Lionsgate's latest "Saw" entry "Spiral" opened to less-than-expected box office numbers, while WB's action throwback "Those Who Wish Me Dead" struggled to compete. It may not have been thbe weekend that analysts were predicting, but there are positive signs ahead. And even more so as we look forward to increased theater capacity nationwide as Memorial Day Weekend draws near.
"Spiral," the Chris Rock-led thriller that also serves as the ninth film in the "Saw" franchise, took in $8.7M over three days. While this was enough to place it at No. 1, "Spiral" stands as the worst-performing entry of the series. In comparison, the previous "Saw" entry, 2017's "Jigsaw," earned $16.6M in its opening weekend. While "Spiral" can claim the pandemic as much of the reason for its underperformance, one can't deny the franchise fatigue that's been settling in for "Saw." That, coupled with the same kind of title confusion that plagued "Birds of Prey" last February, more than likely contributed to this loss.
WB's latest action/thriller, "Those Who Wish Me Dead" starring Angelina Jolie, failed to live up to expectations. In spite of a big name draw, the fiery thriller was only able to muster up $2.8M. The film also debuted simultaneously on HBO Max, which may have cut into profits.
Also new this weekend was Roadside Attractions' romance/drama "Finding You" and Focus Features' cyber-thriller "Profile." The two movies took in $954K and $670K respectively, placing them eighth and ninth at the box office. Zack Snyder's action/horror hybrid "Army of the Dead" also opened nationwide ahead of its Netflix launch this week. While Netflix doesn't report grosses, analysts projected the zombie flick took in roughly $780K from 400+ theaters, most of which were Cinemark theaters. If true, this would place "Army of the Dead" ahead of "Profile" and at No. 9 this week. "Army of the Dead" is running exclusively in theaters until this Friday when it hits the streamer.
A box office revival may still be a few weeks away, even as the CDC lifts mask mandates for those fully vaccinated. We're not out of the woods yet. However, there is a silver lining -- this was the first week since the start of the pandemic that all movies in the Top Ten made more than $500K. It also helps to remember that each of the films in the Top Ten -- from "Spiral" to "Mortal Kombat" -- caters more to niche audiences. We haven't had a broad "four-quadrant" title yet (i.e., something that appeals to everyone, like the upcoming "F9"). This weekend may have been somewhat of a dud, especially for mid-May, but there still is hope for the weeks ahead. Just as everything throughout the pandemic, we'll have to take it one week at a time.
Box Office Top Ten: May 14-16
- "Spiral" (Lionsgate) $8,725,000 [NEW]
- "Wrath of Man" (United Artists) - $3,741,767 / Overall: $14,602,000
- "Those Who Wish Me Dead" (Warner Bros) - $2,800,000 [NEW]
- "Demon Slayer the Movie: Mugen Train" (FUNimation) - $1,770,000 / Overall: $41,900,000
- "Raya and the Last Dragon" (Walt Disney) - $1,718,000 / Overall: $46,123,814
- "Godzilla vs. Kong" (Warner Bros) - $1,460,000 / Overall: $95,011,000
- "Mortal Kombat" (Warner Bros) - $1,320,000 / Overall: $39,906,225
- "Finding You" (Roadside) - $954,297 [NEW]
- "Profile" (Focus Features) - $670,000 [NEW]
- "Here Today" (Sony) - $530,000 / Overall: $1,908,822
Box office data comes to us from Box Office Mojo.
About the Author
Matt Lissauer is a writer & data manager for Noovie. When he is not busy writing listicles, Matt is enjoying life in New Jersey with his lovely wife and three kids.