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The movie’s poor showing comes as a surge in COVID-19 cases due to the highly infectious omicron variant further spooks older female moviegoers, the target demo for The 355. Simon Kinberg directed the film, which stars Jessica Chastain, Penélope Cruz, Fan Bingbing, Diane Kruger and Lupita Nyong’o.
Poor reviews certainly didn’t help (the current Rotten Tomatoes score is 27 percent). Audiences liked it more, giving the movie a B+ CinemaScore.
The 355 is from Universal and FilmNation and is the first Hollywood studio release of 2022. While early January is generally a quiet time at the box office, Universal was hoping for more. The movie was a passion project for Jessica Chastain, and the project was the belle of the Cannes Film Festival market in 2018 as Hollywood attempted to back more female-led projects.
The audience was led by females (58 percent), with 73 percent of ticket buyers between ages 25 and 44, and 33 percent over 45, according to PostTrak.
The 355 came in third for the weekend behind Christmas leftovers.
Sony and Marvel’s Spider-Man: No Way Home stayed atop the chart as it climbed up the list of the top 10-grossing films of all time at the domestic box office — thanks to male moviegoers ages 18-34, who don’t appear deterred by omicron. Spidey earned $33 million in its fourth weekend from 4,012 theaters for a domestic total of $668.8 million. No Way Home has now passed up Titanic ($659.4 million) to ranks as the No. 6 total of all time, not adjusted for inflation, and it will soon overtake Avengers: Infinity War ($678.8 million) and possibly Black Panther ($700 million).
Globally, it made the top 10 to land at No. 8 with a global gross of $1.53 billion through Sunday.
Universal and Illuminations’ Sing 2 held at No. 2 in its third outing with $12 million from 3,713 locations, becoming the first family animated film of the pandemic era to cross $100 million domestically upon finishing Sunday with a domestic total of $109 million and $190.8 million globally.
Like older adults, families have been slow to return to theaters. And while Disney’s Encanto and Sing 2 have done solid business as more kids get vaccinated, the family market is still depressed. On Friday, Disney announced that Pixar’s early March entry Turning Red will bypass theaters and debut exclusively on Disney+.
Also on Friday, Universal opted to make Sing 2 available on premium VOD as quickly as possible, or just 17 days after its release in theaters. The price tag to rent the movie is $24.99. That’s higher than the $19.99 Universal usually charges for its PVOD titles.
Elsewhere at the weekend box office, The King’s Man and American Underdog rounded out the top five with $3.3 million from 3,040 theaters and roughly $2.4 million from 2,729 locations, respectively.
20th Century/Disney’s Kings Man finished the weekend with a domestic tally of $25.1 million and $74.3 million overseas.
Faith-based film American Underdog, from Lionsgate and Kingdom Story Company, has now earned $18.7 million domestically.
Elsewhere, Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow’s The Matrix Resurrections has now grossed $34.3 million domestically and $90.2 million internationally for $124.5 million globally.
West Side Story‘s domestic tally stands at $32.2 million domestically and $52.1 million globally.
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