The Biggest Movies Coming to Theaters in February 2022

Images courtesy: Lionsgate, United Artists Releasing, MGM.

After December 2021 became the single highest grossing month at the domestic box office since the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the trend sharply reversed. The would-be biggest title of January 2022, Morbius, got delayed at the last minute until April. During the final weekend of January, not a single new wide release debuted theatrically, an occurrence basically unheard of in pre-pandemic times.

Fortunately for the exhibition industry, that shouldn’t be the case in February. At least one new major title is debuting every single weekend, and on some frames more than one major title. Hopefully this will return audiences back to cinemas — and to see something other than Spider-Man: No Way Home, which has led the box office for a stunning six of the past seven weekends.

Here are the biggest titles arriving in cinemas for the second month of the year.


Moonfall

Lionsgate

Friday, February 4

Premise: A team of astronauts attempt to dislodge the earth from a collision course with Earth, in this sci-fi thriller starring Halle Berry and directed by Roland Emmerich.

Box office comparisons: Among space-set movies in the past few years, 2018’s Neil Armstrong biopic First Man starring Ryan Reynolds earned $44.9M, while 2019’s Ad Astra starring Brad Pitt added up to $50.1M. Though not an exact genre comparison, Emmerich’s previous directorial effort, 2019’s war thriller Midway made $56.8M. 


Jackass Forever

Paramount

Friday, February 4

Premise: Starting with the 2000-02 MTV reality show and continuing with three feature films, the Jackass franchise follows a group of guys — and it is indeed mostly guys — who participate in death-defying stunts and dares with increasing audacity through the years.

Box office comparisons: It’s hard to know how much the three prior installments serve as a barometer here. The franchise was at the peak of its influence on youth culture for the first three installments. Now a dozen years later, ringleader Johnny Knoxville is 50, older even than the parents of some of the teenagers towards whom the movie’s marketing is aimed. Still, for what it’s worth, 2002’s Jackass: The Movie made $64.2M (or $101.3M adjusted for ticket price inflation), 2006’s Jackass: Number Two made $72.7M (or $101.7M adjusted), and 2010’s Jackass 3D made $117.2M (or $136.0M adjusted).

A better comparison might be The Matrix Resurrections: also a fourth installment to a early-2000s franchise beloved by young adult males, with a similar 18 years since the previous title. Pre-release box office projections for Resurrections were already below the grosses for any of the three prior installments, but it finished below even those projections. So far it’s earned only $37.1M to date and seems likely to finish around $40M overall, or less than one-third the earnings of the second-lowest performing Matrix film. (Debuting day-and-date simultaneously in theaters and on HBO Max didn’t help.)


Death on the Nile

20th Century Studios

Friday, February 11

Premise: Kenneth Branagh directs this ensemble cast mystery based on bestselling whodunnit Agatha Christie’s 1937 novel, starring Branagh himself as detective Hercule Poirot, plus Gal Gadot, Annette Bening, and Russell Brand and many others as suspects for a murder committed on a cruise ship.

Box office comparisons: 2017’s prior installment Murder on the Orient Express took the train to $102.8M, while 2019’s similar ensemble cast murder mystery Knives Out was sharp with $165.3M. However, even the most optimistic projections don’t have Nile earning either of those numbers, in part because the film’s older-skewing target demographic has proven more resistant to return to cinemas.


Marry Me

Universal

Friday, February 11

Premise: Jennifer Lopez stars as pop music superstar not dissimilar from her real life persona, who spontaneously decides to marry a random fan holding up a “Marry me” sign at her concert, played by Owen Wilson in this romantic comedy timed for Valentine’s Day. 

Box office comparisons: Romantic comedies have had a rough go of it at the box office in the past few years. Some of the genre’s titles released for Valentine’s Day weekend the past few years have all earned very similar amounts: Isn’t It Romantic in 2019 with $48.7M, How to Be Single in 2016 with $46.8M, and About Last Night in 2014 with $48.6M. Marry Me might have a tougher time reaching those marks, though, since it debuts day-and-date both theatrically and on Peacock.


Blacklight

Briarcliff / Open Road

Friday, February 11

Premise: In the type of film he’s pivoted towards almost exclusively in the past decade, Liam Neeson stars as a government agent going rogue to turn against his FBI director and former boss in this violent action thriller.

Box office comparisons: Neeson’s two other similar pandemic-era titles were January 2021’s The Marksman with $15.5M and October 2020’s Honest Thief with a nearly-identical $14.1M.


Uncharted

Sony / Columbia

Friday, February 18

Premise: Tom Holland and Mark Wahlberg team up to uncover a lost treasure, in this action-adventure thriller based on the bestselling video game series of the same name.

Box office comparisons: 2018’s Tomb Raider reboot, another action-adventure based on a popular video game franchise, was considered a disappointment with $58.2M. The Uncharted trailer also bears some stylistic resemblances to last year’s fellow video game action adaptation Mortal Kombat ($37.4M).


Dog

United Artists Releasing / MGM

Friday, February 18

Premise: Channing Tatum stars and makes his co-directorial debut in this comedy-drama about a military man who has to drive the title canine across the country. 

Box office comparisons: Recent dog-themed movies include November’s Clifford the Big Red Dog ($48.9M while premiering day-and-date on Paramount+), 2019’s The Art of Racing in the Rain ($26.4M), 2019’s A Dog’s Way Home ($41.9M), and 2018’s Alpha ($35.8M).


Cyrano

United Artists Releasing

Friday, February 25

Premise: Peter Dinklage (HBO’s Game of Thrones) plays the title character, a romantic in love with a woman who doesn’t love him back, so he pens letters on behalf of another man who’s wooing her instead in this historical drama musical. Joe Wright (Darkest HourAtonementPride & Prejudice) directs.

Box office comparisons: All three of 2021’s main theatrically released musicals underperformed at the box office: In the Heights ($29.9M while premiering day-and-date on HBO Max), West Side Story ($35.9M to date and likely to end up around $38-$40M), and Dear Evan Hansen ($15.0M). And all three of those were adaptations, featuring music that audiences already liked; this, however, is based on a well-reviewed but little-seen stage production that only ran in a 200-seat theater in Chester, Connecticut, rather than Broadway. 

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