‘Bad Guys’ Steals No. 1, ‘Sonic’ Takes No. 2

DreamWorks/Universal’s “The Bad Guys” debuted at the domestic box office last weekend with $24 million, according to estimates from metrics firm Comscore.

Another Animated Movie, Paramount Pictures”https://www.nwaonline.com/news/2022/apr/29/bad-guys-steals-top-spot-sonic-lags-in-second/”Sonic the Hedgehog 2,” clinched second place in its third weekend, adding $15.2 million for a North American haul of $145.8 million. guy-flies-top-spot-sonic-lags-in -second/”Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore”, which suffered a 67% drop in ticket sales and grossed $14 million last weekend for a total North American gross of $67.1 million dollars.

Directed by Pierre Perifel, “The Bad Guys” centers on a band of ex-criminals – a wolf, a piranha, a snake, a tarantula and a shark – on a mission to improve their reputations as bad guys.

Sam Rockwell, Anthony Ramos, Awkwafina, Marc Maron and Craig Robinson lead the star-studded voice cast in the cartoon adventure. The family-friendly film posted a solid 85% score on review aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes and a favorable A rating from audiences polled by CinemaScore.

The apparent health of family cinema is especially good news for Hollywood as it heads into its lucrative summer season when movies like Universal’s “Minions: Rise of Gru” and Walt Disney Co.’s “Lightyear” hit theaters in two years. – hopefully approaching pre-pandemic levels.

“There’s reason to be more than cautiously optimistic,” said Jim Orr, head of distribution at Universal. “I think audiences this summer are going to flock to theaters.”

While studios have been reluctant to schedule many films against each other during the pandemic, the weekend saw a rarity: three new wide releases, all well-received, none sequels or remakes.

Also new in theaters last weekend was Focus Features”https://www.nwaonline.com/news/2022/apr/29/bad-guys-steals-top-spot-sonic-lags-in-second /”The Northman” and “The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent” from Lionsgate, which placed fourth and fifth respectively.

Directed by director Robert Eggers, “The Northman” stars Alexander Skarsgard as a Viking prince on a journey to avenge his father’s death.

Among the action movie’s stacked supporting cast are Anya Taylor-Joy, Claes Bang, Bjork, Ethan Hawke, Willem Dafoe, and Nicole Kidman. The period epic received a glowing 89% on Rotten Tomatoes and a lackluster B grade from audiences polled by CinemaScore.

“Every weekend is a building block of the recovery, but I don’t even want to call it a recovery. I think cinemas are recovered. We’re pretty much there,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for Comscore. “Three newcomers were all well received, and all found an audience.”

“The Northman,” which saw its budget swell past $70 million, was a major scale increase for Eggers, the director of previous standalone historical horrors “The Witch” and “The Lighthouse.” The film’s path to profitability was unlikely even before its theatrical premiere, but it opened on the higher side of expectations with $12 million in ticket sales. It added $6.3 million internationally in 26 territories.

“Above all, we wanted to work with Robert Eggers,” said Focus distribution manager Lisa Bunnell, who handled international distribution for Eggers’ first two films. “The key here is that we have to make a movie that we wanted to make with a filmmaker who we think is part of the future of American cinema. He has a very distinctive voice. He’s making a movie with an original IP [intellectual property]and not just: ‘Let’s do a sequel!'”

Lionsgate’s “The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent,” a comedy starring Nicolas Cage as an exaggerated version of himself, opened with around $7.2 million. The film, which debuted to warm reviews from South by Southwest, will depend on good word of mouth to approach its $30 million budget.

That’s the kind of hit that “Everything Everywhere All at Once” had. The release of A24, a crazy metaverse fantasy starring Michelle Yeoh, was one of the brightest signs for the specialty film industry, another industry sector that has struggled theatrically during the pandemic. In its fifth week, “Everything Everywhere All at Once” grossed $5.4 million, a drop of just 12% from the previous week.

Opening in wide release today is Open Road Films’ crime thriller “Memory,” starring Liam Neeson.

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