The Bad Guys Win Again as Liam Neeson’s Memory Fails

The Bad Guys Win Again as Liam Neeson’s Memory Fails

Without a Marvel movie or a Fast & Furious adventure to close out the month, April ends as it normally does – with a whimper rather than a bang. Hollywood is saving that for next week when the summer movie season returns – admittedly in a somewhat diminished fashion – but nevertheless in a big way. Four films will potentially head north of $300 million (Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Jurassic World: Dominion, Thor: Love and Thunder, Lightyear) and with a couple of those even getting over $400 million to replace The Batman as the year’s current victor. Three more films could be headed between $175-250 million (Minions: The Rise of Gru, Nope, Top Gun: Maverick) and don’t count out Bullet Train or DC League of Super Pets getting into nine figures either. By contrast, last year only had five, as people just began to feel comfortable coming back to theaters. There is still one other film in this week’s top 10 – other than Sonic the Hedgehog 2 – that could break $100 million, but it certainly is not Memory.

King of the Crop: The Bad Guys Win Again

The Bad Guys

(Photo by ©Universal Pictures)

The Bad Guys took a second week atop the box office with a reasonable 40{a804659bb65d18cb4a6dc8e7d034c3e09b42584b41147982650930584377f6e7} drop down to $16.1 million, hardly a surprising turn considering there was nothing to knock it off its perch. Last week we told you that animated films opening between $22-27 million had very good odds of reaching at least $80 million. Only three of the films on that list — TMNT, Monster House, and Captain Underpants –missed that target. The Bad Guys is in a very good position to avoid becoming the fourth film on that list. With its numbers this weekend, it’s ahead of 2018’s Smallfoot, which also had a $14.4 million second weekend and a total of $42.2 million after 10 days. The Bad Guys is at $44.4 million and Smallfoot finished its run with over $83 million.

Fresh Surprise: Everything Everywhere Continues to Succeed for A24

Michelle Yeoh in Everything Everywhere All At Once

(Photo by ©A24)

We are bumping Everything Everywhere All At Once up to this category because frankly nothing has been a fresher surprise all year. Especially given the nature of original films since the theater shutdown of 2020, an R-rated, 140-minute film with an Asian cast released by A24 doing this kind of business is truly inspiring. Last week, the film directed by the duo known as Daniels made $5.42 million while losing 87 theaters. This week it got 80 theaters back and it grossed $5.5 million, an increase of 2{a804659bb65d18cb4a6dc8e7d034c3e09b42584b41147982650930584377f6e7}. A24 has never had a film in its fourth week of wide release even gross $2.5 million. It is now the fourth-highest-grossing film in the studio’s history, with Hereditary, Lady Bird, and Uncut Gems in its sights if the magic continues into May.

Rotten Returns: Memory Extends Liam Neeson’s Underwhelming Streak

Scot Williams and Liam Neeson in Memory (2022)

(Photo by Rico Torres/©Open Road Films)

Briarcliff and Open Road have been in the Liam Neeson business since just before the pandemic began. It hasn’t worked out for them. Honest Thief opened in October 2020 and made $14.1 million total. The Marksman followed in January 2021 to the tune of $15.5 million. Blacklight opened this February and finished with just under $9.6 million. Now comes Memory, which followed a similar pattern to those three and opened to $3.1 million in eighth place. The others all opened between $3-4 million, though this one will be more quickly forgotten with the current increase in theatrical releases. That the 2022 films are each grossing less than the ones during the heart of the crisis is disconcerting, but critics have not embraced these films either. Memory (Rotten at 30{a804659bb65d18cb4a6dc8e7d034c3e09b42584b41147982650930584377f6e7} on the Tomatometer) joins similar scores for Honest Thief (39{a804659bb65d18cb4a6dc8e7d034c3e09b42584b41147982650930584377f6e7}) and The Marksman (36{a804659bb65d18cb4a6dc8e7d034c3e09b42584b41147982650930584377f6e7}), while Blacklight is still the worst-reviewed wide release of the year at just 8{a804659bb65d18cb4a6dc8e7d034c3e09b42584b41147982650930584377f6e7} on the Tomatometer.

