Weekend Box Office: The Invitation RSVP’s to $7.0M, on Lowest Total Weekend Since January

Photo by Marcell Piti, copyright ©2021 CTMG. All Rights Reserved.

Come on over

The Sony Pictures / Screen Gems horror The Invitation started in first place with $7.0M, marking the lowest-grossing first place film since Spiral in late May 2021.

In other words, it marks a new low for the “true” post-pandemic era at the box office, which arguably started with the debut of A Quiet Place Part II on Memorial Day weekend 2021.

The Invitation’s earnings come in a bit below its “already low” pre-release projections, which were closer to the $9M range.

With $51.3M, this weekend’s total earnings are also the lowest since the Omicron variant-impacted January 28 weekend ($34.8M). That frame, no new wide releases entered the market and holdover Spider-Man: No Way Home led with $11.0M.

The Invitation is a rare PG-13 horror film, a genre usually designated R. Compared to some other prominent PG-13 horror films of the past decade, it opened:

  • -66% below 2019’s Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark ($20.9M)
  • -66% below 2012’s The Woman in Black ($20.8M)
  • -75% below 2013’s Mama ($28.4M)
  • -67% below 2016’s Lights Out ($21.6M)
  • -62% below 2018’s Truth or Dare ($18.6M)

Plotwise, The Invitation Is also drawing comparisons to 2019’s Ready or Not, but it also opened -12% below that ($8.0M).

[Read Boxoffice PRO’s interview with The Invitation director Jessica M. Thompson here.]

National Cinema Day

Next Saturday, September 3, will see the first-ever National Cinema Day in the U.S. At participating cinemas, of which more than 3,000 have signed on, all tickets will be $3: any film, any showtime, any format. That includes premium formats such as IMAX, 4DX, ScreenX, and D-Box.

Read more about the promotion, from the 501(c)(3) non-profit The Cinema Foundation, here.


Take the A train

After leading for its first two frames, Sony Pictures’ R-rated action-comedy Bullet Train fell -30% in its fourth frame to $5.6M and second place.

Through 24 days in cinemas, Bullet Train has earned $78.2M domestically. Through the same point in release, that’s:

  • +8% above 2019’s Men in Black: International ($72.1M)
  • -2% below 2017’s Baby Driver, which opened on a Wednesday ($79.9M)
  • Less than -1% below March’s The Lost City ($78.2M)
  • -11% behind 2015’s Spy ($88.4M)
  • -12% behind 2017’s Kingsman: The Golden Circle ($89.7M)
  • -15% behind 2021’s Free Guy ($92.0M)
  • -20% behind 2015’s Kingsman: The Secret Service ($98.0M)

Driver was running behind Train for its first 13 days, but overtook it on day #14.

City was leading Train after their respective first and second weekends, then Train took the lead after the third frame, but now in their fourth frames City regains the lead once more.

Overseas, Bullet stands at $95.4M, for $173.6M globally. Major markets still to release include Japan, where the film actually takes place, on September 1.

[Read Boxoffice PRO’s interview with director David Leitch here.]

Beast mode

Universal’s suspense thriller Beast started in second place last weekend with $11.5M, about in line with pre-release projections.

This frame, it got slashed -58% to $4.9M and third place.

Compared to some other recent comparable adult-oriented thriller titles, that’s a steeper drop than:

  • 2016’s The Shallows (-48%)
  • April’s Ambulance (-53%)
  • 2016’s The Finest Hours (-53%)
  • 2018’s The Meg (-53%)
  • 2018’s Adrift (-55%)
  • 2015’s Everest (-57%)

Overseas, Beast stands at $16.0M, for a $36.1M global total. Top overseas market totals include Mexico ($2.3M), Saudi Arabia ($1.8M), and the U.A.E. ($1.2M).

[Read Boxoffice PRO’s interview with Beast director Baltasar Kormákur here.]

Mach 14

Paramount’s action-adventure sequel Top Gun: Maverick earned the #13 biggest fourteenth weekend of all time, declining -20% to $4.75M and fourth place.

After remaining theatrically-exclusive since its Memorial Day weekend opening, this was the first weekend in which the film was available on digital platforms for $20. However, it’s still not available on Blu-Ray, DVD, or “built-in” to streaming service Paramount+.

After earning “only” the #41 opening weekend of all time ($126.7M), it has remained in the top 20 of all time for every frame since – and usually top 10:

  • #8 second weekend ($90.0M)
  • #10 third weekend ($51.8M)
  • #3 fourth weekend ($44.6M)
  • #4 fifth weekend ($29.6M)
  • #4 sixth weekend ($25.5M)
  • #7 seventh weekend ($15.5M)
  • #8 eighth weekend ($12.3M)
  • #6 ninth weekend ($10.2M)
  • #10 tenth weekend ($8.4M)
  • #17 eleventh weekend ($7.0M)
  • #9 twelfth weekend ($7.0M again)
  • #13 thirteenth weekend ($5.8M)
  • Now, the #13 fourteenth weekend ($4.75M)

Overseas, Maverick stands at $731.2M, for $1.42B globally – the top film of 2022 both globally and domestically. Notable overseas market totals to date include:

  1. U.K. ($99.7M)
  2. Japan ($88.3M)
  3. South Korea ($65.5M)
  4. Australia ($62.8M)
  5. France ($55.9M)
  6. Germany ($35.5M)
  7. Taiwan ($24.2M)

Having a ball

Last weekend’s top film, Sony Pictures / Crunchyroll anime Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero, started with $21.1M, on the higher end of pre-release projections.

