Bullet Train Box Office Week 2 is Bad News: Here’s Why

The Brad Pitt film slumped 55 percent: With no new big films to spur audiences on, they weren’t thrilled with the holdovers.

If you don’t build it, they won’t come. With no new major titles this week, audiences decided to stay home this weekend – and for the next two months, that could be our new normal. Bullet Train (Sony) plummeted 55 percent in its second week but topped the top 10 with gross earnings of $13.4 million – the lowest for a #1 film in over six months. Similarly, the $65 million total for all films is their worst result since early February.

In the last four months, as studios release big films, theaters have responded with encouraging results — sometimes spectacular, in the case of Top Gun: Maverick (Paramount). Five films have surpassed $300 million domestically, similar to 2019 (although today’s higher ticket prices have made it easier).

Revenue for the year to date is about two-thirds up from 2019 to the same date, but that result could prove to be a high-water mark for some time to come – and that’s still nowhere near what theaters need to return to anything resembling normalcy.

August has a bad reputation as a sluggish month for movie releases, which is not true. Almost every year at least one $15 million movie opens in the second week of August. In 2013, “Elysium,” “We’re the Millers,” and “Planes” debuted between $22 and $30 million (and ticket prices were about a third lower than today). “Straight Outta Compton” started at $60 million, “The Meg” at $45 million.

This weekend was the exception that proved the rule: there were no new broad releases. The lack of new films is the result of production delays during Covid and studios releasing their top titles in the prime months of summer, but this weekend came in at 48 per cent of the same date in 2019. The ongoing four-week rolling total is down to 55 per cent compared to three years ago. This is also the lowest level since February.

A strong August took “Bullet Train” on a trajectory to surpass the $100 million mark by quite a bit. Instead, its performance is reasonable; it has a chance of $90 million. The month also called for some high achievers; so far this has not happened. “Easter Sunday” (Universal) was a hope, but in its second weekend it ended up outside the top 10 with $2.4 million.

A24 is a reliable source of sleeper hits. His horror comedy Bodies Bodies Bodies peaked at No. 8 for its second weekend with $3.25 million and expanded to 1,275 theaters. It will add hundreds more with the potential for positive outcomes, but it’s not a game changer. Fall was Lionsgate’s first release in months, and genre titles are a frequent source of the company’s success. Opening at $2.5 million, this low-budget thriller may be profitable, but it won’t do much to move the needle in a weak month.

body body body

“body body body”


This summer has seen strong holds; Many holdover titles fall less than 30 percent most weeks. That didn’t happen this weekend; only Top Gun: Maverick avoided that fate. In fact, 421 theaters were added and grossed $7.15 million, up 2 percent from last weekend. All other holdovers were down more than 30 percent, despite the lack of fresh film.

It’ll take Monday’s numbers to confirm whether “Maverick” or “DC League of Super-Pets” is No. 2 (Warners claim the spot at $20,000 for now), but either way “Maverick” shows that when people flock to what they want, and sometimes more than once. The Tom Cruise film should now easily reach $700 million domestically, with the potential for many millions more.

Two re-releases and one re-issue also grossed over $1 million. “Laal Singh Chaddha” (Paramount), an Indian remake of “Forrest Gump”, grossed $1.47 million in 516 theaters – on par with “ET: The Extra-Terrestrial” (Universal), which was an impressive re-release for September 1 “Mack & Rita” (Gravitas Ventures), starring Diane Keaton, had $.07 million in 389, but had poor reception at $1.1 million in 1,930 theaters.

Emily the criminal, Aubrey Plaza

“Emily the Criminal”


Among other specialty titles, “Emily the Criminal” (Roadside Attractions), a well-received Sundance thriller starring Audrey Plaza, grossed $669,000 in 473 theaters. However, “Summering” (Bleecker Street), another Sundance-first title by James Ponsoldt (“The Spectacular Now”), was a more typical example of the predicament of similarly specialized releases. It only managed to fetch $31,317 from 260 theaters.

