Weekend Estimates: Death on the Nile ($12.8M) Floats to No. 1 Opening Over Super Bowl Weekend Ahead of Marry Me ($8M) and Blacklight ($3.6M)

Photo Credits: 20th Century Studios ("Death on the Nile"); Universal Pictures / Florian Ballhaus ("Marry Me"); Briarcliff Entertainment ("Blacklight")

As it does every year, the Super Bowl depressed turnout at the North American box office this weekend despite a slew of new wide releases hitting theaters, including Disney/Fox’s Death on the Nile, Universal’s Marry Me and Briarcliff Entertainment’s Blacklight. Of these, Nile finished at the top of the heap with an estimated $12.8M from 3,280 locations, while Marry Me saw middling results and Blacklight stumbled out of the gate.

A follow-up to the 2017’s Murder on the Orient Express – which opened to $28.7M and finished with $107.3M domestic and $353M global from a $55M budget – Nile saw the return of director and star Kenneth Branagh while boasting an almost entirely new cast, including Gal Gadot, Armie Hammer, Annette Bening and Sophie Okonedo. Relative to its hit predecessor, it’s difficult to spin Nile’s opening as anything but a disappointment, with the obvious caveat that the older female demo that made up a significant portion of Orient Express’ target audience remains more cautious than most about returning to theaters amid the ongoing pandemic (the male/female split this weekend was 51%/49%, while 28% were over the age of 45). Notably, this weekend’s debut included grosses from special early access previews in select premium formats on Wednesday. IMAX and PLF formats made up 32% of this weekend’s total gross.

It’s worth mentioning that Death on the Nile is also a lesser-known IP than Orient Express, and in fact, it may also have been lost on more casual moviegoers that the film was even a sequel to Orient Express at all. Those who did turn out seem to be enjoying the film about as much as its predecessor, awarding it an identical “B” Cinemascore; its PostTrak rating, meanwhile, is 3.5 out of 5 stars from general audiences and 77% total positive. Like the first movie, critics are mixed, with Nile currently standing at a just-barely “Fresh” 65% on Rotten Tomatoes (a tick better than Orient Express’ 65%).  

Unfortunately, Nile’s $90M budget gives the film a much steeper hill to climb than Orient Express in terms of profitability, and with this weekend’s mild opening, it’s difficult to see how it can surmount that. Still, the relatively star-studded cast may help somewhat in terms of international grosses. Speaking of which, the film took in an estimated $20.7M from 47 overseas territories, including $2.5M in Russia, $2.4M in the U.K., and $2.1M each in Italy and France.

Dropping one spot to second place in its sophomore frame was Jackass Forever, which dipped 65% to an estimated $8.05M after opening to $23.15M last weekend. That’s the largest second-weekend drop ever for a Jackass installment (including the 2013 spinoff Bad Grandpa), likely because the Super Bowl dominated the attention of the franchise’s core male fanbase on Sunday. Nonetheless, the Paramount release has a healthy $37.42M to date. Overseas, it grossed an estimated $2.7M for an international total of $10M and a global tally of $47.42M.

Marry Me debuted in third place with an estimated $8M from 3,642 locations, which is an okay result for the Jennifer Lopez-Owen Wilson rom-com (the film’s budget is reported to be $23M). Its theatrical performance was predictably affected by the Universal title’s day-and-date premiere on the Peacock streaming service, as well as the continued reluctance of adult women to return to the multiplex.

Despite that, the debut of J-Lo’s latest is still a notch above her last entry in the rom-com genre, 2018’s Second Act, which opened to $6.4M in December 2018. Bolstered by the holiday corridor, that film legged it out to $39M domestic. With its ready availability on streaming, Marry Me likely won’t show that kind of staying power in theaters despite boasting a promising B+ Cinemascore (though it should experience a nice bump in business on Valentine’s Day on Monday). Lopez’s last stab at counterprogramming on Super Bowl weekend, 2001’s The Wedding Planner, opened to a stronger $13.5M in 2001 and topped out at $60.4M in North America, establishing Lopez as a rom-com star.

Overseas, Marry Me grossed an estimated $8.53M from more than 65 territories, bringing its global opening total to $16.53M.

Spider-Man: No Way Home took fourth place in its ninth weekend with an estimated $7.15M for a total of $759M to date. That puts the Sony release just shy of Avatar’s lifetime total of $760.5M, which No Way Home will surpass early this week to become the third highest-grossing film of all time in North America. No Way Home grossed an additional $11M from 63 international markets, bringing its international total to $1.045B and its worldwide total to $1.804B. The MCU blockbuster is currently the sixth highest-grossing film of all time globally, with an opening in China still to come.

The weekend’s final new wide opener, Briarcliff’s Blacklight, debuted in fifth place with a soft $3.6M from 2,772 locations, marking a low point for star Liam Neeson in the action-thriller genre more than a decade after he first rebranded himself as a revenge-fueled tough guy with the Taken series. It didn’t help that the core fanbase for the film, older adult males, are glued to their TVs for the Super Bowl this weekend. Reviews were bleak, with the film currently sitting at a 6% average on Rotten Tomatoes.

