Weekend Box Office (July 8 - 10, 2022)

by Gitesh Pandya

THIS WEEKEND Thor was four for four with his super hero flicks as Chris Hemsworth's fourth God of Thunder movie Thor: Love and Thunder opened at number one - as usual - and reached a height that was higher than the last three. Marvel's latest comic book movie debuted to a stellar $143M, according to estimates, beating the $122.7M of 2017's Thor: Ragnarok by 16%. It was also the third largest opening weekend of 2022 behind fellow MCU pic Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness ($187.4M) which kicked off the summer movie season and Jurassic World: Dominion ($145M). The new Thor did beat out the $134M of March's The Batman and ranks as the fifth best July launch ever.

Taika Waititi was back in the director's chair but reviews were not as glowing this time around plus the CinemaScore grade from audiences was a B+ which was on the low end of how MCU movies do. Most earn an A or A-. Still, the PG-13 film averaged a strong $32,686 from 4,375 locations. It also accounted for a whopping 60% of all box office sales this weekend across North America. The frame kicked off with a $69.5M opening day Friday including $29M from Thursday pre-shows which began at 3pm. Saturday fell 39% to $42.1M and Sunday is estimated to slide 25% to $31.4M. By comparison, the recent Doctor Strange sequel opened when schools were still in session and had drops of 36% and 33% for its Saturday and Sunday.

A high 36% of all weekend biz came from premium auditoriums including IMAX. Fans continue to be willing to pay more for the better experience. Demo breakdowns were 60% male and 58% over 25. Phase 4 of the MCU will continue later this year with Black Panther: Wakanda Forever opening on November 11 and then Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania coming out on February 17 next year.

Thor: Love and Thunder rolled out globally and overseas markets were strong with $159M this weekend with most all markets open putting the global launch at a hefty $302M. As with other pandemic-era Marvel movies there is no China release date set and studios are not releasing movies in Russia so there are no grosses expected from those territories. Ragnarok opened to $60M from those two markets combined in 2017.

Minions: The Rise of Gru got knocked out of first place but has quickly become the highest grossing toon since 2019 with an estimated $45.6M this weekend. Dropping 57%, the Universal spinoff sequel powered its domestic cume to an impressive $210.1M after just ten days. Despite other studio animated offerings hitting multiplexes in July, the new Gru is likely to vault past the $300M mark and finish up close to the $335.9M of the first Minions movie from the summer of 2015.

International markets collected an estimated $56.4M pushing the worldwide sum up to $399.9M knocking right on that quadruple-century door. Japan, Korea, and Italy are still to open later this summer while China is still unset. The five-film Despicable Me franchise has now broken the $4 billion mark in collective global box office and sits at $4.1 billion and counting. Clearly the brand is still strong and still pulling families out of the home and into cinemas.

The year's biggest blockbuster Top Gun: Maverick finished in third place in its seventh weekend grossing an estimated $15.5M slipping 40%. That was the third-biggest gross of all-time for any movie in its seventh weekend trailing only the James Cameron dynamic duo Avatar ($31.3M) and Titanic ($25.9M). The Tom Cruise smash is now up to $597.4M from North America - number 12 all-time - and will crack that $600M mark on Monday or Tuesday on its way to possibly the $650M range.

Its holdover strength has been just fantastic over the past two months with audiences coming out for repeat visits and enjoying an old fashioned Hollywood cinematic experience on the big screen. Almost like Fast & Furious in the sky. Most films reaching the $600M stratosphere have been movies driven by special effects, but Maverick instead has been anchored by stunts. And of course it is by far the top grossing film of Cruise's long career with domestic on track to beat his last three Mission: Impossible movies combined!

Overseas markets kicked in another $23M for Top Gun boosting the international cume to a stellar $586.2M. This total is also on a collision course with the $600M barrier. Top markets to date are the UK $87.9M, Japan $63.2M, Australia $55M, France $44.7M, and Korea $37.8M. Maverick towers over all other films in 2022 with $1.18 billion to date and has the potential to end up at around $1.3 billion and that's with zero contributions from China or Russia!

The music-driven drama Elvis dropped 40% in its third weekend and grossed an estimated $11M. Warner Bros. has reached a sum of $91.1M to date with the Baz Luhrmann-directed film on its way to around $115M domestic. With $64M from international markets, Elvis currently stands at $155.1M globally.

The dino-tentpole Jurassic World: Dominion took fifth place in its fifth weekend grossing an estimated $8.4M raising the total to $350.3M. Off 49%, the PG-13 adventure is on course to end its domestic run at nearly $375M which will be a step down from the $416.8M of the last film, 2018's Fallen Kingdom. Overseas markets have been hot with the cume now up to $526.1M led by China's $143.9M. Dominion now sits at $876.5M worldwide heading for the $900M club.

The Ethan Hawke thriller The Black Phone followed with an estimated $7.7M, down 37%, giving Universal $62.3M to date. Add in $36.8M from overseas markets and the R-rated pic has taken in $99.1M worldwide.

Pixar's animated prequel Lightyear continues to be one of the studio's lowest performers ever and fell 55% to an estimated $2.9M in its fourth weekend. Disney has collected $112.3M to date which is a fraction of the $346.7M that its last summer movie Toy Story 4 had collected at the same point. Lightyear is a spinoff without the main Toy Story voice actors plus for two years all Pixar films had gone straight to streaming on Disney+ so a smaller segment of the usually reliable Pixar fan base came out this time. Look for a domestic finish of about $120M which would be in the same range as the studio's 2015 film The Good Dinosaur.

Arthouse hit Marcel the Shell With Shoes On expanded from 22 to 48 locations this weekend and jumped into the top ten at number eight with an estimated $340,000 in its third round of limited release. The A24 release averaged $7,083 - third highest in the top ten - and has banked $963,000 ahead of its further expansions. Reviews have been positive across the board and the distributor is taking its time in finding the right audience just like it did with Everything Everywhere All At Once which has soared to $67.6M and counting.

Marvel's last super hero saga Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness was still in the top ten and took ninth place with an estimated $262,000, down 37% in its 10th weekend, for a new domestic haul of $411.1M (#34 on the all-time list). Add in $540M from overseas markets and the global gross is just over $950M without any release in China or Russia. It's the second biggest global blockbuster of the year so far behind Maverick.

Rounding out the top ten was the well-reviewed Bleecker Street release Mr. Malcolm's List with an estimated $245,000, down 70%, for a $1.6M total.

The top ten films grossed an estimated $234.9M which doubled the $117.4M from one year ago when Black Widow opened to $80.4M as the first MCU film during the pandemic era. But compared to normal times, this weekend's figure was up 35% from 2019 when Spider-Man: Far From Home debuted in the top spot with $92.6M over the Friday-to-Sunday span after a mid-week launch.

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Last Updated: July 10, 2022 at 4:00PM ET

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