Movies

DC League of Super-Pets #1 but It’s a Box Office Disappointment

Audiences rushed to see “Minions: The Rise of Gru” in theaters; for the canine companions of Superman and Batman, they seem more inclined to wait at home.

July 2022 was the best month for theaters since 2019, but it ends on a weak note: For the first time since May (just before Paramount opened “Top Gun: Maverick), grosses for all films will total under $100 million. This particular fallow patch won’t last long with “Bullet Train” (Sony) starring Brad Pitt opening next Friday; it could open to $40 million or higher. After that, theaters may have to wait for October for another significant performer when Warner Bros. opens “Black Adam” starring Dwayne Johnson.

That’s assuming it doesn’t underwhelm like some DC Comics adaptations, like this weekend’s animated “DC League of Super-Pets(Warners). It’s #1 this weekend, but with a less-than-stellar $23 million. By comparison, that’s less than a quarter of the opening gross for “Minions: The Rise of Gru;” another animated Universal title, last spring’s “The Bad Guys,” cost $90 million less and opened to $1 million more.

Animated superheroes can be gold mines — “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” (Sony) had a domestic total of $190 million — but animation has been uneven all summer. “Lightyear” (Disney) was a real disappointment as a Pixar-brand film. “Paws of Fury: The Legend of Frank” (Paramount) did less than $4 million to open last weekend, and didn’t even make the Top 10 this week.

“Gru,” with another $10 million this weekend at #4, is headed to more than $350 million — better than “Thor: Love and Thunder.” “Sonic the Hedgehog 2” (Paramount) took in $190 million. Still, moviegoers are clearly becoming more selective with VOD and streaming as near-term options.

Ticket sales totaled $96 million, 59 percent of the same 2019 weekend. That lowers the ongoing four-week comparison to 2019 to 85 percent, but it’s very unlikely to maintain that performance over the next two months.

Nope

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Jordan Peele’s “Nope” (Universal), down 58 percent from its opening, did not duplicate the second-weekend for “Us” (-53 percent after opening much higher) and “Get Out” (-15 percent). At #2 and $80 million, it’s a respectable result and it will become his third $100 million+ domestic film. However, each of the first two grossed more than $250 million worldwide, with far lower budgets; This one will be much less profitable.

“Thor” dropped 42 percent and “Gru” 40 percent. Other holds, including two Universal films on PVOD, dropped just a third or less. Best of the bunch was “Elvis” (Warner Bros.), off only 11 percent at #7 and $129 million. Also holding well is “When the Crawdads Sing” (Sony), in its third weekend down 27 percent and likely headed for $75 million or more. “Maverick” as usual held strong, down 20 percent, up to $650 million.

Also new in the top 10 in 998 theaters is “Vengeance” (Focus), #10 with $1,750,000. The Blumhouse production, which blends comedy and a murder mystery, is the directing debut of BJ Novak, who also plays the lead. It found some favorable critical response and likely will see a decent PVOD afterlife.

“A Love Song”

Bleecker Street

Of the specialized limited debuts, two saw some degree of interest. “A Love Song” (Bleecker Street) managed $18,700 on four screens. Boosted by appearances by Lena Dunham and others, “Sharp Stick” (Utopia) did about the same in two. Opening wider in 97 theaters, “Resurrection” (IFC) grossed $92,700.

“Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris” (Focus) added another $930,000 in 871 theaters, now at $6.7 million. “Marcel the Shell with Shoes On” (A24) added another $602,000 in 821 to reach $4.1 million. Neon’s “Fire of Love” did $151,ooo in 191, now $525,000.

The never-ending “Everything Everywhere All at Once” returned with bonus features with $650,000 in 1,490, enough to get it over $100 million worldwide for the A24, by far its highest total.

The Top 10

1. DC League of Super-Pets (Warner Bros.) NEW – Cinemascore: A-; Metacritic: 59; Est. budget: $90 million

$23,000,000 in 4,314 theaters; PTA (per theater average): $5,331; Cumulative: $23,000,000

2. Nope (Universal) Week 2; Last weekend #1

$18,550,000 (-58%) in 3,807 (+22) theaters; PTA: $4,873; Cumulative: $80,583,000

3. Thor: Love and Thunder (Disney) Week 4; Last weekend #2

$13,075,000 (-42%) in 3,650 (-720) theaters; PTA: $3,582; Cumulative: $301,522,000

4. Minions: The Rise of Gru (Universal) Week 5; Last weekend #3

$10,800,000 (-40%) in 3,579 (-237) theaters; PTA: $3,040; Cumulative: $320,411,000

5. Top Gun: Maverick (Paramount) Week 10; Last weekend #5

$8,200,000 (-20%) in 3,008 (-152) theaters; PTA: $2,726; Cumulative: $650,104,000

6. Where the Crawdads Sing (Sony) Week 3; Last weekend #4

$7,525,000 (-27%) in 3,526 (-124) theaters; PTA: $2,134; Cumulative: $53,526,000

7. Elvis (Warner Bros.) Week 6; Last weekend #6

$5,830,000 (-11%) in 2,901 (-204) theaters; PTA: $2,010; Cumulative: $129,001,000

8. The Black Phone (Universal) Week 6; Last weekend #8; also on PVOD

$2,500,000 (-29%) in 1,638 (-417) theaters; PTA: $1,526; Cumulative: $83,119,000

9. Jurassic World: Dominion (Universal) Week 8; Last weekend #9; also on PVOD

$2,080,000 (-33%) in 1,747 (-420) theaters; PTA: $1,191; Cumulative: $369,493,000

10. Vengeance (Focus) NEW – Cinemascore: B+; Metacritic: 69

$1,750,000 in 998 theaters; PTA: $1,754; Cumulative: $1,750,000

Additional specialized/limited/independent releases

A Love Song (Bleecker Street) – Metacritic: 76; Festivals include: Sundance 2022

$18,702 in 4 theaters; PTA: $4,859

Resurrection (IFC) – Metacritic: 70; Festivals include: Sundance 2021

$92,700 in 97 theaters; PTA: $956

Medusa (Music Box) – Metacritic: 69; Festivals include: Cannes, Toronto 2021

$2,181 in 3 theaters; PTA: $727

Sharp Stick (Utopia) – Metacritic:52; Festivals include: Sundance 2022

$18,317 in 2 theaters; PTA: $9,159

Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris (Focus) Week 3

$930,000 in 871 (-130) theaters; Cumulative: $6,755,00

Fire of Love (Neon) Week 4

$151,262 in 191 (+94) theaters; Cumulative: $525,590

Hallelujah: Leonard Cohen, a Journey, a Song (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 4

$53,947 in 63 (-1) theaters; Cumulative: $333,607

Marcel the Shell With Shoes On (A24) Week 6

$602,300 in 821 theaters (+231); Cumulative: $4,101,000

Everything Everywhere All at Once (A24) Week 18; also on PVOD

$650,000 in 1,490 (+1,320) theaters; Cumulative: $68,848,000

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