest grossing month since the pandemic began with an overall box office of $786 million, was the lowest grossing May since 2006.
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