February 2023 has marked an exciting month at the theaters for box office successes and surprises, but one great streak was just broken.

February 2023 has had an incredibly successful box office streak, though one significant theatrical release has ruined a triumphant trend. While February is typically known as a “dump month” in which studios drop movies that aren’t expected to perform particularly well commercially, this month in 2023 has notably defied these norms with nearly every film breaking even at the box office. From unexpected hits like 80 for Brady and Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey to new installments from iconic directors like M. Night Shyamalan and Steven Soderbergh, the February 2023 box office has been remarkably fortunate for relatively smaller movies.

While only the MCU’s Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is considered a blockbuster, the other February 2023 films are either earning back their budgets or are expected to turn profits before the end of their theatrical runs. Knock at the Cabin has already doubled its budget and is expected to turn a profit, 80 for Brady passed its budget by over $5 million, Blood & Honey’s $2.7 million box office haul has already earned back its budget twentyfold, Ant-Man 3 flew past its $200 million budget in its opening weekend, and Magic Mike’s Last Dance is expected to earn back its $45 million budget before leaving theaters. However, the film noir Marlowe is ruining this optimistic box office trend.

Related: The 5 Biggest Movies In The World Right Now

Marlowe Ruins February 2023’s Breakeven Box Office Streak

Liam Neeson diane kruger marlowe

The Liam Neeson-starring film noir Marlowe premiered on February 15, 2023 to a small five-day worldwide opening of $3.2 million. The movie was overshadowed by the new release of Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania as well as continued showings of Channing Tatum’s Magic Mike’s Last Dance, Avatar: The Way of Water, Titanic, and Puss in Boots: The Last Wish. While Marlowe’s exact budget hasn’t been confirmed, the February 2023 movie is full of star power with the likes of Neeson, Jessica Lange, and Diane Kruger and features a production value reflective of nostalgic film noir, indicating it has to be significantly higher than its $3 million opening week return.

Marlowe isn’t estimated to have a budget close to the box office hits of February 2023, yet its small box office return is disappointing when considering the overall successes of the typical “dump month.” While Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey had the smallest box office return with a $1.6 million domestic haul, it was also remarkably limited with only 1,700 theaters showing the film overall, whereas Marlowe has been shown in over 2,200 theaters domestically over a longer period of time. Considering Marlowe’s bad Rotten Tomatoes score of 23% hurts its chances of audiences showing up on subsequent weekends, the Neil Jordan-directed film isn’t likely to earn its budget back or break even.

Cocaine Bear Still Has A Huge Box Office Hurdle To Overcome

Keri Russell

Closing out the significant theatrical releases of February 2023 is Elizabeth Banks’ horror-comedy Cocaine Bear, based on the 1985 true story of a bear overdosing on cocaine in the Georgia woods. As has been the case for Universal’s horror-comedy streak after M3GAN in January, Cocaine Bear is projected to have a healthy box office return upon its February 24 opening weekend. From plenty of hype online to Super Bowl 2023 trailers adding to the buzz around the outrageous film, Cocaine Bear is expected to be a pleasant ending to the month’s triumphant box office before March’s early blockbuster scene. Still, Cocaine Bear has a horror-comedy hurdle to overcome in order to avoid Marlowe’s box office missteps.

Cocaine Bear has a medium budget of around $35 million (via Variety), which is much higher than Universal’s M3GAN at only $12 million. In order to be considered a hit at the box office, Cocaine Bear will need to earn at least $100 million, which may be a tall order given its premiere coincides with Ant-Man 3’s sophomore weekend and will be competing with the opening of Creed 3 the following weekend. However, horror comedies like Cocaine Bear have found a sweet spot at the box office in the months of January and February, so the potential for the film to be a bona fide hit still remains high.

Related: 6 Upcoming Movies That Could Rival Avatar: The Way Of Water’s Box Office

February 2023’s Box Office Is Already Way Better Than 2022

Ant-Man and the Wasp Quantumania Poster

While the box office is still recovering from the pandemic, February 2023 is showing a remarkable improvement from the numbers of February 2022. With still a week left to go in February, the cumulative domestic gross for the month of 2023 ($363.7 million), via Box Office Mojo, is already only $2 million away from passing the total cumulative domestic gross for February 2022 ($365.9 million). While February 2023 has more releases than February 2022, the films that have been successful at the box office, such as 80 for Brady, are defying the logic of what would have been a massive hit during the same month in 2022.

February 2022’s biggest release was the Tom Holland-starring action movie Uncharted, which went on to earn $401 million at the box office, though February 2023’s Ant-Man 3 is expected to surpass this number and gross at least $700 million worldwide. With Cocaine Bear also premiering on February 24, the domestic box office gross for February 2023 could add another $150 million before March. As such, the final weekend of February 2023 may bring the cumulative gross to over $500 million thanks to Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, Cocaine Bear, and continued showings of Avatar 2.

Next: Will The Way Of Water’s Box Office Beat Endgame & Avatar?

Key Release Dates

Source link