The Way Of Water Sails Past $850 Million Worldwide In Second Weekend At The Box Office

While most studios are wisely avoiding sending major tentpoles up against the box office kaiju that is a new James Cameron movie, the temptation of the holiday box office did draw out a few competitors. “Puss in Boots: The Last Wish” opened on Wednesday and has since grossed $26.9 million domestically and slightly more internationally, for a worldwide total of $57.2 million so far (per Variety). The animated sequel has been a hit with critics, landing a Rotten Tomatoes score of 95% and an “A” CinemaScore, so despite a smallish opening weekend it could continue to draw family audiences steadily over the next couple of months. These boots were made for walking, after all.

The forecast is less positive for Damien Chazelle’s “Babylon,” a film that aspires to follow in the Oscar-winning footsteps of Chazelle’s “La La Land” (whose Best Picture mix-up somewhat overshadowed the fact that it won six statuettes and was the most-nominated title in its year of release). Unfortunately for “Babylon” — and for Steven Spielberg’s “The Fabelmans,” and Sam Mendes’ “Empire of Light” — audiences don’t seem to have much appetite for movies about the magic of cinema or the excesses of Hollywood right now. Chazelle’s latest grossed just $3.6 million from 3,343 locations over the weekend and received a C+ CinemaScore from audiences — a disaster, given its $80 million production budget.

The final new release this weekend was the Whitney Houston biopic “I Wanna Dance With Somebody,” which did a little better than “Babylon” with a nonetheless lower-than-expected $4.7 million over the weekend. For the sake of your local movie theater, if nothing else, let’s hope that things look brighter for the box office in 2023.

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