Weekend Box Office: The Bad Guys Takes $24M Domestic Debut

Photo Credits: Universal Pictures & DreamWorks Animation ("The Bad Guys"); Focus Features ("The Northman"); Lionsgate ("The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent"); Warner Bros. ("Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore"); Paramount ("Sonic the Hedgehog 2")

Not a Bad Start

Heading into this weekend, Universal / DreamWorks’ animated The Bad Guys was projected to come in somewhere around third place with about $15 million. Instead, it beats most expectations by debuting in first place with an estimated $24 million.

Compared to the openings for other recent animated titles from the past year, that’s:

  • +7% ahead of Sing 2 ($22.3M)

  • +38% ahead of The Addams Family 2 ($17.3M)

  • +50% ahead of The Boss Baby: Family Business ($16.0M), though its box office was curtailed by premiering day-and-date simultaneously on Peacock.

However, Bad does start -11% behind Encanto ($27.2M).

The Bad Guys follows five animals who team up to form a criminal gang: a tarantula voiced by Awkwafina, a wolf voiced by Sam Rockwell, a snake voiced by Marc Maron, a piranha voiced by Anthony Ramos, and a shark voiced by Craig Robinson.

Guys and Dollars

Some specific stats about The Bad Guys:

  • It earned both an “A” CinemaScore and a 94% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes.
  • The audience demographics were 28% age 12 and under, 55% female, 30% Hispanic and 17% black.
  • After debuting in a number of foreign markets earlier this month, it’s now earned $63.1M overseas and $87.1M globally from 52 markets. Top territories include the U.K. ($12.2M), Australia ($8.6M), and Spain ($6.3M). It debuts in China next weekend.

Sonic Keeps Pace

Paramount’s family action-comedy Sonic the Hedgehog 2 opened on top two weekends ago, exceeding the opening of its February 2020 predecessor by +24%. After that, the sequel fell -59% to second place in its sophomore frame—still earning a bit more than its predecessor’s sophomore frame, but with a steeper percentage drop.

Now in its third weekend, it actually falls below its predecessor’s third weekend, declining -48% to an estimated $15.2M, compared to $16.3M for the original.

Sonic 2 has out-performed its predecessor through the same point with $145.8M domestic, which is +13% ahead of the original’s $128.6M through the equivalent period in release.

Through the same point in release, the sequel is also running:

  • +9% ahead of 2017’s The LEGO Batman Movie ($133.2M)
  • +25% ahead of 2019’s Pokemon: Detective Pikachu ($116.2M)
  • +45% ahead of February’s Uncharted ($100.3M)
  • +46% ahead of 2015’s The Peanuts Movie ($99.3M)
  • +67% ahead of 2016’s The Angry Birds Movie ($87.1M)
  • +77% ahead of 2021’s Jungle Cruise ($82.2M) – though that film’s box office was curtailed by opening day-and-date simultaneously on Disney+.
  • +75% ahead of 2019’s The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part ($83.2M)

However, the sequel is running:

  • -16% behind 2019’s Jumanji: The Next Level ($175.4M)
  • -20% behind 2014’s The LEGO Movie ($183.0M)
  • -40% behind 2017’s Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle ($245.6M)

Sonic 2 stars the voices of Ben Schwartz and Idris Elba alongside Jim Carrey as the live-action villain. It’s now earned $142M overseas and $287.8M globally, led by the U.K. ($26.3M), Mexico ($15.7M), France ($14.3M), and Australia ($13.1M).

Read Boxoffice PRO’s interview with Sonic the Hedgehog 2 director Jeff Fowler here.

The Secrets of ‘Tumble’-dore

Last weekend’s leader, Warner Bros.’ Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore underwhelmed at the box office with a $42.1M opening. That was by far a new low for either the Harry Potter or spinoff Fantastic Beasts franchises, although it was about in line with pre-release projections.

This weekend it fell faster than Harry fell from the sky in the Chamber of Secrets Quidditch sequence, declining by -67% to an estimated $14.0M.

That’s a considerably sharper sophomore frame drop than:

  • 2016’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (-39%), although that came on Thanksgiving weekend which softened its decline. The subsequent frame, with no holiday, it fell -60%.
  • 2018’s Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (-53%). Same deal: its second frame was Thanksgiving which softened the blow, and on the subsequent frame with no holiday, it fell -61%.

The other major fantasy spinoff film series of the past decade was The Hobbit, spun off from The Lord of the Rings. Dumbledore similarly posts a steeper sophomore frame drop than for any of those three films:

  • 2012’s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (-56%).
  • 2013’s The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (-57%).
  • 2014’s: The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (-25%), though its second frame was Christmas weekend. The subsequent frame, with no holiday, it fell -47%.

Taking place in the Harry Potter universe in the 1920s and 1930s, this third installment in the supposed five-part Fantastic Beasts series is directed by David Yates, who directed the two prior installments as well as the final four Potter films. Starring Eddie Redmayne and Jude Law as the titular Albus Dumbledore, the script was co-written by original Potter novelist J.K. Rowling.

Representing the North Side

Focus Features’ historical action-adventure The Northman began in fourth place with an estimated $12.0M. That’s about in line with—and in some cases a bit higher than—pre-release projections, which had it around $9M.

