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411 Box Office Report: Smile Wins the Weekend With $22 Million

October 2, 2022 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
SMILE Image Credit: Paramount Pictures

Horror reigned again at the box office this weekend as Smile took the #1 spot. Parker Finn’s directorial debut grossed $22 million over the weekend, overperforming estimates that had it in the high teens and making Paramount Pictures very happy as a result. Smile scored the best weekend result since Bullet Train grossed $30 million to win the weekend eight weeks ago.

Smile is sitting very pretty right now, and that’s thanks to a canny marketing campaign by Paramount as well as positive buzz for the film. The initial reaction to viewers to the trailer was somewhat apathetic, but positive fan response grew over the summer. Paramount did some fun viral marketing including actors giving the crazy smile seen in the film at sporting events last weekend, which helped translate into anticipation following the film’s debuts at Fantastic Fest and Beyond Fest.

Critics have been warmer to Smile than some anticipated, with a 75% aggregate score on Rotten Tomatoes. Audience response has also been quite good with a B- CinemaScore (for a genre that averages in the C range) and an 80% RT audience score. That helped the film hold on well over the weekend quite nicely.

Paramount is already looking at a profit for this film, which added $14.5 million overseas for a $36.5 million worldwide start against a $17 million production budget. It will benefit from no direct competition next weekend before Halloween Ends crushes it in two weeks; even if it has big drops, it seems certain to gross at least $50 million domestically which will make it a hit for the studio.

Don’t Worry Darling took an expected big fall in its second weekend, down 62% to $7.3 million. No one is surprised by this; the Olivia Wilde film rode into theaters on a wave of curiosity based on the off-screen drama. Even without that, science fiction always tends to be front-loaded. Don’t cry for (or laugh at) Warner Bros. though; the film cost only $19 million and has already grossed $32.8 million domestically and $54.7 million worldwide, making this a hit for the studio. It should be able to end its domestic run around $45 million to $50 million which will make it solidly profitable.

Viola Davis’ The Woman King continued to hold on well, down just 36% in its third weekend to $7 million. The historical action drama is doing decently with $46.7 million domestically and $50.1 million worldwide. It’s worth noting that the overseas numbers are based on just a few markets, and once that expands it should be able to turn a profit with $65 million domestically against a $50 million budget.

Bros underperformed in its opening weekend, as the romcom scored a debut of just $4.8 million. That’s below the $7 million to $10 million that Universal expected for the film. But that wasn’t a particularly shocking thing, as it’s an R-rated gay comedy in a subgenre that hasn’t performed well in some time. Romcoms are a genre that seems more suited to streaming these days; the last hit romantic comedy at the box office was What Men Want in February of 2019, and the last major hit was 2018’s Crazy Rich Asians. (The Lost City had romcom elements but was sold more as an action comedy.)

All that said, this isn’t a disaster for Universal. The budget was not off the charts, coming in at just $22 million, and the critical reaction (91% on RT) and word of mouth (92% RT audience reaction, A CinemaScore) are encouraging signs. Bros should be able to carry out a decent multiple and has a chance at $16 million to $20 million domestically before it jumps over to Peacock, where it should do fairly well.

Avatar fell 55% in its second week of re-release, grossing $4.7 million. The sci-fi blockbuster has grossed $18.6 million domestically and $58.1 million worldwide in this re-release, bringing its totals to $779.1 million domestic and $2.905 billion worldwide.

The Indian action drama Ponniyin Selvan soared to #6 in its US release, bringing in $4 million. That is a very good number for the film, on par with September’s Brahmastra Part 1: Shiva ($4 million). The film has added $19 million in India for a $23 million worldwide total. It still has a ways to go in order to make back a reported $30 million budget and will drop off the charts in the US quickly, but it’s off to a good start.

Barbarian was down a solid 42% in its fourth weekend to gross $2.8 million. The 20th Century Studios horror is now up to $33.1 million domestically and $34.8 million worldwide, great numbers considering the film cost just $4.5 million to make. It should be able to make it to $40 million before it exits theaters.

Pearl also had a solid hold, down just 39% in its second weekend to $1.9 million. The X prequel is set for a tidy little profit for A24, even with marketing, as the production budget was only $1 million. Pearl is up to $6.7 million and while it may not top X’s $11.8 million, A24 will be happy regardless. A $10 million total seems likely.

Searchlight Pictures’ See How They Run was down a solid 37% in its second weekend, bringing in $1.9 million. The crime comedy is doing fairly well considering its profile with $6.1 million domestically and $12.3 million worldwide. Still no word on its budget, but like Pearl it should hit around $10 million.

Bullet Train crossed the triple digit mark domestically as it grossed $1.4 million (down just 23%) in its nineth weekend. The Brad Pitt-led action comedy now has $101.3 million domestically and $235.1 million worldwide, profitable against a budget of $85 million. It should be able to close out its domestic run at just around $105 million.

DC League of Super Pets was down 25% in its 10th weekend with $1.3 million. The animated film has grossed $91.7 million domestically and $193.3 million worldwide, putting it at an expected profit by the time it leaves theaters against a $90 million budget. $95 million remains its likely endgame in the US.

Top Gun: Maverick spent one more week, its 19th, in the top 10 as it grossed $1.2 million (down 24%). The action sequel now has $713.5 million domestically and $1.476 billion worldwide and is obviously a hit against its $170 million budget. It should finish off around $715 million.

Next weekend should see family entertainment top the box office as Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile targets a $17 million to $20 million start. Meanwhile, David O. Russell new film Amsterdam is looking like to start in the mid-teens.

BOX OFFICE TOP TEN (Three-Day Domestic Numbers)
1. Smile – $22 million ($22 million total, $36.5 million WW)
2. Don’t Worry Darling – $7.3 million ($32.8 million total, $54.7 million WW)
3. The Woman King – $7 million ($46.7 million total, $50.1 million WW)
4. Bros – $4.8 million ($4.8 million total, $4.8 million WW)
5. Avatar – $4.7 million ($779.1 million total, $2.905 billion WW)
6. Ponniyin Selvan – $4 million ($4 million total, $4 million WW)
7. Barbarian – $2.8 million ($33.1 million total, $34.8 million WW)
8. Bullet Train – $1.4 million ($101.3 million total, $235.1 million WW)
9. DC League of Super-Pets – $1.3 million ($91.7 million total, $193.3 million WW)
10. Top Gun: Maverick – $1.2 million ($713.5 million total, $1.476 billion WW)WW)

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Box Office, Bros, Smile, Jeremy Thomas