As Open Road’s “The Marksman” enters its second weekend, the pandemic box office has seen its weekend totals fall below $10 million once again, as only three films grossed more than $1 million. The Liam Neeson action film remains at No. 1 with $2.1 million in its second weekend from 2,018 screens and a 10-day total of $6.1 million.
Neck-and-neck for the No. 2 spot are Universal/DreamWorks’ “The Croods: A New Age” and Warner Bros.’ “Wonder Woman 1984.” “Croods” currently has the lead with $1.8 million in its ninth weekend, giving it a total of $41.8 million domestically and just under $140 million worldwide. “WW84” is in third with $1.6 million, giving it $37.7 million domestic and $148 million worldwide after six weekends.
Sony’s “Monster Hunter” and Universal’s “News of the World” complete the Top 5, with “Monster Hunter” taking $830,000 this weekend and “News” sitting just behind with $810,000. “Monster Hunter” now has a domestic total of $10.2 million after six weekends, while “News of the World” has $9.6 million after five weekends.
The weekend numbers come just after Hollywood studios announce another wave of pandemic-induced release date changes, with over 20 films being moved. The biggest was MGM’s “No Time to Die,” which has been pushed from April to October and Paramount’s “A Quiet Place – Part II,” which has moved from March to September.
While studios held on to optimism that theaters could reopen in the spring and the long box office recovery could begin, the hard realities of distributing the COVID-19 vaccine to millions of Americans are beginning to set in. While newly inaugurated President Joe Biden has signed executive orders intended to accelerate vaccine production and distribution, medical experts have warned that it could be weeks or even months before those orders yield any results.
Meanwhile, health officials at all levels of government are trying to find and eliminate logistical hurdles holding back vaccine distribution, with one California epidemiologist warning that vaccination of residents in the state over 65 may not be finished until June unless vaccine production increases. Studios are clinging to hope that films in the summer blockbuster season won’t have to be moved, including Marvel Studios’ “Black Widow” and Universal’s “F9,” which are set for release in May.