Cocaine Bear is wildly overperforming at the box office, to the point that it got close to toppling the new Marvel Cinematic Universe movie from its perch at No. 1 this weekend. The film, which is the latest outing from director Elizabeth Banks, is loosely based on the true story of a bear who ingested a shipment of cocaine that was dropped in the American woods. The ensemble cast of humans who will be squaring off against the rampaging bear includes Keri Russell, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Christian Convery, Alden Ehrenreich, Isiah Whitlock Jr., and the late Ray Liotta.
Per Deadline, the box office for Cocaine Bear‘s opening weekend is now nearing a closing total of $23 million. This is overperforming from the original expectations of $18-$19 million and even Saturday’s adjusted projections of $21 million. This performance combined with the unanticipated steep week 2 drop of Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania means that Cocaine Bear will be just about $10 million shy of taking No. 1 for the weekend, a considerably narrower gap than anticipated.
Cocaine Bear is the Newest Chapter in Horror’s 2020s Success Story
Cocaine Bear is doing so well that it already took one throne away from Ant-Man. Although the MCU sequel, which is setting up a brand new phase for the franchise, is taking the entire weekend, it lost the opening Friday. It closed at $8.3 million that day, taking No. 2 just behind Cocaine Bear‘s whopping $8.65 million.
Cocaine Bear‘s stellar box office is just one more example of how the horror genre has been dominating in the 2020s. Horror generally turns in good box office receipts, but this modern trend began when The Wretched held the No. 1 slot for five weekends in a row during the beginning of pandemic-related theater lockdowns and hasn’t let up since. Last year saw more and more horror titles pop up at No. 1, including Halloween Ends, Nope, Barbarian, The Invitation, Scream 2022, and Smile, the latter of which became the 21st highest-grossing film of the entire year worldwide.
Cocaine Bear‘s strong opening comes just one month after the amazing performance of Blumhouse’s viral killer doll hit M3GAN. All of this shows that this trend is still going strong, even if it didn’t quite take No. 1. With Scream 6 poised to hit theaters in just two weeks and projected to have the strongest opening of the entire franchise, horror’s box office domination shows no signs of slowing down.
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