The Jason Statham-led and Guy Ritchie-directed film Wrath of Man earned $8.1 million to lead the U.S. box office in its debut week, Variety reports. Demon Slayer: Mugen Train and Mortal Kombat finished in second and third with an estimated $3 million and $2.4 million, respectively.
Last month, Godzilla vs. Kong set a “pandemic-era” box office record with a five-day total of $48.5 million, which included an encouraging $32 million in its first weekend. While the total alone was quite impressive, it was especially noteworthy since the movie was part of HBO Max’s simultaneous theatrical and streaming service release schedule.
While trying to predict movie theater trends in the midst of a pandemic seem like a fool’s errand, it appeared that the box office success of Godzilla vs. Kong could signal that there was still significant interest in the communal experience of watching movies in the theater, despite the ongoing threat of the pandemic. With the summer movie season officially underway, the first-week numbers for Wrath of Man could be a cause for concern. But let’s hold off judgment until the end of the month, when higher profile films, like Disney’s Cruella and A Quiet Place Part II, come out.
“The numbers don’t feel yet like summer, but a movie like ‘Wrath Of Man’ can certainly get consumers in the mood for the upcoming summer kickoff on Memorial [Day] weekend,” Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Comscore, told Variety.
It’s easy to jump to conclusions about the state of the movie theater industry given how the last year has played out, but the underwhelming box office numbers from Wrath of Man could be because interest in the latest Statham vehicle was low, and reviews have been mixed, at best. It currently has a 66 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes.