Deadpool was still tearing up the box office this weekend, earning $55 million in its second weekend of release, with everything else playing for second place. Well, third place, actually, since Kung Fu Panda 3 landed at number two. This was actually an interesting weekend, one that saw the release of a film about “the manhunt” for Jesus, a horror movie for history majors that was endorsed by the Satanic Temple, and a sort of utilitarian Jesse Owens biopic. Of the three, perhaps not surprisingly, it was Jesus that came out on top.
Risen earned an estimated $11.8 million in domestic box office, just shy of half the opening of Exodus: Gods And Kings, which cost $140 million to make. Risen cost just $20 million. It also received an A- Cinemascore and was, I thought, reasonably decent. At the very least, it’s expanding the possibilities of what “faith-based” film can be in the modern era.
On the other end of the spectrum was The Witch, which received the all-important Satanic Temple endorsement. It actually felt aimed more at lovers of historical accuracy than anyone else, and despite that being a somewhat narrow market, it earned $8.685 million in 2,046 theaters. Analysts expect it to top Room and Spring Breakers to become A24’s second-biggest release, and may even challenge Ex Machina‘s $25 million. Not bad for a film that received a C- Cinemascore, tying Hail, Caesar! for lowest of the year. That’s not a surprise: Even I had to admit that The Witch wasn’t exactly a fun watch, and I am that target audience.
Bringing up the rear was Race, which was exactly the kind of biopic that gets released in February (i.e., one without realistic awards chances). Race earned $7.275 million for the weekend, which isn’t half bad considering it “allegedly” only cost $5 million to make. It received an A Cinemascore to contrast its 61% recommended rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Finally there was Stephen Chow’s The Mermaid, opening in just 35 theaters after grossing $400 million in China, China’s biggest ever. That made $1.02 million in the US, for a solid $29,000 per screen average. This one sounds bonkers, by the way:
Mermaid Shan is sent to kill Xuan in order to stop his project which threatens marine life and the entire mermaid race. This brings them into falling for each other which leads a hidden organisation into hunting them down. Eventually Xuan has to save Shan before it’s too late… [IMDb]
There really are a lot of movies about mermaids. And yet, the public still can’t get enough. Next week brings us Triple 9, Gods of Egypt, and Eddie the Eagle.
Kung Fu Panda 3
How to Be Single
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
[Chart via ScreenCrush]