Box Office: “Thor 4” Repeats No. 1, “Crawdads” Exceeds Expectations


Box Office: "Thor 4" Repeats No. 1, "Crawdads" Exceeds Expectations

Marvel’s Thor: Love and Thunder managed to stave off three national releases to remain the #1 film in North America.

Though ticket sales for Thor plummeted for its second weekend, falling 68% to $46 million from 4,375 theaters, the latest installment in Disney’s Marvel Cinematic Universe easily towered over a trio of newcomers: Sony’s literary adaptation Where the Crawdads Sing. Paramount’s animated Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank and historical drama Mrs. Harris is going to Paris.” After 10 days on the big screen, Love and Thunder has grossed a whopping $232 million at the domestic box office and $497.9 million worldwide.

For Thor, the fourth superhero adventure that spotlights Chris Hemsworth as the Asgardian god with never-ending abs, a drop of a worrying 68% signals the film doesn’t have the (albeit very large) fan base of the comic empire comes out. While “Love and Thunder” will certainly close its box office run with a tidy sum, it’s not ideal for a film of its size and scope to lose such a significant chunk of its audience so quickly after its opening weekend. It’s one of the biggest second-weekend drops in MCU history, alongside “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” in May, which plummeted 67% on its second appearance. (Disney’s Strange sequel still grossed a whopping $411 million domestically). In comparison, recent Marvel entries have fared better, with Eternals down 61% and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings down 52%.

Among the newcomers, “Where the Crawdads Sing” got the best start by far. The page-on-screen adaptation debuted in third place with a better-than-expected $17 million from 3,650 theaters. It’s an impressive start for this type of film, especially at a time when television has become a haven for literary favourites. And Sony only spent $24 million to produce the film, so it won’t be impossible to turn a profit.

“Drama of all kinds has been a workhorse genre in recent years,” says David A. Gross, who runs film consultancy Franchise Entertainment Research. “But visitor behavior has changed and most of these stories are now being produced for the small screen. That makes this opening particularly good.”

Critics and audiences had very mixed reactions to “Where the Crawdads Sing,” which earned a dismal 36% on Rotten Tomatoes but a solid “A-” CinemaScore from moviegoers. With positive word of mouth, the film has the potential to highlight people unfamiliar with Delia Owens’ bestseller.

Olivia Newman directed “Crawdads,” which is about a young girl named Kya (Daisy Edgar-Jones, from “Normal People” and “Fresh”) who grows up alone in a North Carolina swamp and later gets caught in a murder trial a former love interest becomes involved. Reese Witherspoon produced the film, which features a new song by Taylor Swift called “Carolina.”

Paws of Fury, on the other hand, failed to meet the $10 million expectations. The family-friendly film, inspired by Mel Brooks’ 1974 film Blazing Saddles, came in sixth with a dismal $6.25 million from 3,475 North American locations. It’s the rare blemish in 2022 for Paramount, which has otherwise had a stellar box-office run with The Lost City, Scream, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, and of course, Top Gun: Maverick. Thankfully, Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Animation don’t have too much at stake since Paws of Fury only costs $10 million to acquire.

Although ticket buyers seemed to like Paws of Fury, which scored an “A-” CinemaScore, the film struggled to hold its own against Universal and Illumination’s Minions: The Rise of Gru, which came in second place on the Box office charted at $26 million from 4,114 theaters. After three weeks of release, the $262 million domestic sequel to Minions has remained the de facto choice for family audiences to date. The film has grossed an additional US$270 million at the international box office, bringing its worldwide tally to US$532.7 million.

The last newcomer of the weekend “Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris opened in ninth place and grossed $1.9 million from 980 theaters. The well-reviewed historical drama is intended to serve as a counter-program to this summer’s biggest blockbusters. As expected, the audience for the opening weekend was mostly adult women, with 81% of ticket buyers being over 30 and 71% female.

eOne funded “Mrs. Harris,” in which Lesley Manville (“Phantom Thread”) plays a widowed cleaning lady who travels to the city of love in search of the perfect Dior dress.

Elsewhere on the domestic box office charts, “Top Gun: Maverick” took fourth place and grossed $12 million from 3,292 screens. During the eighth weekend of release, ticket sales were down nearly 23%. At $617 million and showing no sign of slowing down, Top Gun: Maverick will soon overtake Star Wars: The Last Jedi ($620 million) and The Avengers ($623 million). and make it into the top 10 of the highest-grossing films in the history of the domestic box office. There’s a good chance the latest Tom Cruise has enough fuel in its engine to get close to seventh and eighth, respectively, by “Jurassic World” at $653 million and “Titanic” at $659 million being held.

Baz Luhrmann’s “Elvis” completed the top five with $7.6 million from 3,305 venues. The Warner Bros. film, which follows Elvis Presley’s rise to king of rock ‘n’ roll, has grossed $106 million to date, an impressive tally for a musical biopic. The film has grossed $185.6 million worldwide to date. “Elvis” cost $85 million to produce, so he’s not quite out of the red just yet.

In the indie scene, A24’s charmer Marcel the Shell With Shoes On grossed $575,370 when the film expanded to 153 theaters. The film, about a resilient, inch-sized clam (voiced by Jenny Slate), has grossed $1.69 million while it slowly opens in the US

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