After “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” suffered the worst second-weekend drop in franchise history, Marvel Studios’ “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” is doing the exact opposite, posting the best second-weekend hold of any MCU film since theaters reopened with $60.5 million.
While some other recent Marvel films like “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” have posted better raw totals in their second weekend, “Guardians Vol. 3” has the lowest percentage drop of any Marvel film in the last two years, dropping just 48% from its $118 million opening weekend.
Globally, “Guardians Vol. 3” has already passed the theatrical run of “Quantumania” in less than 10 days, dropping just 40% in overseas weekend grosses with $91.9 million in its second frame to push its worldwide total to $528 million.
If the film beats industry estimates on Sunday and pushes its weekend total a little higher, it will also top the $61.7 million second weekend of “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness,” a film that fell 67% from its $187 million opening weekend a year ago.
Either way, the near-identical second weekend totals for these two May Marvel releases will make “Multiverse of Madness” a perfect comparison for “Guardians Vol. 3” next weekend, when we see whether the film’s audience acclaim allows it to keep legging out even as it loses premium format support to Universal’s “Fast X.”
“Multiverse of Madness,” which did not have any serious competition until “Top Gun: Maverick” in its third weekend, fell 47% in its third weekend to $32.2 million. If “Guardians Vol. 3” can match or exceed that, it will show that the Marvel film has the appeal among audiences to keep on running even against other major tentpoles.
Universal/Illumination’s “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” is showing that kind of endurance, dropping just 28% in its sixth weekend with $13 million. While “Guardians Vol. 3” is drawing in general audiences, the film’s shocking flashback scenes have left a lane open for “Mario” to keep playing with families, particularly those with kids not yet ready for a film with a hard PG-13 rating.
“Super Mario Bros.” now has a domestic total of $536 million and a global total of $1.2 billion. It is approximately $30 million away from passing the global total of “Incredibles 2” to take the No. 4 spot on the all-time animation box office charts.
But outside of these two films, it’s slim pickings for the rest of the box office market. Focus Features’ “Book Club: The Next Chapter” isn’t getting much of a boost from Mother’s Day weekend with an opening weekend of $6.5 million from 3,508 theaters, roughly half of the $13.5 million opening earned by the first “Book Club” in 2018 and below projections for a $7-10 million start.
Films like Universal’s “Ticket to Paradise” and Sony/Columbia’s “A Man Called Otto” have been successful in bringing out older moviegoers, but “Book Club 2” may just be suffering from poorer reception with a 48% Rotten Tomatoes critics score. It is doing somewhat better among audiences with a B on CinemaScore and 4/5 on PostTrak, though the first “Book Club” did better on CinemaScore with an A-.
Mother’s Day isn’t doing much to help the other big offering for older moviegoers this weekend, Lionsgate’s “Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret.” The film is in fifth place on the charts with $2.5 million in its third weekend, below the $3.7 million fourth weekend of Warner Bros./New Line’s undead mother horror film “Evil Dead Rise.” With $16.4 million grossed against a $30 million budget, “Margaret”‘s fate as a theatrical dud is sealed.
Outside the Top 5, a smattering of indie titles hit theaters to very poor results. The best among them was Robert Rodriguez’s “Hypnotic,” a sci-fi thriller starring Ben Affleck that grossed just $2.3 million from 2,118 theaters. Picked up by Relativity and indie distributor Ketchum after its original distributor Solstice Entertainment went out of business, “Hypnotic” has received negative reviews with a 38% Rotten Tomatoes score.