The Top 10

1. Bullet Train (Sony) week 2; Last weekend #1

$13,400,000 (-55%) in 4,357 theaters (no change); PTA (average per theater): $3,076; Cumulative: $54,482,000

2. DC League of Superbeasts (WBD) week 3; Last weekend #2

$7,170,000 (-35%) in 3,803 (-539) theaters; PTA: $1,885; Cumulative: $58,347,000

3. Top Gun: Maverick (Parent) Week 12; Last weekend #6

$7,150,000 (+2%) in 3,181 (+421) theaters; PTA: $2,248; Cumulative: $673,822,000

4. No (Universal) Week 4; Last weekend #3

$5,300,000 (-38%) in 2,760 (-274) theaters; PTA: $1,920; Cumulative: $107,516,000

5. Thor: Love and Thunder (Disney) week 6; Last weekend #4

$5,251,000 (-31%) in 3,1,75 (-225) theaters; PTA: $1,673; Cumulative: $325,395,000

6. Minions: The Rise of Gru (Universal) Week 7; Last Weekend #5; also on PVOD

$4,900,000 (-31%) in 3,068 (-50) theaters; PTA: $1,597; Cumulative: $343,710,000

7. Where the crayfish sing (Sony) Week 5; Last weekend #7

$4,000,000 (-30%) in 2,916 (-248) theaters; PTA: $1,372; Cumulative: $72,149,000

8. body body body (A24) week 2; Last weekend #15

$3,251,000 (+1,334%) in 1,275 (+1,269) theaters; PTA: $2,530; Cumulative: $3,577,000

9.Elvis (WBD) week 7; Last weekend #7

$2,585,000 (-34%) in 2,411 (-490) theaters; PTA: $1,169; Cumulative: $141,291,000

10. Autumn (Lionsgate) NEW – Cinemascore: B; Metacritical: 57

$2,505,000 in 1,548 theaters; PTA: $1,618; Cumulative: $2,505,000

Additional Specialized/Restricted/Independent Publications

Laal Singh Chaddha (Paramount) NEW – Metacritic: 46

$1,470,000 in 516 theaters; PTA: $2,849

Emily the criminal (Roadside Attractions) NEW – Metacritic: 76; Festivals include: Sundance 2022

$668,990 in 473 theaters; PTA: $1,414

Mack and Rita (Gravitas Ventures) NEW – Metacritic: 48

$1,095,000 in 2,000 theaters; PTA: $567

Summer (Bleecker Street) NEW – Metacritic: 48; Festivals include: Sundance 2022

$31,317 in 260 theaters; PTA: $120

Inu-Oh (GKids) NEW – Metacritic: 76; Festivals include: Venice, Toronto 2021

$190,524 in 350 theaters; PTA: $544

clay dream (Oscilloscope) Week 2

$10,450 in 4 theaters; PTA: $2,613

Revenge (Focus) Week 3

$216,000 in 431 (-572) theaters; Cumulative: $3,880,000

A Lovesong (Bleecker Street) Week 3

$23,701 in 34 (+16) theaters; Cumulative: $77,383

Mrs. Harris goes to Paris (Focus) Week 5; also on PVOD

$324,000 in 573 (-96) theaters; Cumulative: $8,810,000

fire of love (Neon) Week 6

$36,130 in 54 (-89) theaters; Cumulative: $815,116

Hallelujah: Leonard Cohen, A Journey, A Song (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 6

$58,605 in 113 (-55) theaters; Cumulative: $647,026

Marcel wears the shell with shoes on (A24) week 8

$163,645 in 276 theaters (-222); Cumulative: $5,354,000

Everything everywhere at once (A24) week 19; also on PVOD

$54,149 in 111 (-236) theaters; Cumulative: $69,669,000

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https://www.indiewire.com/2022/08/bullet-train-box-office-week-2-1234751611/ Bullet Train Box Office Week 2 is Bad News: Here’s Why

Lindsay Lowe

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