The box office still largely belongs to Sony/Marvel Studios’ “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” which according to industry estimates accounted for 61% of all grosses on Wednesday and Thursday, leaving Universal/Illumination’s “Sing 2” to win a race among Christmas newcomers for a distant second.
Adding $30 million on Thursday from 4,336 locations, “No Way Home” has a domestic box office total of $386 million and $876 million worldwide, passing the $821 million total of the Chinese film “Hi, Mom” for second place on the global charts for the year. This Christmas weekend, it will become the first film in two years to pass $1 billion worldwide as it passes the Chinese war film “The Battle of Lake Changjin,” to become the highest grossing film of the year worldwide
“Sing 2” is performing decently as a family alternative to “No Way Home,” grossing $7.5 million on Thursday to go with $8.1 million on Wednesday. That two-day total of $15.6 million is down around 25% from the $20.6 million that the original “Sing” made from its mid-week release in December 2016, but above the $13.3 million that Disney animated film “Encanto” made last month in the first two days of its Thanksgiving weekend release.
Like “Encanto,” “Sing 2” has been released exclusively in theaters and is now estimated to meet pre-weekend projections of a launch slightly above “Encanto” in the mid-$40 million range. Such a result would suggest that the rise of the Omicron variant hasn’t damaged family turnout to movie theaters, though it is still well below pre-pandemic levels. Audience reception for the film has been as strong as “No Way Home” with an A+ on CinemaScore and 97% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes.
In third is Warner Bros./Village Roadshow’s “The Matrix Resurrections,” which is performing below projections with $4.1 million grossed on Thursday and a domestic total of $10.5 million heading into the weekend. Studio projections for the 5-day opening of Lana Wachowski’s blockbuster were at around $40 million, but industry estimates now have the film finishing in the low-$30 million range.
Like other Warner Bros. films this year, the simultaneous release on HBO Max will be pinned as a factor for the softer launch of this blockbuster, though reception may also be a factor. While still generally positive, “The Matrix Resurrections” wasn’t as well received as “No Way Home” or “Sing 2” with a 67% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes and a B- on CinemaScore. The latter grade is the same received by the poorly reviewed trilogy capper “The Matrix Revolutions” back in 2004 and below the A- earned for the original “Matrix” and the B+ for “The Matrix Reloaded.
On the lowest end of the new release spectrum is 20th Century Studios’ “The King’s Man,” which is crashing hard and may fail to even earn a 5-day opening of $10 million after having its release delayed for two years. Disney, which is distributing the film after the Fox acquisition, has not released official Thursday numbers at time of writing, but industry estimates say the “Kingsmen” prequel grossed just $1.3 million on Thursday to bring its total to a mere $3.6 million heading into the weekend.
“The King’s Man” would join “West Side Story” and “The Last Duel” among the 20th Century releases this quarter to bomb at the box office. The one major success for the label was the surprise original hit “Free Guy,” which grossed $331.5 million worldwide in late summer with $121 million coming from domestic grosses.