“Cocaine Bear”, “Jesus Revolution”, “Ant-Man” Box Office

The weekend came close to expectations, but two new original titles made up for Disney’s record-breaking Marvel movie.

The weekend’s really good news — two new openings combined to bring in nearly double expectations — offset the dismal performance of the Marvel release, which collapsed in its second weekend.

“Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” (Disney) retained the top spot in its second weekend, but with a 70 percent drop — the biggest drop ever for a Marvel title from the studio. The previous worst drop was “Black Widow” (which also had PVOD access on Disney+) at 68 percent. That’s slightly worse than “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” which seemed like a bad omen for the Warner Bros. franchise at the time.

It’s a warning sign, though hardly an immediate threat, that theaters can’t assume that franchise/comic films will always maintain revenue. That’s why when two much lower-budget titles—both original, both with less-than-guaranteed results—do quite well, it proves that there are alternatives to sequels in the comic book universe.

“Cocaine Bear” (Universal) has been a social media hit for weeks, with its story of an ursine going on a rampage after the animal stumbles upon a drug. But that hardly always means a $23 million first weekend. And B-Cinemascore was unsure of how it would end after the first day. But Saturday’s number is actually up from the Thursday/Friday ensemble – not always guaranteed with a genre title.

“Jesus Revolution” (Lionsgate) targeted faith-based audiences with its retelling of a religious counterculture more than 50 years ago, bringing in $15 million, double pre-release estimates. It’s a niche audience that often surprises and responds to original stories like anything else. It received a rare A+ Cinemascore, but the fifth for co-director Jon Erwin (“I Can Only Imagine”). Saturday’s 32 percent drop was the result of significant earnings from pre-Thursday returns that boosted the early days’ totals.

The revolution of Jesus

“Jesus Revolution”


Both films feature directors with previous hits. Cocaine comes from Elizabeth Banks (“Pitch Perfect 2” and “Charlie’s Angels”). At a time when directors with original hits are often poached for the next multi-hundred-million-dollar corporate franchise title, such results reinforce the notion that audiences are hungry for more than the same old stuff.

Despite the drop, “Quantumania” added $32 million to its $92 million total this weekend. This is 47 percent better than last year and increases the previous year’s improvement to 31 percent. If that holds for the rest of the year (don’t think so), it would cost him just under $10 million in 2023.

The total is close to three years ($97 million), but that’s when theaters began to feel the impact of Covid on attendance. Our four-week rolling comparison has risen to 87 percent by 2020.

It’s the weekend after the holidays, and with two new hits, many of the drops have dropped as usual. But No. 4 “Avatar: The Way of Water” (Disney) is down 28 percent and “Puss in Boots: The Last Wish” (Universal) is still strong, down 23 percent. Both in their fourth month of playing, “Puss” is now on PVOD.

The next highest among other new arrivals was “The Mummies” (Warner Bros. Discovery), a Spanish animated title in limited release (only 225 theaters), possibly coming soon to HBO Max. According to sources, it finished in 15th place with a modest showing. “2023 Oscar Shorts” (Shorts TV) entered its second weekend at No. 14 with a total of $1.6 million from 310 theaters so far.

"The quiet girl"

“The Quiet Girl”

Courtesy of the Everett Collection

Notable among special openings: Ireland’s Best International Picture Oscar nominee “The Quiet Girl” (Neon) won $60,000 across six initial platforms. “Return to Seoul” (Sony Pictures Classics) added 11 theaters and $44,000 in its second weekend. These are the two highest-rated new releases of the year, both subtitled, and likely trying to do best in core specialty theaters.

Among the best category Oscar nominees other than “The Way of Water,” “Everything Everywhere All at Once” (A24) again earned $115,000. By comparison — and it’s not an entirely fair comparison, as some of the key contenders weren’t on VOD yet — similar nominees added $27 million to the total gross.