The Top 10 and Beyond: Sonic Keeps Rolling, The Northman and Massive Talent Struggle

Ben Schwartz as the voice of Sonic the Hedgehog in Sonic the Hedgehog 2

(Photo by ©Paramount Pictures)

As mentioned earlier, Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is already well into nine figures. Another $11.3 million this weekend brings its 24-day total to $160.9 million, which puts it ahead of the same studio’s Thor. Before Disney snatched up Marvel, Paramount saw the first Chris Hemsworth outing gross just over $181 million after earning $159.8 million in 24 days and a $9.53 million fourth weekend. $190 million is very much in play, and there is still an outside chance at $200 million. Paramount may also be feeling optimistic about The Lost City getting to $100 million. The Sandra Bullock/Channing Tatum adventure comedy reached $90 million in its 38th day of release with a 16{a804659bb65d18cb4a6dc8e7d034c3e09b42584b41147982650930584377f6e7} drop to $3.9 million. Each week’s drop has been smaller than the last, and the pace is better than A Wrinkle in Time, which limped itself over $100 million even with a sixth weekend haul of just $1.3 million. The Lost City is still in twice as many theaters as that film was at this point, and if it can hang in there, it may actually give the studio three $100 million grossers in a row (with the upcoming Top Gun: Maverick likely to hit the mark) for the first time since 2013 when Star Trek Into Darkness, World War Z, and Bad Grandpa pulled the hat trick.

As for a film that many assumed would break $100 million, we come to Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore. Once again we are brought to A Wrinkle In Time, as Dumbledore is also ahead of its pace. Wrinkle grossed $8.2 million in its third weekend while Dumbledore took on another $8.3 million. Dumbledore is also still over $5 million ahead of Wrinkle’s total pace, so somewhere between $100-105 million is still possible. But that is no matter to Warner Bros., considering that total is only about a sixth of what the studio needs to break even. The film’s worldwide total stands at over $329 million, just over halfway to its goal to stay out of the red. And outside of The Batman, there is a lot of red in those ledgers post-Joker thanks much to its HBO MAX policy in 2021.

Finally we come to the other two releases from last week. Robert Eggers’s The Northman dropped down to $6.3 million. This is closely on pace with Scary Movie 5, which finished with $32 million, a far cry from satisfying the film’s $90 million budget. Also not very satisfying is The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent, which dropped 48{a804659bb65d18cb4a6dc8e7d034c3e09b42584b41147982650930584377f6e7} to $3.9 million for a total of $13.3 million and could be coming in for a landing between $16-18 million. Not great news for Lions Gate and the $30 million production. The studio did just announce Expendables 4 and a Hunger Games prequel to join the fourth John Wick film at Cinemacon, so it may be looking to the future for a bigger win.

On the Vine: Doctor Strange Ushers In Summer Madness

Benedict Cumberbatch in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

(Photo by Marvel Entertainment)

The Summer movie season begins and it does again with Marvel. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness follows the character’s recent appearance in the third highest-grossing domestic film of all-time (to go along with his appearance in the second-highest.) This time legendary director Sam Raimi is on hand to add a horror element into the proceedings, and just as he did 20 years ago with Spider-Man, he could be poised to have the biggest film of the summer.

Full List of Box Office Results: April 29-May 1, 2022


The Bad Guys

  • $16.1 million ($44.4 million total)


Sonic the Hedgehog 2

  • $11.4 million ($161 million total)


Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore

  • $8.3 million ($79.6 million total)


The Northman

  • $6.3 million ($22.8 million total)


Everything Everywhere All at Once

  • $5.5 million ($35.5 million total)


The Lost City

  • $3.9 million ($90.9 million total)


The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent

  • $3.9 million ($13.5 million total)



  • $3.1 million ($3.1 million total)


Father Stu

  • $2.2 million ($17.6 million total)



  • $1.5 million ($71.5 million total)

Erik Childress can be heard each week evaluating box office on Business First AM with Angela Miles and his Movie Madness Podcast.

[box office figures via Box Office Mojo]

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