“The Super Mario Bros. Movie” left its box office rivals in the dust, earning a whopping $87 million in its second weekend of release. Ticket sales only dropped 41% from its debut, resulting in the best sophomore outing ever for an animated film. To date, the video game adaptation has grossed $347.8 million in North America and $678 million globally.
“Mario” held strong even as several new films entered the theatrical run to varying results. In a surprise ending, Universal’s wacky horror-comedy “Renfield,” which stars Nicolas Cage as Count Dracula and Nicholas Hoult as his rebellious henchman, dropped 3,375 spots to fourth with a disappointing $7.7 million. Over the weekend it looked like it would take the No. 2 slot. Instead, “Renfield” arrived behind Sony’s R-rated demonic thriller “The Pope’s Exorcist,” which fell slightly short of expectations with $9.1 million, and Lionsgate’s “John Wick: Chapter 4.”
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It’s a particularly weak opening for “Renfield” as the film cost $65 million to produce and tens of millions more to market. It would struggle to break out of the black in its theatrical run. And the film earned a dull “B-” CinemaScore, which isn’t good in terms of word of mouth.
David A. “It’s a lukewarm start for a horror comedy,” says Gross, who runs the movie consulting firm Franchise Entertainment Research. “‘Renfield’ was an expensive production. It’s a long climb to profitability, even with a solid ancillary business.
By comparison, “The Pope’s Exorcist” cost $18 million, so it has an easier path to profitability. Reviews for “The Pope’s Exorcist” weren’t too enthusiastic (it has a 47% on Rotten Tomatoes), but critical sentiment rarely matters for an opening weekend of horror movies. (Subsequent weekends are another story).
Again, the weekend belonged to “The Super Mario Bros. Movie,” the first film of 2023 to cross the $1 billion mark globally. After two weekends in theaters, it’s already the highest-grossing film of the year, surpassing “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantummania” ($474 million). “Mario” became the biggest video game adaptation in history, surpassing the 2016 totals of “Warcraft” ($439 million) and “Pokemon: Detective Pikachu” ($449 million).
In third place, “John Wick 4” added $7.925 million in its fourth weekend of release. To date, the Keanu Reeves-led action sequel has grossed a strong $160.1 million in North America.
“Air,” a sports drama directed by Ben Affleck, rounded out the top five with $7.7 million from 3,507 theaters. It may swap places with “Renfield” when the final numbers are counted on Monday. With those ticket sales, ‘Air’ earned $33.28 million at the domestic box office.
Elsewhere at the box office, Crunchyroll’s upcoming anime adventure “Suzume” opened to $5 million from 2,170 theaters. That’s not a great result compared to Crunchyroll’s other recent anime movies, like the “Demon Slayer” installments and 2022’s “Dragon Ball Super: Super Heroes” ($22 million to start). However, “Suzume”, which was directed by Makoto Shinkai, has good reviews and has already done huge business in Asia. It was released in Japan last year, where it became a huge hit with $104 million.
“Suzum” took the No. 7 spot from another newcomer, Bleecker Street’s “Mafia Mamma”, which earned a disappointing $2.04 million from 2,002 theaters. The poorly reviewed film starred Toni Collette as a humble suburban mother who unexpectedly inherits her late grandfather’s Italian mafia empire.
At the indie box office, Ari Aster’s latest anxiety-inducing “Beau Is Afraid” grossed $320,396 on four screens in New York and Los Angeles, translating to $80,099 per screen — the biggest of the year. The A24 film, starring Joaquin Phoenix as a man who endures a lot of suffering on his way to see his mother, hopes to keep up that momentum as it expands nationwide next weekend. Is.
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