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THB #377a: Memorial Day & The Box Office Summer
Just a short commentary on this weekend.
First, apologies for a mistake in the earlier column. Universal is releasing Strays, the dirty dog talking comedy. It is Sony releasing No Hard Feelings, starring Jennifer Lawrence.
No Hard Feelings also added to my weekend because it prompted me to watch the Netflix release of Hard Feelings, the coming-of-age comedy in which a character who has been tagged “No Dick” by his classmates gets an erection during a school concert and then proceeds to have many conversations with his penis, which talks to him in is big head, as he seeks to find placement in a willing vagina. At the same time, his childhood best friend girl starts having conversations with her vagina. The fact that they have the only verbalizing genitalia suggests that they will eventually converse, so to speak. The problem with the film that it is better at being cruel than raunchy. Take 2 Porky’s and an American Pie and call me in the morning.
But I digress…
The Little Mermaid has an estimated 3-day of $95.5 million domestic. Second best opening of the summer, fourth best of the year, to date.
It’s really nothing to be negative about. While Memorial Day used to be the big weekend of the summer, only 5 of the top 20 May openings are now from that slot. Before Top Gun: Maverick last summer, you need to go back to 2008 (Indy 4) to find a $100 million 3-day opener on the holiday.
No film that has opened to $90 million or more domestically on the 3-day Memorial Day weekend has grossed less than $200 million domestic. The Will Smith reboot of Aladdin opened to $91.5 million and ended up with $356 million.
As for the twist this brings to the earlier version of this summer analysis, it means we don’t have a second $100 million opening this summer as of yet. And it leaves Indiana Jones and The Dial of Destiny, Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One, and in the eyes of some, Barbie, to be the second.
The Flash seems to be flattening out on tracking as Batman and Supergirl seem to now be the cowbell in the “more cowbell” efforts from WB marketing.
I’d love to think Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse could deliver at that opening level, but it defies history.
This doesn’t mean that these movies will not show legs and do great. But the feeling about the summer… that there were all these titles that would make the $100 million opening mark… it’s no longer part of this world. Still might be a great summer by many measures. But its a lot more “wait and see” now.