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Marvel leads box office with Johansson’s Black Widow


Greg W. Locke

Whatzup Features Writer

Published July 14, 2021

It feels weird to be writing about the box office every week, but here we are. This past weekend was the most “normal” the movies have been in 16 months. It saw the new Marvel flick Black Widow, starring Scarlett Johansson and directed by Cate Shortland (Berlin Syndrome, Lore), take the No. 1 spot at the U.S. box office.

The film made a stellar $80 million in sales over its first three days of release. It also ended up selling just under $160 million worldwide, making it the most successful opening since COVID-19 started in the spring of 2020. These numbers still aren’t comparable to what they would have been pre-pandemic, but they’re enough to tell us that people still want to go to the movie theater.

Unfortunately, folks are mostly interested in going to the theater for spectacle films. Fingers crossed that changes over time. I like to believe that people will always enjoy going to the theater to see art, even if the industry ends up looking a lot different than it used to.

Also at the Box

The new Fast and the Furious film, F9, continued to roll, taking the No. 2 spot at the box office. It sold another $11 million over its second weekend of release, bringing the flick’s 11-day domestic sales total up to a solid $141 million. That’s pretty low for a Fast flick, but it’s selling well overseas, already bringing in $541 million in just 10 days. We’re not in a Golden Era for film right now, but maybe we’ll see a change this fall.

Kiddo flick The Boss Baby: Family Business took the No. 3 spot at the domestic box office this last weekend. It brought in $8.7 million in sales, upping the movie’s 10-day sales total to $34 million in the U.S. I would have thought this one would do better, but look for The Boss Baby 2 to do really well once it hits streaming services.

The Forever Purge continued to struggle, taking the No. 4 spot at the domestic box office over its second weekend of release. It sold just $6.7 million while playing on over 3,000 screens. So far, the franchise horror flick has sold just $27 million over its first 10 days of release. That being said, much like The Boss Baby, The Forever Purge is one that is sure to make plenty of money once it hits streaming services.

Rounding out last weekend’s Top 5, we have one of 2021’s great cinema success stories, John Krasinski’s A Quiet Place Part II. It sold another $3 million over its seventh weekend of release, pushing the film over the $150 million mark domestically. So far, the film has made $270 million worldwide, all while getting good reviews.

Since we’re living in an era where “trusted IP” is king, I think it’s safe to assume that Krasinski is already working on the script for a third Quiet Place film. I just hope he’s able to have a career beyond these films.

Also of note, A24’s new masterpiece, Zola, cracked the Top 10. The film sold another $602,000 while playing on 1,400 screens. So far, it’s made $3.5 million. Here’s hoping A24 continues to put films on the big screen.

New This Week

While Black Widow and F9 will likely continue going strong this weekend, we will also have two new wide releases and four limited releases, all of which look promising. There’s a lot of variety among these eight films, which makes me anticipate the biggest movie weekend we’ll have had in ages.

The big headline this week is Lebron James’ Space Jam movie. This idea has been toyed with for over a decade now, but it’s finally here. It’s another movie in which an almost 40-year-old basketball player talks to Bugs Bunny and friends and, of course, space is involved. With both nostalgia and the power of the age 8- to 18-year-old basketball fans on its side, look for Space Jam: A New Legacy to take the No. 1 spot at the domestic box office.

Also out everywhere is Escape Room: Tournament of Champions, which I think might bomb due to all the competition.

We also have the smaller films, starting with a documentary called Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain. That’s one I’ll be going to see this weekend.

Make sure to look out for Mama Weed, starring Isabelle Huppert; Out of Death, starring Bruce Willis and Jamie King; and a documentary about Billy Tipton called No Ordinary Man.

It’s an amazing spread at the theater this weekend!

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