BOX OFFICE: “Quantumania” shrinks, “Cocaine Bear” wired for $23, “Jesus Revolution” tithes $15.5

I could see a lot of cell phone screens lighting up as filmgoers checked the time — often — at the preview screening of “Cocaine Bear” I attended.

Plainly for them, as for me, the thunderous buzz and giddiness and hype that the title of Elizabeth Banks’ gory, cokey comedy promised wore off sometime around the midpoint of the picture.

But it plays, and one has had the sense than the zeitgeist is ready for a splatter pic comedy with a deranged bear slaughtering the just and the unjust for laughs.

The ceiling for such a movie isn’t high enough to chase “Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania” off the peak of the box office perch. But 21 million? Sure. This bear could do that with its eyes closed.

Decent Thursday night previews and a solid Friday point to that take. Word of mouth won’t help or hinder it Saturday, but I’d guess it’ll clear $20, with $25 its absolute ceiling. ($23 it is! See below.)

The news about “Quantumania” is actually a much bigger “wow.” The movie is more pointless than usual for a Marvel entertainment, and is something of a bore. It’s experiencing the steepest box office second week fall-off EVER for a Marvel movie — on track to be 80% lower than its bigger-than-expected opening weekend. It could rally into the $35 million range, but $30 may be it and audiences may — at long last — be wearying of lesser comic book fare. At least in terms of repeat viewings.

The “Jesus Revolution” is bringing the faithful out, a decent, uplifting and positive-messaging faith-based film with none of the politics that poison so much cinema in that genre. Early projections saw this no-big-stars historical “moment” movie managing maybe $10 million. Nope. $15 million+, depending on how Saturday and Sunday pan out.

Ticket prices being what they are, that’s not a staggering number of tickets sold, over a million or so. But front-loading with Wed. and then Thursday previews gave it a head start and helps get the word out.

A Kelsey Grammer big screen hit? Here it is.

“Avatar: The Way of Water” is pulling in another $4 million and change, closing in on what should be a $675-680 final take, when all is said and done.

“Puss-in-Boots: The Last Wish” won’t hit $200 million, as another $3 and change leaves it in the $173-175 million range, probably finishing its run @$188-190.

The rest of the top ten is #6, “Magic Mike’s Last Dance,” earning another $2.7 million and fading so fast it won’t reach $30, M. Night’s “Knock at the Cabin,” adding $1.77 million on its way to $40, #8 “80 for Brady,” wrapping up Tom Brady’s big screen adventure with $1.7 (it’ll just clear $40, all in), “Missing” ($1 million), and Tom Hanks’ “A Man Called Otto,” which has hung around, played all over America and will finish its run under $65 million.

Here’s the UPDATED Sunday afternoon tally from @BoxOfficePro.

It’s a good thing the coked-up bear and the faith-based crowd are showing up, doing their part in keeping cinemas open until the next big hit arrives.


About Roger Moore

Movie Critic, formerly with McClatchy-Tribune News Service, Orlando Sentinel, published in Spin Magazine, The World and now published here, Orlando Magazine, Autoweek Magazine
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