Tom Holland might be without his Spider-Man suit in Uncharted, but his latest action-adventure is still doing good business at the North American box office.
The video game adaptation starring Holland and Mark Wahlberg is on its way to earning $51 million over the long Presidents Day weekend, according to studio estimates Sunday. Sony Pictures estimated its Friday through Sunday grosses will be $44.2 million, putting it at No. 1.
Though not a superhero payday, it’s enough for the industry to breathe a sigh of relief as it’s the biggest opening weekend since Spider-Man: No Way Home. The weekend’s other new opener, Dog found a modest audience too and landed in second place.
The unpredictability of pandemic-era audiences made Uncharted a bit of a wild card, and the poor reviews from critics had some going into the weekend with cautious optimism. The Ruben Fleischer-directed film, based on a PlayStation game, opened on 4,275 screens.
“This result is yet another extraordinary testament to the appetite for the theatrical experience that Sony Pictures bet on,” said Josh Greenstein, the president of Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group, in a statement.
Sony also released the mega-hit Spider-Man: No Way Home exclusively in theatres late last year. That Holland-led enterprise has now earned over $770.1 million in North America and is the No. 3 domestic release of all time.
“Tom Holland is a megastar regardless of whether he’s Peter Parker or Nathan Drake,” said Paul Dergarabedian, the senior media analyst for Comscore. “For many of the actors who have portrayed superheroes, breaking out of that role and having big box office success outside of that is a tough go.”
Uncharted does have a ways to go to make up its $120 million production budget, which will likely be heavily offset by overseas earnings. Its global total has already surpassed $100 million and, unlike Spider-Man, Uncharted will also get the benefit of a release in China, beginning March 14.
Channing Tatum’s Dog, which he co-directed (with his longtime producing partner Reid Carolin) and stars in, also opened on 3,677 screens this weekend. United Artists estimates that it’ll earn $15.1 million for the weekend and $18.1 million including Monday. Tatum plays an Army ranger tasked with driving a traumatised military dog from Oregon to Arizona for her handler’s funeral in the film, which was received well by critics and audiences. Plus, it only cost around $15 million to make.
The PostTrak survey shows that the opening weekend audience for Dog was 53% over age 35 and 54% was female.
“To have two movies do really solid business makes it feel like 2019 all over again,” Dergarabedian said.
In its second weekend Kenneth Branagh’s Death on the Nile landed in fourth place with $6.3 million, behind Spider-Man, while Jackass Forever took fifth place with $5.2 million.
According to Dergarabedian, the momentum from this weekend should be the “perfect leadup” to the already highly anticipated release of Warner Bros The Batman on March 4.
“Think about all the people in the movie theatre this weekend being exposed to trailers,” Dergarabedian said. “This is great news for The Batman.”