‘Thor: Love And Thunder’ Heading To $200M+ As Counter-Programming ‘Paws Of Fury’, ‘Crawdads Sing’ Open – Box Office Preview

Disney/Marvel’s Thor: Love and Thunder will continue its reign atop the weekend box office in its second session, with on the low-end an anticipated 65% decline or $50M from its $144M opening.

The movie is easily heading past $200M in the next three days, and yesterday grossed an estimated $13.6M for a running total that’s just under $170M.

Pic’s first Tuesday, thanks to summer traffic mid-week, is ahead of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness by 8% which did $12.6M.

Thor 4‘s anticipated second weekend decline is in line with recent Marvel fare, i.e. Spider-Way: No Way Home (-67%), Doctor Strange 2 (-67%) and Eternals (-62%).

Two smaller sized budget wide releases, Paramount/Nickelodeon’s animated Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank ($45M production cost, $10M acquisition by the Melrose Ave. lot from GFM Animation) and Sony/Hello Sunshine/3000 Picture’s $24M production Where the Crawdads Sing, are looking to make their mark in a tentpole heavy summer.

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Paws of Fury is aimed at families and Where the Crawdads Sing is aimed at women, particularly those under 25. Both are looking at a $10M start. They might look like movies which are ripe for a streamer, however, both Paramount and Sony are positioning each title as theatrical releases which only helps these movies in the home market versus being part of an algorithm on a streaming menu.

Speaking of algorithms, Netflix is giving a limited theatrical release to its $200M-plus Anthony and Joe Russo-directed all-star spy film The Gray Man in 450 theaters in 120+ markets in US and Canada. Worldwide, the AGBO production is booked at 1,550 theaters in 25 countries. This includes the Paris and Cinepolis Chelsea in NYC, the Landmark Westwood and the Bay Theater in Los Angeles, TIFF Bell Lightbox in Toronto, as well as the streamer’s footprint at No. 3 theater chain Cinemark. The Ryan Gosling-Chris Evans-Ana de Armas-Billy Bob Thornton movie drops on Netflix on July 22. Don’t expect much gross wise as the grab here is ultimately in Netflix global hours viewed. The Dwayne Johnson-Gal Gadot-Ryan Reynolds action pic, Red Notice, which debuted in November, clocked well north of 364M viewed hours, the most watched Netflix movie ever, however, only did around $2M in its limited theatrical play. Netflix, like Amazon Studios, doesn’t report box grosses. In Gray Man, when the CIA’s most skilled operative-whose true identity is known to none-accidentally uncovers dark agency secrets, a psychopathic former colleague puts a bounty on his head, setting off a global manhunt by international assassins.

Where the Crawdads Sing currently has a 39% Rotten Tomatoes score so any momentum will rely on fans of the novel in this Reese Witherspoon produced feature take of the Delia Owens novel. To juice the movie’s appeal to its young female audience, Sony had Taylor Swift drop a new single “Carolina” connected to the film. The movie, booked at 3,625 theaters, tells the story of Kya (Daisy Edgar-Jones), an abandoned girl who raised herself to adulthood in the dangerous marshlands of North Carolina. For years, rumors of the “Marsh Girl” haunted Barkley Cove, isolating the sharp and resilient Kya from her community. Drawn to two young men from town, Kya opens herself to a new and startling world; but when one of them is found dead, she is immediately cast by the community as the main suspect. As the case unfolds, the verdict as to what actually happened becomes increasingly unclear, threatening to reveal the many secrets that lay within the marsh. Previews start at 3PM tomorrow at 3,100 locations.

Paws of Fury hasn’t registered reviews on Rotten Tomatoes yet. The Chris Bailey-Mark Koetsier-Rob Minkoff directed movie is playing at roughly 3,400 theaters with previews starting Thursday at 3PM. Paramount has distribution in the US, Canada; with international in Spain, Latin America, and parts of Asia. Voiceover cast includes Michael Cera, Ricky Gervais, Mel Brooks, George Takei, Aasif Mandvi, Gabriel Iglesias, Djimon Hounsou, Michelle Yeoh, Kylie Kuioka, Cathy Shim and Samuel L. Jackson. There’s a lot of animated fare in the marketplace right now, however, Lightyear lost over 1,700 theaters last weekend after families were turned off by it, resulting in a 52% dip in its fourth weekend or $3.08M. Illumination/Universal’s Minions: The Rise of Gru is still going strong having grossed $8.2M in its second Tuesday for a current running total of $225.1M. The pic only eased 57% against Thor: Love and Thunder on marquees. Warner Bros.’ DC League of Super Pets, another animated title this summer, opens on July 29.

Going moderate on Friday is Focus Features’ period drama Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris from filmmaker Anthony Fabian about a widowed cleaning lady in 1950s London who falls madly in love with a couture Dior dress, and decides that she must have one of her own.



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