Box Office: Independence Day Weekend Sorrowfully Brought Bombastic Numbers for ‘Indiana Jones 5’ and ‘Ruby Gillman’

As July rattles with tepid results from the box office, yours truly sees an evident amount of evidence pointing to a redux of times in 2016 when franchise revamps such as X-Men, Ghostbusters, Independence Day, and Jason Bourne floundered despite audiences wanting to see the following array of Marvel sequels (or new adventures), Pixar delights (Finding Dory), and DC features (even if Zack Snyder and David Ayer rolled out atrocious features). It’s a cacophony of failures coming about seven years later, as studios’ desires pressure several motion pictures more than audiences’ needs.

Photo Courtesy of Disney/Marvel Studios

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, John Wick: Chapter 4, and (the still-strong) Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse disobeyed this as audiences were eccentric for the next tale with our select heroes/anti-heroes, and pulled in a record, if not bordering, highs for their IPs. And, perhaps more to the point, audiences trusted studios/directors to deliver a commendable product. On the other hand, audiences did not ask for another Transformers, DC outing (a la The Flash), or the final installment in the Indiana Jones series. It is still subjective about how much critics’ reviews skew the encouragement of seeing select features (The Super Mario Bros. Movie got by due to nostalgia and the gaming IP) at the multiplex. But there’s still a festering issue at hand: budgets. Rise of the Beasts, The Flash, Fast X, and Dial of Destiny are in the same boat of skyrocketing their budgets and putting strains on studios to have these films leg out. And all thus far can not break past this prevalent issue; had they been lower, we’d have a much more positive discussion.

If budgeted closer to $200 million, Dial of Destiny might’ve been able to reach that bar for success. Unfortunately, budgeted around $300 million and opening this weekend with $130 million worldwide ($60 million domestically) means it will not be leggy enough to break even. Lest we forget, Mission Impossible 7 and the Oppenheimer/Barbie battle later this month spells doom for Harrison Ford’s last ride. All the smoke and mirrors cannot cover how much turbulence will unfold over the next few weeks. Another newcomer, Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken, bombed with $5.2 million domestically, the lowest number for Dreamworks Animation (budgeted around $80 million). Audience favorability will not be enough here either.

Photo Courtesy of Warner Brothers

In other mediocre news, The Flash lost 1,538 theaters on its 3rd weekend and just missed the $100 million mark domestically. The Ezra Miller/Michael Keaton feature will pass $250 million around the Independence Day holiday, ensuring the latest DC chapter is a speeding bust. No amount of PVOD or “buy one, get free” ticket marketing will justify this bludgeoning strike as DC whimpers along to (hopefully) get some success from Blue Beetle and Aquaman 2. Transformers: Rise of the Beasts earned $7 million in its fourth weekend, pushing it to reach $400 million worldwide sometime later this week. While not a recipe for disaster like DC’s outing, Paramount relies more than ever upon some sky-high success with Tom Cruise’s seventh Mission Impossible.

Moving onto the good news, Across the Spider-Verse has officially passed $600 million worldwide, and No Hard Feelings will pass $50 million worldwide sometime later today. The former is swimming nicely to $650 million worldwide, while the latter still touts Jennifer Lawrence as a drawing power actress despite no IP. Elemental has been legging out well in subsequent weekends since its release (nearing $200 million worldwide) but still will not get enough in the tank to advocate for its $200 million budget.

The Little Mermaid has earned $523.8 million worldwide, signaling that this latest adaptation did its job regarding financials. Wes Anderson’s Asteroid City will pass $30 million later today, and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will be heading to VOD this week as it pulls out towards $830 million worldwide.

Next weekend sees the release of Insidious: The Red Door, Joy Ride, Earth Mama, and Biosphere.

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