In 10 Days, ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’ Grossed as Much As the Full Run of ‘Ant-Man’

This is what strong word of mouth looks like: Although the opening weekends (plus previews) for “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” and “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” were nearly the same, that’s where the resemblance ends for the Marvel titles. The first 10 days for “GOTG3” in the U.S./Canada stands at $213.2 million; “Ant-Man” grossed $213.9 in its entire domestic run.

That’s a huge relief for Disney. “GOTG3” fell shy of the $292.6 million grossed by “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” in the same time period last year, but that film fell 67 percent its second weekend. The “GOTG3” drop represented 49 percent.

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It helps that it’s a feast-or-famine weekend, with “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” (Universal) at #2 with more than $7 million. James Gunn’s latest MCU film stands at $528 million worldwide so far. Uncertain is whether it can reach the $1 billion level sometimes seen pre-pandemic, especially against upcoming strong competition from “Fast X” (Universal). The “Fast” franchise is as big as Marvel titles overseas.

“SMB” in its sixth weekend dropped only 30 percent. Now at $536 million, it won’t be challenged by “Guardians” as top domestic release so far this year.

BOOK CLUB: THE NEXT CHAPTER, (aka BOOK CLUB 2: THE NEXT CHAPTER), from left: Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda, Candice Bergen, Mary Steenburgen, 2023. © Focus Features / Courtesy Everett Collection
“Book Club: The Next Chapter”©Focus Features/Courtesy Everett Collection

The absence of new major-studio releases (the last time that will happen for a while) saw lesser results across the board. Best was “Book Club: The Next Chapter” (Focus), coming in #3 with $6.5 million. That is below projections and represents half of the opening weekend for the 2018 Paramount Pictures entry. That was pre-pandemic, of course, and the lesser result isn’t surprising in context. Its audience was 77 percent female, with almost half over 55. A film with that limited appeal can’t expect to do much better these days.

After leading “Air” to a $60 million total, Ben Affleck will not do the same for “Hypnotic” (Ketchum), which opened to under $2.4 million in over 2,000 theaters. Robert Rodriguez’s ill-fated $70 million thriller about a father searching for a missing daughter was originally slated for now-defunct Solstice Studios. It had a small marketing allocation and a bad audience response with a C+ Cinemascore.

Three other films had more limited, multi-hundred theater releases. Best among them was “BlackBerry” (IFC), with $740,000 (tied for #9) in 627 theaters. The story of the first smartphone, with very strong reviews and starring Jay Baruchal, saw 35 percent of its gross come from Canada. “Knights of the Zodiac” (Sony), a $60 million live-action Manga adaptation, grossed $535,000 in 586 theaters. “Fool’s Paradise,” a comedy starring, written, and directed by Charlie Day, grossed $443,000 in 784 theaters.

MONICA - Still 6
“Monica”Courtesy of IFC Films. An IFC Fi

IFC had the standout specialized platform opening. “Monica” with Patricia Clarkson starring as a mother who struggles to recognize her child had a decent $26,000 initial response in two New York/Los Angeles dates. Next-best showing was “The Starling Girl” (Bleecker Street) out of Sundance, with the drama taking in just under $25,000 in four theaters. Yogi Berra documentary “It Ain’t Over” (Sony Pictures Classics) debuted in 99 theaters to $106,000.

Wider top 10 holdovers all dropped less than 50 percent, reflecting the lack of strong new releases. Best was “John Wick: Chapter 4” (Lionsgate), off 18 percent. Of note is that both “Air” (MGM), now on Amazon Prime, and “Evil Dead Rise” (Warner Bros. Discovery), out on PVOD,held quite well despite the alternative platforms.

Total gross for the weekend came to about $100 million. That’s up from $92 million last year, with year-to-date now 29 percent higher over 2022. Projecting that to all of 2023 would mean $9.5 million. Compared to 2019, the four-week rolling comparison fell to 70 percent. The next two weeks with “Fast X” and “The Little Mermaid” (Disney) will reveal a lot more about whether the year could improve as much as hoped.

