Unfortunately, the rest of the box office has little to celebrate. The $63.4 million overall weekend box office is the best since August 19-21, but it is still the sixth weekend in a row to have the distinction of being worse than any pre-pandemic weekend in over two decades. One pretty good opening each weekend is not enough to sustain the box office, and the blockbusters can’t come soon enough, though a stronger turnout on smaller films, especially from adult audiences, would also be necessary for the numbers to return to pre-pandemic levels.
Last week’s champ Don’t Worry Darling came in second place, following up its respectable $19.4 million opening with a lackluster $7.3 million weekend two. The film was expected to be frontloaded, with its opening being driven by Harry Styles fans, but the weekend two drop of 62% and the domestic cume of $32.8 million is still underwhelming here. The $35 million budgeted thriller is holding better abroad, down 40% in holdover markets and bringing the global total to $54.7 million.
The Woman King took third place with $7 million, down just 36% in its third weekend and bringing its cume to $46.7 million. As expected, the killer word of mouth is leading to strong holds, though it still has a long road to make back its $50 million budget. The international footprint has been limited so far, bringing in just $3.4 million, but it ramps up its piecemeal expansion next weekend with Germany and U.K.
The biggest disappointment this weekend came from Universal’s Judd Apatow-produced Bros. The film had a lot going for it, being touted as the first major studio LGBTQ rom-com and winning over both critics (91% on Rotten Tomatoes) and audiences (A CinemaScore) alike. Unfortunately, hardly anyone showed up, with the Billy Eichner-starring film grossing just $4.8 million from 3,350 screens. This is a worse debut than the summer’s sole studio live action comedy Easter Sunday, which had a $5.4 million opening and went on to gross just $13 million. Bros could do better when it’s all said and done with good word of mouth, but it's a dismal opening not just for the $22 million film but for the comedy genre as a whole, which is beginning to look like an endangered species. 10+ years ago, this likely could have done a mid to high teens opening a la director Nicholas Stoller’s earlier films Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Get Him to the Greek, which both went on to gross $60+ million domestically. Nowadays, comedies are a much tougher sell without major stars and wall to wall special effects in the mix.
Fifth place went to the re-release of Avatar, which grossed $4.7 million this weekend, down 55% from the last frame. This is a good hold for a re-release, and the post second weekend cume is $19 million domestically and $58 million internationally. The highest grossing movie of all time worldwide may not need more money, but the interest here is a great sign for this December’s release of Avatar: The Way of Water, the 13 years in the waiting sequel.
The biggest per-theater average ($8k) in the top ten came from the Indian historical epic Ponniyin Selvan: I, grossing $4 million from 500 theaters via Sarigama for a sixth place finish. The Tamil language film is the first of a two-parter, with the second half expected to come out next year.