The Battle for the Box Office continues as we all swelter in the unending summer heat. As always, we turn to the phenomenal The Numbers for the latest in box office projections.
We have a new number one movie at the box office. Thor: Love and Thunder could only keep the crown for two weeks. Jordan Peele’s Nope dethrones the Thunder God with an opening domestic box office of $44 million. Nope’s opening weekend came under projections that varied between $45-55 million. Nope also underperformed greatly compared to Peele’s Us which brought in $71.1 million in its debut weekend in 2019.
Still, the $44 million opening was a solid debut weekend and enough for Universal to be happy. Nope only had a production budget of $68 million and an estimated $34 million marketing budget. So, it should not be that difficult for Universal to get back their investment in this movie. It will require Nope to generate roughly $200 million in the worldwide box office.
One concern is that Nope does not release outside of the United States until between August 3, 2022, and August 26, 2022. If Nope generates positive word of mouth then this gap between domestic and international release will not matter. However, if there is negative buzz that this gap could be a problem. At any rate, Nope benefits from such a small production and marketing budget that it does not have the heavy burden that MCU movies have with trying to turn a profit.
Thor: Love and Thunder dropped to second place with an estimated $22.1 million domestic box office. The latest MCU movie could only stay in first place for two weeks. Disney is probably disappointed that their MCU machine fell to Nope in just its third week. Thor: Love and Thunder’s box office trend line over the past three weeks has been under even the lowest projections.
Thor: Love and Thunder now sits at $598 million at the worldwide box office. We did the math for what it will take Disney to turn a profit on Thor: Love and Thunder when this movie debuted. The target for Disney is a $700 million worldwide box office. Bob Chapek is going to be white-knuckling the next few weeks in hopes that this latest MCU offering is able to get to that $700 million mark quickly.
This highlights a problem that Disney may encounter as they flood the market with MCU movies and TV shows. At some point, viewers are going to get burned out. This is disastrous because the MCU movies have such massive budgets. These massive budgets are necessary in order to hire the big-name actors they like to get as well as to pay for the expensive special effects that are required for superhero movies. As viewer burnout begins to increase, these MCU movies may begin to struggle to bring in the large worldwide box office required for Disney to make a profit.
Minions: The Rise of Gru came in third place with an estimated $17.7 million domestic box office. Minions: The Rise of Gru, in its fourth week, had a respectable finish only $4.4 million behind Thor: Love and Thunder in its third week. Universal has to be incredibly pleased with this latest Minions movie. At this point, Minions: The Rise of Gru now stands at $640 million in the worldwide box office. With just an $80 million production budget and an estimated $40 million marketing budget, Universal is making a massive profit off of this movie.
Where the Crawdads Sing barely edged out Top Gun: Maverick for fourth place with $10.3 million in the domestic box office. This indie movie only had a $24 million production budget. Where the Crawdads Sing is already at $42.4 million at the worldwide box office. It looks like Sony will soon be seeing a profit off of this movie even with a tiny worldwide box office number.
Top Gun: Maverick rounded out the Top 5 with $10 million in the domestic box office. This is simply amazing. Top Gun: Maverick is in its ninth week at the box office and it is still in the Top 5. It is just insane. Seriously, if movie studios do not start using Top Gun: Maverick as the template for how to restart old franchises then they are brain dead. Top Gun: Maverick is now at $1.28 billion at the worldwide box office. Paramount is laughing all the way to the bank.
For those keeping track, Lightyear is now all the way down in twelfth place with a measly $687,000 at the domestic box office. This brings Lightyear to a total of $213 million at the worldwide box office. Lightyear has cemented itself as Pixar’s biggest bomb by a long shot. With a $200 million production budget and an estimated $100 million marketing budget, Disney has taken a monstrous loss on Lightyear.
Just as a comparison, in four weeks, Minions: Rise of Gru has made $640 million at the worldwide box office. In six weeks, Lightyear was only able to make $213 million at the worldwide box office.
There are no big movies coming out this weekend, so it will be interesting to see if Thor: Love and Thunder can regain steam and take the number one spot back from Nope.