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411 Box Office Report: The Bad Guys Wins Crowded Weekend With $24 Million Start

April 24, 2022 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
The Bad Guys Photo Still Image Credit: DreamWorks Animation

It was a win for The Bad Guys at the box office this weekend, with the animated film beating a host of newcomers and holdovers for the top spot. Universal & Dreamworks’ animated film claimed #1 over the weekend with a $24 million start. That’s a good number for a film that most predicted to do $15 million to $20 million, one that puts the film on a solid path to success.

The rise of Bad Guys can be attributed to to several different factors. For one, while Sonic 2 is still just three weekends into in its run, multiplexes have otherwise had a drought of family films this year so far. This allowed Universal to capitalize with a fun-looking animated crime comedy – particularly one that critics liked. Bad Guys holds an 85% aggregate score on Rotten Tomatoes, and audiences like it too as seen by the A CinemaScore and 92% RT audience score.

All that combined with a savvy marketing campaign for a very satisfying start here. Sure, $24 million may be small potatoes compared to Pixar films or other bigger animated tentpoles, but The Bad Guys also didn’t have a Pixar budget. The film cost just $69 million, which is quite moderate for a major animated film, and sets the movie well on the path to profit. It has added $63.1 million overseas so far for an $87.1 million worldwide tally. Domestically it won’t have any direct competition for the kids’ market until mid-May, which means it shouldn’t have a problem getting to $75 million or more. Universal and DreamWorks are likely to find a solid bit of profit here.

Coming in at #2 for a second week was Sonic The Hedgehog 2, which was off a perfectly acceptable 48% to $15.2 million. The Paramount sequel has now grossed $145.8 million domestically and $287.8 million worldwide, great numbers against a $90 million budget. Sonic 2 will pass the first film’s $146.1 million domestic total by Monday and its international total of $304.9 million soon enough as well. It is looking to end its domestic run around $170 million, more than enough for a profit.

It was expected that Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore would have a hefty fall this weekend, and that’s exactly what happened. The third film in the Harry Potter spinoff series dropped 67% in its second weekend to $14 million. That is not, to state the obvious, great news for a film that already opened low last weekend at $42.2 million. It represents the second-biggest second weekend drop in the Wizarding World franchise, behind only the 72% drop that the final Harry Potter film had in July of 2011.

That said, it’s not all awful news for Secrets of Dumbledore. That’s because as expected, this film is performing much better overseas. Domestically it is only at $67.1 million, tracking at barely half what Crimes of Grindelwald did at this point in its run; but in terms of worldwide gross it’s at $280.3 million. This doesn’t mean it will hit a profit margin, as its budget was $200 million and that will require those international grosses to hold on very strongly. But there’s some hope that it might not be a complete disaster for the studio. In terms of domestic gross, it’s looking likely to end its run at around the $100 million mark.

Viking action rocked in at the #4 spot, as Robert Eggers’ The Northman claimed $12 million in its first weekend. That’s Eggers’ best opening weekend by far, besting The Witch’s $8.8 million start back in March of 2016. It also beat most analyst’s predictions for the film, which had it pegged at the high single digits mark.

The Northman came into the weekend with quite a bit of buzz around it, with critic reviews high at an 89% aggregate score on RT. That said, this was always going to be a harder sell as it’s a brutal, unforgiving R-rated revenge tale without an A-list name toplining. Alexander Skarsgard and Anya Taylor-Joy are known celebrities, but they aren’t people who have the household name status to carry a film on their own and Nicole Kidman & Willem Dafoe are in smaller roles that weren’t heavily highlighted in the marketing. The audience reaction was okay if not great, with a B CinemaScore and 67% audience rating on RT.

This film’s biggest barrier to success is its budget; the film cost $70 million which will be hard to recoup in theaters. Fortunately, Focus Features wasn’t looking at this for theatrical success alone and its value will come in home viewing receipts. It added another $11.5 million overseas for a $23.5 million start worldwide. Domestically it should be able to make it as high as $30 million.

