Kenneth Branagh‘s whodunit A Haunting in Venice, in which he returns as detective Hercule Poirot, has opened to $5.5 million at the US box office, as per a report by Deadline. This pales in comparison to not only his first turn as the detective, Murder on the Orient Express, but also other weekends at the US box office this year. (Also Read: A Haunting in Venice review round-up: Agatha Christie meets haunted house in a ‘dazzling’ but ‘wasted’ adaptation)
US box office this weekend
This weekend is expected to be the worst for the US box office this year. All the films are likely to round off at $62.5 million. These include A Haunting in Venice (estimated at $14-15 million), The Nun 2 ($14.6 million), My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3 ($4.6 million), Equalizer 3 ($7.3 million), Greta Gerwig’s adaptation of Barbie ($3.6 million), DC’s Blue Beetle ($2.5 million), Shah Rukh Khan-starrer Jawan ($2.45 million), and Gran Turismo ($2.3 million).
Second lowest this year
This weekend’s total box office collection in the US is above only the lowest for this year, the February 9-11 weekend, when Hollywood releases took a backseat because of Super Bowl. Warner Bros.’ Magic Mike’s Last Dance was the leading film at the box office then, and the weekend burnt out at $52.6 million only.
However, this weekend is still above the weekend a year ago when Viola Davis-starrer action film The Woman King released at the US box office. That weekend concluded at $51.4 billion, 21% lower than this weekend. Thus, it’s a sign that people are coming to theatres in more numbers after the pandemic-induced shutdown that lasted till mid-last year.
The ongoing strike by SAG-AFTRA and WGA has surely impacted the footfall in theatres of the new movies. For instance, Zendaya-starrer Challengers was originally scheduled to release this weekend. However, the film was pushed to April next year as the makers want to position it well to Zendaya’s 200 million social media followers. Similarly, Dune 2, starring Zendaya and Timothy Chalamet has been pushed from November to next year. While Hollywood films continue to release, the strike prohibits those participating from promoting their new work on social media.