Box Office Breakdown: “The Lost City” finds treasure

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This week brings yet another interesting entry to the 2022 domestic box office, with two international features holding spots in the top five. 

Our new first place film for this week is “The Lost City.” This action-adventure comedy starring Sandra Bullock and Channing Tatum grossed $31 million in its opening weekend, ending “The Batman”’s time atop the charts. With a reported budget of $74 million, this is not a terrible domestic opening but certainly not a guarantee of profit. As I mentioned in last week’s column, “The Lost City” would have likely guaranteed profit with an opening weekend near $60 million, which they essentially halved. Comedies rarely make more money internationally than they do domestically, which does not pose well for their profitability chances either. The film earned a B+ CinemaScore, which is fairly solid for a comedy film of its stature. Comedies can have long runs, with low drops if well-received. However, only time will tell if “The Last City” will profit. 

Coming in second this weekend is “The Batman” with a $20.5 million gross. With a 44.2% drop from last weekend, the Dark Knight-starring film pushed itself to $331 million domestically. The drop is a bit on the steep side for its 4th weekend, though it did face competition from “The Lost City.” In the fifth weekend, “The Batman” looks to get its first sub-40% drop, though it may be difficult with another bat-themed superhero coming to theaters with “Morbius.” That being said, I think “The Batman” will have a strong weekend next week, and will likely close out its box-office run near $390 million. 

In third place this week is a new entry to the domestic charts, the Indian Telugu-language film “RRR.” The historical epic opened to $9.5 million domestically, which is only a few hundred thousand dollars below the opening of “Moonfall” and just under $2 million more than “Marry Me.” “RRR” hails from Tollywood, which is the nickname for Telugu-language cinema production in India. In terms of tickets sold, India is historically the largest film market in the world. Bollywood (Hindi-language film production) and Kollywood (Tamil-language film production) are other major sources of film production in India as well as smaller markets in other languages. “RRR” is the most expensive Telugu-film ever produced with a budget of  ₹550 crore ($72 million). With its $9.5 million domestically, and a reported ₹485 crore worldwide in its opening weekend. This massive opening weekend gross puts “RRR” in a fantastic position to profit. With brilliant audience reception, it would not be surprising to see “RRR” on the charts again next weekend. 

Coming in fourth and fifth place are “Uncharted” and “Jujutsu Kaisen 0: The Movie” with $5 million and $4.6 million respectively. The former action-adventure film cleared $130 million this weekend, setting its sights on clearing $150 million which it likely will by the end of its run, especially with its only 36.1% drop. The anime film “Jujutsu Kaisen 0” dropped over 69%, even while adding over 200 theaters (though it did likely lose screen time at those theaters) meaning its time in the top five is likely over. 

Next week brings the release of “Morbius,” a Sony Spider-Man Universe film starring Jared Leto as the titular living vampire. The review embargo of the film doesn’t drop until this Wednesday, less than 24 hours before its release, which does not pose well for its critical reception. Not even “Spider-Man” or “Venom” fans seem to be clamoring for this film, which does not pose well for its opening. I think the movie will gross around $30 million this weekend and then will have a steep drop-off due to poor reception. 

However, it is entirely possible “Morbius” is well-received and becomes a smash success. That’s the fun of the box office; you never know what will happen. 

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