Box Office: ‘Last Voyage of the Demeter’ Sinks, Barbenheimer Continues to Rule, and ‘Meg 2’ Dips 58%

To quote thy pop culture trend that ruled our screens four years ago, “I am inevitable.” And perhaps it shouldn’t be much else to discuss in this trending line of summer feats that stormed theaters to bring about moviegoers and families and friends to witness the unthinkable.

Barbenheimer is not worthy of a discussion about a wonderfully-timed box office episode. No, this trend is the apogee of the 2023 year when many over-budgeted hyped films became drowned out due to a redux we witnessed in the last decade. Studios’ driven desires to continue pushing their IPs when many have learned the curve of moving on towards other agendas or will stick around if it’s warranted for that tentpole to continue flourishing a la John Wick, Spider-Man with eye-popping animation, and Guardians of the Galaxy. So, Barbie and Oppenheimer live another weekend due to fantastic legs and folks enjoying two well-rounded products. I’d argue that this success van can stretch out easily towards Halloween times when horror will surge in popularity, and Saw X, The Exorcist: Believer, and Five Nights at Freddy’s will take the cake and eat it too.

Barbie earned a glittering $33.7 million in its fourth weekend, bringing it to $526.3 million domestically and $1.18 billion globally. It’s now the highest-earning film led by a female director and the 25th highest-earning film ever. It should be passing Iron Man 3‘s $1.214 billion sometime by Wednesday and will have enough in the tank to challenge The Super Mario Bros. Movie for gold this year. It turns out that banking on a nostalgic IP and mocking its generational approaches of commercialism can be a mesmerizing win. Warner Brothers needed this after some bombastic choices as of recent (which one can infer by now).

Oppenheimer continues to follow behind its (tonally opposite) counterpart, bringing in $18.8 million and sitting at $264.3 million domestically and $649 million worldwide. It should be exploding some more to get past $700 million, and on that note, topping Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse and eventually Fast X. It’s the highest-earning WW2 film and another hell of a victory for Christopher Nolan. Shall we say this will strive for more nominations at the Academy Awards than Gerwig’s feat? Because Nolan may not have gotten the numbers, but victory will be raised on his side in more categories for awards.

Photo Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

Paramount’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem took bronze this weekend with $15.7 million and has earned $94.7 million at the global box office. It’ll easily pass $100 million and may wrap up its total around $140-150 million. Not bad for this IP that saw a recovery in understanding how to treat this band of heroes after decades of experimentation. Meg 2: The Trench dipped 58% in its second weekend, earning $12.7 million. For Jason Statham, overseas numbers have been faring much better for the latest shark adventure, and it’ll cover up its expenses once it reaches $300 million worldwide (which will inescapably occur by next weekend).

The newest release, The Last Voyage of the Demeter, is another box office catastrophe for Amblin. Negative reviews and a B- from CinemaScore don’t bode well for its future output, especially with new horror IPs dropping in the next few weeks and Barbenheimer ruling the world. The problem with movies of the undead or Dracula, as witnessed with Renfield earlier this year, is that it’s cumbersome to kill them off or faltering to take them in new directions. $6.5 million in its debut weekend is meaningless for a $45 million budgeted horror picture.

Haunted Mansion took in $5.614 million in its third weekend (another one bites the dust for Disney’s side). Talk To Me has legged very well in its third weekend by dipping 19% for $5.116 million and $31.3 million domestically, and Sound of Freedom continues to be the summer’s dark horse MVP by earning $4.83 million in its sixth weekend. It should have enough to top $185 million and make the stretch for $200 million. Gran Turismo took in $10.7 million from its international rollout before it hits domestic theaters on the 25th.

Next weekend sees the release of Blue Beetle and Strays.

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