The Top 10

1. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (Disney) Week 2; Last weekend #1

$60,500,000 (-49%) in 4,450 (no change) theaters; PTA (per theater average): $13,596; Cumulative: $213,200,000

2. The Super Mario Bros. Movie (Universal) Week 6; Last weekend #2

$13,000,000 (-30%) in 3,800 (-109) theaters; PTA: $3,421; Cumulative: $535,959,000

3. Book Club: The Next Chapter (Focus) NEW – Cinemascore: B; Metacritic: 48; Est. budget: $20 million

$6,500,000 in 3,508 theaters; PTA: $1,853; Cumulative: $6,500,000

4. Evil Dead Rise (Warner Bros. Discovery) Week 4; Last weekend #3; also on PVOD

$3,728,000 (-37%) in 2,821 (-215) theaters; PTA: $1,322; Cumulative: $60,188,000

5. Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret (Lionsgate) Week 3; Last weekend #4

$2,500,000 (-23%) in 2,359 (-984) theaters; PTA: $1,057; Cumulative: $16,476,000

6. Hypnotic (Ketchup) NEW – Cinemascore: C+; Metacritic: 53; Est. budget: $70 million

$2,355,000 in 2,118 theaters; PTA: $1,112; Cumulative: $2,355,000

7. John Wick: Chapter 4 (Lionsgate) Week 8; Last weekend #6

$1,930,000 (-18%) in 1,613 (-45) theaters; PTA: $1,197; Cumulative: $182,964,000

8. Love Again (Sony) Week 2; Last weekend #5

$1,550,000 (-35%) in 2,703 (no change) theaters; PTA: $573; Cumulative: $5,007,000

9. Air (MGM) Week 6; Last weekend #8; also streaming on Amazon Prime

$875,000 (-37%) in 1,210 (-422) theaters; PTA: $723; Cumulative: $51,710,000

10. (tie) BlackBerry (IFC/Elevation) NEW – Metacritic: 82

$740,000 in 623 theaters; PTA: $1,188; Cumulative: $740,000

10. (tie) Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves (Paramount) Week 7; Last weekend #7; also on PVOD

$740,000 (-49%) in 934 (-817) theaters; PTA: $792; Cumulative: $92,170,000

Other specialized titles

Films (limited, expansions of limited, as well as awards-oriented releases) are listed by week in release, starting with those opened this week; after the first two weeks, only films with grosses over $5,000 are listed.

Monica (IFC) NEW – Metacritic: 74; Festivals include: Venice 2022

$26,500 in 2 theaters; PTA: $13,250

The Starling Girl (Bleecker Street) NEW – Metacritic: 78; Festivals include: Sundance, South by Southwest 2023

$24,736 in 4 theaters; PTA: $6,184

L’Immensita (Music Box) NEW – Metacritic: 71; Festivals include: Venice 2022, Sundance 2023

$9,281 in 2 theaters; PTA: $4,641

It Ain’t Over (Sony Pictures Classics) NEW – Metacritic: 76; Festivals include: Tribeca 2022

$106,289 in 99 theaters; PTA: $1,074

Knights of the Zodiac (Sony) NEW

$535,000 in 586 theaters; PTA: $913

The Eight Mountains (Sideshow/Janus) Week 3

$30,100 in 24 (+20) theaters; PTA: $1,254; Cumulative: $93,772

Polite Society (Focus) Week 3

$57,000 in 76 (-626) theaters; Cumulative: $1,512,000

32 Sounds (Abramorama) Week 3

$12,010 in 5 (+4) theaters; Cumulative: $50,302

Chevalier (Searchlight) Week 4

$50,000 in 110 (-45) theaters; Cumulative: $3,282,000

Somewhere in Queens (Roadside Attractions) Week 4

$40,025 in 62 (-60) theaters; Cumulative: $1,614,000

Carmen (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 4

$10,353 in 25 (+6)  in theaters; Cumulative: $57,592

Beau Is Afraid (A24) Week 5

$167,302 in 246 (-264) theaters; Cumulative: $7,216,000

Suzume (Sony) Week 5

$115,000 in 84 (-32) theaters; Cumulative: $10,478,000

Wild Life (Picturehouse) Week 5 30

$33,105 in 32 (+2) theaters;  Cumulative: $286,913

Showing Up (A24) Week 6

$28,578 in 75 (-27)  theaters; Cumulative: $708,854

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