It’s Peter Parker’s world, we’re just living in it.
After a brief hiatus to let another movie sell a few tickets, “Spider-Man: No Way Home” has unseated “Scream” and reclaimed the top spot on domestic box office charts. Now in its sixth weekend of release, Sony’s comic book sequel added another $14.1 million from 3,705 North American venues between Friday and Sunday, enough for first place.
It’s rare for any film to secure the No. 1 slot in its sixth outing, though “Spider-Man: No Way Home” didn’t have much in the way of competition. In fact, you would be forgiven if you’d never even heard of this weekend’s two new nationwide releases: Universal’s faith-based romantic drama “Redeeming Love” and the Gravitas Ventures fantasy adventure “The King’s Daughter,” which was filmed eight years ago (and not in a Richard Linklater/ “Boyhood” way). Neither film managed to make a dent at the box office.
Plagued by searing reviews and the reality that most people likely don’t know it exists, “Redeeming Love” scraped together a dismal $3.7 million from 1,903 theaters. It’s the second consecutive box office dud for Universal following the studio’s star-studded misfire “The 355.” Universal is only distributing this film, so at least it isn’t on the hook for production fees. Since movie theaters have been light on new films in January, “Redeeming Love” was able to crack the top five, landing in fourth place behind “Scream” and Universal’s animated musical comedy “Sing 2.”
Directed by D.J. Caruso (“xXx: Return of Xander Cage”), “Redeeming Love” combines a gold-rush setting with a parable about salvation and the oldest profession. Critics, who described “Redeeming Love” as “pretty irredeemable” and “icky,” were harsher than audiences, who seemed to like the film and awarded it a “B+” CinemaScore. Still, it’s unlikely the movie will be able to rebound in the coming weeks.
“Young adult romance is a small but vibrant genre, and faith-based movies have carved out a respectable niche, but the two rarely mix,” says David A. Gross, who runs the movie consulting firm Franchise Entertainment Research. He doesn’t expect “Redeeming Love” will resonate at the international box office. “These movies do not travel well abroad,” Gross adds.
The equally skewered “The King’s Daughter,” starring Pierce Brosnan as a French royal obsessed with his own immortality, debuted in eighth place with $750,000 from 2,170 screens. That’s easily one of the worst opening weekends of all time. Only a handful of films in history have generated less money at the box office while playing in more than 2,000 locations. Paramount Pictures, the movie’s initial distributor, may have been onto something when it shelved “The King’s Daughter” in 2015, just three weeks before the film was scheduled to release. Gravitas Ventures bought the movie and changed the name in 2021.
“What is obvious,” wrote film critic Katie Walsh in her review for the Los Angeles Times, “is that no amount of time on the shelf or tinkering with the special effects would have been enough to salvage the hot, chaotic and just plain kooky mess that is ‘The King’s Daughter.'”
Elsewhere at the box office, things looked (comparatively) brighter. “Scream” put up a good fight against the box office behemoth that is “No Way Home,” though the latest reboot in the long-running slasher series slid to second place. The well-received film generated $12.4 million from 3,666 venues, a 59% decline from opening weekend. Since debuting over the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, “Scream” has made an impressive $51.3 million. Hey, not every movie can put up Spidey numbers.
Speaking of Marvel’s favorite web-slinger, “Spider-Man: No Way Home” has amassed a mammoth $721 million at the domestic box office to date. Those ticket sales make it the fourth-highest grossing domestic release in history, behind only “Avatar” ($760 million), “Avengers: Endgame” ($858 million) and “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” ($936 million). Globally, “Spider-Man: No Way Home” has cemented its place as the sixth-biggest movie ever with $1.69 billion, passing “Jurassic World” ($1.67 billion) and “The Lion King” ($1.66 billion).
Though “Redeeming Love” won’t have anyone popping champagne on Universal’s lot, the studio had better luck with “Sing 2,” which brought in $5.7 million from 4,434 theaters in its fifth weekend of release. “Sing 2” has generated $128 million at the domestic box office and $241 million globally, making it the highest-grossing animated film in pandemic times. The movie surpassed Disney’s “Encanto” ($223 million) and Universal’s “Croods: A New Age” ($227 million) to notch that benchmark.
In fifth place, Disney and 20th Century’s “The King’s Man” collected $1.8 million from 3,260 locations in North America. The prequel in the “Kingsman” action franchise opened in December and has since grossed $31.5 million domestically and $105.3 million worldwide.
In North America, movie theater attendance may remain light until “Uncharted” with Holland (Feb. 18) and Robert Pattinson’s “The Batman” (March 4) open later in winter.