'The Lost City' Tops US Box Office, With India's 'RRR' In Surprise Debut

Zinger Key Points
  • Coming next weekend "Morbius" and "The Contractor"
  • Why was "Bruno" Oscar-snubbed?

“The Lost City” displaced “The Batman” as the top grossing film at the U.S. box office this weekend, but an under-the-radar Indian film made an unexpected showing as the third top grossing film with American audiences.

What Happened: Paramount’s PARAA “The Lost City” starring Sandra Bullock and Channing Tatum premiered with $31 million in ticket sales from 4,253 theaters, making it the rare female-driven comedy to dominate the pandemic-era box office. “The Batman” from AT&T’s T Warner Bros. dropped into second place at the box office during its fourth week in theatrical release, absorbing $20.5 million from 3,967 screens.

But the sleeper hit in theaters this weekend was “RRR,” the Telugu-language epic which Sarigama Cinemas placed in 1,200 theaters, generating $9.5 million, making it the rare Indian film to crack the top five rankings of highest grossing films in domestic distribution.

Rounding out the top five was Sony Pictures’ SONY “Uncharted,” which brought in $5 million from 3,416 theaters for its sixth week in theatrical release, and the anime feature “Jujutsu Kaisen 0” from Crunchyroll / Funimation with $4.58 million from 2,400 in its second week of U.S. theatrical presentation

What Happens Next: This coming Friday is April Fool’s Day, but there’s no fooling around over the box office potential of three new films opening in nationwide release.

“Morbius” from Sony Pictures adapts the Marvel Comics character of a doctor (played by Jared Leto) who attempts to cure himself of a rare blood disease, although it has a side effect that results in his becoming a vampire. The film was initially slated for theatrical release in June 2020, but was delayed until now due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The Contractor” from Paramount Pictures stars Chris Pine as an involuntarily discharged U.S. Army Special Forces veteran working on a covert mission for a private contracting firm. The film was shot in late 2019, but is only now being made available in a simultaneous theatrical and premium video-on-demand release.

A potential wild card hit is “You Won’t Be Alone” from Comcast Corporation’s CMCSA Focus Features division. The winner of the World Cinema Dramatic Competition at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, this jolting horror film focuses on a witch in 19th century Macedonia who takes over the bodies of a rural village’s residents in order to experience life as a human.

Among the films playing in limited release are Saban Films’ British crime revenge drama “Bull” starring Neil Haskell, Samuel Goldwyn Films’ family friendly rural drama “Dakota” starring Abbie Cornish and William Baldwin, and Music Box Films’ French comedy import “The Rose Maker” about a struggling rose grower who hires three unlikely helpers to revive her business.

Also Happening: “Encanto” fans watching tonight’s Academy Awards telecast may be puzzled on why the hit song “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” was not nominated for the Best Original Song Award while another song on the soundtrack, “Dos Oruguitas,” was nominated. The answer is both simple and complex.

The simple part: “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” was not put forth by the Walt Disney Co. DIS as part of the studio’s submission for consideration in the Best Original Song category. The Oscar rules allow a studio to submit up to two songs from a soundtrack to be considered for the award competition.

But here is the complex part: The submission needed to be made by Nov. 1, 2021, which was before “Encanto” was in theatrical release and before “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” became a chart-topping hit song. At the time, Disney and composer Lin-Manuel Miranda believed that “Dos Oruguitas” was a better representative of the film and opted to put that song forward, gaining the Oscar nomination.

“I’m still proud of ‘Dos Oruguitas’ as the submission,” Miranda said in a Variety interview. “When those are the parameters, you have to pick the thing that best exemplifies the spirit of the movie, and it contains all of it inside this song — as opposed to a journey of a particular character. It’s the foundational story, but I’m not going to say it wasn’t hard [to choose].”

Photo: Sandra Bullock and Channing Tatum in "The Lost City," courtesy of Paramount.

Posted In: EntertainmentNewsGeneralAcademy AwardsMorbiusmoviesRRRThe Lost CityU.S. weekend box officeWe Don't Talk About Bruno
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