April is a breakout month before we kick start the summer gears with Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness on May 6th. Morbius opened with severely negative reviews (including a C+ from CinemaScore, the second-worst of any Marvel adaptation), although it netted an admirable $39 million opening weekend. The rest of April stands to offer more blockbusters, synonymous with June, July, October, and December’s slate of releases this year.
(For information, June brings Jurassic World Dominion, Lightyear, and The Black Phone. July offers Minions: The Rise of Gru, Thor 4, Nope, and DC League of Super-Pets. October contains Spider-Man: ATSV Part One, Black Adam, and Halloween Ends. And December brings Avatar 2, Shazam 2, and Universal’s untitled Mario feature).
Paramount’s Sonic The Hedgehog 2 and Michael Bay’s Ambulance will debut on the second weekend of April. Despite Bay’s signature heavy, special effects repertoire, he has not had a successful theatrical release since Transformers: Age of Extinction in 2014. His recent blunders at the box office in the past eight years (13 Hours, Transformers: The Last Knight, and the Netlfix-distributed 6 Underground) did not serve his legacy. Thus, he will play the second fiddle to the video game adaptation and Jim Carrey’s latest (and possibly last) performance.
The first Sonic film was released before the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, topping the box office with a $58 million opening weekend, breaking Detective Pikachu’s record for the opening weekend for a video game-based feature. Since its reviews are on par with the first, we’ll say it is looking at a $48-60 million opening weekend. Ambulance will settle much lower, between $12-17 million. Meanwhile, A24 will drop Everything Everywhere All at Once the same day, probably looking around a $9-10 million debut. Michelle Yeoh has received significant praise for the role, alongside the movie’s family themes and action.
Father Stu opens on the 13th, led by Mark Wahlberg and Mel Gibson. This release will face hefty competition, especially as the Easter weekend collides with Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore. Columbia Pictures’ latest original feature will have to settle for a minor $4-8 million, while the Wizarding World’s newest picture will probably garner $45-55 million in its opening weekend (which is still a drop from The Crimes of Grindelwald’s $62.2 million in 2018).
Universal Pictures and DreamWorks’ The Bad Guys will seek $10-15 million in its opening weekend on the 22nd, battling The Northman and The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent. Both will be looking for a $5-10 million kickoff. And Martin Campbell’s Memory opens on the last weekend of April, seeking a $5 million launch.
We do also have to factor in the legs of The Batman, The Lost City, and Morbius for the remainder of April, as they still have life left in them. The Matt Reeves motion picture is the highest-grossing feature of the year, looking to get past $770 million before it heads to HBO Max. Based on Morbius’s reception, it might tumble this coming weekend like Batman v. Superman, Dark Phoenix, and The Suicide Squad.
Whatever the case may be, we have some blockbusters in our hands in the next few weeks as the summer season arrives shortly.