Downton Abbey: A New Era grossed $16 million at the box office

The box office needs Tom Cruise to save May.

Tom Cruise can’t come to the rescue too soon. Despite some good touches and a decent performance for older audiences, Downton Abbey: A New Era (Focus) remains in the doldrums in revenue.

Just two weeks after Marvel and Disney got off to a strong start to the summer with Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, viewership has returned to its anemic state. Around $74 million will be raised this weekend for another sub-$100 million total – virtually unprecedented for May.

That’s half the same weekend in 2019, bringing our running four-week comparison to 58 percent for the same 2019 period. This is close to the all-time low for this year.

“Top Gun: Maverick” has a projected four-day gross of $100 million; much more possible. It should bring Memorial Day weekend to parity in 2019 when “Aladdin” grossed $116 million. For the month as a whole, we’re looking at 75 percent. Strong individual results do not make up for the lack of top releases.

Good performances this weekend included $16 million for Downton Abbey: A New Era, which became the best title for older audiences since theaters reopened. (In February, Disney’s Death on the Nile grossed $13 million.) The Downton sequel was 73 percent female and 48 percent over the age of 55. The latter represents a particularly strong performance by the audience, which remains the most resistant to theatrics.

The first “Downton” movie opened at $31 million in 2019, but had the benefit of serving as the pinnacle of TV drama. By comparison, “Sex and the City” was a rare cast-one TV show that was filmed, followed by a sequel that opened 60 percent of the time. The difference between “SATC” and the second “Downton” can be explained by a post-Covid change, particularly for the intended audience.

Both “Downton” films received an A Cinemascore. The “SATC” films fell from A to B+. Curiously, Saturday’s “Downton” fell 35 percent from the combined Thursday/Friday gross and was down only about 25 percent from Friday. Attribute this to strong interest from core fans who wanted to see it first. Success is now coming to fruition, and “Maverick” is expected to be well-represented by older audiences. There could be some overlap, but there’s little competition for those viewers over the next few weeks.

MEN, Rory Kinnear, 2022. Ph: Kevin Baker /© A24 / Courtesy Everett Collection


Courtesy of the Everett Collection

“Men” (A24) was the only other wide opening. At $3.3 million, Alex Garland’s latest film peaked at No. 5, just ahead of A24’s own Everything Everywhere All at Once in its ninth week. Men fell far short of its previous Annihilation ($11 million), as did X, another recent A24 release. Its D+ Cinemascore (contradictory to generally favorable reviews) gives it little hope of recovery.

Everything fell 5 percent, the best of five films among the eight remainders to fall 25 percent or less. This includes both The Bad Guys (Universal) and The Lost City (Paramount), both now also available in Home.

‘Everything’ is still a theatrical exclusive after two months and now represents A24’s biggest gross at $52 million and could reach $60 million. The company’s former top hit, Uncut Gems, skipped nearly all theatrical releases in Canada because it was Netflix-exclusive in most parts of the world.

Doctor Strange fell 49 percent in its third weekend, about halfway between the two Avengers titles released during that period in 2018 and 2019. It could still reach $400 million domestically, despite being marred by “maverick” like everything else in the competition.

The “Downton” performance contrasts the ongoing weakness in specialized releases. Although “The Duke” (Sony Pictures Classics) surpassed the $1 million mark, it was associated with a quick national release rather than word of mouth or strong individual theater performances.

PLEASURE, back, from left: Sofia Kappel, Zelda Morrison, 2021. © A24 / Courtesy Everett Collection


Courtesy of the Everett Collection

Others are worse off. “Montana” (Bleecker Street) made just $19,000 in its second weekend of 24 top locations in a traditional slow rollout. “Pleasure” (Neon) in 44, also in its second week, made only $30,000. Today, these results are not uncommon.

The record, 2000 Mules, self-distributed by right-wing polemicist Dinesh D’Souza, grossed $765,000 in 431 theaters. Contrary to its previous efforts, Fox News avoided publishing it.

The Top 10

1. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (Disney) week 3; Last weekend #1

$31,600,000 (-49%) in 4,534 (unchanged) theaters; PTA: $6,970; Cumulative: $342,080,000

2. Downton Abbey (Focus) NEW – Cinemascore: A; Metacritical: 63; European daylight saving time. Budget: $40 million

$16,020,000 in 3,820 theaters; PTA: $4,194; Cumulative: $16,020,000

3. The bad guys (Universal) Week 5; Last Weekend #2; also on PVOD

$6,100,000 (-13%) in 3,705 (-83) theaters; PTA: $1,646; Cumulative: $74,365,000

4. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (Parent) Week 7; Last weekend #3

$3,940,000 (-15%) in 2,943 (-173) theaters; PTA: $1,339; Cumulative: $181,002,000

5. Men (A24) NEW – Cinemascore: D+; Metacritical: 66

$3,293,000 in 2,212 theaters; PTA: $1,489; Cumulative: $3,293,000

6. Everything everywhere at once (A24) week 9; Last weekend #5

$3,136,000 (-5%) in 1,576 (-150) theaters; PTA: $1,990; Cumulative: $52,263,000

7. Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore (Warner Bros.) Week 6; Last weekend #6

$1,905,000 (-25%) in 1,923 (-655) theaters; Price per person: $991; Cumulative: $93,066,000

8th. fire starter (Universal) Week 2; Last Weekend #4; also on peacock

$1,900,000 (-69%) in 3,413 (+1) theaters; Price per person: $557; Cumulative: $3,633,000

9. The Lost City (Parent) Week 9; Last weekend #8; also on Paramount Plus and PVOD

$1,500,000 (-12%) in 1,396 (-279) theaters; PTA: $1,074; Cumulative: $99,267,000

10. The Northman (Focus) Week 5; Last Weekend #7; also on PVOD

$1,020,000 (-39%) in 1,263 (-671) theaters; PTA: $; Cumulative: $30,501,000

Additional Specialized/Restricted/Independent Publications

2000 mules (D’Souza) NEW

$765,000 in 415 theaters; PTA: $1,843

family camp (Roadside attractions) Week 2

$911,570 in 1,061 (+207) theaters; Price per person: $859; Cumulative: $2,750,000

pleasure (neon) week 2

$30,000 in 44 (+42) theaters; Price per person: $682; Cumulative: $51,509

Montana history (Bleecker Street) Week 2

$18,899 in 24 (+20) theaters; Price per person: $787; Cumulative: $41,181

Jazzfest: A Story from New Orleans (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 2

$4,346 in 11 (+6) theaters; PTA: $395:; Cumulative: $15,198

Lux Aeterna (Yellow Veil) Week 3

$15,445 in 19 (+14) theaters; Cumulative: $35,343

whirl (Utopia) Week 4; also on VOD

$10,252 in 24 (-19) theaters; Cumulative: $120,175

Little mom (Neon) Week 5

$37,400 in 83 (-139) theaters; Cumulative: $700,048

The Duke (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 5

$104,289 in 180 (-66) theaters; Cumulative: $1,214,000

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https://www.indiewire.com/2022/05/downton-abbey-a-new-era-box-office-1234727243/ Downton Abbey: A New Era grossed $16 million at the box office

Chris Estrada

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