NEW YORK (AP) – The stylized action game “High-speed train” starring Brad Pitt, arrived with an opening weekend of $30.1 million, according to studio estimates on Sunday, as the latest big movie in Hollywood’s summer revival landed in theaters.
“Bullet Train”‘s debut for Sony Pictures was solid but unspectacular for a film that cost $90 million to make and was propelled by Pitt’s substantial star power. While that holds up well in the coming weeks, theaters don’t have any major studio releases on the horizon for the rest of August, and few sure things to look forward to in early fall. .
While late summer is always a quiet time in theaters, that will be especially the case this year – and risks undermining some of the momentum generated by ‘Top Gun: Maverick’, ‘Jurassic World: Dominion’ , “Minions: The Rise of Gru” and others. After a comeback season that pushed the box office close to pre-pandemic levels, it’s about to get pretty quiet in theaters.
“It will definitely be calmer, like the calm after the storm,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for data firm Comscore. “But that doesn’t mean there won’t be great movies and maybe the goodwill generated by some of those movies might be enough to sustain the box office until we hit the hall. blockbusters with ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’ and ‘Avatar 2’ on the road. We have to expect that we won’t be able to maintain the pace we had this summer.”
As the last big summer movie to leave the station, “Bullet Train” hopes to keep rolling for weeks to come. This would be in line with the playbook of some other original summer movies released in August like “Free Guy” and “Crazy Rich Asians.” Directed by David Leitch (“Atomic Blonde,” “Deadpool 2”), “Bullet Train” brings together a number of assassins (co-stars include Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Brian Tyree Henry) together on a bullet train going from Tokyo to Kyoto.
As one of the few original summer blockbusters without big-name IP, the R-rated “Bullet Train” could have entered the weekend with more momentum. if the reviews had been stronger. With a fresh 54% rating from critics on Rotten Tomatoes, “Bullet Train” was only marginally better received by audiences, who gave the film a B+ CinemaScore. The film added $32.4 million at the overseas box office.
The weekend’s other new wide release, “Easter Sunday,” struggled to catch on. The Universal Pictures comedy, starring comedian Jo Koy as an actor attending his family’s Easter Sunday celebration, won praise for its Filipino representation but drew even worse reviews than “Bullet Train”. It opened with $5.3 million in ticket sales.
Instead, “Bullet Train” was followed by a number of leftovers, including Warner Bros. ′ “DC League of Pets”. The anime version earned $11.2 million in its second week of release.
Universal’s sci-fi horror release Jordan Peele’s “Nope” continued to perform well, earning $8.5 million in its third weekend. With $98 million in tickets sold, “Nope” will soon surpass $100 million at the domestic box office.
“Thor: Love and Thunder,” by Taika Waititi for the Walt Disney Co., came in fourth with $7.6 million in its fifth weekend. It has now reached $316.1 million, making it the highest-grossing Thor movie in the country. With $699 million worldwide, “Love and Thunder” is less likely to nab the $854 million worldwide haul of 2017’s “Thor: Ragnarok.”
In limited release, A24’s “Bodies Bodies Bodies” launched on six screens in New York and Los Angeles with $226,525 in ticket sales, good for a per-screen average of $37,754. The horror-comedy about wealthy twenties at a remote party, with a cast including Amandla Sternberg, Maria Bakalova and Pete Davidson, goes nationwide on Friday.
Estimated Friday-Sunday ticket sales at US and Canadian theaters, according to Comscore. Final national figures will be released on Tuesday.
1. “Bullet Train,” $30.1 million.
2. “DC League of Super Pets,” $11.2 million.
3. “No”, $8.5 million.
4. “Thor: Love and Thunder,” $7.6 million.
5. “Minions: The Rise of Gru,” $7.1 million.
6. “Top Gun: Maverick,” $7 million.
7. “Where the Crawdads Sing,” $5.7 million.
8. “Easter Sunday,” $5.3 million.
9. “Elvis”, $4 million.
10. “The Black Phone,” $1.5 million.
Follow AP Film Writer Jake Coyle on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/jakecoyleAP