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‘Dungeons & Dragons’ rolls to top spot

‘A Thousand and One’ might be more worth your time

Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves, starring, from left, Justice Smith, Sophia Lillis, Chris Pine, and Michelle Rodriguez, opened at No. 1 at the U.S. Box Office.
Greg W. Locke

Greg W. Locke

Whatzup Features Writer

Published April 5, 2023

And here we are, slowly moving from franchise films (and shows) about superheroes to franchise films (and shows) based on video games and board games. Woo hoo. 

You just can’t make a major film anymore without a board of people sharing the belief that the project already has a built-in audience. The cameras and screens are better and the stories are (most often) worse. As we go up, we go down. 

But here’s the thing. Despite the majority of box office tickets being sold for films I personally find to be foolish, repetitive, and pandering, we’re living in a Golden Era for masterful auteurs like Paul Thomas Anderson, Michael Haneke, Spike Lee, Bong Joon-Ho, Claire Denis, and more. 

In fact, I’d suggest that, despite a film called Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves being the No. 1 film in the world, if we were to make a list of the Top 50 Working Filmmakers, that list would be as good as it has ever been. Go figure. 

Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves sold $38.5 million domestically over its first three days of release and $71.5 million worldwide. How many of these flicks do you think we’ll get? How many of them will be remembered?

Also at the Box

John Wick: Chapter 4 took the No. 2 spot over its second weekend of release, selling another $28.2 million in the U.S. and upping its 10-day worldwide sales total to $245 million worldwide. The set pieces and action in these films are beautifully orchestrated, but I just can’t get into these flicks as much as so many of my friends have. That being said, I’ll listen to any Keanu Reeves interview. What a sincerely cool, nice, and unique guy. That being said, Keanu, you’re getting old, man. How long can you keep this up? 

A new Christian film, His Only Son, took the No. 3 spot, selling $5.5 million over its first three days of release. People don’t watch these films outside of the U.S., so foreign sales are zilch for this one. 

Scream VI continued to roll, taking the No. 4 spot with another $5.3 million, upping its 24-day sales total to $147 million worldwide. 

Michael B. Jordan’s directorial debut, Creed III, rounded out last weekend’s Top 5 with another $5 million. So far, Creed III has made $259 million worldwide. 

New This Week

This week will see the release of Ben Affleck’s Air, a re-release of The Doom Generation, a drama called Paint, Kelly Reichardt’s Showing Up, The Super Mario Bros. Movie, Dennis Quaid drama On a Wing and a Prayer, Joyland, and Jackie Chan’s Ride On

Wow, that’s a lot of movies. Many of these will do no business at the box office, but all of them, I think, are worth looking up if you’re in the market for something new. 

I saw an advance screening of Air, and thought it was fun but not quite the new sports film masterpiece I was hoping for. 

Of the movies mentioned, if I were pressed to pick just one, I’d go with Showing Up. If you’re unfamiliar with Reichardt, I think she’s someone whose work is worth knowing. I’ve seen all seven of her previous works and enjoyed them all, especially 2006’s Old Joy and 2016’s Certain Women.


While Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves was taking No. 1 at the box office, this past weekend also saw the release of Focus Features’ A Thousand and One. Written and directed by newcomer A.V. Rockwell and starring Teyana Taylor in what should finally be her breakout moment, the movie made $1.8 million over its first three days of release. 

I’m not sure what the buzz is like for this one outside of my circle (a.k.a. cinephile message boards and New York City chatter), but in my experience, this film is already something of a word-of-mouth sensation. 

Set during the Rudy Guiliani and Michael Bloomberg eras in NYC, A Thousand and One follows troubled mother Inez (Taylor) as she gets out of jail then promptly kidnaps her estranged son from foster care and starts a new life. 

I’m not going to say too much more about the plot of this one so as not to take the air out of your potential viewing experience. I will say this: Go see it if you can. A truly gorgeous film featuring some of the best NYC-focused cinematography I’ve seen in years. Also, I think the movie is going to jumpstart the careers of several actors, including Taylor, the underrated William Catlett, and, mostly, the brilliant Josiah Cross, whose only other major credit is 2021’s King Richard

A Thousand and One will likely end up in my Top 10 for the year. It’s a truly special debut from what might be a brilliant new voice. Don’t read the reviews, don’t even watch the trailer. Just go see this one.


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