Numbers have begun rolling in for this weekend and much to the shock of… no one, Avatar: The Way of Water is retaining its spot atop the charts with a 3-day take around $30 million and a 4-day (including Martin Luther King Jr day on Monday) take around $35 million. That is based off of Friday’s haul of around $7 million. That would represent about a 40% decline in its week to week box office, which means that after five weeks the James Cameron sequel is starting to show signs that is a mere mortal.
Second place belongs to M3GAN with a projected 3-day haul of $17.5 million and a 4-day take around $21 million. That falls in line with our predictions from Thursday and shows some pretty solid life for the killer robotic doll genre. The Blumhouse model of make them cheap seems to be paying off in dividends here as the film cost a reported $12 million and by the end of this weekend will have already amassed an impressive $60 million domestic. The good news for fans of the film is that Jason Blum broke his own rule and already said they have plans for a sequel before the movie was even released.
Adult skewing films have struggled at the box office in the wake of the pandemic. Generally speaking “adult skewing” means more dramatic fare or at the very least not films that demand the big screen experience (although every film demands the big screen experience because there is nothing like it!) So it is a nice sight to see the Tom Hanks led remake A Man Called Otto pulling off the “slow rollout” method of release to such success. Originally opening on just three screens, then expanding to 637 last week, the film hit a full wide release this weekend on around 3500 screens and is expected to nab around $12 million after a $3.4 million Friday haul. Does that number set the box office on fire? No, but it is certainly a better story to tell than that of other recent adult skewing fare such as Babylon or Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance With Somebody.
Coming in fourth place (for now) looks to be the animated sequel Puss in Boots: The Last Wish which is still seeing solid numbers from the family crowd with an estimated 3-day take of $10 million which will officially push the furry feline past the $100 million mark at the domestic box office. The film is still pacing behind the original which topped out domestically at $149.2 million, but with no true full family entertainment until The Super Mario Bros. Movie drops in April, this one could continue to pull decent numbers and eventually get pretty close to the originals take.
Fifth place is the new release Gerard Butler film Plane. After a $3 million Friday haul, the film is expected to land with around $9 million for the 3-day weekend followed by around $10 million for the 4-day. The action flick has garnered fairly solid reviews with our Chris Bumbray giving it an 8/10 while also garnering a strong 95% audience score, so this one has the potential to leg out to around $40 million if the word of mouth is there.
As expected, House Party was really a non-starter at the box office this weekend, expected to open in the mid single digits. Although not a full on wide release, opening on just around 1300 screens, I think Warner Brothers had loftier expectations when they rescued this one from streaming hell and gave it a theatrical release. According to our own JimmyO, there was enough here to like, in his 7/10 review of the film. I do appreciate a film going theatrical, and no matter the narrative (sorry Tony Reali) surrounding the release of this R rated remake, House Party is receiving far more press than it would have, had it just been dumped on HBO Max, and that will translate to bigger numbers when the film does eventually hit the streaming platform.
Did you make it to theaters this weekend? If so, let us know what you saw in the comments section and don’t forget to check back tomorrow for our full weekend box office report.