The Last Dragon takes first place!
A brand new Disney animated adventure made its mark at the box office this weekend as RAYA AND THE LAST DRAGON opened in first place with an estimated $8.6 million.
Set in the fictional realm of Kumandra, the PG-rated movie was also simultaneously made available through the company’s Disney+ streaming platform, but at an additional “Premier Access” cost.
Disney’s original fable couldn’t overcome the $14.1 million actual weekend debut of last week’s animated/live-action TOM & JERRY, although it also did not have the benefit of familiar characters that have been around for 80 years. While it debuted on 2000 screens, RAYA AND THE LAST DRAGON was also turned away from Cinemark theaters and other chains due to disagreements over exhibition terms.
The new fantasy (featuring the voices of Kelly Marie Tran, Awkwafina, Daniel Dae Kim, Gemma Chan and Benedict Wong) collected a worldwide total of $26.2 million over its first weekend.
Perhaps unsurprisingly for animated features now, the movie (which has four credited directors, however that works) reportedly cost more than $100 million to produce.
Critics embraced the Disney formula and impressive animated spectacle, giving the movie a 95% average on Rotten Tomatoes and a score of 75 on Metacritic. Dance across raindrops to the JoBlo review HERE.
The neverending animated hostilities of Hanna/Barbera ‘toons TOM & JERRYcontinued in second place with $6.6 million, chasing away 53% of business from last weekend’s opening.
Warner Bros.’ PG-rated release (also viewable on their HBO Max streaming service) has a ten-day domestic total of $22.9 million and $57.2 million worldwide, on a reported cost of $79 million.
After perpetual delays, the Tom Holland/Daisy Ridley sci-fi movie CHAOS WALKING finally walked into theaters during the ongoing coronavirus chaos and landed in third place with an opening of $3.8 million.
Adapted from Patrick Ness’ young-adult novels and directed by Doug Liman (EDGE OF TOMORROW), the movie originally filmed in 2017 but underwent significant reshoots (reportedly handled by EVIL DEAD remake director Fede Alvarez), ultimately finishing with a production cost of $100 million.
The PG-13 adventure, also featuring Demian Bichir, Mads Mikkelsen and Cynthia Erivo, gathered an additional $2.6 million from other territories for a $6.8 million worldwide total.
Most critics thought the movie staggered and stumbled, giving it an average of 23% on Rotten Tomatoes and a score of 40 on Metacritic.
In fourth place was the new basketball drama BOOGIE with an opening weekend of $1.2 million. The R-rated coming-of-age story from writer/director Eddie Huang didn’t exactly win the big game with critics, who gave the movie a 46% average on Rotten Tomatoes and a Metacritic score of 54.
The PG-rated animated sequel THE CROODS: A NEW AGE was in fifth place with $780,000 over its 15th weekend in theaters. The $65 million DreamWorks movie (distributed by Universal) now has a domestic total of $53.6 million and $157.6 million worldwide.
The R-rated crime-thriller THE LITTLE THINGS was in sixth place with $550,000. After six weekends on screens, the Warner Bros. release (no longer on their HBO Max platform) has a domestic total of $13.6 million and $25.1 million worldwide, on a reported $30 million cost.
In seventh place was Warner Bros.’ superhero sequel WONDER WOMAN 1984 with $511,000, followed by the Liam Neeson action-thriller THE MARKSMAN with $500,000 on its eighth weekend. Wrapping up the list for the week was the R-rated biopic JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH and the videogame adaptation MONSTER HUNTER.
The weekend’s other big debut happened on streaming, as the Eddie Murphy comedy sequel COMING 2 AMERICA was released through Amazon Prime.
Directed by Craig Brewer (DOLEMITE IS MY NAME), the PG-13 follow-up to the R-rated 1988 classic was originally set for an August 2020 theatrical release before Paramount elected to sell the rights to Amazon for $125 million (the movie itself actually cost a reported $60 million).
The exercise in nostalgia, which also brings back Arsenio Hall (along with most of the original cast) and adds Wesley Snipes, Leslie Jones and Jermaine Fowler, was a mixed bag for critics with a 52% Rotten Tomatoes average and a 52 Metacritic score (the JoBlo review is HERE).
The next big theatrical releases will be the monster mash GODZILLA VS. KONG pounding onto screens (and on HBO Max) on March 31, while “Better Call Saul” star Bob Odenkirk gets violent in the action-thriller NOBODY on the 26th.
What is your favorite Eddie Murphy movie?VOTE HERE!
The Last Dragon takes first place!