“The Last Voyage of the Demeter,” a new period horror film set aboard a merchant ship, is capsizing in its debut at the domestic box office amid the ongoing success of “Barbie” and “Oppenheimer.”
The Universal release — the studio’s second stab this year at a Dracula film after the action-comedy “Renfield” bombed in the spring — is facing some choppy waters after earning $2.62 million on its opening day from 2,715 locations, a figure that includes $750,000 in Thursday previews. “The Last Voyage of the Demeter” is projecting a fifth-place debut and a mere $6.5 million gross for its three-day opening weekend.
Nothing really says the summer blockbuster season is winding down like an anachronistic genre picture meeting a swift end in its debut. Even with a production budget totaling only $45 million — a moderate figure for a period spectacle — it’ll likely be difficult for “The Last Voyage” to be a theatrical success. Reviews have been meager, turning in a 27% approval rating from top critics on aggregate website Rotten Tomatoes. Audiences don’t really dig the film either, with Cinema Score’s survey of early ticket buyers leading to a mediocre “B-” grade.
Based on a chapter of Bram Stoker’s “Dracula,” “The Last Voyage of the Demeter” tells the story of a merchant ship and its crew, who find themselves at the mercy of a vampire who has snowed away. Directed by André Øvredal (“Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark”), the film stars Corey Hawkins, Aisling Franciosi, Liam Cunningham and David Dastmalchian.
It’s still a “Barbie” world at the box office, as rivals project the fantasy comedy added $31.4 million from 4,178 locations in its fourth weekend of release, down just 41% from its prior frame. Warner Bros. has yet to send numbers for Friday.
Greta Gerwig’s “Barbie” surpassed $1 billion last week at the global box office, making Gerwig the first-ever solo female filmmaker with a billion-dollar movie. Starring Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling, the hot-pink comedy crossed the $500 million mark domestically on Friday and is expected to become the top-grossing Warner Bros. release of all time in North America. “The Dark Knight” currently holds the record at $534 million.
Meanwhile, Christopher Nolan’s “Oppenheimer” added $5.1 million from 3,761 theaters on Friday, a decline of 39% from last weekend. The Universal biographical drama is projecting $17.2 million for the weekend, which would be down 41% from its previous outing, bringing domestic ticket sales of $262 million.
In third place, Paramount Pictures’ “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem” earned $4 million from 3,950 locations on its second Friday, a decline of 56% from its debut. The animated feature, produced by Nickelodeon Movies and Point Grey Productions, is tracking for a $14.6 million three-day weekend, leading to a domestic total north of $71.6 million.
“Meg 2: The Trench” isn’t making huge waves at the domestic box office, as rivals project only $11.8 million from 3,604 theaters for its second outing. That’d be down a hefty 60% from its $30 million opening weekend, which was already a significant drop from the 2018 original’s $45 million domestic debut.