Box Office: ‘The Bad Guys’ Set to Lead Again in Quiet Weekend Ahead of ‘Doctor Strange 2’

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With Marvel’s crimefighters still a week away, “The Bad Guys” should continue its reign as the domestic box office leader. The second outing of the DreamWorks Animation heist film is easily leading the weekend’s charts, as theatergoing calms before “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” kicks off the summer season.

As it turns out, the domestic box office did see a new wide release this weekend with “Memory,” the latest grizzled actioner from the grizzled practitioner Liam Neeson. The Briarcliff Entertainment and Open Road Films didn’t make much of an impression in its opening, taking in $1.09 million on Friday.

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“Memory” is projected to open in eighth, with a $3.24 million opening from 2,555 locations. That’s more or less what Neeson’s last outing, “Blacklight,” made when it opened to $3.5 million in February. Do those uniformly low numbers represent fatigue? Or, more generously, a consistency in audience? Either way, “Memory” will probably find more eyeballs in the home entertainment market.

Neeson plays a hitman struggling with the onset of Alzheimer’s in “Memory,” while action aficionado Martin Campbell directs. In his review, Variety chief film critic Peter Debruge wrote the film “isn’t terribly convincing, but it’s at least trying for something more serious than most.”

Universal’s “The Bad Guys” is projected to collected $14.42 million from 4,042 locations in its second weekend, representing a 40% drop-off from its initial $24 million outing. That’s more than enough to claim the weekend’s top spot, though it’s a sharper fall than one would hope for considering strong reception — from critics and audiences — and a dearth of animated competition.

“The Bad Guys” is still on its way to becoming an out-and-out financial success. The family-friendly creature feature carries a production budget of $70 million. Globally, the film should push to $100 million over the weekend.

“The Bad Guys” follows a crew of animal outlaws as they attempt to reform themselves to become the opposite of their criminal nature. The film’s voice cast includes Sam Rockwell, Marc Maron, Anthony Ramos, Craig Robinson and Awkwafina. The film has scored a flurry of positive reviews as well, with Variety‘s Guy Lodge calling it a “happily chaotic, highly involved narrative that proceeds to race through assorted twists both predictable… and pleasingly left-field.”

Paramount’s “Sonic the Hedgehog 2” is leading the rest of the box office’s leftovers, landing in second place. The SEGA sequel is projected to earn $9.7 million in its fourth weekend, continuing a run of impressive holds. “Sonic the Hedgehog 2” should push its domestic total past $159 million through Sunday — a resounding success for the film.

Meanwhile, “Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore” continues to disappoint. The Warner Bros. release should take third place, dropping 46% to earn $7.57 million in its third weekend. The “Harry Potter” prequel will push its domestic total past $78 million through Sunday and has no hope of matching its $200 million production price tag in North America.

Focus Features’ “The Northman” isn’t putting up the miraculous holds it would need to match its hefty production budget either. The viking epic is projected to earn $6 million in its sophomore outing, dropping 51% from its opening.

On the successful side of things, “Everything Everywhere All at Once” continues to draw theatergoers as it approaches one month at the box office. The A24 release is projected to drop a measly 3% this weekend, expanding its domestic gross to $35.23 million. By the numbers, the Michelle Yeoh multiverse movie is the box office’s strongest beneficiary of word-of-mouth in quite some time. The film shows no signs of going anywhere anytime soon.

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