New Releases misfire as Mario retains the top spot

Three new releases failed to make double digits as Mario once again took the top spot.

It looks like Saturday was a massive day at the theaters as the top two films, The Super Mario Bros. movie and Evil Dead Rise saw larger than expected numbers with The Super Mario Bros. movie pulling out the win with an estimated $40 million, marking the best fourth weekend ever for an animated film and officially becoming the second highest grossing animated film ever at the domestic box office officially passing the $486.2 made by Finding Dory. There is a bit of an asterisk on the record as some All Time lists put the “live action” remake of The Lion King on the list of “All Time Highest Grossing Animated Films”. Technically, that was a fully CGI made film, which would put Super Mario Bros. in third place as that version of Tea Lion King took in $543.6 million.

Second place belongs to Evil Dead Rise which saw a drop of just 50% which is really good for a horror film as they tend to be incredibly front loaded. With another $12.2 million added to its box office total of $44.4 million, this under $20 million budgeted continuation of the iconic franchise will definitely go down as a worthwhile investment for the studio. This second week hold is actually much better than the previous film in the franchise, 2013’s Evil Dead, as that movie dropped 63% in its second week.

Coming in third place is the new release film Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret with just $6.8 million. That is a far cry from what I was predicting on Thursday as I thought this film would have a similar audience to last years Where The Crawdads Sing which opened to $17.2 million. That was also based on a beloved novel, and had pretty horrible reviews, whereas Margaret is currently sitting at a 99% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes including an 8/10 from our own JimmyO. Luckily the film has just a $30 million budget and with strong word of mouth can potentially recoup that.

Fourth through sixth place belong to your holdovers John Wick: Chapter 4 with an estimated $5 million, as it becomes the highest grossing film in the entire franchise both stateside and worldwide. Perhaps we will get that fifth movie after all. Fifth place goes to Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves with an additional $4.1 million added to its $88.1 million total, at this point, $100 million is still possible, but doesn’t seem likely. For what its worth, I have never played a single second of Dungeons & Dragons and had no real interest in the movie based on the first trailer. I ended up seeing it and enjoying it, so perhaps this one will find its audience once it hits home video. Sixth place belongs to Air which has seen some solid legs since its release pulling in $4 million this weekend. This one is one of my favorites of the year and I am glad it didn’t go directly to streaming as was originally the plan. Ben Affleck is a filmmaker who deserves the big screen for all of his films.

Rounding out the top ten is the nearly three hour Indian epic Ponniyan Selvan: Part Two with an estimated $3.64 million, proving yet again that audiences will find their way to theaters when there is something specific they want to see. Guy Ritchie’s The Covenant is looking at $3.61 million for its second week of release, I wish this movie was doing better as I really did find it to be one of the best war films I have ever seen. Rounding out the top ten is the ultra violent Finnish World War II film Sisu with an estimated $3.2 million on 900 screens. I have the feeling this one will one day become a cult classic because it is genuinely awesome. Check out the 10/10 review from our own Alex Maidy here. Sadly it looks like audiences just weren’t that interested in venturing out to theaters to see the big screen treatment of George Foreman’s life story as Big George Foreman finished in tenth with just $3 million.

Technically speaking, fifth place should belong to Star Wars: Return of the Jedi with $4.9 million from just a 475 screen re-release for its 40th anniversary, which equals out to a healthy over $10,000 per screen, but it doesn’t look like this limited release (it will only be in theaters through May 2) is being counted in the “official” top ten for the week. No doubt many adults jumped at the chance to take their children to see one of the original Star Wars movies on the big screen. For a nice look back at the old school Joblo, check out our 8/10 review of Return of the Jedi here, posted all the way back on May 18, 1999, that appears to be written by Mr. Joblo himself, Berge Garabedian.

Did you make it to theaters this weekend? If so, let us know what you saw in the comments section and don’t forget to check out our weekly poll where we ask what summer 2023 release are you most looking forward to.