History repeats itself once again as the new year starts off rather quietly for new releases but films from the past holiday season are continuing to impress.
As far as new releases this week go, Universal’s new female-led, espionage flick The 355 debuted in third place with a sour $4.8 million. Boasting an all star cast that includes Jessica Chastain, Diane Kruger, Penélope Cruz, Lupita Nyong’o, Fan Bingbing, and Sebastian Stan, the film released in over 3,000 theaters domestically. As a result, the average gross per theater was a low $1.5 million. As the review embargo lifted on Thursday, critics gravitated towards the more negative side. Currently, the film stands at 27 percent with 143 critic reviews. Audiences seemed to enjoy the film much more with an 82% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes and received a B+ Cinemascore. he 355 is now writer/director Simon Kinberg’s second outing as a director and second underperforming film at the box office. The first being 2019’s X-Men: Dark Phoenix which ended its box office run with $246 million.
One film that did fare the slower weekend a bit better was the record breaking Spider-Man: No Way Home. Wrapping up its fourth weekend the Tom Holland staring blockbuster came out on top with $33 million domestically. This comes the same week the film surpasses Titanic ($659 million) to become the sixth highest grossing film domestically. No Way Home is also on track to top 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War as well which sits in fifth place with $678 million. Worldwide, the film hold the eighth spot with $1.53 billion. It is also likely the latest Spider Man project will overtake The Lion King (2019) which stands at $1.66 billion. With Sony’s ‘Morbius’ delayed a few months to April, Spider-Man: No Way Home‘s only completion for the rest of the month is Paramount’s ‘Scream’, which releases on January 14th.
Universal’s hit family film Sing 2 ends its third week in the number two spot with $11.9 million, down 41% from last week. Like Spider-Man: No Way Home, Sing 2 has also broken a record of its own this week. The sequel to the 2016 hit, became the first animated film since Frozen Ii in 2019 to cross $100 million at the domestic box office.
Throughout the pandemic, animated movies have proved to be a bit of a hit or miss situation domestically. While some, like Sing 2, and Disney’s Encanto have performed rather well at the box office, other animated features distributed by major studios have not. Such as 20th Century Studios’ Ron’s Gone Wrong ($23 million), and Universals’s Spirit Untamed.
On Friday, Universal did release Sing 2 on digital platforms as a $24.99 rental. This comes 16 days after the initial theatrical release. Clearly, there was an audience willing to view the film from the comfort of their own home as it reached the number two spot on iTunes. Right behind Sony’s Ghostbusters: Afterlife which became available earlier in the week as a $19.99 purchase.
Rounding out the top 5 this week, 20th Century Studios’ The King’s Man came in fourth making just $3.3 million, bringing its total to $25 million. Worldwide, the World War 1 set action film has brought in $74.3 million. After several delays the prequel opened opposite Sing 2 and will now become the poorest performing of the franchise both domestically and worldwide. In fifth, Lionsgate’s American Underdog, a faith-based sports film that has managed to hold a top 5 spot for three straight weeks. The Zachary Levi staring film pulled in $2.4 million, bringing the domestic total to a solid $18.7 million.
Heading into the second week of January, the only notable release is Paramount’s Scream. The highly anticipated fifth installment in the franchise which started back in 1996 with Wes Craven’s classic of the same name debuts on Friday, January 14th.