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411 Box Office Report: Guardians Of the Galaxy Vol. 3 Holds Well To Stay at #1

May 14, 2023 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 Image Credit: Marvel Studios

Guardians Of the Galaxy Vol. 3 retained its top spot at the box office this weekend as expected, but did so with an exceptional hold from last week’s start. The MCU film stayed at #1 in its second weekend with $60.5 million. That’s a drop of just 49% from the film’s opening weekend, making it the third-best MCU hold of all time behind Black Panther (44% drop) and Thor (47%).

The MCU has traditionally been a front-loaded franchise, and particularly since the start of the pandemic. The previous best of the pandemic era was Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, which dropped 54% in weekend two, while every other drop has been over 60% with Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania maxing out at 70%. The strong hold for Guardians Vol. 3 can be attributed to the franchise’s strength within the MCU and the strong word of mouth, both of which are serving this film quite well.

As of now, Guardians has totaled $213.2 million domestically and $528.8 million worldwide, both strong numbers for the film thus far and pretty much guaranteeing the film a hit status. It’s still a bit early to confidently say exactly where this one will end up, as it will be hitting more competition starting next week, but it seems likely to pass the $300 million mark domestically at this point. Even with a hefty $250 million budget, it should be a profitable venture for the studio without much trouble.

The Super Mario Bros Movie was down 30% to $13 million in its sixth weekend. Nintendo’s animated flick is now up to $536 million domestically and a massive $1.210 billion worldwide thus far, making it a megahit against a $100 million budget. The film is still on course for around $560 million domestically and more if it continues to hold well.

Book Club: The Next Chapter tried to capitalize on Mother’s Day this weekend but couldn’t find its audience. The sequel to the 2018 romcom took in just $6.5 million, below the $8 million to $10 million most expected it to do. That’s less than half of the $13.5 million that the first film opened to.

The Next Chapter is yet another example of the difficulty that theaters are facing post-pandemic at getting older audiences, particularly older women, into theaters. That isn’t the only problem, of course; this sequel was bogged down with the “who wanted this?” label. Yes, the first film was a hit with $68.6 million domestically and $106.3 million worldwide, but the target demo is less susceptible to sequels and that appears to be the case here. Critics were lukewarm on the film at a 46% RT score, but they didn’t much like the first either (54%). And audience reaction is solid but not great (85% RT audience rating and a B CinemaScore).

The romcom is also underperforming overseas, where it has just $3.1 million for a $9.6 million worldwide total. With a $20 million budget plus marketing, this doesn’t look likely to be a hit and will probably close out in the $20 million domestic range.

Evil Dead Rise stayed strong in its fourth weekend, down 37% to $3.7 million. The Evil Dead sequel is now up to $60.2 million domestically and an impressive $131.8 million worldwide, making it the highest-grossing in the franchise by both metrics. New Line and Warner Bros. had a big hit on their hands here with a budget of just $18 million plus P&A, and it is still taking aim at around $70 million.

Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. got its expected strong hold for Mother’s Day, off a mere 23% in its third weekend to $2.5 million. The coming of age dramedy needed that hold, and it is now at $16.5 million. It’s still not likely for a profit in because of the $30 million production budget and an expected $22 million final stateside gross.

Robert Rodriguez’s latest directorial effort came in well under the radar, as Hypnotic got off to a whisper of a start at $2.4 million. The Ben Affleck-starring action-thriller opened more or less where it was expected to, but that’s not exactly a good thing.

Hypnotic is significant because it is Rodriguez’s first theatrical release not to be backed by a major studio. Ketchup Entertainment distributed the film and did not give it a strong marketing spend, which meant that most didn’t know it existed. But it also isn’t popular with people who have seen it, whether critics (38% RT score) or audiences (61% RT score, C+ CinemaScore). The film has not yet hit overseas markets, but with a reported $65 million budget this is a bomb that probably won’t top $8 million in the US.

John Wick: Chapter 4 was down just 18% in its eighth weekend to $1.9 million. The film is nearing the end of its theatrical run and has an impressive $183 million domestically and $418.9 million against its $100 million budget. It should end with around $188 million to $190 million domestically.

Sony’s romantic comedy Love Again had a good hold in its second weekend, down 35% to $1.6 million. That’s good for the film, but it should also be pointed out that it didn’t have that far to fall. The romcom is now up to $5 million domestically and $7.6 million worldwide against a $9 million budget before P&A. It is on track for around $8 million domestically, and its continuing openings overseas may get it to a minor bit of profit.

Air was down 45% in its sixth to $768,000. That drop for the Affleck-directed drama was expected, especially now that the film is available on Prime Video. The movie now stands at $51.6 million domestically and $86.3 million worldwide against a $70 million budget.

Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves was down 49% in its seventh weekend to $740,000. The fantasy action adventure has now grossed $92.2 million domestically and $205.7 million worldwide against its $150 million budget.

The Guardians will drop out of the top spot next weekend as Fast X rolls its way into theaters. The penultimate (or not?) film in the Fast & Furious main franchise is targeting around $65 million to $70 million.

BOX OFFICE TOP TEN (Three-Day Domestic Numbers)
1. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 – $60.5 million ($213.2 million total, $528.8 million WW)
2. The Super Mario Bros. Movie – $13 million ($536 million total, $1.210 billion WW)
3. Book Club – $6.5 million ($6.5 million total, $9.6 million WW)
4. Evil Dead Rise – $3.7 million ($60.2 million total, $131.8 million WW)
5. Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. – $2.5 million ($16.5 million total, $16.5 million WW)
6. Hypnotic – $2.4 million ($2.4 million total, $2.4 million WW)
7. John Wick: Chapter 4 – $1.9 million ($183 million total, $418.9 million WW)
8. Love Again – $1.6 million ($5 million total, $7.6 million WW)
9. Air – $768,0000 ($51.6 million total, $86.3 million WW)
10. Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves – $740,000 ($92.2 million total, $205.7 million WW)