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Box Office: ‘Old’ Slithers Past ‘Snake Eyes’ to Top Slow Weekend With $16.5M

The Hollywood Reporter logo The Hollywood Reporter 7/24/2021 Pamela McClintock

M. Night Shyamalan is scoring another No. 1 win at the domestic box office, where his thriller Old is slithering past fellow new offering Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins to win the spoils of an overall quiet weekend.

Old — about a family whose tropical vacation turns into an age-accelerating nightmare — took in $16.5 million from 3,555 locations. The psychological, immersive thriller, starring Gael García Bernal and Vicky Krieps, was inspired by the graphic novel Sandcastle.

Old debuted to $6.5 million internationally from 23 markets for a worldwide start of $23 million.

Paramount and Hasbro’s Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins, starring Henry Golding came in second with an estimated $13.4 million from 3,521 locations. Overseas, it debuted to $4 million from 37 markets for a global launch of $17.8 million.

In normal times, Snake Eyes — which had hoped to relaunch an important franchise for Hasbro and Paramount — would have been expected to do far more business. It opened well behind the first two films in the franchise based on the Hasbro military action toy. G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra debuted domestically to $54 million in 2009, while 2013’s G.I. Joe: Retaliation started with $40 million.

Snake Eyes‘ performance is no doubt a major disappointment for the filmmakers as the box office recovery continues at a slow pace. The movie — costing a reported $88 million to make before marketing — skewed heavily male (60 percent).

And while Old marks the seventh time that a Shyamalan movie has opened at No. 1, it is still the lowest nationwide start for the director-writer, supplanting The Lady in the Water ($18 million). Old cost Shyamalan — who puts together the financing for his own films — a relatively modest $18 million to make before marketing.

The wild swings at the box office — as well as relatively low openings for many movies in comparison to the past—  reflect that moviegoing has yet to reach pre-pandemic levels (nor were either Old or Snake Eyes tracking to do huge numbers). And in recent days, the Delta variant has further complicated matters.

Circumstances in a raft of foreign markets are even more challenging. Old grossed just $500,000 from France, where cinemas are now requiring vaccine passports. As a result, box office revenue at the French box office tumbled 60 percent from last weekend. Elsewhere, there are also cinema closures in Australia and heightened restrictions in Mexico.

In North America, Old and Snake Eyes claimed the top two spots on the box office chart, ahead of Warner Bros.’ Space Jam: A New Legacy, which — like many other event pics that are debuting simultaneously in the home — fell steeply in its second weekend.

The family movie is playing on HBO Max at no extra charge, while Black Widow — now in its third weekend — is streaming on Disney+ Premier Access for an additional $30. (Black Widow fell 68 percent in its second weekend.)

Black Widow redeemed itself this weekend to some degree, beating Space Jam 2 with $11.6 million and becoming the fastest film of the pandemic era to cross $150 million in North America. The standalone superhero film finished Sunday with a domestic tally of $154.8 million and $314.9 million globally, including another $14.5 million offshore for the weekend. (The company did not reveal updated Disney+ Premier Access numbers.)

Space Jam 2, from Warner Bros., dropped 69 percent to $9.7 million for a 10-day domestic total of $51.4 million. The family picearned $12.6 million overseas from 66 markets for a tepid foreign tally of $42.6 million and $94 million globally.

Elsewhere, the specialty film Joe Bell, starring Mark Wahlberg, debuted to $707,185 theaters, the worst launch of Wahlberg’s career. Roadside Attractions is distributing the troubled film domestically.

One bright spot: in a second win of the weekend for Universal, F9 has become the first Hollywood event pic to zoom past the $600 million mark at the worldwide box office. The tentpole received an exclusive theatrical release.

July 25, 8 a.m. Updated with revised numbers.

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