Box Office: Doctor Strange wins weekend, Downton Abbey starts strong

The Crawleys still have a royal touch at the box office. “Downton Abbey: A New Era, the big-screen sequel to the beloved British TV show, grossed $16 million in its domestic premiere from 3,815 North American theaters. Although down slightly from initial forecasts, these sales The payoff marked an encouraging start, at a time when older audiences had been selectively going to the movies.

The second Downton Abbey is understandably apprehensive about its commercial prospects, and not because longtime fans of the series are tired of on-screen court intrigue and caste drama. In addition to Home at Gucci and the James Bond sequel No Time to Die, many pandemic-era films that cater to adults (such as Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story remake and Will Smith’s sports drama “King Richard”) are struggling to sell tickets despite rave reviews. So it’s no small feat that nearly 50% of Downton Abbey: New Age ticket buyers are 55 and older.

“Downton Abbey’s fan base is very dedicated. We discovered that after the first film,” said Lisa Bunnell, president of domestic distribution for Focus Features, the professional studio behind the film franchise. “It’s like visiting your family.”

The mostly female moviegoers gave the film an “A” movie rating, the same as the first movie.

Bunnell added: “The only way to attract older audiences to theaters is to give them the movies they want to see.”

Returning, somehow, “Downton Abbey” came in second, because the box office wasn’t big enough to replace Disney’s “Downton Abbey.”Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. The latest Marvel movie topped the box-office chart for three straight weekends, adding another $31.6 million in 4,534 theaters Friday through Sunday. Doctor Strange has grossed $342 million in North America to date, $461 million at the international box office, bringing the film’s global box office to over $800 million. If Doctor Strange 2 can keep up its momentum, this superhero adventure movie could become a post-Spider-Man: Nowhere movie for the COVID-19 era The second film to top $1 billion at the box office. Since “weird” sequels (like “No Way Out”) aren’t showing in China or Russia, it’s even harder to hit the coveted billion-dollar mark.

On the international box-office front, Downton Abbey: New Age raked in $35 million, bringing it to $51.7 million worldwide. The sequel cost $40 million to make (double the $20 million cost of the original) because of COVID safety protocols and additional production locations that inflated the budget. That means the movie has a long way to go before it goes black.

“Downton Abbey” creator Julian Fellowes is back to write a sequel, directed by Simon Curtis. The first Downton Abbey film had a staggering 2019, grossing $31 million domestically, ending with $96 million in North America and $192 million worldwide.

This ebullient sequel begins as the wealthy Crawley family sails to the south of France to unravel the mystery of the newly inherited villa of the Countess (Maggie Smith). The cast also includes Hugh Bonneville, Elizabeth McGovern, Michelle Dockery, Jim Carter, Joanne Froggart and Brendan Coyle. Variety Peter De Bruges call this movie “A soulful group hug,” of course, is the kind of escapism that “Downton Abbey” loyalists want in their historical soap operas.

David A. Gross, who runs the film consultancy Franchise Entertainment Research, called Fellowes the “George Lucas of the British parlor drama of the era.”

“It was a very good start […] The reviews were excellent, like the first film,” Gross said. “‘Downton Abbey’ is a unique and accomplished series.

Downton Abbey: A New Age isn’t the only national release this weekend. A24’s puzzling horror film “The Man,” directed by “Ex Machina” director Alex Garland, came in fifth with $3.29 million in soft votes across 2,212 screens.

exist Variety review, De Bruges Prophecy “Audiences are almost certain to leave this folk horror film unsettled,” explaining the film’s rare, terrifying “D+” movie rating. (Even the creepy musical “Cats” scored a “C+.”) “The Man” may have managed to grab attention, but these polling results aren’t much for the film’s theatrical prospects A good sign.

The A24 still has something to celebrate. Its genre-breaking “Everything Everywhere All At Once” climbed to more than $52 million over the weekend, making it the highest-grossing domestic film in the studio’s history. Adam Sandler’s tense thriller “Uncut Gems” ($50 million) previously held that record. Now in its ninth weekend in theaters, “Everything Everywhere All At Once” came in sixth with $3.1 million, down just 4 percent from its previous release.

Among other box-office milestones, Paramount’s adventurous romantic comedy “The Lost City” is edging towards the $100 million mark, an impressive milestone for what would otherwise be seen as a dramatic proposition. The film, led by Sandra Bullock and Channing Tatum, added $1.5 million in 1,392 theaters, taking it to No. 9 domestically at $99.2 million.

Elsewhere at the domestic box office, the reserved titles “Bad Guys” and “Sonic the Hedgehog 2” took third and fourth places.

Universal’s heist comedy “Bad Guys” came in at No. 3, holding firmly at No. 3 with $6.1 million in 3,705 North American theaters. Five weeks after its theatrical release, the family-friendly film made $74.3 million domestically and $182 million globally.

Paramount’s “Sonic the Hedgehog 2” has been in the top five for seven consecutive weeks. The Adventure sequel fell to No. 4 from 2,943 venues with $3.9 million over the weekend, bringing its North American revenue to $181 million. After Lost City and Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Paramount hopes to continue its winning streak over Memorial Day weekend as Tom Cruise’s long-awaited blockbuster promising Top Gun: Maverick Landing at the domestic box office.

See below for this weekend’s estimated box office stats:

1. “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” – $31.6 million
2. Downton Abbey: A New Age – $16 million
3. “Bad Guy” – $6.1 million
4. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 – $3.9 million
5. “The Man” – $3.29 million
6. “Once Everywhere” – $3.1 million

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