Weekend Box Office: Nope Takes $44M Debut, Pushes Universal Past $1B Domestic in 2022

Photo Credits: Universal Pictures ("Nope")

Audience A-Peele

Universal’s sci-fi horror-thriller Nope began with $44.0M, helping Universal exceed the $1B mark domestically for 2022 – the second distributor to do so this year, after Paramount.

It’s the top debut for an original screenplay since writer-director Jordan Peele’s prior release, March 2019’s Us, and slightly exceeding Quentin Tarantino’s July 2019 Once Upon a Time in Hollywood ($41.0M) 

Compared to Peele’s two other theatrical releases, Nope starts:

  • +31% above 2017’s Get Out ($33.3M)
  • -38% below 2019’s Us ($71.1M)

Compared to some other major horror-thriller titles of the past few years, it debuts:

  • -12% below 2018’s A Quiet Place ($50.2M)
  • -7% below 2021’s A Quiet Place Part II ($47.5M)
  • -42% below 2018’s Halloween ($76.2M)
  • -11% below 2021’s Halloween Ends ($49.4M, premiering day-and-date simultaneously in cinemas and on Peacock)
  • +10% above 2017’s Split ($40.0M)
  • +9% above 2019’s Glass ($40.3M)

The estimated audience for Nope was 63% older than 25 and 33% black. The film likely over-indexed among the black population because of its writer-director Peele and both of its two lead stars, Daniel Kaluuya and Keke Palmer.

It also received a “B” CinemaScore. For comparison, Us also received a “B,” while Get Out received an “A-.”

If I had a hammer

Disney and Marvel Studios’ superhero sequel Thor: Love and Thunder debuted with the #30 opening weekend of all time ($144.1M), then fell to the #73 second weekend of all time ($46.6M).

Now, with a -52% drop to $22.1M, it falls out of the top 100 all time for its third weekend.

This outcome was foreseeable. Last weekend, it fell -68% in its sophomore frame, steeper than the sophomore drop for any of the three prior Thor installments and for any of the character’s four prior Avengers installments.

Thunder has now earned $276.2M domestically. Compared to the equivalent point in release, that’s:

  • +90% above 2011’s Thor ($145.3M)
  • +64% above 2013’s Thor: The Dark World ($167.9M)
  • +11% above 2017’s Thor: Ragnarok ($247.2M)
  • -19% below May’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness ($342.7M)
  • -8% below March’s The Batman ($300.0M)

Overseas, Hammer stands at $322.0M, for $598.2M globally. Top market totals to date include:

  1. U.K. ($31.5M)
  2. Australia ($25.5M)
  3. Mexico ($23.2M)
  4. South Korea ($22.3M)
  5. Brazil ($17.2M)
  6. India ($15.6M)
  7. France ($13.9M)
  8. Germany ($12.8M)
  9. Indonesia ($11.7M)

It was all yellow

Universal / Illumination’s animated sequel Minions: The Rise of Gru debuted with the #59 opening weekend of all time ($107.0M), then fell to the #75 second weekend ($46.1M), then fell slightly again to the #80 third weekend ($26.8M).

Now, with a -34% drop to $17.7M, it actually picks up slightly to the $76 fourth weekend ever.

Among animated films, it earned the #10 opening weekend of all time, the #18 second weekend, the #21 third weekend, and now again the #21 fourth weekend.

Gru has now earned $297.8M domestically. Through the equivalent point in release, that’s:

  • +56% above 2010’s Despicable Me ($190.3M)
  • -3% below 2013’s Despicable Me 2 ($306.8M)
  • +3% above 2015’s Minions ($287.5M)
  • +39% above 2017’s Despicable Me 3 ($213.6M)

Overseas, Gru stands at $342.3M, for $640.2M globally. Top market totals to date include:

  1. U.K. ($33.5M)
  2. Mexico ($32.2M)
  3. Australia ($26.7M)
  4. Germany ($20.0M)
  5. Argentina ($15.7M)
  6. France ($15.5M)
  7. Brazil ($15.1M)

How the crawdads fall

Last frame, Sony / Columbia’s historical murder mystery drama Where the Crawdads Sing sang to a $17.2M opening and third place.

Now, it falls -40% to $10.3M.

Compared to some other comparable titles, that’s steeper than:

  • 2011’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (-23%)
  • 2011’s The Help (-23%)
  • 2018’s Green Book (-29%)
  • 2014’s Gone Girl (-30%)
  • 2017’s Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (-35%)

However, it was a milder drop than:

  • 2019’s Knives Out (-47%)
  • 2016’s The Girl on the Train (-50%)
  • 2021’s House of Gucci (-51%)
  • 2018’s The Girl in the Spider’s Web (-68%)

The American-centric title hasn’t performed as well overseas, earning $4.1M to date.

[Read Boxoffice PRO’s interview with Where the Crawdads Sing director Olivia Newman here.]

