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World Box Office, February 7-13: Poirot Beats the Competition


Despite the studios’ counterprogramming with new films by Jennifer Lopez and Gal Gadot, the Super Bowl weekend – traditionally a slow period for filmgoing – stayed true to form.

Death on the Nile, which marks the return of Kenneth Branagh as Agatha Christie’s beloved detective, Hercule Poirot since 2017’s Murder on the Orient Express, emerged on top even with only $12.8 million.

Box office pundits commented that the follow-up movie’s figures, low compared to Murder on the Orient Express’ $28.7 million opening weekend numbers, were due to the adult female moviegoers’ reluctance to troop back to the cineplexes.

Death on the Nile is not lacking in star power. Aside from Branagh, the third adaptation of Christie’s classic novel top bills Gal Gadot, Armie Hammer, Tom Bateman, Annette Bening, Russell Brand, Sophie Okonedo, and Jennifer Saunders.

Jackass Forever, suffering from a 65 percent drop, fell to number two with $8.05 million. The huge dip was attributed to the Super Bowl which preoccupied the movie series’ predominantly male audience. But with a reported budget of $10 million, the Johnny Knoxville starrer is already a profitable installment with $37.42 million domestic total so far.

Despite Marry Me’s Valentine season appeal, the rom-com ranked third only. The Kat Coiro-directed film, which pairs J Lo with Owen Wilson, and features Colombian pop star Maluma in his Hollywood movie debut, could only muster $8 million.

The movie, also starring Sarah Silverman and John Bradley, was not helped by its day and date streaming availability and again, the hesitance of its core audience – older females – to go back to the movie houses.

Still flying high was Spider-Man: No Way Home which increased its total domestic earnings to $759 million after a weekend haul of $7.15 million. Tom Holland’s biggest hit is predicted to overtake Avatar this week and claim the title of the third biggest-grossing movie ever in the United States and Canada.

Liam Neeson’s latest vigilante flick, Blacklight, bowed at number five with a paltry $3.6 million. Directed by Mark Williams and also starring Aidan Quinn and Taylor John Smith, Blacklight was also impacted by its male fanbase’s attention focused on the Los Angeles Rams versus Cincinnati Bengals tussle.

Rounding out the top ten were, in order: Sing 2 ($2.95 million); Moonfall ($2.85 million); Scream 5 ($2.84 million); Licorice Pizza ($923,000); and the documentary, The Beatles: Get Back – The Rooftop Concert ($412,000). The figures of the latter film, directed by Peter Jackson, are noteworthy because they came from exclusive IMAX theater screenings involving one screening only on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

In the offshore box office race, Tom Holland looks poised to solidify his status as Hollywood’s new box office prince with the debut at the top of his Uncharted. Showing earlier in the overseas market, director Ruben Fleischer’s adaptation of Naughty Dog’s video game series picked up $21.5 million. The action-adventure to recover explorer Ferdinand Magellan’s fortune also features Mark Wahlberg and Antonio Banderas.

Death on the Nile followed close with $20.7 million to take second place in the overseas box office chart.

Spider-Man: No Way Home collected $11 million to increase its offshore and global cumulative to $1.045 billion and $1.804 billion, respectively.

Sing 2 sang its way to the $300 million benchmark after earning $11 million. Marry Me, on the other hand, hauled $8.53 million.


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