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411 Box Office Report: Nope Claims #1 With $44 Million Start

July 24, 2022 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Nope Image Credit: Universal Pictures

Audiences said “yes” to Jordan Peele’s Nope at the box office this weekend, lifting the film to the top spot in its opening weekend. The sci-fi horror film opened at $44 million to easily claim the top spot, on the low end but still around the $45 million to $50 million predictions going into the weekend. That is below the $71.1 million start of March 2019’s Us, but above the $33.4 million first weekend of 2017’s Get Out.

While it may be slightly below the projected start, Nope still gave a solid performance and notched the best start for an original, non-sequel IP since – well, since Peele’s Us. Original pitches have notoriously lower box office than sequels and adaptations, even with big-name directors behind them. The closest an original screenplay film came between Us and Nope to matching the latter’s start was Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, which scored $41 million in July of 2019.

Nope had some things moderating people’s projections going into the weekend, notably that it was entering a crowded marketplace for blockbusters and that the film has the lowest critic scores of a Peele-directed film to date. But even that lowest score is damned good, with an 83% aggregate score on Rotten Tomatoes. Among audiences, the film has a B CinemaScore and 71% RT audience reaction, lower than Get Out (A- & 86%) but equal to or better than Us (B & 60%).

Nope had a slightly worse hold throughout the weekend than Us, but Universal Pictures isn’t going to be too worried at this point. While the film was easily Peele’s biggest budget yet at $68 million, the studio will make that back. Domestically Nope shouldn’t have too much trouble crossing the $100 million mark, and when it starts rolling out overseas it will easily make up the difference and then some. This is another winner for the studio and Peele.

Thor: Love & Thunder dropped by half-plus again this weekend, down 53% in its third weekend to $22.1 million. The MCU film is now at $276.2 million domestically and $598.2 million worldwide, enough to make it an easy hit for the studio although not quite at the heights some expected. The film passed Captain America: The Winter Solider in domestic box office and is looking likely to finish out domestically at around $340 million. That will be the highest-grossing Thor film yet (Ragnarok is currently tops at $315.1 million), but it may not reach that film’s $850.5 million worldwide total.

Minions: Rise of Gru is trucking along nicely, off just 34% in its fourth weekend to $17.7 million. The animated film is up to $297.9 million domestically and $640.3 million worldwide, a huge profit against a budget of $80 million. At this point the film looks likely to close out around $340 million or so, enough to make it the highest domestic-grossing Despicable Me and Minions film to date.

Where the Crawdads Sing had a solid hold in its second weekend, down 40% to $10.3 million. Films based on books like this tend to have heavier second-weekend drops like fanboy franchises they have a strong built-in audience that go out to see it opening weekend, so it sounds like the positive audience reaction has generated into good word of mouth. The mystery-drama now has $38.3 million domestically and $42.4 million worldwide, strong numbers for a film that cost just $24 million (plus marketing). It should be able to finish out its domestic run around $50 million.

Top Gun: Maverick continues to have great holds, off a mere 10% in its nineth weekend to bring in another $10 million. The Tom Cruise sequel now stands at $635.6 million domestically and a huge $1.283 billion worldwide. The film should have no problem topping $660 million by the end of its run, likely enough to top Jurassic World ($652.3 million) and Titanic ($659.4 million) for the seventh-highest domestic grossing film of all-time. Can it beat Avengers: Infinity War’s $678.8 million? Probably a stretch but at this point, it’s not completely impossible.

Elvis was down just 21% in its fifth weekend, marking another film that is holding on very well. The Baz Luhrmann-directed biopic scored another $6.3 million, bringing its totals to $118.4 million domestically, and $210.2 million worldwide. The film is looking likely to turn a profit for Waner Bros. against its $85 million budget and should finish off around $130 million domestically.

Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank followed up its lousy opening weekend with a mercifully low drop. The animated film grossed added $3.9 million to its coffers, down 39% from last weekend’s take. For the record, that’s still not great as the film needs some massive help to have any real chance at profit. Right now it looks unlikely, with $13.8 million domestically and less than $80,000 internationally in a limited rollout so far against a 45 million-budgeted film. The stateside total is probably targeting $23 million or so. Paramount won’t suffer too much loss as they picked it up cheap at $10 million, but it won’t be a hit.

On the other hand, Universal has quite the hit with The Black Phone which eased 36% in its fifth weekend to $3.5 million. The horror flick is now up to $78.6 million domestically and $130.1 million worldwide, very profitable against its $18 million budget. It should be able to hit around $85 million domestically.

Jurassic World: Dominion slipped 43% in its seventh weekend to $3 million, bringing it to $365.5 million domestically and $920.6 million worldwide. The film is already in a profit margin against a $165 million production budget and should be able to end its domestic run at around $375 million.

Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris held on well to stay in the top 10, down just 31% in its second weekend to $1.4 million. The Focus Features film is performing how it needs to for a drama targeted at the older crowds, sitting at $4.7 million domestically and targeting a likely $8 million to $10 million domestically. No word on its budget.

Next weekend will see a new box office champion as DC League of Super-Pets targets a $40 million start or so, bringing in the family crowds. Focus Features’ Vengeance shouldn’t make much of a splash and IFC Films’ psychological thriller Resurrection opens in limited release.

BOX OFFICE TOP TEN (Three-Day Domestic Numbers)
1. Nope – $44 million ($44 million total, $44 million WW)
2. Thor: Love & Thunder – $22.1 million ($276.2 million total, $598.2 million WW)
3. Minions: The Rise of Gru – $17.7 million ($297.9 million total, $640.3 million WW)
4. Where the Crawdads Sing – $10.3 million ($38.3 million total, $42.4 million WW)
5. Top Gun: Maverick – $10 million ($635.6 million total, $1.282 billion WW)
6. Elvis – $6.3 million ($118.4 million total, $210.2 million WW)
7. Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank – $3.9 million ($13.8 million total, $13.8 million WW)
8. The Black Phone – $3.5 million ($78.6 million total, $130.1 million WW)
9. Jurassic World: Dominion – $3 million ($365.5 million total, $920.6 million WW)
10. Mrs Harris Goes to Paris – $1.4 million ($4.7 million total, $4.7 million WW)