Box office: ‘Ant-Man’ drops dramatically to make room for ‘Cocaine Bear’ and ‘Jesus Revolution’

While studios have generally tried to avoid the second weekend of Marvel movies in recent years, this weekend proved beneficial for the two studios that dared to do so.

Although Marvel’s “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” was thought to be the movie that could give the box office a kick-start for the year, that didn’t last very long. This weekend, it took a massive 70% drop – the worst second weekend drop for any Marvel Studios movie ever – though it remained in first place with an estimated $32.2 million. It has grossed $167.3 million in North America so far, which isn’t bad for 10 days. It has already passed the domestic total for the 2021 Marvel movie “Eternals,” and it’s nearing the $180 million that the first “Ant-Man” movie made over the summer of 2015. It has grossed another $196 million overseas with $46 million just from this weekend.

Universal keeps knocking them out of the park this year. Although the premise for its horror-comedy “Cocaine Bear,” directed by Elizabeth Banks, may seem rather outlandish, it was enough to get people into theaters, allowing it to gross an estimated $23.1 million in 3,534 theaters, averaging $6,534 per theater. $2 million of that amount came from Thursday previews, with the movie receiving better-than-expected reviews, scoring 71% on Rotten Tomatoes, matched with a slightly higher audience score. On the other hand, it ended up with a not-so-great B- from CinemaScore‘s audience surveys. Being that the majority of the movie’s audience were men over 25, this might get hit hard by the next few weeks of franchise sequels. “Cocaine Bear” made another $5.3 million overseas this weekend.

On Friday, Lionsgate released “Jesus Revolution,” starring Kelsey Grammer and Joel Courtney, into 2,475 theaters with earlier previews that racked up $3.3 million. Directed by Jon Erwin (“I Can Only Imagine”) and Brent McCorkle, the movie looks at the origins of the religious boom of the ‘70s. After making almost $7 million on Friday (including those previews), it took in an estimated $15.5 million in its first weekend. Although it didn’t get nearly as good reviews as “Cocaine Bear” with 54% on Rotten Tomatoes, “Jesus Revolution” did receive a fairly rare A+ CinemaScore from audiences polled. For Erwin, that was his fourth movie to receive such a high rating from audiences.

James Cameron‘s sci-fi fantasy epic, “Avatar: The Way of Water,” continues to do decent business, despite having been in theaters for over two months. This weekend, it added another $4.7 million (down 28%) to take fourth place, bringing its domestic total to $665.4 million. This is the first time since opening that the movie left the top three at the North American box office, and it’s now less than $10 million away from passing Cameron’s “Titanic” to become the eighth-biggest domestic release ever. Overseas, it added another $9.4 million to bring its global total to $2.26 billion.

DreamWorks Animation’s hit sequel “Puss in Boots: The Last Wish” took fifth place with $4.1 million, down 24% from last weekend with $173.4 million grossed domestically. It has grossed $269.1 million overseas, for a global total of $442.5 million. Not bad for a movie that seemingly bombed when it opened with just $12.4 million before Christmas.

Magic Mike’s Last Dance” dropped 44% in its third weekend to take sixth place with an estimated $3 million in 2,918 theaters. It has grossed just $23.4 million so far.

Two movies released earlier this month, M. Night Shyamalan‘s “Knock at the Cabin” and the comedy “80 for Brady,” took massive hits this weekend, both dropping more than 50% to take seventh and eighth place respectively.

The Oscar-nominated Irish film “The Quiet Girl” opened with $60,000 this weekend in six locations in New York, L.A., Chicago, and San Francisco, averaging $10k per theater.

The majority of players in Gold Derby’s box office prediction game correctly guessed that “Quantumania” would remain #1 with a smaller percentage picking the correct $25 to $50 million range. Most players also had “Cocaine Bear” correctly in second place, but many were dubious about “Jesus Revolution’s” success, 58 picking it for third place and 40 players thinking it would either be fourth or fifth place. Less than 50% thought “The Way of Water” would fall to fourth place, but most had “Puss in Boots” remaining in the top five.

Congrats to “Garney” as the only player who went 6 for 6 in the February 17 game with 64,430 points.

On Friday, Michael B. Jordan returns to theaters, starring in and directing “Creed III” opposite Jonathan Majors, with Guy Ritchie‘s “Operation Fortunate: Ruse de Guerre” and the anime “Demon Slayer: To the Swordsmith Village” also getting wide releases. Check back on Wednesday for the weekend preview and on Monday for the monthly preview for March.

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