AceShowbiz - "Death on the Nile" set sail only to have a meek debut. The mystery film that serves as a sequel to "Murder on the Orient Express" (2017) opened to an estimated $12.8 million on the Super Bowl weekend, but it's enough to lead the domestic box office.
The star-studded murder mystery, which boasts the likes of Gal Gadot, Annette Bening and Russell Brand among others in the cast, arrived on par with expectations, which had projected a three-day tally around $11 million to $14 million. This means the movie has a long way to go to make up for its budget of $90 million.
The Kenneth Branagh-directed flick, which is based on the 1973 novel of the same name by Agatha Christie, received mixed reviews with an average rating of 5.9 out of 10 on Rotten Tomatoes. The website's consensus reads, "Old-fashioned to a fault, the solidly entertaining 'Death on the Nile' is enlivened by its all-star cast and director-star Kenneth Branagh's obvious affection for the material."
Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B" on an A+ to F scale, the same as its predecessor that grossed $102.8 million in North America on its opening weekend.
Also failing to make an impressive debut is "Marry Me" starring Jennifer Lopez and Owen Wilson. Despite having a release date that was set to coincidence with the Valentine's Day weekend, the romantic comedy had to accept an estimated $8 million cume on its first weekend.
Internationally, "Marry Me" has garnered $8.5 million for a worldwide total of $16.5 against its reported budget of $23 million. Universal Pictures, however, has opened another window to the film by having it streamed simultaneously on Peacock, where it was reportedly the No. 1 title on Friday and Saturday.
The slow Sunday business for movie theaters wasn't unexpected as all eyes were on the Super Bowl LVI this weekend. Both new releases were targeted to adult women, who have remained mostly hesitant to go theaters during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Super Bowl weekend is consistently down in overall business compared with other weekends, and we're still coming off an enormous Omicron surge that peaked in mid-January," says David A. Gross, who runs the movie consulting firm Franchise Entertainment Research. He adds, "Women, particularly older women, have been slower than others to return to moviegoing, and they are showing it again, here. The budget was reasonable, so the movie should not lose money."
With "Marry Me" landing on the third spot, "Jackass Forever" takes the runner-up spot. The fourth installment in the "Jackass" film series added an estimated $8.05 million on its second weekend, taking a significant deep of 65% from inaugural sales.
Top 10 of North America Box Office (Feb. 11-13, 2022):