In its second frame, it falls -78% to $4.5M and fifth place.

Compared to other recent anime titles, that’s even steeper than the “already steep” sophomore frame drops of:

  • 2019’s Dragon Ball Super: Broly (-69%)
  • 2021’s Demon Slayer: Mugen Train (-71%)
  • March’s Jujutsu Kaisen 0: The Movie (-75%)

Overseas, Super Hero stands at $50.7M, for an $81.4M global total – excluding Japan.

Major markets still to release include Germany on August 30, Spain on September 2, South Korea on September 15, Italy on September 29, and France on October 5.

Not such super pets

In its fifth frame, Warner Bros.’ animated DC League of Super-Pets falls -26% to $4.2M and sixth place.

Through 31 days in cinemas, it’s earned $74.0M domestically. Through the same point in release, that’s:

  • +19% above 2014’s Paddington ($62.2M)
  • +5% above 2016’s Pete’s Dragon ($70.1M)
  • +2% above 2018’s Smallfoot ($72.6M)
  • Less than -1% below April’s The Bad Guys ($74.4M)
  • -20% below 2018’s Peter Rabbit ($93.4M)
  • -28% below 2016’s The Angry Birds Movie ($103.1M)
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The Bad Guys was actually running behind Pets through their first 30 days, but overtook it on day #31, during their respective fifth weekends.

Overseas, League stands at $72.4M, for $146.5M globally. Top market totals to date include:

  1. U.K. ($14.8M)
  2. Mexico ($6.8M)
  3. France ($6.8M)
  4. Spain ($3.9M)
  5. Germany ($3.4M)
  6. Brazil ($2.6M)
  7. Argentina ($2.3M)
  8. Poland ($2.1M)

Major markets still to release include Italy on September 1 and Australia on September 15.

The long and short of it

The United Artist Releasing / MGM fantasy comedy Three Thousand of Years Longing began with $2.8 M in seventh place, in line with pre-release projections.

Arguably, there are no comparable titles to this experimental and eclectic offering from George Miller, whose last directorial effort was 2015’s Mad Max: Fury Road. But to the extent that these films were aimed at a similar audience, it opened:

  • -31% below 2021’s Last Night in Soho ($4.1M)
  • -46% below 2015’s Ex Machina ($5.3M)
  • -52% below the wide opening weekend of this year’s Everything Everywhere All at Once ($6.0M)
  • -56% below 2019’s Midsommar ($6.5M)
  • -57% below 2021’s The Green Knight ($6.7M)
  • -69% below 2019’s Uncut Gems ($9.5M)

Longing earned a “B” CinemaScore, from an audience that was an estimated 56% male and 43% ages 35+.

It was all yellow 

In its ninth frame, Universal / Illumination’s animated sequel Minions: The Rise of Gru fell -26% to $2.7M and eighth place.

After 59 days in cinema, Gru has earned $354.7M domestically. Through the same point in release, that’s:

  • +47% above 2010’s Despicable Me ($240.4M)
  • Less than +1% above 2013’s Despicable Me 2, which opened on a Wednesday ($352.5M)
  • +7% above 2015’s Minions ($328.8M)
  • +39% above 2017’s Despicable Me 3 ($254.6M)

Overseas, Gru stands at $514.0M, for $868.8M globally. Notable overseas market totals include:

  • U.K. ($50.5M)
  • Mexico ($38.9M)
  • Germany ($30.8M)
  • Japan ($30.3M)
  • Australia ($30.0M)
  • China ($24.5M)
  • France ($23.5M)
  • Argentina ($21.2M)
  • Brazil ($20.4M)
  • Spain ($19.7M)

Feel the thunder

In its eighth frame, Disney and Marvel Studios’ superhero sequel Thor: Love and Thunder fell -34% to $2.7M and ninth place.

After 52 days in cinemas, Thunder has earned $336.5M domestically. Through the same point in release, that’s:

  • +89% above 2011’s Thor ($177.2M)
  • +66% above 2013’s Thor: The Dark World ($202.3M)
  • +8% above 2017’s Thor: Ragnarok ($309.1M)
  • -17% below May’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness ($409.2M)
  • -8% below March’s The Batman ($367.6M)

The Batman was actually running behind Thunder through their first nine days, but overtook it on day #10.

