With every week passing by, I feel even more vindicated by what I wrote about “superhero fatigue” in this column when Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 3 came out. I won’t reignite what I said, but there is no such thing as superhero fatigue. Bad movie fatigue exists, and, by nature, bad superhero movie fatigue also exists. But look at Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse. The film was tracked to hit $90 million at the box office, which is a much stronger increase than the original. However, it exceeded all those expectations and more than TRIPLED the first’s opening weekend, with an incredible $120.5 million opening, another $100+ million opening this year for an animated film!
The film also had the highest-grossing opening day of 2023 and the second overall highest-grossing domestic opening weekend of the year. Who knows if it will hold for the summer, but it’s currently the season’s biggest opener and the third-highest-grossing Spider-Man opening of all time. But apparently, Marvel movies, and superhero films in general, are done. As much as Twitter wants you to believe it’s over, it will never happen. Just like other genres, there will be massive hits and duds, as it is the business for Hollywood. Crowd-pleasers always make tons of money in theatres, and this one definitely is.
Some are even discussing the film’s Best Picture chances at the Oscars. I feel it’s way too early, but it’ll definitely be in contention when Oscar season starts to ramp up, and could even win the Best Animated Feature Oscar if other films fail to impress moviegoers. Regardless, if “superhero movies are dead,” no one would be discussing the film’s Best Picture chances, especially during opening weekend. Everyone is buzzing about this movie, which likely contributed to it exceeding initial box office expectations.
Also opening this weekend was Rob Savage‘s The Boogeyman. The film was initially slated to release on Hulu but was moved to theatres after a positive reception to test screenings and Stephen King himself pleading with Disney to release the film theatrically after he saw a cut of the film on the big screen. The film already made $20 million against a $35 million budget and grossed $12.3 million domestically. That’s not a bad opening for a mid-budget horror film, and Disney screening the film at CinemaCon likely generated a buzz about how important it was to view it on the big screen. The appetite for animated and horror films is growing stronger in the post-COVID era. If you look at how popular many horror films were in theatres in 2022, it’s no surprise that The Boogeyman did very well despite mixed reviews.
In the independent fare, Celine Song‘s Past Lives opened in four theatres with a $232.266 tally and impressively finished twelfth this week. The tally will likely grow as the movie expands to more theatres for the next two weeks, with a nationwide release planned for June 23. The movie has received overwhelmingly positive reviews since its Sundance premiere in January, just like Nicole Holofcener‘s You Hurt My Feelings, which is holding up well in its second weekend after expanding to more theatres.
Here’s the full list of the top ten films of the week:
- Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (Sony/Marvel): $120.5M – 4,313 theatres
- The Little Mermaid (Disney): $40.6M (-57.5%) – 4,320 theatres
- The Boogeyman (Disney): $12.3M – 3,205 theatres
- Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 3 (Disney): $10.2M (-51%) – 3,580 theatres
- Fast X (Universal): $9.2M (-59.9%) – 3,467 theatres
- The Super Mario Bros. Movie (Universal): $3.3M (-47.8%) – 2,344 theatres
- About My Father (Lionsgate): $2.1M (-51.4%) – 2,464 theatres
- The Machine (Sony): $1.7M (-65%) – 2,409 theatres
- You Hurt My Feelings (A24): $769.814 (-44.9%) – 912 theatres
- Kandahar (Open Road Films): $765.000 (-67.1%) – 1,737 theatres
Source: Box Office Mojo