Mach 9

After debuting with “only” the #41 opening weekend of all time ($126.7M), Paramount’s action-adventure sequel Top Gun: Maverick has since remained in the top-10 for every subsequent frame:

  • #8 second weekend of all time ($90.0M)
  • #10 third weekend of all time ($51.8M)
  • #3 fourth weekend of all time ($44.6M), behind only American Sniper and Avatar.
  • #4 fifth weekend of all time ($29.6M), behind only American Sniper, Avatar, and Titanic.
  • #4 sixth weekend of all time ($25.5M), behind only Avatar, American Sniper, and Frozen.
  • #7 seventh weekend of all time ($15.5M), behind only Avatar, Titanic, Home Alone, American Sniper, Frozen, and Gran Torino.
  • #8 eighth weekend of all time ($12.3M), behind only Titanic, Avatar, American Sniper, Aladdin [1993], Frozen, Chicago, and Home Alone.

Now it declines a mild -19% to $10.0M, the #7 ninth weekend of all time, behind only:

  1. Titanic ($32.8M)
  2. Avatar ($23.6M)
  3. Platoon ($12.8M)
  4. Forrest Gump ($12.2M)
  5. Frozen ($11.7M)
  6. American Sniper ($10.0M)

Domestically, Maverick is the highest-grossing film of 2022 so far, despite debuting with a lower opening weekend than Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, The Batman, Jurassic World: Dominion, and Thor: Love and Thunder.

Maverick has now earned $635.5M domestic, $647.1M overseas, and $1.28B globally.

That’s the biggest global total of 2022 so far, including Chinese films. No other film has cracked the nine-digit mark; Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness ranks #2 for the year with $954.3M.

Maverick’s top overseas market totals include:

  1. U.K. ($91.9M)
  2. Japan ($72.7M)
  3. Australia ($58.8M)
  4. France ($48.5M)
  5. South Korea ($53.3M)
  6. Germany ($29.9M)
  7. Taiwan ($22.1M)
  8. Brazil ($21.1M)

Weekend comparisons

Total box office this weekend came in around $123.9M, which is:

  • -6% below last weekend’s total ($132.7M), when Thor: Love and Thunder led for a second consecutive frame with $46.6M.
  • +35% above the equivalent weekend in 2021 ($91.5M), when Space Jam: A New Legacy led with $31.0M, debuting day-and-date simultaneously in cinemas and HBO Max.
  • -53% below the equivalent weekend in the last pre-pandemic year 2019 ($263.8M), when the 3D The Lion King remake led with $191.7M.

YTD comparisons

Year-to-date box office stands around $4.64B. That’s:

  • 3.09x this same point in the pandemic recovery year of 2021 ($1.50B), down from 3.22x after last weekend.
  • -29.9% behind this same point in 2019, the last pre-pandemic year ($6.62B), down from -28.9% last weekend. Last weekend’s figure had marked the highest YTD standing versus 2019 attained so far this year.

Top distributors

Paramount still leads, as they have since late May, but Universal reaches the billion-dollar mark this weekend, after Paramount achieved it earlier this month. Universal is potentially poised to overtake Paramount within the next few days, likely on a weekday later this week.

  1. Paramount ($1.08B)
  2. Universal ($1.04B)
  3. Disney ($811.3M)
  4. Warner Bros. ($594.6M)
  5. Sony Pictures ($526.2M)

Sunday’s Studio Weekend Estimates:

Title  Estimated weekend  % change Locations Location change Average  Total  Weekend Distributor
Nope $44,000,000   3,785   $11,625 $44,000,000 1 Universal
Thor: Love and Thunder $22,100,000 -53% 4,370 -5 $5,057 $276,220,698 3 Walt Disney
Minions: The Rise of Gru $17,710,000 -34% 3,816 -295 $4,641 $297,856,590 4 Universal
Where the Crawdads Sing $10,330,000 -40% 3,650 n/c $2,830 $38,330,784 2 Sony Pictures
Top Gun: Maverick $10,000,113 -19% 3,160 -132 $3,165 $635,566,000 9 Paramount
Elvis $6,300,000 -21% 3,105 -200 $2,029 $118,376,273 5 Warner Bros.
Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank $3,875,351 -39% 3,481 6 $1,113 $13,758,000 2 Paramount
The Black Phone $3,450,000 -36% 2,055 -216 $1,679 $78,554,900 5 Universal
Jurassic World: Dominion $2,960,000 -43% 2,165 -482 $1,367 $365,511,635 7 Universal
Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris $1,350,000 -31% 1,001 21 $1,349 $4,654,985 2 Focus Features
Marcel the Shell with Shoes On $846,950 49% 590 437 $1,436 $2,874,424 5 A24
Lightyear $687,000 -51% 830 -520 $828 $117,122,528 6 Walt Disney
Fire of Love $131,174 102% 99 85 $1,325 $281,198 3 Neon
Everything Everywhere All At Once $92,940 -37% 170 n/c $547 $68,117,521 18 A24
My Donkey, My Lover & I $30,000   51   $588 $30,000 1 Greenwich
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness $22,000 -73% 65 -15 $338 $411,267,151 12 Walt Disney
The Bad Guys $19,000 -79% 268 -4 $71 $96,647,745 14 Universal
The Bob’s Burgers Movie $17,000 -75% 35 -145 $486 $31,916,056 9 20th Century Studios
Photo Credits: Universal Pictures ("Nope")