Avatar 2, M3GAN, Movie Lead MLK Jr. Holiday Weekend Box Office

Cinema operators owe a debt of gratitude to the Na’vi and the new Queen of artificial intelligence.

January tends to be a slow time of year at the box office. However, James Cameron’s blockbuster sequelAvatar: Water Road“The global viral horror movie”M3GANIt continues to kill in North America, with more than three new releases dominating the country over Martin Luther King Jr. weekend.

“Avatar 2” remained at number one, for its fifth consecutive weekend, taking $31.1 million from 4,045 theaters during the traditional three-day period and an estimated $38.5 million through Monday. How popular is “The Way of Water” at the box office? Well, to put those numbers in perspective, the sci-fi epic earned more in its fifth weekend of release than many pandemic-era films made during their opening weekend. And it won’t face high-profile box office competition until Disney and Marvel’s “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” comes out at the end of February.

To date, Disney and the big-budget 20th Century has grossed $570 million in North America and $1.89 billion worldwide. Waterway already ranks as the seventh biggest worldwide release in history. And you’ll soon be ditching 2021’s “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” which ranks sixth with $1.91 billion.

Meanwhile, “M3GAN” finished second with 17.9 million in 3,605 theaters over the weekend and an estimated $21.2 million through Monday, down nearly 40% from its debut. Those are killer results for the horror film, which cost $12 million to produce and has collected $59 million to date. Internationally, “M3GAN” brought in $15.4 million from 64 markets, bringing its worldwide tally to $90 million.

“The 41% retention rate for ‘M3GAN’ is unheard of for a horror film,” says Paul Degarabedian, senior analyst at comScore. “The rave reviews, audience reaction, and PG-13 rating created the perfect storm for success. Scary is scary, no matter what month.

In terms of new offers,A man called Otto,” a tearjerker starring Tom Hanks as a grumpy widower, succeeded in expanding to a wide range, taking in $12.6 million from 3,802 theaters during the traditional weekend and an estimated $15 million through Monday. Those ticket sales were enough for fourth place, Behind Universal’s animated adventure “Puss in Boots: The Last Wish,” which remained particularly strong over the weekend, the family film added $13.4 million over the weekend and $17.3 million through Monday, bringing its domestic tally to $110 million. .

After two weeks of limited release, “A Man Called Otto” has grossed $21.2 million. It’s one of those rare pandemic-era films aimed at adult audiences to effectively keep momentum going by throwing in a traditional platform, which allowed Otto to generate positive buzz.

“This is a very good start to a character-driven comedy-drama, with an excellent turnout by older moviegoers,” says David A. Gross, who runs film consulting firm Franchise Entertainment Research.

Gerard Butler’s thriller “Plane” and the Warner Bros. version also opened. of “House Party” this weekend, taking fifth and sixth places, respectively, on the domestic box office charts.

“Airplane” took off with $10 million from 3,023 theaters over the weekend and an estimated $11.6 million through Monday, which is a good if unspectacular start for a movie that had a budget of nearly $40 million. (Lionsgate acquired the local rights for less.) The actor, which stars Butler as a pilot who saves his passengers from a lightning strike, only to discover things are about to get worse, earned a “B+” CinemaScore from audiences. Initial ticket buyers were mostly older men, with 77% of the crowd being over the age of 25 and 55% being male.

Meanwhile, “House Party” took in $3.8 million over the weekend and an estimated $4.5 million through Monday. The classic 1990 comedy was being rebooted for HBO Max, but the studio chose to release it theatrically. With little promotion and seemingly dismal reviews (it holds a 25% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes), “House Party” struggled to bring audiences to the big screen. There is hope, at least for Warner Bros. , in that it will become an even bigger attraction by the time the movie hits streaming. The theatrical release, according to Franchise Entertainment Research’s Gross, is designed to “raise the film’s profile before it heads to HBO.” [Max]. ”

There were several bright spots in the furnishings sector, including A24’s ‘The Whale’ and IFC’s churner’.Skinamarink. “

Several weeks after the limited release, “The Whale” exceeded $10 million in domestic ticket sales, a notable achievement for independent films in today’s fractured cinema environment. In pre-COVID times, these ticket sales wouldn’t be particularly impressive. But adult dramas are struggling to recover.

“Skinamarink” debuted at No. 11, collecting $746,000 from 692 theaters and an estimated $798,000 through Monday (an average of about $1,000 per location). That’s pretty good considering the low-budget horror flick only cost $15,000 to produce. Plus, it wasn’t given much of a daily offering at major chains all weekend. Designed to cause night terrors in viewers for days, “Skinamarink” succeeded mostly through word of mouth.

“As soon as we saw the amazing response online, we knew we had to bring this movie to as many theaters across the country as possible,” said Ariana Boko, President of IFC Films and IFC Midnight. “[Director] Kyle [Edward Ball] He made a film for a new generation and proved once again what horror films and their society can achieve on even the smallest of budgets. ‘Skinamarink’ is at once terrifying and eerily familiar and that feeling demands a shared experience.”

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