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Box Office: ‘Spider-Verse’ Returns to No. 1 as ‘The Flash’ Collapses by 73%

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LONDON, UK. November 13, 2018: Ezra Miller at the premiere for Fantastic Beasts The Crimes of Grindelwald at Leicester Square. Picture: Steve Vas/Featureflash
LONDON, UK. November 13, 2018: Ezra Miller at the premiere for Fantastic Beasts The Crimes of Grindelwald at Leicester Square. Picture: Steve Vas/Featureflash

Box Office Report: ‘Spider-Verse Reclaims No. 1 Spot, ‘The Flash' Stumbles, and Jennifer Lawrence's ‘No Hard Feelings' Debuts with $15 Million

In a surprising turn of events, “The Flash,” once hailed by its studio as a notable superhero film, is struggling at the box office in its second weekend. Instead of dominating the charts, Warner Bros.' DC comic book adaptation, starring Ezra Miller as the time-traveling speedster, finds itself in third place, trailing behind the continued success of “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” and Pixar's “Elemental.” Jennifer Lawrence's R-rated comedy, “No Hard Feelings,” manages to secure a slight lead over “The Flash.”

“The Flash” experienced a significant decline during its second weekend, plummeting by a staggering 73% and earning $15.3 million from 4,265 theaters across North America. This drop is far more substantial than recent DC adaptations like “Black Adam” (59%) and “Shazam! of the Gods” (69%), which turned out to be financial disappointments for the studio.

This decline signifies a catastrophic outcome for “The Flash,” a with a budget of $200 million, as it suggests that ticket sales will not recover during its theatrical run. To date, the film has only amassed a lackluster $87 million at the domestic box office and $123.3 million internationally, resulting in a total of $210.9 million worldwide.

Part of the issue lies with the recent announcements by the new leaders at DC Comics, James Gunn and Peter Safran, who plan to reboot the struggling comic book universe. Consequently, audiences are ambivalent towards tentpole films like “The Flash.” This unfortunate situation could impact the two remaining DC entries in limbo, “Blue Beetle” (Aug. 18) and Jason Momoa's “Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom” (Dec. 20).

This weekend, The box office landscape has been particularly tumultuous, with Sony's “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” reclaiming the top spot (even in its fourth weekend) with an impressive $19.3 million. It's a rarity for a film to regain the number one position this late into its theatrical run, especially during the peak of the summer movie season. So far, “Across the Spider-Verse” has grossed $316 million in North America and a staggering $560 million worldwide.

The sequel to “Spider-Verse” narrowly surpasses Disney and Pixar's animated film “Elemental,” which remains in second place with $18.5 million. The domestic total for “Elemental” now stands at $65 million, with a global tally of $121 million. The movie's sophomore weekend saw more robust ticket sales than anticipated, dropping by only 37% from the previous weekend. Unfortunately, “Elemental” holds the ignominious record for Pixar's worst opening in recent history. It must maintain its position as the top choice for family audiences to justify its $200 million budget and restore confidence in the Pixar brand.

Jennifer Lawrence's raunchy comedy “No Hard Feelings” debuts in fourth place, earning $15 million from 3,208 venues. This result is relatively solid for a contemporary theatrical comedy, although industry analysts expected more from the $45 million-budgeted Sony film, given Lawrence's prominence. For instance, earlier this year, Universal's R-rated comedy “Cocaine Bear” managed to collect $23.2 million in its opening weekend without the aid of A-list stars.

Directed by Gene Stupnitsky, “No Hard Feelings” garnered $9.5 million from 48 international markets. This reception is promising, as broad comedies often need help finding success overseas.

Starring Lawrence as a down-on-her-luck driver who agrees to “date” an introverted 19-year-old boy (newcomer Andrew Barth Feldman) before he goes to college, “No Hard Feelings” was generally well-received, earning a “B+” CinemaScore.

David A. Gross, head of the movie consulting firm Franchise Research, remarks that “No Hard Feelings” had a substantial production budget of $45 million before accounting for costs. This is a significant number at the current box office level.

Completing the top five, Paramount's “Transformers: Rise of the Beasts” added $11.6 million from 3,523 theaters, marking a 44% decline in its third weekend. Thus far, the seventh installment in the “Transformers” franchise has grossed $122.9 million domestically and $218 million internationally. The film carried a production cost of $200 million.

In other box office news, Wes Anderson's “Asteroid City” earned $9 million as it expanded to 1,675 theaters over the weekend. This achievement represents a -high for Anderson, known for his critically acclaimed arthouse favorites such as “The Royal Tenenbaums” and “The Grand Budapest Hotel.” By comparison, his most recent feature, 2021's “The French Dispatch,” garnered $2.5 million when it expanded to a similar number of theaters.

“Asteroid City,” set in the 1950s and centered around a cosmic event that disrupts a fictional desert town, features a -studded cast including Scarlett Johansson, Jason Schwartzman, Maya Hawke, , and several other regulars in Anderson's films. The demographic for the film leaned towards those aged 35 and younger (64%), and it received a lukewarm “B” CinemaScore.

Lisa Bunnell, President of Distribution at Focus Features, is enthusiastic about the film's success: “It's fantastic to see Wes Anderson's best-ever box office weekend reignite the specialty marketplace. The impressive opening of ‘Asteroid City' over the past two weekends has been encouraging and inspiring.”

 

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