After seven weeks of unloading all from its arsenal, Avatar: The Way of Water was finally displaced by Mr. Shyamalan in his latest feature, Knock at the Cabin. It comes as no surprise, as the filmmaker always makes a name for himself on opening weekend since audiences are curious about what tricks he has up his sleeve, including his vintage “twist.” Indeed someone may speculate this as a “conservative faith-based” feature, but it’s more or less a family drama that has blood on the line due to trespassers claiming they make a sacrifice. There have been other rumblings (which are comprehendible) about how far a queer couple has come to assimilate and how the safety can become ripped apart in a dire situation.
The numbers are pretty low for a $14.2 million opening from the inventive filmmaker, but keep in mind a few metrics: A) the R-rating limits its full potential, B) a steadfast induction of more middling reviews under Shyamalan’s banner doesn’t mean more people will show up, and C) as talented as Dave Bautista, Jonathan Groff, and Rupert Grint are, they’re not able to lure folks to the box office in the same vein as Will Smith or Tom Cruise. (Yes, Mr. Grint rose to much fame within his iconic time in the Harry Potter universe, but that generational status burned off once the actor stepped away from the big screen while costars Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson skyrocketed in other genres.) Thus, it’s a modest win for Shyamalan and proves he can hang in today’s environment. Might the film have performed better if it were not for the substantial success of Way of Water? It’s possible, but that’s a discussion for another day. The feature also earned $7 million overseas, bringing its total gross to $21.22 million in its opening weekend. If it plays like Lady in the Water, we’re looking at a domestic cume of around $40 million and a worldwide finish between $70-80 million. It’ll get two weeks to leg out the best it can before Ant-Man 3 rolls in.
80 for Brady took a close second in its debut, with $12.5 million. Paramount sold the hell out of this one, securing older audiences’ interests with a star-driven, reasonably budgeted bit of escapism. Plus, the recent news of Brady’s retirement (for the umpteenth time) might’ve skewed more to look at the comedy route as the star-led quartet sought to watch their idol. It should have admirable legs, and it’s considered a noticeable win.
Avatar: The Way of Water dropped to third place in its eighth weekend, bringing in $10.8 million for a domestic total of $636.4 million. With $1.538 billion overseas (the third biggest earning of all time), its $2.175 billion gross is only $33 million away from displacing Titanic for third place regarding highest-grossing films ever. That event should occur next weekend, assuming its legs keep holding out along the newcomers. One saddening note is the feature keeps underperforming expectations each weekend, so it will most likely not overtake Top Gun: Maverick‘s domestic total of $718.7 million or pass $2.5 billion worldwide once the finish line approaches. Again, it’s still a massive win for James Cameron and Disney, and they’ll keep reaping more for the next set of sequels alongside the MCU and any other potential franchise starters. $700 million domestically is still possible, and we’re probably looking at a worldwide total of around $2.3-2.4 billion.
Puss in Boots: The Last Wish is essentially The Greatest Showman of animated tales, as it’s legging out strong still and on pace to break $400 million worldwide in the next weekend or two. With $7.95 million in its seventh weekend, we can say that Shrek 5 needs to happen at this point. Bring it on, Dreamworks. Fifth place is for A Man Called Otto ($4.2 million), which means Tom Hanks is doing superbly for another motion picture of his and another sign of success once it drops on Netflix.
M3GAN has passed $154 million worldwide and is on pace to break $100 million domestically. If it passes Insidious: The Last Key‘s $172 million, it’ll become the highest-earning horror film to open on the first weekend of a new year. And Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is clawing as close as it can towards $850 million worldwide, even as it opened on Disney+ this week.
Next weekend sees the release of Magic Mike’s Last Dance.