‘Memory’ earns $3 million as ‘Everything, Everywhere’ jumps 2%
Open Road and Briarcliff’s Memory, their fourth cast member with Liam Neeson since September 2020, was the weekend’s only new wide release. Hollywood is coy again about regular theatrical releases and especially with Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness opening this week. Regardless, the brutal R-rated thriller about a hitman with Alzheimer’s disease and a child trafficking ring made $3.1 million in its opening weekend. It will likely end with over/under $10 million, roughly on par with honest thief ($14.1 million from a debut of $4.1 million), The sniper ($15.5 million from an MLK weekend start of $3.5 million) and Black light ($9.6m/$3.5m).
Yes, this adaptation directed by Martin Campbell of the novel by Je Geeraerts By Zaak Alzheimerwhich was previously transformed into Belgian The Alzheimer case in 2003, is Neeson’s best actor since pre-Covid times. Guy Pearce is terrific as an honest cop hunting down the rich and powerful, the movie is refreshingly “big” (lots of characters, hearty locations, the things we took for granted) for a small-scale studio programmer, and the film ends in a biased hybrid of Campbell’s The Dark Ages (which was a remake of his own groundbreaking BBC miniseries) and the stranger (which offered a counter-type Jackie Chan vigilante thriller clashing with Pierce Brosnan’s political drama IRA).
However, Black light was barely a movie. When your previous genre film is the worst film of its kind you’ve ever made, finally getting your groove back only counts for a lot, especially when (unlike September 2020 and January 2021) there are far more theatrical products to choose from. . Open Road and friends can apparently make money from these films earning more or less than $12 million domestic, or whatever the (bigger and usually top) likes of Run all night, a walk among the tombstones and The commuter used to win on their opening weekends, but Memory is good enough to be Neeson’s last if he wants to come out on a (higher) note.
Meanwhile, since there was only one opener, the continued success of Everything, everywhere, all at once gets the spotlight for now. The Daniels’ critically acclaimed and fairly lively multiverse action-comedy grossed an additional $5.542 million in weekend six, a jump of 2%. That brings his sum to $35.5 million, giving him a 5.8x multiplier from his wide expansion of $6.2 million in weekend three gross. Even a normal rate of descent, on par at this point with Crazy Rich Asians, The Blair Witch Project and paranormal activity, will give the film a $45 million domestic finish, just above Hereditary ($44 million) and just behind lady bird ($49 million) and Uncut Gems ($50 million) on the A24 All-Time List.
Yes, it added a bunch of IMAX screens this go-around, and those theaters played at full capacity in major markets, but it’s still an almost unprecedented take. Legs like this week in wide release outside of awards season or Christmas season, well, I think you gotta go back to M. Night Shyamalan The sixth sense (albeit with much bigger box office receipts, finishing $293 million on a $26 million opening) for comparison. Nia Vardalos’ My Fat Greek Wedding was its own miracle, but this romantic comedy didn’t hit 500 theaters until weekend 14 and 1,000 theaters until weekend eighteen. Nevertheless, these are The greatest showman-level holds.
If the Michelle Yeoh/Ke Huy Quan/Stephanie Hsu/James Hong film comes close to that point at Sixth Sense and The greatest showman ($174 million from a $13.5 million Wednesday-Sunday start) and then it will end its domestic run with $65-70 million, and that’s not counting the Oscar season re-releases that could give him a second win. Anything over $52 million A) makes it A24’s biggest ever national earner and B) puts it above it Gucci House as big as all of last year’s Oscar season releases except for Dunes ($108 million). All that assuming it doesn’t dip next weekend without IMAX screens against the MCU mega-movie. But so far the movie has been all about defying gravity.