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On a quiet weekend, ‘Old’ is tops at the box office while ‘Snake Eyes’ sinks

A group of emotional people embrace beneath a beach umbrella.
Vicky Krieps, left, Thomasin McKenzie, Gael García Bernal and Luca Faustino Rodriguez in a scene from “Old.”
(Universal Pictures)

M. Night Shyamalan’s “Old” easily won a slower weekend at the North American box office, while the G.I. Joe pic “Snake Eyes” lived up to its name.

Although both are fresh offerings from major studios, moviegoers turned out in modest numbers on a weekend where there was the notable distraction of the Olympics as well as rising concerns about the Delta variant of the coronavirus.

Universal on Sunday said “Old” grossed an estimated $16.5 million. Paramount’s “Snake Eyes” origin story brought in an estimated $13.4 million in ticket sales.

Fans finally get a long look behind the mask in ‘Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins,’ starring Henry Golding.

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Although not wildly far apart in grosses, “Snake Eyes,” starring Henry Golding as the warrior-in-training, cost significantly more, with a reported $88-million price tag, excluding advertising.

Meanwhile “Old,” starring Gael García Bernal and Vicky Krieps as the heads of a family whose tropical vacation turns into a horror when they begin to rapidly age, was independently financed for around $18 million. Including international grosses, “Old,” which is based on the graphic novel “Sandcastle,” grossed $23 million worldwide in its first weekend.

“It’s an extraordinary debut,” said Jim Orr, Universal’s head of distribution. “M. Night Shyamalan is an amazing filmmaker and one of the best in the industry.”

Orr said he also expected “Old” would continue to play well in the coming weeks.

M. Night Shyamalan gets lost with the wildly unhinged thriller ‘Old,’ but the result is strangely fascinating.

Neither audiences nor critics reviewed the two new films especially well. “Old” has a 52% on Rotten Tomatoes and got a C+ CinemaScore, while “Snake Eyes” is currently at 42% on Rotten Tomatoes with a B- CinemaScore, which historically does not bode well for long-term potential.

Disney and Marvel’s “Black Widow” crept ahead to third place with $11.6 million, bringing its global total to $314.9 million, while last week’s No. 1 film, “Space Jam: A New Legacy,” grossed $9.6 million, down 69% from last weekend. Both are available to watch at home, too: “Space Jam” is streaming on HBO Max, while Disney+ subscribers can access “Black Widow” for a $30 fee.

“This is part of the natural ebb and flow of the box office as we are still on the road to recovery,” said Paul Dergarabedian, the senior media analyst for Comscore. ”You’re going to have bigger weekends, and you’re going to have smaller weekends. It’s still an unusual marketplace.”

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The entire North American box office weekend generated around $68 million in revenue, according to Comscore. It’s a far cry from just three weeks ago, when “Black Widow” alone made $80 million.

But, Dergarabedian said, it’s also worth noting where the box office was a year ago when drive-ins were the only option and the weekend grosses totaled just $746,000.

“How much the industry has recovered over the course of one year is nothing short of astounding,” Dergarabedian said. “We’re in a really good spot, and next weekend, when ‘Jungle Cruise’ opens, should be a solid weekend as well.”

Following are estimated ticket sales for top movies for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Comscore.

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1. “Old,” $16.5 million.

2. “Snake Eyes,” $13.4 million.

3. “Black Widow,” $11.6 million.

4. “Space Jam: A New Legacy,” $9.6 million.

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5. “F9,” $4.7 million.

6. “Escape Room: Tournament of Champions,” $3.4 million.

7. “The Boss Baby: Family Business,” $2.7 million.

8. “The Forever Purge,” $2.3 million.

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9. “A Quiet Place Part II,” $1.3 million.

10. “Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain,” $830,000.


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