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Battle at the Box Office 5/1/23

On the eve of the summer movie season starting this Friday with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, The Super Mario Bros. Movie remained at the top of the box office for the fourth straight weekend, while most of the new releases fizzled out.

The Super Mario Bros. Movie made another $40 million, bringing it to $490 million domestically and now just over $1 billion worldwide.  It is the first movie of 2023 to make over $1 billion and it is now the 47th highest-grossing movie of all time worldwide between Finding Dory and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.  Domestically, Super Mario is the 19th highest-grossing movie ever, unadjusted for inflation.

Evil Dead Rise remained in second place, with a solid hold for a horror movie at 50% from last weekend’s opening.  The film made another $12.1 million, bringing the domestic total to $44.3 million and the worldwide total to $86.4 million.

Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret performed the best of the weekend’s new releases, debuting in third place with $6.8 million.  Expectations ranged from $7 million to $10 million for a predicted opening weekend, so it fell below expectations on either end of the spectrum.  The audience was predominately white, older women without a spouse or male significant other and the book’s primary audience of 13-17-year-old girls was also extremely low in attendance.  The older, white female audience has been the slowest to return to regular movie-going habits post-pandemic, see the disappointing box office of last summer’s Downton Abbey movie or 80 for Brady earlier this year, which made just under $40 million in theaters and only made about 1.4 times its budget back before being shuffled off to Paramount+.

A 40th-anniversary re-release of Return of the Jedi and John Wick: Chapter 4 rounded out the top 5.  Return of the Jedi made $5.1 million in 475 theaters and John Wick: Chapter 4 has now passed over $400 million worldwide, making it now the highest-grossing movie in the series worldwide.

Much further down the list, Sisu opened in 9th place with $3.2 million from 1,006 theaters, just over a limited release.  Big George Foreman just barely opened in the top 10, making $3 million, and was in triple the number of theaters that Sisu was in.  As far as biopics go, Big George Foreman is down around Marshall and Judy and one of the lowest opening of recent biopics, even below Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance With Somebody, which didn’t make much of an impact over last year’s holiday season.  Beau is Afraid, Renfield, and The Pope’s Exorcist all fell out of the top 10 in their 3rd weekend out.

The Per Theater average went to The Eight Mountains, an Italian drama film, made $18,000 in each of the 2 theaters it played in over the weekend.

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