It's a weekend that usually kicks off the summer movie season. However, this year, much like everything else, things are still anything but normal. United Artists' new action thriller "Wrath of Man" opened the 2021 summer movie season with a box office haul of $8.1M. In normal times, this would be bad news all around. But there's a lick of promise with "Wrath of Man" topping the $6.7M opening of Universal's similarly-themed "Nobody." As more screens open, and as seating capacity increases in many markets, exhibitors should find some promise come Memorial Day Weekend.
Certainly, there's something to be said about the kinds of movies that are drawing people back to theaters. The films are either animated family fare or R-rated action-heavy thrillers. It's complete escapism or just looking to escape the house. Even though "Wrath of Man" didn't fare well with critics, the Guy Ritchie/Jason Statham re-team did earn a respectable A- CinemaScore, which only matched its box office draw.
Sony's more down-to-earth comedy "Here Today," was the only other new major release this weekend. The Billy Crystal/Tiffany Haddish comedy wasn't expected to take in much. However, with less-than-favorable reviews, little marketing, and targeting an older, female audience that hasn't yet returned to great numbers, it was still able to nab $900K, placing it at No. 7.
Holdovers filled out the remaining Top Ten, with Disney's "Raya and the Last Dragon" showing the biggest growth from the previous week. The family film moved up 35% from the previous week. This was likely due in part to more Regal theaters opening and a resolution of terms between Disney and Cinemark.
All stated, while this wasn't the weekend many had hoped back when Disney's "Black Widow" was still slated to open, it wasn't a bad kick-off to the traditional box office summer season either. In the coming weeks, Regal is expected to open up more of its theaters in time for the Memorial Day Weekend. And that weekend is expected to herald in the summer with the releases of Paramount's "A Quiet Place Part II" and Disney's "Cruella."
Much the same, capacity levels should start hitting 50-75% in many territories by June, including New York and Los Angeles. Internationally, Canada might still be largely shut, but Europe should be operating at moderate capacity once again by June. The positive signs of some kind of normalcy are there, especially for the bigger tentpoles coming, Universal's "F9" and Disney/Marvel's "Black Widow."
Box Office Top Ten: May 7-9
- "Wrath of Man" (United Artists) - $8,100,000 [NEW]
- "Demon Slayer the Movie: Mugen Train" (FUNimation) - $3,053,500 / Overall: $37,172,276
- "Mortal Kombat" (Warner Bros) - $2,375,000 / Overall: $37,846,000
- "Godzilla vs. Kong" (Warner Bros) - $1,930,000 / Overall: $92,963,000
- "Raya and the Last Dragon" (Walt Disney) - $1,865,000 / Overall: $43,816,907
- "Separation" (Open Road) $1,075,000 / Overall: $3,378,873
- "Here Today" (Sony) - $900,000 [NEW]
- "Nobody" (Universal) - $760,000 / Overall: $24,567,180
- "The Unholy" (Screen Gems) - $730,000 / Overall: $14,174,753
- "Tom & Jerry" (Warner Bros) - $426,000 / Overall: $44,752,000
Box office data comes to us from Box Office Mojo.
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.