Children’s film a box office success
DC League of Super-Pets isn't for me
Greg W. Locke
Here we are in the middle of the hot summer. As much as I prefer cool temperatures and nighttime to hot summer days, living in New York City has made me appreciate the idea of a long, sweaty, exhausting, busy summer day. (Thank you, Spike Lee; thank you Die Hard with a Vengeance; thank you Kids; etc.)
That being said, it’s been very hot. Too hot. And so I’ve been hiding out in movie theaters a little more than usual. It’s cold and it’s dark, which feels incredible when contrasted against standing on a hot subway platform waiting for a train.
This is all my long way of saying that I’d rather melt on the sidewalk than duck into a theater to see last weekend’s No. 1 film, DC League of Super-Pets.
Obviously this film, which topped the box with $23 million in sales over its first weekend, was not made for me. I guess it was made for kids age 3-13 or so. That’s a pretty broad age range, so I’m not surprised that the film did well. What I worry about is people above age 13 who went to see this film instead of, say, Nope or even Marcel the Shell with Shoes On.
Also at the Box
Looking over the box office right now, I can’t help but note how incredibly weak it is. Sure, there are a lot of movies that have made a lot of money, but there aren’t that many good movies.
I’d guess that of the films currently in the Top 25 or so at the moment, only Nope, Minions: The Rise of Gru, Top Gun: Maverick, Elvis, The Black Phone, and the undying modern classic Everything Everywhere All at Once (which is very close to hitting the $100 million mark in worldwide sales!) will ultimately be films we remember over time. The other 20 or so in the Top 30 will be largely forgotten, for better or worse.
Jordan Peele’s third film, Nope, took the No. 2 spot at the domestic box, selling another $18.6 million, upping the film’s 10-day worldwide sales total to a decent $80.5 million. I like Peele. You like Peele. A lot of people like Peele. But he’s not his generation’s Spielberg yet, and it feels like he wants to be. I think he will go big after this, his third solid (but not household-name-level) film. Really big.
Taika Waititi’s Thor: Love and Thunder took the No. 3 spot, selling another $13 million over its fourth weekend of release. Thor has now sold $662 million worldwide. Waititi take over.
Minions: The Rise of Gru was fourth with another $10.8 million in sales, while Top Gun: Maverick rounded out the weekend’s Top 5 with another $8.2 million. Maverick has sold $1.32 billion worldwide, making it the 16th-highest grossing film of all time. Maybe that doesn’t sound like a big deal, but after lockdowns, I think a lot of us wondered if it would be possible to have a film ever top the billion-dollar mark again. Good job, Tom.
New this Week
This weekend will see the release of Bullet Train, a Brad Pitt film that’s been in the public consciousness, for better or worse, a long while. Here’s hoping it’s good. Seems like it should be a pretty fun time at the theater.
Also out everywhere is comedy Easter Sunday and horror-comedy Bodies Bodies Bodies. Either of those could be fun. Go to the movies, y’all! Do it.
The Criterion sale just ended, and I figured it my duty to tell my loyal readers what I decided to pick up, which include: Okja (director Bong Joon-ho, 2017); Paris Is Burning (Jennie Livingstone, 1990); The Worst Person in the World (Joachim Trier, 2021); Shaft (Gordon Parks, 1971); Pink Flamingos (John Waters, 1972); and Drive My Car (Ryusuke Hamaguchi, 2021).
Whoa, two films from 2021 deserving of the Criterion treatment. That’s very cool. What did you pick up?