Three new releases helped fuel the North American box office this weekend, with Universal's animated action-comedy "The Bad Guys" on top with an estimated $24 million take, industry watcher Exhibitor Relations reported Sunday.
"Bad Guys," a sort of animal-eye version of "Oceans 11," follows the exploits of a wickedly clever gang of creatures. Produced by DreamWorks Animation, the film has a voice cast including Sam Rockwell, Craig Robinson, Awkwafina, Marc Ramon, Anthony Ramos and Lilly Singh.
Overall, this was a good weekend for family-geared films -- hit harder by the Covid effect than films targeting other demographics -- with Paramount's "Sonic the Hedgehog 2" again placing second, at $15.2 million for the Friday-through-Sunday period.
"Family moviegoing was certainly rocked by the pandemic, but families are returning now," said David A. Gross of Franchise Entertainment Research. "We're still far from pre-pandemic levels... but this is a good start."
Third spot went to "Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore" from Warner Bros., at $14 million, a fairly sharp drop from last weekend's $43 million opening for the Wizarding World film.
New releases claimed the next two spots.
"The Northman" from Focus Features took in $12 million. It tells the blood-soaked story of a Viking (played by a ripped Alexander Skarsgard) who seeks revenge on the man who killed his parents and usurped his father's throne.
Nicole Kidman, Ethan Hawke, Bjork, Anya Taylor-Joy and Willem Dafoe round out the ensemble cast.
And in fifth was Lionsgate's very meta film "The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent," at $7.2 million. Nicolas Cage plays, none too seriously, a man named Nick Cage.
Rounding out the top 10 were:
"Everything Everywhere All at Once" ($5.4 million)
"The Lost City" ($4.4 million)
"Father Stu" ($3.3 million)
"Morbius" ($2.3 million)
"Ambulance" ($1.8 million)