New superhero film "The Marvels" is making history, and not in a good way: its estimated $47 million North American take over the weekend marks the lowest debut ever for a movie from Disney's normally money-cranking Marvel Cinematic Universe.
"This opening is an unprecedented Marvel box office collapse," said analyst David A. Gross. Second superhero episodes normally outperform the originals, he said, but this one is down 67 percent from its predecessor, "Captain Marvel," and has a long way to go to recoup its $220 million production cost.
It's unclear, analysts said, whether this is a clear signal of moviegoers' superhero fatigue after so many successful blockbusters.
But Gross said several factors are hurting such films in the theaters, including the growth of streaming services and the recently ended actors' strike ("Marvels" stars led by Brie Larson were unable to do promotional work) -- as well as a slew of "unimaginative and bad movies" across the genre.
"The Marvels," a complicated sci-fi yarn about quantum entanglement, "jump points" and holes in space, also stars Teyonah Parris and Iman Vellani.
In second for the weekend was "Five Nights at Freddy's" from Universal Pictures and Blumhouse Productions, with estimated ticket sales of $9 million, industry watcher Exhibitor Relations reported Sunday. Josh Hutcherson plays a down-at-the-heels guard working nights at an abandoned family entertainment center where creepy animatronic characters spring -- murderously -- to life.
AMC Theaters' "Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour" again performed well: the superstar's concert film earned $5.9 million as it placed third for the weekend. Its total domestic haul in five weeks is now $172.5 million.
In fourth was A24's biopic "Priscilla," at $4.8 million, nearly level with last weekend's $5 million take. The Sofia Coppola-directed film charts the rocky relationship between Elvis and Priscilla Presley, from their first meeting, when she was just 14 and he was a 24-year-old star, to their acrimonious split.
Cailee Spaeny, in the title role, has earned the Venice Film Festival's best actress award.
And in fifth, at $4.7 million, was Martin Scorsese's history-based epic "Killers of the Flower Moon." The Paramount drama stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro and Lily Gladstone.
Rounding out the top 10 were:
"The Holdovers" ($3.2 million)
"Journey to Bethlehem" ($2.4 million)
"Paw Patrol: The Mighty Movie" ($1.8 million)
"Radical" ($1.8 million)
"The Exorcist: Believer" ($1.2 million)