MGM takes a gamble on whether or not it’s safe to go back to the movie theater.
Wrath of Man,” a heist film starring Jason Statham, opened atop the weekend box office with $8.1 million, ending five weeks of dominance by action movies set in Asia.
The Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer movie from director Guy Ritchie had forecast to generate about $7.8 million in domestic ticket sales. It far exceeded the No. 2 and No. 3 films, “Demon Slayer” and “Mortal Kombat,” which released in April.
Wrath of Man, a guilty pleasure action flick starring Jason Statham, enjoyed a fairly profitable nationwide release. It’s one of the first major motion pictures this summer to debut exclusively in theaters without offering an online streaming option. Wrath of Man is currently #1 at the box office, starting the summer blockbuster season off by raking in over $8 million dollars.
Jason Statham, Holt McCallany, Josh Hartnett | See full cast & crew »
Even though the movie is currently holding the #1 box office spot right now – and $8 million dollars is certainly nothing to sneeze at – it’s a sign that moviegoers in the states either can’t get to the theaters due to Covid-19 restrictions, or don’t feel safe doing so quite yet. This is highlighted by the fact that Miramax’s distribution of Wrath of Man overseas has taken in nearly $18 million dollars in profit. Still, it was enough to top the previous holder of the number 1 spot, Demon Slayer the Movie: Mugen Train, continuing the reign of R-rated action movies at the box office
Vaccination rates across the US are on the rise, and viral infections like Covid tend to be less contagious during the warm summer months. As large cities like New York and Los Angeles – where theaters see the biggest chunk of their profits come from – slowly begin to relax restrictions and let more audience members in, it’ll be interesting to see whether other big upcoming summer titles (such as A Quiet Place IIand Cruella) will coax people out of their homes and back into the cinema.
Despite how much movie studios yearn for the days of exclusive theatrical releases, the biggest money making movies released within the last year are those which also offered an online streaming option. Godzilla vs. Kong has made over $92 million in the US alone, and Mortal Kombat earned nearly $23 million dollars during its opening weekend. Both movies are currently available in theaters nationwide, but Mortal Kombat can still be streamed online via the HBO Max subscription service until May 24. Godzilla vs. Kong has already been removed from HBO Max, and can only be seen if you are brave enough to leave the house.
At least some moviegoers will opt to watch films at home rather than venturing to the theater. “Cruella” will be available to Disney+ subscribers for an extra $30, while films from other studios will initially only be available in cinemas for a few weeks,and they sold online before.