Nicolas Cage’s Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent performed right in line with expectations, starting off with $7.2 million. That is the highest start for a Cage-led live-action film since Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance opened to $22.1 million all the way back in 2012. It represents a solid performance for the $30 million-budgeted meta comedy, which stars Cage as a fictional version of himself roped into a manic adventure when he accepts a $1 million offer to make a personal appearance.

This film’s concept is out there enough that it was never going to be a blockbuster hit, and Lionsgate wasn’t looking for box office-winning results. They were relying on the film’s positive reaction among critics (88% on RT) and fans (87% audience score, B+ CinemaScore) to drive fans to the theaters. It may not have overperformed, but it’s also not in the worst shape either. It opened overseas in a handful of markets to $2.4 million for a $9.6 million worldwide start. It has a long way to go to hit profit in theaters and that is very much up in the air; right now it is looking at a probable $25 million to $30 million in the US, meaning that the potential overseas grosses will be its saving grace if they come in.

Meanwhile, A24 is having plenty of success with Everything Everywhere All at Once. The Michelle Yeoh-starring film was off a mere 12% in its fifth weekend with $5.4 million. The buzzy film is representing a major win for independent releases, with its totals now at $26.9 million domestically and $28.3 million worldwide. A24 paid $25 million to produce this film so it’s still pushing a ways toward profit margins, but at this point it is the studio’s fourth highest-grossing film of all time and could end up topping $40 million when it’s all said and done in the US.

The Lost City eased 29% in its fifth weekend, bringing in $4.4 million. The romcom-adventure is up to $85.4 million domestically and $128.1 million worldwide, putting it officially on a path to profit against a $68 million budget. Paramount is certainly happy with the results on this one, which is looking likely to end its run at around $95 million or so stateside.

The Mark Wahlberg-starring faith-based drama Father Stu had a much-needed hold, dropping just 38% in its second weekend to $3.3 million. The biopic of boxer-turned-priest Stuart Long is now sitting at $13.9 million domestically. There’s still no word on how much the film cost, but it does seem to be on course for about $20 million which isn’t terrible, but is by no means a hit.

Morbius is continuing its fade away from theaters, as the Sony superhero film dropped 52% in its fourth weekend to $2.3 million. That puts the film at $69.2 million domestically and $156.6 million worldwide against a $75 million budget. It will be profitable when it’s all said and done, but not anything to write home about with an ending gross of about $75 million in the US.

Michael Bay’s Ambulance fell 56% in its third weekend, pulling in $1.8 million. The action film is now up to $19.2 million domestically and $46.7 million worldwide, struggling to find profit against a $40 million budget plus P&A. It should end its domestic run at around $23 million to $25 million, meaning that the international grosses will be needed to hit a profit.

Next weekend seems likely to see The Bad Guys spend a second week on top with only one film releasing wide: the Liam Neeson action film Memory, which isn’t expected to go much higher than the mid-single digits.

BOX OFFICE TOP TEN (Three-Day Domestic Numbers)
1. The Bad Guys – $24 million ($24 million total, $87.1 million WW)
2. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 – $15.2 million ($145.8 million total, $287.8 million WW)
3. Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore – $14 million ($67.1 million total, $280.3 million WW)
4. The Northman – $12 million ($12 million total, $23.5 million WW)
5. The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent – $7.2 million ($7.2 million total, $9.6 million WW)
6. Everything Everywhere All At Once – $5.4 million ($26.9 million total, $28.3 million WW)
7. The Lost City – $4.4 million ($85.4 million total, $128.1 million WW)
8. Father Stu – $3.3 million ($13.9 million total, $13.9 million WW)
9. Morbius – $2.3 million ($69.2 million total, $156.6 million WW)
10. Ambulance – $1.8 million ($27.5 million total, $46.7 million WW)