Overseas, Hammer stands at $410.1M, for $746.7M globally. Top market totals to date include:

  1. U.K. ($44.2M)
  2. Australia ($30.0M)
  3. Mexico ($28.9M)
  4. France ($23.9M)
  5. South Korea ($22.6M)
  6. Brazil ($22.6M)
  7. Germany ($18.8M)
  8. India ($16.3M)
  9. Indonesia ($12.6M)
  10. Spain ($11.9M)

Outside the top-10

  • Disney’s IMAX re-release of 2016’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, earned $1.1M in only 255 theaters, less than 10% of the reach for the top films in the market. The original earned $532.1M, the top-earning film released that year.
  • Bleecker Street’s thriller Breaking opened with $1.0M in 902 theaters.
  • After debuting last weekend with $1.6M in 498 theaters, Paramount’s horror Orphan: First Kill falls -47%. That’s a bit steeper than 2009’s original Orphan (-42%).

Weekend comparisons

Total box office this weekend came in around $51.3M, which is:

  • -34% below last weekend’s total ($78.9M), when Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero led with $21.1M.
  • -18% below the equivalent weekend in 2021 ($63.3M), when Free Guy led for a second consecutive frame with $18.5M.
  • -52% below the equivalent weekend in the last pre-pandemic year 2019 ($108.7M), when Angel Has Fallen led with $21.3M.

It also marks the lowest total weekend since the January 28 frame.

YTD comparisons

Year-to-date box office stands around $5.26B. That’s:

  • 2.62x this same point in the pandemic recovery year of 2021 ($2.00B), down from 2.68x after last weekend.
  • -31.6% behind this same point in 2019, the last pre-pandemic year ($7.66B), down from -31.5% last weekend. The peak was around -29.5%, set in mid-July.

Top distributors

  1. Universal ($1.23B)
  2. Paramount ($1.15B)
  3. Disney ($873.9M)
  4. Warner Bros. ($697.7M)
  5. Sony Pictures ($655.0M)

Sunday’s Studio Weekend Estimates:

Title  Estimated weekend  % change Locations Location change Average  Total  Weekend Distributor
The Invitation $7,000,000   3,114   $2,248 $7,000,000 1 Sony Pictures
Bullet Train $5,600,000 -30% 3,513 -268 $1,594 $78,206,593 4 Sony Pictures
Beast $4,900,000 -58% 3,754 11 $1,305 $20,090,985 2 Universal
Top Gun: Maverick $4,750,143 -20% 2,962 -7 $1,604 $691,213,000 14 Paramount
Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero $4,565,668 -78% 2,979 -39 $1,533 $30,761,982 2 Crunchyroll
DC League of Super Pets $4,225,000 -26% 3,284 -253 $1,287 $74,088,809 5 Warner Bros.
Three Thousand Years of Longing $2,876,000   2,436   $1,181 $2,876,000 1 United Artists
Minions: The Rise of Gru $2,740,000 -26% 2,494 -160 $1,099 $354,780,635 9 Universal
Thor: Love and Thunder $2,700,000 -34% 2,450 -305 $1,102 $336,570,158 8 Walt Disney
Where the Crawdads Sing $2,325,000 -27% 2,216 -392 $1,049 $81,888,348 7 Sony Pictures
Nope $2,210,000 -38% 1,909 -472 $1,158 $117,632,175 6 Universal
Elvis $1,465,000 -26% 1,843 102 $795 $147,334,755 10 Warner Bros.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story $1,100,000   255   $4,314 $533,277,454   Walt Disney
Bodies Bodies Bodies $1,069,143 -55% 2,041 -500 $524 $9,726,142 4 A24
Breaking $1,022,798   902   $1,134 $1,022,798 1 Bleecker Street
Orphan: First Kill $915,043 -47% 557 59 $1,643 $3,324,000 2 Paramount
Jurassic World: Dominion $680,000 27% 1,521 779 $447 $374,763,690 12 Universal
Easter Sunday $326,000 -65% 553 -1,021 $590 $12,551,220 4 Universal
The Black Phone $270,000 -51% 391 -258 $691 $89,201,295 10 Universal
Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris $165,000 -30% 299 -68 $552 $9,647,055 7 Focus Features
Laal Singh Chaddha $159,740 -70% 159 -358 $1,005 $3,336,000 3 Paramount
Marcel the Shell with Shoes On $103,825 -32% 169 -33 $614 $5,869,609 10 A24
Vengeance $69,000 -31% 106 -61 $651 $4,203,545 5 Focus Features
ET: The Extra-Terrestrial $35,000 -89% 94 -699 $372 $439,230,994   Universal
Everything Everywhere All At Once $24,639 -39% 39 -33 $632 $69,818,729 23 A24
Fire of Love $24,051 -44% 53 -14 $454 $981,102 8 Neon
A Love Song $18,974 -69% 69 -38 $275 $211,546 5 Bleecker Street
Lightyear $12,000 -61% 45 -10 $267 $118,292,134 11 Walt Disney

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