FILE PHOTO: Actor Celeste O’Connor poses for photographers as she arrives for the “Ghostbusters: Afterlife” movie world premiere in New York City, New York, US Nov. 15, 2021. REUTERS/Mike Segar/File Foto
The cash register is not afraid of ghosts.
A sequel to the sci-fi comedy classic, Ghostbusters: Afterlife collected $44 million in its opening weekend, a better-than-expected result. It’s a sign that the family crowd is willing to visit their local cinema, provided there’s something really entertaining in there.
At the international box office, “Ghostbusters: Afterlife” made $16 million in 31 overseas markets, bringing the worldwide total to $60 million. The latest installment in the decades-old franchise looks like a win after the studio failed to revive the supernatural series years earlier. It should be noted that Sony’s 2016 all-female reboot of “Ghostbuster” opened for $46 million, $2 million more than “Afterlife”. But that movie cost $144 million — compared to “Afterlife”‘s $75 million budget — making the earlier version a dud.
But despite rave reviews and Oscar buzz, the Warner Bros. sports drama “King Richard” became the latest adult-oriented drama to collapse at the box office. The film, starring Will Smith as the father of tennis legends Venus and Serena Williams, raised a paltry $5.7 million from 3,302 locations across North America. It might be a bit premature to call it an absolute bomb, because Warner Bros. releases it on HBO Max at the same time, which will likely dampen ticket sales. It was embraced by the public, who awarded it an “A” CinemaScore, meaning “King Richard” was able to build steam as word of mouth grew. Oscar pundits believe the film could be in the awards ceremony, another factor that could extend its life in the cinema. The movie wasn’t cheap; it has a production budget of $50 million. Additionally, Smith received his full backend cashier bonus in addition to his $20 million salary as compensation for sending the film to HBO Max.
“King Richard” landed at number four on the box office charts, behind the remnants of Marvel’s “Eternals” and Paramount’s “Clifford the Big Red Dog.”
After two weekends at No. 1, “Eternals” slipped into second, raising $10.8 million from 4,055 theaters. To date, the superhero epic has generated $135.8 million in the US and Canada and $200.3 million internationally. Meanwhile, ‘Clifford’ took in $8.1 million in its second weekend of release, bringing the family-friendly film to $33.5 million in North America.
The sci-fi spectacle “Dune” from Warner Bros. rounded out the top five with $3 million in ticket sales, bringing the domestic total to $98.1 million. The film, directed by Denis Villeneuve and adapted from Frank Herbert’s groundbreaking novel, is expected to cross the $100 million mark in the next week.