‘The Batman’ hits $300 million in third week at #1, while ‘Jujutsu Kaizen’ blows up in 2nd place

Matt Reeves’ “The Batman” continued its unstoppable run at the box office with a third weekend as the box office champ with an estimated $36.8 million, just getting to $300 million in North America in rapid time. The only movie to make that amount in all of 2021 was “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” so it’s a good sign that movies are starting to rebound. The Robert Pattinson comic book vehicle has made roughly the same amount overseas, although its release in China quickly fizzled out this past week.

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There were actually a number of other new releases this weekend, with a few being released quite wide into theaters.

For instance, Crunchyroll released a prequel to the popular anime series, “Jujutsu Kaizen 0,” into 2,748 theaters, and that exploded in Thursday previews, making $2.9 million before its official release on Friday. It ended up taking a solid second place with an estimated $17.7 million for the weekend, which is just slightly less than the $21.3 million that “Demon Slayer the Movie: Mugen Train” opened with last April, not long after movie theaters reopened in New York and L.A. Two years earlier, “Dragon Ball Super: Broly” opened with $9.8 million, and made $30.4 million domestically. In other words, those of us who aren’t into Anime should probably stop underestimating Anime at the American box office. It’s what the kids want to see.

Sony Pictures’ “Uncharted’ starring Tom Holland – currently in two movies in the top 10 – took third place with $8 million, down just 14% from last weekend, as it surpassed $125 million domestic.

Horror maestro Ti West (“The Innkeepers”) returned with a new throwback horror film called merely “X,” starring Mia Goth, Martin Henderson, the ever-present Jenna Ortega from “Scream” and “Studio 666,” Brittany Snow, and Scott “Kid Cudi” Mescudi. A24 released the movie into 2,865 theaters, following its SXSW premiere earlier in the week, with the promise of an already-filmed prequel called “Pearl” to come. The movie made an estimated $4.4 million over the weekend at #4, slightly less than the $6.7 million opening for David Lowery’s “The Green Knight” in 2021. Reviews were solid  enough at 96% Fresh at Rotten Tomatoes that maybe West’s movie can build on word-of-mouth, although horror movies generally tend to be frontloaded.

Channing Tatum’s “Dog” took fifth place with $4.1 million, another small drop from last weekend, bringing it to $54 million domestic. Not bad for Tatum’s directorial debut.

Much lower down in the top 10 was the Focus Features crime-drama “The Outfit,” directed by Oscar-winner Graham Moore (“The Imitation Game”) and starring another Oscar-winner in Mark Rylance. Opening more moderately in 1,324 theaters, “The Outfit” made an estimated $1.5 million, just enough to place higher than Universal’s “Sing 2,” which is currently enjoying its 13th week in the top 10 with $158 million domestic gross.

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Lastly, as far as the new movies, Sony Pictures essentially dumped its own horror film, “Umma,” written and directed by Iris K. Shim and starring Sandra Oh, into roughly 800 theaters, but you would have to have really been paying attention to know the movie even existed. Critics destroyed it on Rotten Tomatoes with a low 25% rating, and it ended up making less than a million this past weekend, just barely sneaking into the top 10.

Only “Umma” and “The Outfit” were available in the list of choices for Gold Derby Users’ Box Office Predictions, who rooted overwhelmingly for “The Batman” to be #1 again this weekend, and correctly so. This was also the first weekend in its 14 weeks of release that “Spider-Man: No Way Home” did not place in the top 5, although it’s still very likely to hit $800 million before April.

On Friday, Sandra Bullock and Channing Tatum’s action-comedy, “The Lost City,” will be released by Paramount Pictures into 4,000 theaters, attempting to take that top slot away from “The Batman.”

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