The 355 Bombs At The Box Office While Spider-Man Continues To Thrive, And That's Concerning

January is, historically speaking, not the greatest month at the box office. However, before the pandemic destroyed everything, studios were starting to turn the month into fertile ground, with movies like "Bad Boys for Life" finding a path to becoming hits during a month when there was little else in the way of major competition. Unfortunately, the pandemic has changed things and we officially have our first big box office bomb of 2022 in the form of "The 355." The new female-led action flick lost out in a big, bad way to "Spider-Man: No Way Home," which has now topped the charts for four weekends in a row. This is bad for just about everyone except Sony and Marvel. Let's dig in, shall we?

The 355 Bombs In a Bad Way

Director Simon Kinberg's action/thriller "The 355," which was delayed a full year due to the pandemic, finally hit theaters over the weekend and debuted to a lousy $4.8 million domestically. While no firm budget figures are available, the ensemble spy flick is estimated to have cost anywhere between $40 and $75 million before marketing. When we consider that the likes of Jessica Chastain and Lupita Nyong'o are in the cast, alongside Diane Kruger, Penelope Cruz, and Sebastian Stan, that number is all the more depressing. It had star power. It had a modest enough budget. It was a big, globe-trotting action flick. Audiences simply didn't care.

It is certainly worth pointing out that the movie has a lowly 25% critical approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, but the audience rating is at a very solid 83%. And, as we've seen with movies like "Venom: Let There Be Carnage" that audience rating is seemingly what matters most. So, what went wrong? It's a little tough to say, but it's worth nothing that big action flicks like this divorced from major franchises have increasingly been going straight to Netflix. Universal Pictures may have been fighting the "we expect this from the comfort of home" issue that so many movies are facing these days.

Interestingly enough, Netflix's "Red Notice," which did exceedingly well for the streaming service as an ensemble action/spy/thriller, was originally set up at Universal before it found a new home. Unfortunately, it's getting increasingly hard for movies like this, even with a stacked cast and moviegoer-friendly premise, to break out. It is going to be awfully tough to create new franchises in the theatrical marketplace, that much is certain.

Spider-Man: No Way Home Cannot Be Stopped

Meanwhile, movie theaters are continuing to rely on the feast that has been "Spider-Man: No Way Home." In its fourth weekend, the latest entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe took the top spot with $33 million domestically, dropping just 41% in its fourth week of release. The Jon Watts-directed superhero flick has now earned $668.7 million domestically, good enough for sixth on the all-time chart, putting it past "Titanic" ($659 million). It is now just $10 million behind "Avengers: Infinity War" ($678 million), which it will pass any day now.

Worldwide, it has earned $1.53 billion, putting it at number eight all-time. It now sits behind "The Lion King" ($1.66 billion) and has passed "The Avengers" ($1.51 billion). Whether or not it has enough juice to get any higher up the chart remains to be seen, but it would not be surprising to see it overtake "Jurassic World" ($1.67 billion) to put it in the number six spot. The good news for theaters is that "Scream" is opening this weekend and the box office tracking has been good, with the slasher flick likely to take the crown.

And the Rest...

As for the rest of the top 10 this week, it was a lot of disappointment with one win sprinkled in. Universal's "Sing 2" became the first animated film to cross $100 million domestic since the pandemic, now sitting at $190 million worldwide. The movie also hit premium VOD this weekend, so its earnings will dwindle from here on out, but if it can somehow get to $300 million, it would probably be a win for the studio. The original made more than $600 million, so we are grading on a curve for sure.

"The King's Man" came in at number four with $3.2 million, now sitting at $25 million domestic and $74.2 million worldwide. It's a bust, no doubt, especially since the original "Kingsman" movies both cleared $400 million globally. Let's not hold our breath waiting for "Kingsman 3" at this point. The Kurt Warner biopic "American Underdog" rounded out the top five with $2.4 million, now sitting at $18 million domestic. This one will probably have a nice life on VOD, but it's probably not the feel-good, breakout hit Lionsgate was hoping for.

Meanwhile, "The Matrix Resurrections" continued to lose steam, taking in just $1.8 million in weekend number three for a grand total of $34 million domestic. It stands at $124.5 million worldwide, which is disastrous for a movie that is said to carry a $190 million production budget. This is very likely the end of the line for the franchise. "West Side Story" ($1.4 million), "Ghostbusters: Afterlife" ($1.1 million), "Licorice Pizza" ($1 million), and "House of Gucci" ($632 thousand) rounded out the top 10 this week.

Looking ahead, here's hoping that "Scream" can scare up some good business to save January from being a total disaster.