By Chris Kavan - 04/27/22 at 11:01 AM CT
Another week, another sign that the box office might be getting back to normal. Family crowds, who once seemed to avoid the movies, are showing back up in force. The same can't be said for fans of Fantastic Beasts - which took a big nosedive in its second week out. Two adult-leaning titles - The Northmen and The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent also had middling success. You see I haven't mentioned the ratings bulletin yet and for good reason - it's incredibly brief and has nothing to talk about.
The box office is where it's at and this week proved one thing: it's good to bad. Bad Guys, the animated caper following some anthropomorphic criminals trying to play things straight took the crown with a near $24 million opening. Family crowds (and maybe a few furry fans - you know who you are) showed up in force for the PG film. It boasts some nice talent with Sam Rockwell voicing the suave wolf, Marc Maron as the wily Snake, Awkwafina as Tarantula, Craig Robinson as Shark, Anthony Ramos as Piranha, Richard Ayoade as Professor Marmalade (who is trying to reform the bad boys) and Zazie Beetz as Diane Foxington - potential love interest for our Wolf. The setup is simple - bad boys want to go good and find it's not so easy to do. The film was both a hit with critics (85% positive on Rotten Tomatoes) and audiences (a solid "A" Cinemascore) and seems like it will play well to the family crowd in the weeks ahead. Not to be outdone by a strong domestic start, Bad Guys also brought in a $63.1 million overseas haul for a worldwide total of $87.1 million.
Revving in strong in second place, Sonic 2 sped off with another $15.6 million weekend for a new $146.2 million total - and will shortly hit that $150 million milestone - not to mention topping the original Sonic's $148.9 million total. The film dipped an expected 48% - when you have two films competing for the same audience that's actually not a bad hold at all. The film has also pulled in $142 million international for a worldwide total of $287.8 million and it's expected to top the first film's $319.7 million as well.
In a surprise finish - and not a good kind of surprise - Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, took a pretty steep 66.8% hit and only managed a $14 million weekend abroad for a weak $67.1 million total. At this point it seems like it won't even hit the $100 million mark. If there is any silver lining for this franchise it has to be its international numbers where it is doing much better with $213.2 million. Will that be enough to warrant another outing with Newt, Dumbledore and crew? Nothing is set in stone so we'll have to wait and see if there's enough magic to continue the beleaguered franchise.
Two other new films round out the top five: In fourth place, Robert Eggers' insane blood-soaked Viking epic The Northman nabbed a $12 million opening. Eggers, of course, is more known for his indie horror freakouts The Witch and The Lighthouse. The Northman had a much larger budget - at least $90 million - and an impressive cast including Alexander Skarsgard, Nicole Kidman, Ethan Hawke, Anya Taylor-Joy, Bjork and Willem Dafoe (some names will be familiar for fans of Eggers' previous work). Critics awarded it an 89% Fresh and scored a "B" with audiences - a surprisingly high mark for a high-budget and bloody arthouse offering. With $11.5 million overseas, The Northman has a fair way to go if it actually wants to make money, but Eggers is a rare talent these days, an original filmmaker whose not afraid to take chances, so the more support he gets, the better.
Rounding out the top five we find Nicholas Cage in The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent in which the versatile actor plays... himself! Or at least a version of himself for this particular film that finds the actor becoming fast friends with a megafan Javi Gutierrez (Pedro Pascal) only to find out he's a criminal kingpin and is recruited by some handlers to spy on him - and, of course, that goes south rather quickly. While I can't say every decision Cage has made (The Bees NOT THE BEES) has led to great roles, between this and Pig, he seems to have found a resurgence. The film opened to $7.13 million with a Fresh 88% from critics and a "B+" Cinemascore from audiences - who likely were in on the joke. The film took in a light $2.4 million overseas for a worldwide total of $9.5 million.
Also of note, Everything Everywhere All at Once fell just outside the top five, landing in sixth place with $5.4 million (down just 12.3% - the best hold in the top 10) and crossed the $25 million mark with a new $26.9 million total.
Next week sees a landslide of limited release films but just one new wide release, Liam Neeson's Memory about an aging assassin whose faltering memory begins to blur the lines between who he can trust - and who he should kill. I expect the family crowds will easily win out once again.
As I said, the MPAA Ratings Bulletin this week is short and lacking in any wide release content so I'll deliver you this list and be one my way:
Rated PG-13 for disturbing war images, some sexual material and thematic elements.
Rated R for language throughout, some crude sexual content and drug use.
THE GOOD NEIGHBOR
Rated R for language.
Rated R for language, some violent content and brief nudity.
THE ROAD TO GALENA
Rated R for language.
YORK WITCHES SOCIETY
Rated R for violence/bloody images and some language.