The Super Mario Bros. Movie continued its domination of the box office while Evil Dead Rise proved to be solid counter programming.
A week after Renfield and The Pope’s Exorcist failed to open in double digits, we have Evil Dead Rise surpassing expectations with a $23.5 million opening weekend. Pretty solid when you consider the original 1981 classic made just $2.8 million, 1987’s Evil Dead II made $5.9 million, 1992’s classic Army of Darkness pulled in $11.5 million while 2013’s re-imagining saw the cult series soar to new heights by opening with $25.7 million on its way to a $97.5 million worldwide total. With pretty solid reviews, including a 9/10 from our own Jessica Dwyer and an 81% audience score (which is actually pretty solid for a horror film), this gore fest has all the makings for a decent run at the box office, especially when you consider the budget for the film was kept at a modest $19 million as it was originally meant to drop directly onto HBO Max.
Of course that opening falls in second place behind the continued massive success of The Super Mario Bros. movie which is seeing a third week take of $58.2 million added to its international total of over $866 million. If the film continues as it is, and there is no reason to suggest it won’t, The Super Mario Bros. movie will become the first film to surpass $1 Billion at the worldwide box office in 2023. The film has already become Universal’s highest grossing animated film ever at the domestic box office after taking down Minions: The Rise of Gru’s $369.7 million and is actually the third highest grossing film ever for the studio behind Jurassic World and ET: The Extra Terrestrial. Many also believe that the power ballad Peaches sung so masterfully by Jack Black in the film is a shoo-in for a Best Original Song Oscar Nomination next year, and nothing would please me more than to see Jack Black on that stage giving the most Jack Black performance of his career in front of Meryl Streep!
In my predictions on Thursday, it didn’t look like Guy Ritchie’s The Covenant was going to finish in the top five. Luckily the film seems to have slightly over-performed with $6.2 million. This actually makes me quite happy as I found this movie to be one of the best war films ever made with performances by Jake Gyllenhaal and Dar Salim that are genuinely awards worthy. Ritchie is a filmmaker with a distinct style and even though this type of film isn’t generally what you would expect from the Snap filmmaker, it is filled with his trademark style such as vast wide landscape shots that make you feel that immense emptiness of where our characters are, followed by intimate handheld shots that put you right into the action so that you feel what they are feeling. Reviews for the film have been pretty solid with our own Chris Bumbray giving it a 7/10 while the audience score is currently at a stellar 98%, meaning that even though the film may not have pulled in behemoth numbers, the people that did pay to see it, are loving it.
Rounding out the top ten are you hold over films such as the continued success of R rated films Air ($5.5 million) and John Wick: Chapter 4 ($5.7 million) while Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves continue its slow crawl towards $100 million. I don’t think the numbers this movie has garnered are going to warrant any follow up films, perhaps the TV series that is currently in development will fare better. Further down the list we have last weeks horror one two punch of The Pope’s Exorcist with $3.3 million and Renfield with $3.1 million. I really enjoyed Renfield and am a bit bummed that it didn’t catch on better at the box office, hopefully it will find its audience on video. Rounding out the list are the expansion of the Ari Aster film Beau is Afraid with an estimated $2.7 million. Reports say that the Joaquin Phoenix fronted indie film is playing solidly on the coasts but trailing off everywhere else, which is to be expected for a three hour film that seems to have baffled critics (including our own Chris Bumbray who gave it a 6/10 .) Coming in tenth is the Crunchyroll studios release of susume with an estimated $1.6 million while the true story Knight seems to have just missed out on the top ten with an estimated weekend take of $1.5 million.
Did you make it to theaters this weekend? If so let us know what you saw (and what you thought of it) in the comments section and don’t forget to check out our poll where we ask: What is your favorite Horror Franchise?