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‘The Batman’ Shares the Box Office with a Surprise Hit: ‘Jujutsu Kaisen 0’

"The Batman" is still #1, but #2 is Japanese anime film "Jujutsu Kaisen 0," which outgrossed "X," "The Outfit," and "Umma" combined.

“Jujutsu Kaisen 0”

This weekend is the two-year anniversary of when theaters closed and began the unprecedented disruption of a century-old business. Its impact remains a work in progress, although positive signs continue: “The Batman” crossed the $300 million domestic mark in its third weekend. That’s two days earlier than “Batman v Superman” in 2016, which opened $30 million higher, then ended up at $330 million.

THE BATMAN, from left: Jeffrey Wright as James Gordon, Robert Pattinson as Batman, 2022. ph: Jonathan Olley / © Warner Bros. / Courtesy Everett Collection

“The Batman”

Warner Bros/Courtesy Everett Collection

The Robert Pattinson reboot should easily pass $400 million in the U.S./Canada, with $800 million worldwide in sight. (It just passed $600 million.) A strong hold, down only 45 percent, shows above-average word of mouth and perhaps signs of continued expansion of audiences returning to theaters.

It also is helped by little competition. Over the last three years, “Captain Marvel,” “Beauty and the Beast,” and “Zootopia” all opened this month to ultimate domestic grosses of over $300 million.

The younger male audience that leads the return to theaters showed its strength with an unexpectedly strong showing for “Jujutsu Kaisen 0” (Crunchyroll). The Japanese anime film (the title translated is “Sorcery Fight”) follows the success of anime-based “Demon Slayer” last April, which stunned with a $21 million debut.

This one sneaked up on all but its audience. It received virtually no attention from traditional movie-media sites and went unreviewed in most publications. Not that it was needed to make it the year’s fifth-highest opening.

That’s an encouraging sign in a week when three more established distributors, all with genre-title track records, also opened new releases. Two of them — Ti West’s “X” (A24), a thriller set on a rural porn film shoot, and “The Outfit” (Focus), with Mark Rylance trying to outwit Chicago mobsters — placed much lower in the Top Ten.

"The Outfit"

“The Outfit”

Focus Features

Both got good reviews and will likely receive elevated attention ahead in VOD home play. “X” in 2,865 theaters took in $4.4 million. That’s credible for a low-budget, no-name horror film with an unconventional plot, but falls short of pre-Covid $6 million+ openings for A24 titles like “The Green Knight,” “Midsommar,” and “It Comes at Night.”

“The Outfit” played at 1,324 theaters, grossing $1,510,000. Of note is its 13 percent rise Saturday over Friday. Both “Jujutsu” and “X” fell from the previous day, each with stronger Thursday preview results.

“Umma” (Sony), with Sandra Oh in a story about a woman haunted by her late mother in her rural home, opened at #11 with $915,000 in 805 theaters. “Alice” (Roadside Attractions), which premiered at Sundance last January starring Keke Palmer and Common, grossed $176,000 in 170 theaters.

The weekend’s $83 million total again falls short of the pre-Covid $100 million seen for most weekends year round. It is 59 percent of the $140 million seen three years ago. Even with the massive opening weekend of “The Batman” among the titles in our ongoing four-week rolling comparison, business stands at 74 percent of the same period in 2019.

The specialized world still is looking for new titles to stand out. Of note is the ongoing success of “The Worst Person in the World” (Neon). Despite opening later than the similarly acclaimed and also subtitled “Drive My Car” (Janus) and “Parallel Mothers” (Sony Pictures Classics), it is has taken a clear lead among the three successful titles. Now at $2.8 million, it has a shot of reaching $3 million before it’s done.

The Top Ten

1. The Batman (Warner Bros.) – Week 3; Last weekend #1

$36,800,000 (-45%) in 4,302 (-115) theaters; PTA (per theater average): $8,554; Cumulative: $300,091,000

2. Jujutsu Kaisen 0 (Funimation) NEW – Cinemascore:; Metacritic: 74;

$17,699,000 in 2,297 theaters; PTA: $7,742; Cumulative: $17,699,000

3. Uncharted (Sony) – Week 5; Last weekend #2

$8,000,000 (-14%) in 3,700 (-25) theaters; PTA: $2,162; Cumulative: $125,895,000

4. X (A24) NEW – Cinemascore:; Metacritic: 78

$4,408,000 in 2,865 theaters; PTA: $1,528; Cumulative: $4,408,000

5. Dog (United Artists) – Week 5; Last weekend #3; also on PVOD

$4,096,000 (-21%) in () theaters; PTA: $1,239; Cumulative: $54,228,000

6. Spider-Man: No Way Home (Sony) – Week 14; Last weekend #4; also on PVOD

$3,200,000 (-21%) in 2,585 (-117) theaters; PTA: $1,238; Cumulative: $797,544,000

7. Death on the Nile (Disney) – Week 6; Last weekend #6

$1,700,000 (-30%) in 2,085 (-380) theaters; PTA: $829; Cumulative: $43,574,000

8. The Outfit (Focus) NEW –  Metacritic: 69

$1,510,000 in 1,325 theaters; PTA: $1,140; Cumulative: $1,510,000

9. The Kashmir Files (Zee) – Week 2; Last weekend #11

$1,485,000 (+410%) in 230 (+172) theaters; PTA: $6,487; Cumulative: $(est.) 2,100,000

10. Sing 2 (Universal) – Week 13; Last weekend #7; also on PVOD

$1,480,000 (-8%) in 1,838 (-150) theaters; PTA: $805; Cumulative: $158,470,000

 

Additional specialized/limited/independent releases 

Ahed’s Knee (Kino Lorber) NEW – Metacritic: 76; Festivals include: Cannes, Toronto, New York 2021

$5,738 in 1 theater; PTA: $5738

Alice (Roadside Attractions) NEW – Metacritic: 47; Festivals include: Sundance 2022

$176,120 in 170 theaters; PTA: $1,036

Jane by Charlotte (Utopia) NEW – Metacritic: 79; Festivals include: Cannes, New York 2021

$13,447 in 7 theaters; PTA: $1,921

The Automat (Slice of Pie) –  Week 5

$11,036 in 9 (+5) theaters; Cumulative: $81,312

The Worst Person in the World (Neon) – Week 7; also on PVOD

$110,000 in 139 (-89) theaters;  Cumulative: $2,780,000

Parallel Mothers (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 13; also on PVOD

$28,161 in 43 (-4)  theaters; Cumulative: $2,149,000

Nightmare Alley (Searchlight) Week 13; also streaming on HBO Max and Hulu

$23,000 in 350 (+70) theaters; Cumulative: $11,290,000

Drive My Car (Janus) Week 15; also on HBO Max

$55,907 in 74 (-28) theaters; Cumulative: $2,125,000

Licorice Pizza (United Artists) Week 16; also on PVOD

$169,794 in 507 (+91) theaters; Cumulative: $16,986,000

Belfast (Focus) Week 19; also on VOD

$110,000 in 696 (+105) theaters; Cumulative: $9,036,000

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