Compared with other medieval action movies, the opening was:

  • +30% ahead of 2018’s Robin Hood ($9.1M)
  • Nnd not only more than double 2021’s The Last Duel ($4.7M opening), but also exceeds that film’s $10.8M total.
  • Northman also opens +36% above director Robert Eggers’ 2016 release The Witch ($8.8M).

Northman’s audience was 68% male and 73% ages 25 and older. The film earned a “B” rating from audiences on CinemaScore.

It’s now earned $11.5M overseas and $23.5M globally in 42 markets. Top territories include the U.K. ($3.0M) and Mexico ($1.8M). 

Northman stars Alexander Skarsgård as the title character, a Viking prince and warrior, alongside Nicole Kidman, Anya Taylor-Joy, Ethan Hawke, and Willem Dafoe.

Caged In

Lionsgate’s action-comedy The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent began in fifth place with an estimated $7.1M, in line with pre-release projections.

The film stars Nicolas Cage as a fictionalized version of himself, forced to emulate his most noteworthy film characters from his decades-long career in order to complete a secret agent mission.

Cage spent many years as a bankable leading man (National Treasure, Ghost Rider, Moonstruck) with one Academy Award Best Actor win (Leaving Las Vegas) and another nomination (Adaptation.). In recent years, the past decade in particular, that reputation has shifted somewhat as his roles became both far more numerous and less financially successful.

Excluding animated titles, this represents Cage’s best opening weekend with a lead role 2014’s Left Behind ($6.3M). Prior to that, his best opening in a lead role was 2012’s sequel Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance ($22.1M).

Weekend Comparisons

Total box office this weekend came in around $92.3M, which is:

  • -13% below last weekend’s total of $106.8M, when Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore led with $42.1M.
  • 4.7x the equivalent weekend in 2021 with $19.5M, as the box office was taking its first pandemic-era steps back to normalcy as Godzilla vs. Kong led for a third consecutive frame with $7.8M.
  • -15% behind the equivalent weekend in 2019 (the last pre-pandemic year) with $109.1M, when The Curse of La Llorona led for a second frame with $26.3M.

YTD comparisons

Year-to-date box office stands around $1.81B. That’s:

  • 4.7x this same point in the pandemic recovery year of 2021 ($380.3M).
  • +1% ahead of this same point in 2020, with $1.78B. Note: the 2020 box office had been running ahead of 2022’s YTD until mid-March, the point when cinemas essentially shut down nationwide that year. Accordingly, the 2022 YTD comparison has consistently risen for the past month, and finally overtakes the equivalent 2020 figure this weekend.
  • -38% behind this same point in 2019, the last pre-pandemic year ($2.93B).

Top Distributors

As has been the case all year so far, the leading distributor in the domestic market remains Sony Pictures with $472.3M. Warner Bros. ranks a close second with $445.9M. 

Paramount currently claims third with $373.0M and Universal claims fourth with $175.4M. 

Disney seems poised to take the crown at some point this summer or possibly fall, particularly if including their subsidiary 20th Century Studios releases.

Sunday’s Studio Weekend Estimates: April 22-24, 2022

Title  Estimated weekend  % change Locations Location change Average  Total  Weekend Distributor
The Bad Guys $24,000,000   4,009   $5,987 $24,000,000 1 Universal
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 $15,225,000 -48% 3,809 -449 $3,997 $145,829,424 3 Paramount
Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore $14,010,000 -67% 4,245 37 $3,300 $67,126,750 2 Warner Bros.
The Northman $12,000,000   3,234   $3,711 $12,000,000 1 Focus Features
The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent $7,175,000   3,036   $2,363 $7,175,000 1 Lionsgate
Everything Everywhere All At Once $5,425,446 -12% 2,133 -87 $2,544 $26,944,336 5 A24
The Lost City $4,375,000 -30% 2,828 -602 $1,547 $85,394,909 5 Paramount
Father Stu $3,325,000 -38% 2,705 n/c $1,229 $13,869,511 2 Sony Pictures
Morbius $2,250,000 -52% 2,306 -1,156 $976 $69,178,104 4 Sony Pictures
Ambulance $1,800,000 -56% 1,966 -1,446 $916 $19,199,045 3 Universal
The Batman $1,500,000 -60% 1,804 -731 $831 $367,717,661 8 Warner Bros.
Y Como Es El $630,000   325   $1,938 $630,000 1 Pantelion
Uncharted $465,000 -61% 617 -694 $754 $145,954,237 10 Sony Pictures
Sing 2 $200,000 178% 542 -25 $369 $162,720,195 18 Universal
Spider-Man: No Way Home $85,000 -59% 158 -229 $538 $804,395,488 19 Sony Pictures
Petite maman $45,829   4   $11,457 $45,829 1 Neon
X $36,971 -70% 71 -107 $521 $11,716,721 6 A24
Unplugging $20,500   101   $203 $20,500 1 Vertical Entertainment
Death on the Nile $8,000 -45% 35 -20 $229 $45,626,073 11 20th Century Studios
The Automat $3,500 -63% 9 -8 $389 $174,940 10 A Slice of Pie Productions
Photo Credits: Universal Pictures & DreamWorks Animation ("The Bad Guys"); Focus Features ("The Northman"); Lionsgate ("The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent"); Warner Bros. ("Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore"); Paramount ("Sonic the Hedgehog 2")