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Audiences heard Scorpion’s trademark demand of “Get over here!” and did just that, putting MORTAL KOMBAT on top at the weekend box office with an estimated opening of $22.5 million!
The R-rated videogame adaptation performed even better than its anticipated $15 million opening, despite ongoing pandemic precautions and the movie’s simultaneous release on the HBO Max streaming service.
The new live-action update’s opening came close to the $23.2 million start in 1995 for director Paul W.S. Anderson’s PG-13 version, which ultimately collected $122 million worldwide on an $18 million budget. In the time since that first movie’s success, live-action adaptations of the MORTAL KOMBAT franchise have been limited to the much-ridiculed 1997 sequel ANNIHILATION, the 1998 TV series CONQUEST and the more recent web series LEGACY (plus a stage tour back in 1996).
Now on its 11th iteration (plus spinoffs), the popular fighting game series is, of course, notorious for its gruesome battles and preposterous finishing moves. Bringing all that carnage to life on screen reportedly came with a production cost of $55 million this time.
Directed by Simon McQuoid (making his feature debut), the Warner Bros. release has already been in some international theaters for a couple of weeks, and currently has a worldwide total of $50.1 million.
Critics had a rough time with the grisly fisticuffs and fatalities, giving the movie an average of 55% on Rotten Tomatoes and a Metacritic score of 44. Carve your way over to the JoBlo review HERE.
In a close second was the new anime DEMON SLAYER – THE MOVIE: MUGEN TRAIN with an opening of $19.5 million for the weekend.
The R-rated release from Sony’s FUNimation also surpassed domestic box office expectations — it was only forecast to draw around $10 million for the weekend.
The movie (a direct sequel to season one of the popular TV series) has already accumulated more than $450 million worldwide from international release in late 2020.
Critics seemed to appreciate the violent visuals, giving the movie (at the moment) a rare Rotten Tomatoes average of 100%, and a score of 81 on Metacritic. Get on board with the JoBlo review HERE.
The supersized slobberknocker GODZILLA VS. KONG grabbed $4.2 million in third place after holding the box office throne for the last three weekends. The PG-13 Warner Bros. creature feature (which leaves HBO Max next weekend) has a domestic total of $86.5 million and $406 million worldwide, on a reported $200 million cost.
The R-rated action-thriller NOBODY was in fourth place with $1.8 million, bringing the $16 million Universal release to a domestic total of $21.6 million and $38 million worldwide after five weeks.
Disney’s animated adventure RAYA AND THE LAST DRAGON was in fifth place with $1.6 million on its eighth weekend in theaters. The PG-rated fantasy has a domestic total of $39.8 million and $102 million worldwide.
The PG-13 supernatural thriller THE UNHOLY was in sixth place with $1.4 million over its fourth weekend. Sony’s Sam Raimi-produced horror movie has reached a domestic total of $11.5 million, on a reported $10 million cost.
In seventh place was animated/live-action hybrid TOM & JERRY with $650,000 for its ninth weekend in theaters. The PG-rated Warner Bros. comedy has a domestic total of $43.4 million and $106.2 million on a reported cost of $79 million.
Opening in eighth place was the new comedy TOGETHER TOGETHER with $522,000 for the weekend on 665 screens.
The R-rated movie features Ed Helms as a forty-something bachelor who becomes close with the surrogate (Patti Harrison) he hires to have his child.
Critics found something to like about the unorthodox relationship, giving the movie a 94% average on Rotten Tomatoes and a Metacritic score of 70. Get together with the JoBlo review HERE.
Closing out the list for the weekend was the faith-based Mira Sorvino drama THE GIRL WHO BELIEVES IN MIRACLES and the Benedict Cumberbatch espionage thriller THE COURIER, while the sci-fi drama VOYAGERS and director Ben Wheatley’s horror movie IN THE EARTH departed from the chart. Despite this weekend’s Oscars ceremony, nothing from the group of nominees managed to make the Top 10.
Next weekend offers the Phil Lord/Christopher Miller-produced animated comedy THE MITCHELLS VS. THE MACHINES, and some creepy puppets in the horror movie SEPARATION.
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