So far, we know that the post-pandemic theatrical audiences likes testosterone action movies and animated family films. This weekend, Guy Ritchie’s “Wrath of Man” became the latest R-rated action-based film to see credible results with $8.1 million against little in the way of competition. Only in a year like this one would it reach theaters in early May, traditionally the starting gun for summer-movie blockbusters.
While that’s not a breakout hit, what’s encouraging is it surpassed the $6.8 million that “Nobody” grossed six weeks ago. That genre peer grossed about $25 million to date, and now thrives on Premium VOD. The gross improvement testifies to the increase in open theaters and shows that films with core appeal can reach their audience. In turn, this encourages distributors that it’s safe to return. Regal added around 200 more sites this weekend, with many more planned for May 28 when “A Quiet Place Part II” debuts.
The Top Ten came in around $21 million, with around $24 million all told. That’s steady, but no improvement.
“Here Today” opened nationwide in 1,200 theaters, Billy Crystal’s first directorial effort in 20 years. It’s unfair to see the weak result of $900,000 as meaning much. It was a late acquisition by Sony, it got weak reviews (crucial for older audiences, who otherwise have mostly avoided theaters), and didn’t have a major marketing outlay. The result was a #7 position.
For the most part, holdovers didn’t benefit much. Most titles dropped between 30 and 60 percent; the third weekend of “Mortal Kombat,” a very strong opener, down 62 percent after its 73 percent drop in week two. As a result, “Wrath” filled the void rather than improving the totals.
The major exception is “Raya and the Last Dragon” (Disney), up a surprising 35 percent after adding 505 theaters. Some were from Regal, but also helping was resolution of lingering terms issues between the studio and Cinemark. (“Raya” also was a PVOD film from day one.) In any event, it elevated the animated film, which is already up to $44 million. It also suggests that similar near-term Disney day-and-date releases of “Cruella” and “Black Widow” will get played in theaters.
The other opener of note was “The Water Man,” David Oyelowo’s directorial debut, which took in $183,000 in 311 theaters. It appears aimed at a Mother’s Day audience with its story about a son seeking a mythic character to aid his ill parent. It came in #12, behind the second weekend of “Four Good Days” with Glenn Close and Mila Kunis in an opiate-addiction drama.
Correction: An earlier version of this article noted the release of David Oyelowo’s directorial debut, “The Water Man,” and identified him as winning the 2021 Best Supporting Actor Oscar. He did not; the winner was Daniel Kaluuya. The article has been corrected. We apologize to both men, and to IndieWire’s readers, for this error.
The Top 10
1. Wrath of Man (United Artists) NEW – Cinemascore: A-; Metacritic: 57
$8,100,000 in 2,875 theaters; PTA (per theater average): $2,817; Cumulative: $8,100,000
2. Demon Slayer -Kimetsu no Yaiba- The Movie: Mugen Train (FUNimation) Week 3; Last weekend #1
$(est.) 2,900,000 (-55%) in 2,088 theaters (+183); PTA: $976; Cumulative: $$37,018,000
3. Mortal Kombat (Warner Bros.) Week 3; Last weekend #2; also on HBO Max
$2,375,000 (-62%) in 2,973 theaters (-171); PTA: $799; Cumulative: $37,846,000
4. Godzilla vs. Kong (Warner Bros.) Week 6; Last weekend #3
$1,930,000 (-32%) in 2,705 theaters (+132); PTA: $713; Cumulative: $92,963,000
5. Raya and the Last Dragon (Disney) Week 10; Last weekend #5; also on Premium VOD
$1,865,000 (+35%) in 2,315 theaters (+505); PTA: $806; Cumulative: $43,817,000
6. Separation (Open Road) Week 2; Last weekend #4
$1,075,000 (-40%) in 1,911 theaters (+160); PTA: $563; Cumulative: $3,379,000
7. Here Today (Sony) NEW – Metacritic: 40
$900,000 in 1,200 theaters; PTA: $750; Cumulative: $900,000
8. Nobody (Universal) Week 7; Last weekend #6; also on Premium VOD
$760,000 (-41%) in 1,931 theaters (-125); PTA: $394; Cumulative: $24,560,000
9. The Unholy (Sony) Week 6; Last weekend #7
$730,000 (-32%) in 1,390 theaters (-148); PTA: $525; Cumulative: $14,175,000
10. Tom & Jerry (Warner Bros.) Week 11; Last weekend #9; also on PVOD
$426,000 (-20%) in 1,831 theaters (+30); PTA: $233; Cumulative: $44,752,000