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411 Box Office Report: Thor: Love & Thunder Falls Hard, Still Retains Top Spot

July 17, 2022 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Thor: Love & Thunder Christian Bale Image Credit: Marvel Studios

It was a hefty fall for Thor: Love & Thunder at the box office this weekend, but the MCU sequel still took the top spot with ease. The fourth film in the Thor franchise brought in $46 million in its second weekend, which equates to a 68% drop from last weekend’s $143 million opening. That fall is slightly above the 67% drops for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and Spider-Man: No Way Home and is on par with Black Widow’s 68% drop last year, although it must be noted that Black Widow was also a day-and-date theatrical and Disney+ release.

While this news is not at all encouraging for Love & Thunder, by no means does it indicate the film won’t be a massive hit. For one, it didn’t stop Multiverse of Madness or No Way Home from becoming major moneymakers. And for another – as is typical for the MCU – Love & Thunder is doing gangbuster numbers overseas. The film currently stands at $233.3 million domestically and $498 million worldwide, putting it well on pace for big money for Disney against its $250 million budget.

At this point, Love & Thunder should be able to top $350 million domestically without a problem which even with the big falls would put it at the highest-grossing Thor film yet (Ragnarok holds that title for now with $315.1 million). It should also pass that film’s $850.5 million worldwide total so while the drop is something to keep an eye on, it’s not exactly a film in crisis.

Minions: Rise of Gru was down a decent 44% in its third weekend as it brought in $26 million. The animated spinoff pre/sequel is racking up the numbers nicely, standing at $262.6 million domestically and $532.7 million against a budget of $80 million. The film is pacing ahead of all previous Despicable Me films and Minions, putting it on course for around $320 million domestic or so, a very sizable hit.

Coming in at #3 in its opening weekend was Where the Crawdads Sing. The Olivia Newman-directed adaptation of the 2018 novel opened with $17 million, nicely outperforming the $10 million to $12 million or so expected coming into the weekend. It’s a strong result for a genre (mystery) that has struck out its last time at bat, with February’s Death on the Nile.

Where the Crawdads Sing was a popular book club choice upon its release, giving it a built-in audience with a heavy female demographic that would play well as counter-programming to bigger blockbusters like Thor. That said, for every Gone Girl there’s been a Before I Fell that didn’t perform so well. Crawdads didn’t score well with critics, who were lukewarm on it with a 36% aggregate score on Rotten Tomatoes. However, the audience reaction has been great with an A- CinemaScore and a 96% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes. That translated into good holds throughout the weekend.

All of that means that Crawdads is well-positioned to be a hit for Sony Pictures. The film cost $24 million (plus marketing) and by the time it closes out its domestic run it should be in the $50 million range. The film begins its international rollout next weekend and should be able to be a profitable film by the time it leaves theaters.

Top Gun: Maverick was down just 23% in its eighth weekend, bringing in another $12 million. The Tom Cruise sequel now stands at $619.4 million domestically and a massive $1.237 billion worldwide. The film is looking increasingly likely to top $650 million by the end of its run, huge for which would make it the ninth-highest grossing film domestically of all time. Of course, it’s a megahit for Paramount against its $170 million budget

Elvis also held on well, as it was down 32% in its fourth weekend to gross $7.6 million. The Baz Luhrmann-directed biopic now has a very real chance at profit as it’s sitting not only at $106.2 million domestically, but also $170.4 million worldwide. The budget was big at $85 million but right now the film seems likely to top $125 million domestically, with any additional overseas grosses bringing it into the black for Warner Bros.

One film that won’t be a hit is Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank. The animated film grossed just $6.3 million in its first week as it got crushed by The Rise of Gru. That result is below the $8 million to $10 million projections going into the weekend; things do not look good for this $45 million-budgeted film.

Then again, things never looked particularly promising for this film, which is (bizarrely) a loose adaptation of Blazing Saddles. The animated film was originally set for release back in 2017 under the name Blazing Samurai but was pushed out after original animation house Arc Productions declared bankruptcy. It was picked up by Paramount in January and positioned for what was expected to be a fairly clear rest of the summer – and then DC League of Super-Pets was bumped to July 29th, giving this one no real window to stand on its own.

It doesn’t help that this isn’t exactly winning raves from anyone either. The critics aggregate at RT is a mediocre 54% and while an A- CinemaScore seems good, that’s legitimately on the low end of average for a genre where an A is basically the norm. The RT audience average is just 68%, which suggests this will not have the hold that some animated films have. Right now, it seems likely that this one will close out around $20 million domestically which won’t be great news for anyone, even though Paramount acquired the rights for just $10 million before P&A.

Scott Derrickson’s The Black Phone is rolling along nicely, down 32% in its fourth weekend to $5.3 million. The Universal & Blumhouse production is well into profit at this point with $72 million domestically and $114.6 million worldwide against its $18 million budget. It should be able to hit around $85 million domestically, a fine result for an original horror film.

Jurassic World: Dominion slipped 42% in its sixth weekend to $5 million, bringing it to $359.7 million domestically and $902.5 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 $370 million.

Older audiences showed up to some degree for Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris, which was able to notch the #9 spot. The historical dramedy from director Anthony Fabian and Focus Features grossed a perfectly-acceptable $1.9 million to start. This genre is specialty fare as a rule and is delivering as the studio hoped thanks to positive buzz (93% from critics and 96% from audiences on RT). This is not going to be a major hit by any stretch but should be able to get to around $5 million or so, with eventual international grosses putting it in a profit margin.

Lightyear closed out the top 10, off 58% in its fifth weekend with $1.3 million. The animated Pixar space adventure has now totaled $115.5 million domestically and $213 million worldwide against a $200 million cost, making it a money loser for Disney and Pixar.
Thor: Love & Thunder will cede way next weekend for Jordan Peele, whose latest horror film Nope is looking likely to gross between $40 million and $50 million.

BOX OFFICE TOP TEN (Three-Day Domestic Numbers)
1. Thor: Love & Thunder – $46 million ($223.3 million total, $498 million WW)
2. Minions: The Rise of Gru – $26 million ($262.6 million total, $532.7 million WW)
3. Where the Crawdads Sing – $17 million ($17 million total, $17 million WW)
4. Top Gun: Maverick – $12.5 million ($618 million total, $1.237 billion WW)
5. Elvis – $7.6 million ($106.2 million total, $170.4 million WW)
6. Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank – $6.3 million ($6.3 million total, $6.3 million WW)
7. The Black Phone – $5.3 million ($72 million total, $114.6 million WW)
8. Jurassic World: Dominion – $5 million ($359.7 million total, $902.5 million WW)
9. Mrs Harris Goes to Paris – $1.9 million ($1.9 million total, $1.9 million WW)
10. Lightyear – $1.3 million ($115.5 million total, $213 million WW)