‘Nope’ Passes $55 Million As ‘Minions 2’ Tops $300 Million

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Jordan Peele’s Nope topped the box office on Tuesday, earning $5.46 million on day five to push its domestic cume to $54.605 million. That’s a 14% increase from its $4.7 million Monday gross. 14% isn’t exactly a massive jump for so-called “cheap ticket Tuesday” (most of the theater chains have lower-priced tickets on Tuesday), but its Monday gross was slightly higher than I dared hope (10.6% of the $44.4 million weekend total) and just –56% from Sunday. Its weekend-to-day five multiplier is still 1.23x, right between Us (1.19 x $71.1 million) and Get Out (1.27 x $33.4 million). Granted, Nope is a mid-summer release, while the first two Peele pictures opened in the first third of the year. However, it’s close to the 1.25x day-five multiplier (after a $41 million debut) for Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood three years ago.

All of this is trivia for now. We’re still talking about an original, R-rated, star-lite (acclaimed talent ≠ drawing power, no matter how much I love Akeelah and the Bee) high concept (but cryptically sold) horror movie that has earned $55 million in five days. It’ll pass Happy Death Day ($56 million from a $26 million debut in 2017) today. It should be past The Black Phone ($79.7 million and counting) by Sunday or Monday while passing Don’t Breathe ($89 million in 2016) by the end of its run. The only reasons for any handwringing are A) Peele’s prior successes have set a different bar for success, and B) the film cost $69 million, which is one of the most expensive (if not *the* most expensive, but I’ll have to dig around on that) original R-rated horror movies ever made.

Nope got a B from Cinemascore, and a 2.28x weekend multiplier (from a $19.5 million Friday) isn’t exactly cause for celebration. Horror is notoriously tricky to poll, as audiences that felt a film was too scary or disturbing and those who thought it wasn’t extreme enough all pile into the “No, thank you” box. That it ends on a solid note that is (no spoilers) at least 27% happier than The Mist may help word-of-mouth among the general audiences and casually curious. The big question mark is still the mere fact that there are essentially no big movies opening between Bullet Train and Easter Sunday (both on August 5) and (hopefully) The Woman King on September 16 and Don’t Worry Darling on September 23. That “x” factor may decide whether Nope struggles to crack $100 million or soars to $120 million.

Minions: The Rise of Gru passed $300 million domestic, becoming the first animated film to do so since Frozen II ($477 million) in late 2019. The sequel/prequel may end up closer to $800 million than $1 billion, but Comcast will cope if their $80 million Illumination flick only earns ten times its budget. Likewise, Thor: Love and Thunder earned $3.58 million on Tuesday to bring its cume to $283.245 million, and it’ll likely pass $300 million over the weekend. Even with legs closer to Black Widow than Ant-Man and the Wasp, it’ll still end up essentially tying Thor: Ragnarök ($315 million in 2017) at the domestic box office. Meanwhile, Sony’s female-targeted Where the Crawdads Sing crossed $40 million, WB’s older-skewing Elvis passed $120 million and Paramount’s Top Gun: Maverick will pass $640 million today. So, yes, adults are still showing up.

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