Friday Box Office: ‘Bullet Train’ Drops 70% As ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ Nears $670 Million

In terms of holdover news for Friday, Sony’s Bullet Train again topped the domestic box office with $3.86 million. That’s a sharp 70% decline from last Friday, setting the $90 million Brad Pitt-and-friends action comedy up for a $13.14 million weekend (-56%) and $54.22 million ten-day cume. The good news is that the drop was essentially tied with Hobbs & Shaw this weekend in 2019 and that Dwayne Johnson/Jason Statham actioner legged out to 1.6x its respective $108 million ten-day total. Considering the embarrassing lack of big newbies between now and Sony’s The Woman King on September 16, a similar run wouldn’t be shocking. If that’s correct, the R-rated, David Leitch-directed new-to-you adaptation will end its domestic run with around $87 million.

If it plays like the Fast & Furious spin-off globally, sans China and Russia, mind you, it’ll still flirt with tripling its budget worldwide. No, we’re not looking at the next World War Z or even Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, but it’ll be a decent sum for a one-and-done star vehicle that will play like gangbusters in post-theatrical and, in several months, on Netflix. In other Sony news, Where the Crawdads Sing continued to leg out as the only big movie of the summer aimed at women. The Daisy Edgar-Jones melodrama earned $1.2 million (-30%) for a likely $4 million (-29%) weekend and $72 million domestic total. The $24 million release should earn around $80 million domestic, which makes it an old-school hit.

Warner Bros. Discovery’s DC League of Super Pets earned $1.955 million (-42%) on Friday for a likely $6.42 million (-42%) weekend and a $57.6 million 17-day total. Give or take being the last animated biggie in the marketplace until Walt Disney’s Strange World over Thanksgiving, the $90 million Dwayne Johnson/Kevin Hart toon should end with around $75 million. That’s about par for the course for most non-event WB toons (Storks, Smallfoot, etc.). Thanks to a partial return to IMAX theaters, Paramount and Skydance’s Top Gun: Maverick earned $1.94 million (+1%) on Friday for a likely $6.7 million (-5%) Fri-Sun frame. Yes, it could end up #2 for the weekend, and heck, if Beast flops, it might just end up back on top next weekend or the weekend after.

Tom Cruise’s legacy sequel will end the weekend with $672 million domestic, meaning it’ll pass Avengers: Infinity War ($679 million in 2018) by next Sunday. It should have around $1.372 billion worldwide by tomorrow night. So it has a chance at passing Avengers: Age of Ultron ($1.405 billion in 2015) and Frozen II ($1.45 billion in 2019/2020) to become the biggest ‘part two’ sequel of all time in raw global grosses. Meanwhile, days before IMAX came to the rescue, it dipped below $1 million on day 76, just five days behind Avatar (day 81) and a few weeks behind Titanic (day 102). That’s the closest thing we’ve seen to an ‘if it bleeds, we can kill it’ moment in 75 days.

Jordan Peele’s Nope earned $1.55 million (-39%) on Friday for a likely $5.15 million (-39%) weekend and $106 million 24-day total. It’s lower than Get Out and Us ($176 million and $175 million), and $69 million makes it among the more expensive horror movies, original or not, in the last decade or so, but PVOD will help it pick up any theatrical slack. The Black Phone has earned $87.5 million domestic and $150 million worldwide on an $18 million budget. Minions: The Rise of Gru has topped Minions ($336 million) domestically and will pass $343 million this weekend as we wait to see if China will push it past $900 million worldwide. Jurassic World Dominion will have $373 million domestic and around $965 million worldwide by tomorrow.

Walt Disney’s Thor: Love and Thunder earned $1.43 million (-34%) on Friday for a likely $5.1 million (-34%) weekend and $325 million 38-day domestic total. It passed $700 million worldwide earlier this week and has now sold more tickets in North America than Thor: Ragnarok. So, yes, it’s a hit, especially for a fourth Thor film that didn’t bring much new to the table. The mid-July MCU movies usually earn less than the summer kick-off films. The Thor series has never been tops (Ragnarök earned less domestically and worldwide in 2017 than both Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and Spider-Man: Homecoming) among Marvel’s ongoing franchises. Marvel may not need or justify a defense, but the grosses are the grosses.

WBD’s Elvis entered PVOD this weekend (but not HBO Max) and earned $740,000 (-35%) on its eighth Friday. We can expect a $2.49 million (-37%) weekend and a $141.2 million domestic cume. In grimmer news, Easter Sunday earned $660,000 (-68%) on Friday for a likely $2.26 million (-59%) weekend and $9.82 million ten-day total. At least Universal and Focus are trying to keep the live-action comedy alive in theaters, even if the likes of Marry Me, Easter Sunday and Bros may need a bump from PVOD and eventual Peacock viewership to offset theatrical expectations. As much as I’d hope Universal would move George Clooney and Julia Roberts’ Ticket to Paradise from October 21 to… any time in the next six weeks, Comcast is at least releasing five films between now and October.

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