It was Dracula vs. Mario at the box office this weekend and the world’s favorite plumber won the battle.
“The Super Mario Bros. Movie” took home another $92.3 million, growing its domestic total to $353 million. As we mentioned last week, the film’s huge opening makes every dollar gross from here on out contribute to the film’s bottom line. “Mario” is now approaching $700 million worldwide, well on its way to become the first $1 billion film of 2023 and the first $1 billion animated film since 2019’s “Frozen II.” What’s incredible is “Mario” only dropped 37% in its second weekend, an unbelievable hold for such a large opener. With no signs of slowing down, “Mario” may very well have a chance to become the highest grossing animated film of all time, though only if it continues to hold strong these next few weekends.
In second place, by a wide margin, is “The Pope’s Exorcist” opening to $9.2 million. Taking advantage of counter-programming, the Russell Crowe led horror film had a strong gross, even amidst lukewarm critical and audience reception. That being said, with a “B-” CinemaScore it will likely fall in line with most horror films and drop big next weekend. Additionally, with a reported $18 million budget, factoring in theatrical and marketing expenses, the film has around a $63 million worldwide breakeven point. It was released earlier in international markets, giving it a $36 million global gross thus far. But with those markets dropping steeply and a prospective major drop next weekend, the odds of reaching that total are becoming exceedingly slim.
“John Wick: Chapter 4” placed third this weekend, earning another $8.05 million. With a 44% drop, the action sequel passed $160 million domestically and is just south of $350 million worldwide. As we calculated a few weeks ago, the film needs to earn $375 million worldwide to break even. With international markets rolling strong and the film holding well into its fourth weekend, that number is well within reach. I expect it to reach that number next weekend with relative ease.
In fourth and fifth place are “Renfield” and “Air” with $8.03 million and $7.8 million respectively. “Renfield,” the Dracula-based picture, opened much lower than expectations. Combine that with tepid critical reception and a “B-” CinemaScore, the prospects are not great. With a reported $65 million budget, factoring in marketing and theatrical expenses, the film is likely going to need a $200 million worldwide gross to profit. With that looking extremely unlikely, “Renfield” is well on its way to a $70-$80 million loss. One would think “Mario” definitely ate into its gross, perhaps with a Halloween release the film would’ve fared better. “Air” earned another $7.8 million, jumping to $33.4 million. While this isn’t exactly a slam dunk for a film with a reported $70-80 million budget, it was originally slated for a direct-to-streaming release, making any income beneficial at this point.
Next week brings the release of four new wide releases: “Evil Dead Rise,” “The Covenant,” “Beau is Afraid” and “Chevalier.”
In the end, I expect only one film of the four to crack the top five next week — “Evil Dead Rise.” I think the horror film will open to $23 million.
Will “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” continue to rule the charts or will “Evil Dead Rise” resurrect horror to the top?
As always, we shall see.
That being said, with next week being the last week of The Daily Campus’ production for the semester, next week’s column will be a retrospective on the last two years of Box Office Breakdowns.