Maverick’ Tops $1.3 Billion And ‘Minions 2’ Passes $700 Million

In holdover news for the weekend box office, Universal and Monkeypaw’s Nope earned another $18.85 million (-58%) in weekend two for an $80.5 million ten-day cume. That’s a sharp drop (even Us dropped “only” 53% from a $71 million opening weekend, but strong weekday grosses prevented an all-out crash. It’s still going to pass Halloween Kills ($92 million) as the biggest R-rated movie since Bad Boys for Life ($204 million) in January of 2020, and it’ll quickly clear $100 million in about a week. Whether it stalls at $110 million or crawls past $120 million (and maybe past Super 8’s $127 million finish) is a question of how well it fends off Brad Pitt’s Bullet Train next weekend. It needs to positions itself as a “Yeah, I should catch up with that one!” holdover amid six weeks of post-Bullet Train doldrums.

One ironic obstacle is that Comcast is actually releasing a few movies amid this “dead zone,” including Easter Sunday (August 5), Idris Elba’s Beast (August 19) and Focus Features’ Honk for Jesus Save Your Soul. That’s good for theaters (and one reason I can’t entirely blame them for not releasing Bros or Ticket to Paradise earlier), but it may be “bad” for Nope. Nonetheless, it bears worth repeating that Jordan Peele is the only filmmaker aside from Chris Nolan and (in China) Ju Wing for whom an $81 million ten-day total for an R-rated, star-lite, high-concept original would require an explanation. Nonetheless, the closer it gets to Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood (Quentin Tarantino’s $90 million Leonardo DiCaprio/Brad Pitt dramedy that grossed $143 million domestic in late summer 2019), the less it requires anything other than unmitigated huzzahs.

Thor: Love and Thunder earned $13.075 million (-42%) on weekend four for a $301.5 million domestic and $662.4 million worldwide cume. Presuming an average rate of descent, we’re looking at a $330 million domestic (above Thor: Ragnarök‘s $315 million cume) and $735 million worldwide finish. Is that as big as Disney was perhaps hoping for? No, but it’s still more than the third Thor earned in like-for-like territories (IE – not counting China and Russia), and nobody complained about that film’s $854 million cume in 2017 (or $869 million for Guardians 2 or $881 million for Spider-Man: Homecoming). Nothing will kill the Marvel movie machine faster than a corporate presumption (not unlike what we saw after The Force Awakens with Star Wars) that every film should pull Black Panther ($1.346 billion) or even Spider-Man: No Way Home ($1.9 billion)-level grosses.

Universal’s Minions: The Rise of Gru earned $10.88 million (40%) in weekend five for a terrific $320.4 million domestic and $710.3 million worldwide cume. It’ll likely end with around $350 million domestic and $800 million worldwide, or ten times its budget. Paramount’s Top Gun: Maverick passed $650 million domestic and $1.3 billion worldwide this weekend, earning $13.8 million overseas (-19%) and $8.2 million (-20%) domestic to pass Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom ($1.31 billion, including $267 million in China) on the all-timers list. It’ll sail past The Last Jedi ($1.333 billion), Harry Potter 7.2 ($1.342 billion) and Black Panther ($1.347 billion) by next weekend (or soon after that), placing 13th behind Avengers: Age of Ultron ($1.405 billion). Had it played “normal” in China and Russia, the Tom Cruise sequel would be topping $1.5 billion and placing in the top ten past The Avengers and Furious 7.

Sony’s Where the Crawdads Sing continued to leg out by being the summer’s only “big” movie for adult women. The Daisy Edgar-Jones melodrama earned $7.525 million (-27%) weekend and a $53.26 million 17-day total. The $24 million release should pass $70 million domestic by the end. Warner Bros. Discovery’s Elvis is also benefiting from the “adults like to see movies in theaters too” variable, earning $5.83 million (-11%) in weekend six for a $129 million domestic and $234 million global cume. At this rate, the $85 million Austin Butler/Tom Hanks musical biopic could reach $150 million domestically even before becoming a significant awards season player. Say it with me now; Warner Bros. is more than just Batman and Harry Potter. Blumhouse’s The Black Phone earned $2.47 million (-30%) in weekend six for a terrific $83.1 million domestic and $141 million worldwide cume.

Universal’s Jurassic World Dominion, which opened in Japan this weekend ($10 million in three days, which is solid for the famously leggy territory) earned another $2 million (-33%) for a $369.5 million domestic cume. That’s above WBD’s The Batman ($369.3 million) to become the year’s third-biggest domestic earner. Meanwhile, with another $15 million overseas, Amblin’s $185 million dino threequel has earned $942 million worldwide. It might not leg out enough in Japan to crack $1 billion, but it’s still a sky-high smash. It will soon pass Disney’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness ($955 million, again still a massive commercial success no matter the unrealistic expectations being tossed around) to become this year’s second-biggest global earner. I pegged it as the summer’s number one global grosser, and I would have been right if it wasn’t for that meddling Peter Mitchell!