Horror franchise isn’t able to bring crowds yet
From left, Chris Rock and Max Minghella star in Spiral, the latest installment in the Saw movie universe.
May 26, 2021
The latest film in the Saw universe, Spiral, took the No. 1 spot at the box office for the second consecutive week, selling another $4.5 million and upping the flick’s domestic gross to just under $16 million.
I’m getting nervous. At this point in the COVID story arc, it feels like the movie theaters should be hitting significantly higher sales numbers.
Saw films historically sell pretty well over their first two weeks. But Spiral has earned only $22 million worldwide, despite being reliable IP with a healthy marketing campaign and a solid cast, including Chris Rock, Samuel L. Jackson, and Max Minghella.
Judging from what I’m seeing at bars and grocery stores, movie theaters should be rocking again. Maybe not full blast, but a film like Spiral should easily have a couple of $25 million weekends under its belt. The worry here is that people got used to watching everything at home. We’ll be keeping a close eye on box office trends going forward.
Also at the Box
Guy Ritchie’s Wrath of Man took the No. 2 spot at the domestic box office over its third weekend, bringing in another $3 million in the U.S. and upping the flick’s 17-day domestic sales total to just under $19 million. So far Ritchie’s Wrath has sold about $71 million worldwide, making it one of the most successful COVID-era film releases. The film, which sees Ritchie reuniting with his original muse, Jason Statham, is getting some good word of mouth (though not the best reviews).
Taylor Sheridan’s new Angelina Jolie action flick, Those Who Wish Me Dead, continued to stutter. It took the No. 3 spot with just $1.8 million in sales over the weekend, bringing the film’s 10-day domestic sales total to just $7.5 million ($13 million worldwide). Oof. This is one of the films that had been talked about as a project that could “bring people back to the theaters.” Another bad sign as the movie theaters struggle to regain their pre-COVID steam.
For the record, I’ve been getting reliable reports that Those Who Wish Me Dead isn’t up to par with Sheridan’s past work as a writer and/or director.
Rounding out last weekend’s Top 5 were Raya and the Last Dragon at No. 4 (with $1.6 million in sales) and Godzilla vs. Kong at No. 5 (with another $1.4 million in sales). The good news is that Godzilla vs. Kong has managed to sell about $97 million in the U.S. and $432 million worldwide. This supports the theory that theaters are going to be thought of as useful mostly for big, loud production epics with broad appeal.
New This Week
Two major films open wide this week, starting with Walt Disney’s Cruella, directed by Craig Gillespie and starring Emma Stone as Cruella de Vil. I could see this one being the film that gets people back to theaters. It has a broad appeal to children, but also works to get adults in seats.
I’ve come to really enjoy Stone as an actor over the years, and surely the weight of this film is on her shoulders. That being said, I’ll be checking out the film because I love Craig Gillespie’s last movie, I, Tonya, as well as his 2007 classic Lars and the Real Girl.
Also out everywhere is A Quiet Place Part II, starring writer/director John Krasinski, Emily Blunt, Millicent Simmonds, Cillian Murphy, Djimon Hounsou, Scoot McNairy, and Noah Jupe. I’m looking forward to this one, mostly for the Emily Blunt performance.
In limited release are Port Authority, American Traitor, Endangered Species, Funhouse, and Moby Doc. The Moby documentary supposedly stars Moby, David Lynch, and David Bowie, and is described as “a surrealist biographical documentary about trailblazing electronic musician and animal rights activist Moby.”
Self-serving? Sounds like it to me!
How are you feeling about going back to the theater? Would you rather just stay home? Is the big screen experience not something you’ve missed? Are you waiting for a particular movie that’s slated to come out later in the year? Send your thoughts to email@example.com.