Sing 2 finished in sixth place with an estimated $2.95M in its eighth weekend (a drop of just 30%), bringing the total for the Universal release to $143.39M. Internationally, it grossed an estimated $11M, including a No. 1 opening in the Netherlands, where it grossed $2M, and an additional $4.1M in the U.K. and Ireland, where its total now stands at $22.3M. Its international total is $166.96M and its global tally is $310.35M.

Moonfall, which debuted to $9.87M last weekend, was knocked out of orbit in its sophomore frame, grossing an estimated $2.85M (a 71% decline) in seventh place. The Lionsgate action film has just $15.15M to date.

Scream grossed an estimated $2.84M in its fifth weekend, good for eighth place. The slasher “re-quel” has a total of $73.18M to date. It grossed an additional estimated $2.1M from 60 markets overseas, bringing its international total to $55.2M and its global total to $128.38M.

In its 12th weekend, Licorice Pizza expanded to 1,977 locations (up 1,191) after scoring three Oscar nods, including Best Picture, last week. The Paul Thomas Anderson comedy-drama – which isn’t yet available on streaming or PVOD – took in an estimated $923k in ninth place, bringing its lifetime total to $13.99M. Overseas, Licorice Pizza grossed an estimated $863k from 19 territories; its international total is $9.75M.

Rounding out the top 10 was The Beatles: Get Back – The Rooftop Concert, which screened exclusively in 181 IMAX locations for one showtime only on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The Disney release grossed an estimated $412k, good for a per-location average of $2,276. The domestic total for the concert documentary, which previously grossed $391k from 67 IMAX locations on January 30, now stands at $854M. Overseas, the documentary played in an additional 212 locations in 44 territories and grossed an estimated $942k.

Finishing outside the top 10 after expanding from 390 to 928 locations this weekend was Focus Features’ Belfast, which scored seven Oscar nominations, including Best Picture, last week. The Kenneth Branagh drama took in $285k, bringing the film’s domestic total to $7.9M. Unlike Licorice Pizza, it’s currently available to purchase for $20 on PVOD. Overseas, Belfast took in an additional $2.23M, including another $1.4M in the U.K. and Ireland where its total now stands at $15.1M. Its global tally is $26.27M.

SPECIALTY RELEASES

After nabbing a potent per-location average of nearly $35k from 4 locations in its debut last weekend, Neon’s critically-acclaimed The Worst Person in the World expanded to 49 locations and took in an estimated $255k, giving the Norwegian film a per-location average of $5,212 for a total of $452k to date.

On the heels of Drive My Car’s surprise Best Picture nomination last week, the Japanese title’s distributor, Variance Films, added 40 locations this weekend and took in an estimated $193k for a per-location average of $1,519 and a $1.23M total through the end of its 12th weekend. Variance notes that it will expand the acclaimed film to 60 to 75 additional screens next weekend.

OVERSEAS

Sony’s video game adaptation Uncharted starring Tom Holland got an early start overseas, grossing $21.5M from 15 markets, including a No. 1 opening in the U.K., where it grossed and estimated $6.4M. It also took in an estimated $4.5M in Russia, $4M in the Middle East (including $1.3M in Saudia Arabia and $1.2M in the UAE), $3.5M in Spain and $1.3M in Ukraine. It opens in the U.S. and additional major overseas territories next weekend.


Sunday’s Studio Weekend Estimates: February 11-13, 2022

Title Estimated weekend % change Locations Location change Average Total Weekend Distributor
Death on the Nile $12,800,000   3,280   $3,902 $12,800,000 1 20th Century
jackass forever $8,050,000 -65% 3,653 49 $2,204 $37,420,000 2 Paramount
Marry Me $8,000,000   3,642   $2,197 $8,000,000 1 Universal
Spider-Man: No Way Home $7,150,000 -25% 3,300 -300 $2,167 $759,000,817 9 Sony Pictures
Blacklight $3,600,000   2,772   $1,299 $3,600,000 1 Briarcliff
Sing 2 $2,950,000 -30% 2,831 -435 $1,042 $143,388,555 8 Universal
Moonfall $2,850,000 -71% 3,446 n/c $827 $15,153,549 2 Lionsgate
Scream $2,835,000 -40% 2,619 -608 $1,083 $73,177,000 5 Paramount
Licorice Pizza $922,501 43% 1,977 1,191 $467 $13,991,311 12 United Artists
The King’s Man $433,000 -65% 900 -1,010 $481 $36,747,611 8 20th Century
The Beatles Get Back:… $412,000   181   $2,276 $853,720 3 Walt Disney
Redeeming Love $355,000 -65% 980 -817 $362 $8,822,070 4 Universal
Belfast $285,000 42% 928 538 $307 $7,904,145 14 Focus Features
The Worst Person in t… $255,395 85% 49 45 $5,212 $451,768 2 Neon
West Side Story $235,000 -44% 450 -350 $522 $37,200,196 10 20th Century
American Underdog: Th… $230,000 -71% 1,131 -339 $203 $26,309,121 8 Lionsgate
Drive My Car $192,949 92% 127 12 $1,519 $1,225,572 12 Janus Films
Encanto $124,000 -49% 275 -195 $451 $94,336,629 12 Walt Disney
The 355 $100,000 -86% 563 -1,147 $178 $14,496,585 6 Universal
Nightmare Alley $85,000 -60% 405 -300 $210 $11,011,206 9 Searchlight
House of Gucci $71,013 -77% 267 -270 $266 $53,667,485 12 United Artists

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