The Winners and Losers of the 2022 Box Office So Far

Mason Glod, Beat Reporter: Industry

With the first quarter of 2022 coming to a close, 10 major blockbusters have attempted to earn their share of the box office so far. Coming off of the dangerous Omicron variant and the massive success of Spider-Man: No Way Home, the first three months of 2022 are some of the most unpredictable box office months in history. So it is time to recognize the box office winners and losers of 2022 so far.

Scream (Jan. 14) – Winner

Source: Collider

Domestic Opening Weekend: $30,018,805

Domestic Gross (To Date): $81,641,405

Worldwide Gross (To Date): $140,041,405

Scream’s release during the Omicron wave of the COVID-19 pandemic surely affected its box office returns. Despite this, the movie did not do terribly. While no mega-success, Scream performed decently and to expectations. This horror movie revival performed on par with other recent horror revivals like 2021’s Halloween Kills (which earned $131,647,155 worldwide). Additionally, with a budget of around $24 million, this new addition to the iconic Scream franchise earned Paramount a significant profit. Therefore, it is no surprise that another Scream movie has been greenlit to release around the same time next year. With numbers like these and a positive fan reaction, 2022’s first major release was certainly a success.

Moonfall (Feb. 4) – Loser

Source: MARCA

Domestic Opening Weekend: $9,868,997

Domestic Gross (To Date): $19,060,660

Worldwide Gross (To Date): $42,416,032

Perhaps 2022’s most significant failure so far is Moonfall. This $140 million sci-fi epic failed to even make a dent financially or culturally. Moonfall opened far lower than expectations and never made up any ground. Prominent director Ronald Emmerich failed to even generate a positive critical reaction. Despite its best efforts, Moonfall’s abysmal performance is destined to be forgotten one day, if not already.

Jackass Forever (Feb. 4) – Winner

Source: IMDb

Domestic Opening Weekend: $23,154,388

Domestic Gross (To Date): $57,743,451

Worldwide Gross (To Date): $79,916,122

Jackass Forever was never trying to be a huge blockbuster raking in hundreds of millions of dollars. Instead, it was trying to be part of a fun, entertaining, and consistently performing movie. Created on just a $10 million budget, Jackass Forever’s gross certainly marked an (albeit small) win for Paramount. While reaching over the century mark would have been a better look for the film, its performance did not offend anyone and certainly added a valuable piece of content to the Paramount+ library.

Death on the Nile (Feb. 11) – Loser

Source: Austenprose

Domestic Opening Weekend: $12,891,123

Domestic Gross (To Date): $45,447,818

Worldwide Gross (To Date): $136,027,459

Created on a $90 million budget with an A-list cast and a previous movie (Murder on the Orient Express) earning $352,794,081, Death on the Nile was positioned to perform amazingly. However, it was doomed from the start with now-disgraced actor Armie Hammer as a central cast member. Still, Disney knew they had to release this acquired movie from Fox and likely wasn’t surprised by its poor performance. It is no surprise the film was dumped on Hulu soon after its release.

Marry Me (Feb. 11) – Loser

Source: CinemaBlend

Domestic Opening Weekend: $7,949,980

Domestic Gross (To Date): $22,348,180

Worldwide Gross (To Date): $49,137,180

A 23 million dollar classic and crazy rom-com starring Jennifer Lopez and Owen Wilson should have done well, but it just didn’t. This movie centered on love should have crushed Valentine’s Day weekend but yielded lackluster results. Jennifer Lopez’s movie career is still bright, but this attempt at box office gold, unfortunately, did not pan out. Perhaps this is a movie better fit for a streaming release.

Uncharted (Feb. 18) – Winner

Source: IMDb

Domestic Opening Weekend: $44,010,155

Domestic Gross (To Date): $139,256,206

Worldwide Gross (To Date): $373,456,206

Uncharted was released still riding the coattails of Spider-Man: No Way Home’s success. With an adequate release at a still-rocky box office time, Uncharted cemented Tom Holland as an undeniable movie star. While not the craziest opening, Uncharted successfully made a financial and cultural dent. However, even though the film was technically a success, Uncharted had such a large budget ($120 million) that it may not be worth Sony’s effort to continue this franchise.

Dog (Feb. 18) – Winner

Source: YouTube

Domestic Opening Weekend: $14,883,928

Domestic Gross (To Date): $60,256,096

Worldwide Gross (To Date): $73,329,240

Dog is a type of movie rarely made anymore. Lacking any flashy aspects except star Channing Tatum (who himself has recently had career struggles), Dog opened successfully due to its feel-good nature. While not the most significant movie of the year, with a budget of only $15 million, Dog accomplished what it set out to do. Perhaps this movie provides a reliable model for continuing non-blockbuster theatrical releases in a post-pandemic entertainment landscape.

The Batman (March 4) – Winner (With Caveat)

Source: The Direct

Domestic Opening Weekend: $134,008,624

Domestic Gross (To Date): $350,005,552

Worldwide Gross (To Date): $712,705,552

2022’s biggest release so far, The Batman, certainly made a splash at the box office, opening at over three times 2022’s second-largest release (Uncharted). The Batman has earned huge box office returns even with an estimated $185 million budget. With a strong cultural impact and an amazing critical response, The Batman represents what blockbusters once were before COVID-19 and what they can continue to be.

It is undeniable that The Batman grossed huge box office returns. However, it is important to analyze The Batman’s box office critically and with context. The Batman was poised to be a reset of the DC Universe featuring one of the world’s most popular superhero characters. The movie was poised to compete with the Marvel universe and create a massive blockbuster franchise. While the film mainly did accomplish all of this, The Batman did not reach the $1 billion mark. This is certainly notable. Surpassing $1 billion at the box office is now viewed as a status symbol for a film. For many blockbusters, certainly MCU films, not reaching $1 billion at the box office is a sign of something wrong. While I recognize this is an ultra-capitalistic view, I would not be surprised if some Warner Media executives were disappointed that the film did not reach this milestone. The Batman is a successful film, but its performance compared to the competition shows a slightly more complicated story.

The Lost City (March 25) – Loser

Source: Collider

Domestic Opening Weekend: $30,453,269

Domestic Gross (To Date): $55,602,731

Worldwide Gross (To Date): $62,602,731

Perhaps controversially, I believe The Lost City is a failure. While it did not have an embarrassing opening, I expected more from this Sandra Bullock, Channing Tatum, with a Brad Pitt cameo action-adventure romantic-comedy movie. The Lost City is a film that likely would have been very successful before COVID-19 but not after due to industry changes. While a $30 million opening weekend is nothing to scoff at, it is not exactly ideal given an (estimated) $70 million budget. Unfortunately, movies like The Lost City will likely be relegated to streaming from now on.

Morbius (April 1) – Loser

Source: Fortress of Solitude

Domestic Opening Weekend: $39,005,895

Domestic Gross (To Date): $41,132,287

Worldwide Gross (To Date): $86,032,287

No, Morbius was not an April Fool’s joke. Panned by critics and plagued with release delays, Morbius barely met even the most abysmal expectations. Coming off of the insane success of Spider-Man: No Way Home, Sony’s next installment in the Spidey franchise should and could have been a box office hit. Instead, Sony released a lackluster film that obviously failed to capture fans’ expectations. After this performance, Sony is likely to re-evaluate its approach to the Spider-Man extended franchise.