Monkey Man Started Well At The Box Office, But Can Its Success Last?

MOVIE NEWS – Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire once again dominated the American box office, ahead of the debuts of Monkey Man and The First Omen…



The monster movie from Warner Bros. and Legendary Entertainment brought in $31.7 million in its second weekend at 3,948 theatres. Ticket sales were down 60% from its massive $80 million debut (for a marquee of this size and scale). In the domestic market, the movie’s at 132 million dollars, and worldwide at 361 million dollars. But the weekend wasn’t just about monster battles: Monkey Man and The First Omen have also arrived!

First-time director Dev Patel’s action-thriller Monkey Man finished second with $10.1 million from 3,029 locations, while Disney and 20th Century’s supernatural prequel “The First Omen” finished fourth with $8.4 million from 3,375 locations.

Both Monkey Man and The First Omen were made for streaming, not for the cinema screen. Dev Patel’s movie was originally made at Netflix, but Universal Pictures acquired the rights for $10 million after filmmaker Jordan Peele (whose production company has a distribution deal with Universal) saw the film and felt it deserved a theatrical release. The first Omen was made for Hulu. But it went to theatres because horror is a reliable draw to theatres, and it’s usually more financially rewarding for studios to get movies in theatres first than streaming. They cost around $30 million, so neither The First Omen nor Monkey Man will have a terribly difficult road to profitability during their big screen runs.

Monkey Man has been well received by audiences (B+ CinemaScore) and critics (86% average on Rotten Tomatoes), so word of mouth should help in the coming weeks.

The first Omen didn’t do much at the international box office, opening with $9.1 million. So it started with $17.5 million globally. The film is the sixth instalment of the horror franchise and the first new creation in 18 years. With a paltry “C” CinemaScore and 67% on Rotten Tomatoes, it doesn’t show a convincing performance. These lukewarm ratings are not unusual in the horror genre. However, a sub-$10 million debut is not a very encouraging sign for commercial prospects.


What can Dev Patel and Jordan Peele plan after Monkey Man?


With Monkey Man and The First Omen landing behind expectations, they didn’t do much to offset the lag at the beginning of the year. Overall, according to Comscore, box office receipts will be down 10% from the 2023 season. That’s down from last weekend when North American ticket sales were down just 6.3%.

With the release of Monkey Man, Patel’s long-cherished dream came true: a film he had wanted to make for more than a decade.

But after shooting the 2020 action film about a young man seeking revenge against his mother’s killers, Patel feared his favourite project would languish without distribution. A streaming service will eventually release it quietly. Then Patel screened an early version of the film, and Jordan Peele, impressed by what he saw, came on board as a producer to help “Monkey Man” get the exposure he felt it deserved.

At the same time, it is still questionable what kind of future awaits the film. Peele wants to work with Patel, but whether this will happen in a Monkey Man sequel or another project is not yet known.

Source: Deadline, EW

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