‘Spider-Verse’ returns to No. 1 as ‘The Flash’ slumps 73% and Jennifer Lawrence’s ‘No Hard Feelings’ opens to $15 million

In another universe, ‘The Flash’, once touted by its own studio as ‘one of the greatest superhero movies of all time’, would easily top the box office in its second weekend of release. .

But in this universe, audiences are outright rejecting the Warner Bros. movie, starring Ezra Miller as the eponymous speedster spanning the timeline. Rather than taking a victory lap, the comic book adventure ranks third behind Pixar’s “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” and “Elemental” and barely lands ahead of the new comedy R- rated by Jennifer Lawrence “No Hard Feelings”. .”

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Over the weekend, “The Flash” added $15.3 million from 4,265 North American theaters, marking a steep 73% drop from its unimpressive debut of $55 million. That’s a far bigger drop than recent DC adaptations including ‘Black Adam’ (59%) and ‘Shazam: Fury of the Gods’ (69%), which ended up losing huge amounts of money. for the studio.

In the case of “The Flash,” it’s a disastrous outcome for the $200 million budget tentpole, as it signals ticket sales won’t rebound in its theatrical run. So far, it’s made $67 million at the domestic box office, which is less than what the film was expected to earn when it debuted. “The Flash” didn’t gain too much ground internationally with $123.3 million, bringing the worldwide total to $210.9 million.

Part of the problem is that new DC executives James Gunn and Peter Safran have shared plans to reset the comic book universe, leaving movies like “The Flash” on hold. What’s worse for the restless DC is that two more tent poles are planned for 2023. “Blue Beetle,” starring Xolo Maridueña as an alien symbiote, opens August 18, and “Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom” from Jason Momoa is scheduled for December 21. 20.

All in all, it’s been a bumpy weekend at the box office as Sony’s “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” returned to the top spot (in its fourth weekend of release, nothing less) with $19.3 million. So far, it has generated $316 million in North America and $500 million worldwide.

On the domestic charts, the second film “Spider-Verse” narrowly beat out Disney and Pixar’s animated “Elemental,” which remained in second place with $18.5 million. That brings his national tally to $65 million and his global total to $121 million. Ticket sales for its second outing were stronger than expected, falling just 37% from the previous weekend. Unfortunately for “Elemental,” it landed (by far) the worst start in modern history for Pixar, so it will have to remain the de facto choice of family audiences to justify its $200 million price tag and restore some confidence. in the Pixar brand. .

Jennifer Lawrence’s steamy comedy “No Hard Feelings” opened in fourth place with $15 million from 3,208 theaters. That’s not a bad result for a contemporary theatrical comedy, but analysts were expecting more for the $45 million budget film that stars one of Hollywood’s biggest names. Earlier this year, Universal’s wild “Cocaine Bear” managed to raise $23.2 million in its opening weekend without the promise of any household names on the marquee.

Gene Stupnitsky directed “No Hard Feelings,” which stars Lawrence as an unlucky Uber driver who accepts a Craigslist ad to “date” an introverted 19-year-old boy (newcomer Andrew Barth Feldman) before go to college. Audiences mostly loved the film, which nabbed a “B+” CinemaScore.

“‘No Hard Feelings’ wasn’t cheap to make at $45 million before marketing costs,” says David A. Gross, who runs film consultancy Franchise Entertainment Research. “That’s a big number at these box office levels.”

Rounding out the top five, Paramount’s “Transformers: Rise of the Beasts” added $11.6 million from 3,523 theaters, down 44% in its third weekend. To date, the seventh episode of “Transformers” has grossed $122.9 million at the domestic box office and $218 million internationally. It cost $200 million.

Elsewhere at the domestic box office, Wes Anderson’s “Asteroid City” grossed $9 million as it expanded to 1,675 theaters over the weekend. It’s a career high for Anderson, the filmmaker of arthouse favorites like “The Royal Tenenbaums” and “The Grand Budapest Hotel.” By comparison, his last feature, 2021’s “The French Dispatch,” grossed $2.5 million when it expanded to a similar number of theaters.

The 1950s setting “Asteroid City” unfolds as a cosmic event disrupts a fictional desert town and stars Scarlett Johansson, Jason Schwartzman, Maya Hawke, Bryan Cranston and dozens of other Anderson regulars. Audiences — 64% were 35 or younger — gave the film a so-so “B” CinemaScore.

It’s fantastic to see Wes Anderson’s best weekend ever at the box office rekindling the specialty market,” said Lisa Bunnell, President of Distribution at Focus Features. “The opening of ‘Asteroid City’ over the past two weekends has been incredibly encouraging and inspiring.”

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