Bullet Train Tops The Box Office, Another Win For Non-Franchise Movies In 2022

In the last big weekend at the summer box office, Brad Pitt's "Bullet Train" was the big new release, with Sony Pictures looking to end things on a positive note for original cinema. The good news is, the comedic, action-filled ensemble crime flick did indeed top the charts cementing a damn good summer for non-franchise filmmaking. The bad news is that the studio may have spent a bit too much money on it.

Aside from that, both "Top Gun: Maverick" and "Jurassic World Dominion" passed major milestones, "Minions: The Rise of Gru" and "Nope” are on the verge of milestones, and "Easter Sunday" falls a bit short. Let's dig into the numbers, shall we?

Bullet Train speeds past the competition

According to Box Office Mojo, director David Leitch's "Bullet Train" took the number one spot with a $30.1 million haul. It is the second time in three weeks we've had an original film top the charts, with Jordan Peele's "Nope" doing so a couple of weeks back. The action flick unseated "DC League of Super-Pets," which fell to number two with $11.2 million. That movie fell 51.3% in its second weekend which is a big drop but not at all unexpected, so it's holding okay. It's currently at $83.4 million worldwide and has a long way to go to recoup its $90 million budget.

On a similar note, Sony spent a reported $90 million to produce "Bullet Train," which is an awful lot for a non-franchise film. It was based on a book but, as far as audiences are concerned, it's an original property. Be that as it may, $30.1 million domestic and $32.4 million international makes for a $62.5 million global launch. That's not bad, and with little major competition coming down the pipeline for the next few weeks, this one could make its money before all is said and done.

Taking the budget out of it, this cements a nice trend this year of non-franchise movies doing well. "The Black Phone," "The Bad Guys," "Dog," "Everything Everywhere All At Once," and "The Lost City" are all examples of originals performing well. So it's nice to see another movie like "Bullet Train" managing to do so in the summer moviegoing season. Last year, the real problem was that it was only superhero movies making money. And sure, 2022 has seen superheroes and big sequels make their money, but there is clearly room for more in the marketplace and that is hugely encouraging. If $62.5 million worth of moviegoers are willing to see an "original" movie in a single weekend, there is hope.

Rounding out the top five

Coming in at number three in its third weekend was "Nope" with $8.5 million, representing a 54.3% drop off. The film now sits at $97.9 million domestic ahead of its international rollout. Given its $68 million budget it's still got a long way to go to become profitable. That having been said, it's another good sign for original movies that a pretty atypical alien flick from Peele is going to sail past $100 million domestically. Again, this to me is a good sign. If Universal could have reigned in the budget a tiny bit, this would surely be a hit. Even as is, once VOD, Blu-ray, and other revenue streams are factored in, this one will surely get into the green.

"Thor: Love and Thunder" landed at number four in its fifth weekend with $7.6 million, giving it a $316 million domestic total. It's just shy of $700 million worldwide which cements this as another big win for the MCU. What else is new? Rounding out the top five was "Minions: The Rise of Gru," which added $7.1 million and, more importantly, sits at $905 million worldwide. It is now just $95 million away from joining the $1 billion club and has secured a release date in China. It's a matter of when — not if — at this point.

Top Gun: Maverick flies past a major milestone

In unsurprising news, "Top Gun: Maverick" continued to do very well, adding $7 million to its ever-growing total. The film now sits at $1.35 billion worldwide and has crossed a huge milestone.

With the latest weekend under its belt, Tom Cruise's crowd pleaser has officially passed "Black Panther" ($1.347 billion) worldwide, and it now sits comfortably at number 13 on the list of highest-grossing movies of all time. Next up would be overtaking "Avengers: Age of Ultron" ($1.4 billion). This is our highest-grossing movie of 2022 (within the calendar year at least) and it's just a matter of how high it can fly.

Jurassic World 3 overtakes Doctor Strange 2

One of the lowkey biggest stories of the weekend was "Jurassic World Dominion," which added $1.1 million to its total domestically and was all the way at number 11 on the domestic charts. But overall, the film now sits at $960 million globally which is key because that means it has passed "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" ($954 million) to become the number two highest-grossing movie of 2022 behind "Maverick."

Say what you will about "Dominion" as a film, but this cements the trilogy as a gigantic winner for Universal Pictures and all but guarantees that we are going to get more dinosaur movies from them in the future. The big question is whether or not a combination of lingering international grosses and a likely extended re-release will help push the film past the $1 billion mark.

And the rest...

The other big new release this weekend was Jo Koy's "Easter Sunday" and, unfortunately, the comedy didn't do big business, taking in just $5.2 million, landing in the number eight spot. It carries a $17 million budget and when coupled with whatever Universal spent to market the film, it's going to be tough sledding from here on out. Maybe this one will find a second life on VOD on streaming. Theatrically at least, it just didn't pan out. It finished just behind "Where the Crawdads Sing" ($5.6 million), which is continuing to be a sneaky little hit this summer at $77 million worldwide to date.

Rounding out the top 10 were "Elivs" with another $4 million for a $251 million global total, making this a huge winner for Warner Bros. And, again, another winner for non-franchise fare at the box office overall. And hanging in the top 10 was "The Black Phone" with $1.4 million, needing a little less than $2 million more for $150 million worldwide. Yeah, against an $18 million budget this is one heck of a winner.