The Top 10

1. Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (Disney) Week 2; #1 last weekend

$32,200,000 (-70%) at 4,345 theaters (unchanged); PTA (Theatrical Average): $7,411; Total: $167,315,000

2. Cocaine Bear (Universal) NEW – Cinemascore: B-; Metacritic: 54; Evening. budget: $35 million

$23,090,000 in 3,534 theaters; PTA: $6,534; Total: $23,090,000

3. The revolution of Jesus (Lionsgate) NEW – Cinemascore: A+; Metacritic: 46; Evening. budget: $15 million

$15,525,000 in 2,475 theaters; PTA: $6,273; Total: $15,525,000

4. Avatar: The Way of Water (Disney) Week 11; #2 last weekend

$4,700,000 (-28%) in 2,495 (-180) theaters; PTA: $1,884; Total: $665,384,000

5. Puss in Boots: The last wish (Universal) Week 10; Last weekend #4; Also on PVOD

$4,120,000 (-23%) in 2,480 (-172) theaters; PTA: $1,451; Total: $173,431,000

6. Magic Mike’s Last Dance (WBD) Week 3; Last weekend #3

$3,000,000 (-45%) in 2,918 (-116) theaters; PTA: $1,028; Total: $23,280,000

7. Knock in the cabin (Universal) Week 4; Last weekend #6; Also on PVOD

$1,870,000 (-53%) in 2,115 (-486) ​​theaters; PTA: $884; Total: $33,903,000

8. 80 to Brady (Paramount) Week 4; Last weekend #6

$1,830,000 (-51%) at 2,397 (-722) theaters; PTA: $763; Total: $36,447,000

9. I miss you (Sony) Week 6; #9 last weekend

$1,010,000 (-42%) in 1,006 (-510) theaters; PTA: $1,004; Total: $31,419,000

10. A man called Otto (Sony) Week 9; #10 last weekend

$850,000 (-47%) at 1,118 (-607) theaters; PTA: $760; Total: $62,281,000

Other titles

Films (limited, extended, limited release, and award-oriented release) are listed by week of release, starting with those released that week; after the first two weeks, only films grossing over $5,000 are tracked.

The quiet girl (Neon) NEW – Metacritic: 88; Festivals include:

$60,000 in 6 theaters; PTA: $10,000

Linoleum (Scream) NEW – Metacritic: 80; The festivals are: South by Southwest 2022

$20,000 in 13 theaters; PTA: $1,538

The Way of the Panther (Wildpath/Grizzly Peak) NEW – Metacritic:; Festivals include:

$66,350 at 47 theaters; PTA: $1,412

My happy ending (Roadside Attractions) NEW – Metacritic:; Festivals include:

$26,050 at 126 theaters; PTA: $206

Bunker (Blue Fox)

$76,727 at 225 theaters; PTA: $341

Selfie (Star) NEW – Metacritic:; Festivals include:

$203,000 at 308 theaters; PTA: $659

An Age (In Focus) Week 2

$52,000 at 289 (unchanged) theaters; PTA: $289; Total: $519,655

2023 Oscar Short Films (TV shorts) Week 2

$468,000 in 310 (-60) theaters; PTA: $1,510; Total: $1,601,000

Back to Seoul (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 2

$44,483 in 11 (+9) theaters; PTA: $4,044; Total: $103,689

Emily (Bleecker Street) Week 2

$405,026 in 579 (+574) theaters; PTA: $700; Total: $466,181

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (Reissue) Week 2

$56,812 at 144 (-331) theaters; PTA: $395; Total: (adjusted) $275,100,000

Closure (A24) Week 5

$119,398 at 233 (+117) theaters; Total: $851,004

Live (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 10

$131,969 in 136 (-26) theaters; Total: $2,592,000

The whale (A24) Week 12; Also on PVOD 363

$74,394 at 211 (-152) theaters; Total: $16,767,000

The Fablemen (Universal) week 16; Also on VOD

$35,000 in 316 theaters; Total: $17,175,000

The Banshees of Inisherin (Examination lamp) Week 19; Also on HBO Max and VOD

$19,000 in 235 (-30) theaters; Total: $10,421,000

After sunbathing (A24) Week 20; Also on VOD 15

$14,006 at 15 (unchanged) theaters; Total: $1,598,000

TAR (In Focus) Week 21; Also on VOD

$28,000 at 236 (-18) theaters; Total: $6,608,000

Everything Everywhere At Once (A24) Week 49; Also on PVOD

$115,628 in 309 (-81) theaters; Total: $73,024,000

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