universal Pictures’ “M3gan” about a robot companion built for a young girl after her parents were killed in a car accident, rode a loud buzz and viral dancing memes to a debut above expectations. In the low-budget slasher starring Allison Williams, Blumhouse and producer James Wan created the first Hollywood blockbuster of the new year, possibly spawning a new top-notch horror franchise.
Audiences gave the film a PG-13 CinemaScore “B,” though reviews (94% Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes) were stronger for a modern, technical twist on a “Child’s Play”-like thriller. It added $10 million internationally.
But while ‘M3gan’ attracted audiences largely in 2D screenings, large format screens continued to be absorbed by James Cameron’s ‘Avatar: The Way of Water’. The three-hour 3-D sequel remained at number one for the fourth consecutive week in US and Canadian theaters with $45 million in sales.
Cameron’s Sci-Fi Show it has now surpassed $500 million domestically and $1.7 billion globally. After dominating the otherwise lackluster holiday aisle, the ‘Avatar’ sequel is nearly matching the pace of the original; 2009’s “Avatar” scored $50.3 million in its fourth weekend. ‘The Way of Water’ is already the seventh highest-grossing film ever, excluding inflation, a total due in particular to its strong performance overseas. The film’s $1.2 billion in international ticket sales surpasses that of any film released since the start of the pandemic.
However, “M3gan” was the only new film in wide release sony Images’ “A Man Named Otto” starring Tom Hanks, it played in 637 theaters after first opening in four theaters. The film, a remake of the Swedish film ‘A Man Called Ove’, grossed a whopping $4.2 million ahead of its domestic release on Friday.
Third place went to “Puss in Boots: The Last Wish” with $13.1 million in its third week of release. Universal Pictures’ animated sequel made $87.7 million in three weeks, plus $109.7 million internationally.
While many award contenders have struggled in recent months at the box office, Darren Aronofsky’s “The whale” it is proving to be a modest exception. The indie A24 played by Brendan Fraser it ranked seventh in its fifth week of release with $1.5 million and a cumulative total of $8.6 million – a good return for a film that cost around $3 million.
Estimated Friday-to-Sunday ticket sales in US and Canadian theaters, according to Comscore. Final country figures will be released on Monday.
1. “Avatar: The Way of Water,” $45 million.
2. “M3gan”, $30.2 million.
3. “Puss in Boots: The Last Wish,” $13.1 million.
4. “A Man Named Otto,” $4.2 million.
5. “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” $4 million.
6. “Whitney Houston: I Want To Dance With Someone,” $2.4 million.
7. “The Whale,” $1.5 million.
8. “Babylon,” $1.4 million.
9. “Violent Night,” $740,000.
10. “The Menu”, $713,000.