Box Office: Brad Pitt’s ‘Bullet Train’ Speeds To $63 Million Worldwide

Sony’s Bullet Train ended the summer tentpole season with a moderate bang. The David Leitch-directed, Brad Pitt-starring R-rated action comedy earned $30.1 million in its domestic debut and $32.4 million overseas for a $62.525 million global opening weekend. Even with mixed-negative reviews and a (frankly indecisive) B+ Cinemascore grade, the film had all the elements for a breakout non-franchise theatrical. It had an all-star cast (Joey King, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Andrew Koji, Brian Tyree Henry, a cameoing Sandra Bullock and more), a marquee director (Leitch co-directed John Wick and then helmed Atomic Blonde, Deadpool 2 and Hobbs & Shaw), a strong high concept (colorful assassins try to kill each other on a speeding bullet train), okay reviews (even the pans assured consumers that the movie delivered on the marketing) and the promise of cinematic escapism.

Brad Pitt’s Bullet Train opening on par with Sandra Bullock’s The Lost City ($30 million in late March) is essentially ‘good enough.’ Pitt does not go full-movie star in a film like this, especially without a high-profile costar, all that often. They can’t all be Mr. And Mrs. Smith ($50 million in 2005 alongside Angelina Jolie) or Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood ($41 million in 2019 alongside Leonardo DiCaprio). Positioning as the last biggie of the summer should allow for longer legs regardless of whether audiences love it (The Fugitive, The Bourne Ultimatum), like it (S.W.A.T., The Hitman’s Bodyguard) or just tolerate it (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Suicide Squad). And since there’s nothing else “big” opening until mid-September, I’m still expecting a $100 million-plus domestic finish for the $90 million new-to-you adaptation. So far, so good.

Universal released Jo Koy’s Easter Sunday this weekend. The film about a successful entertainer returning home for the holiday and trying to solve long-standing family melodramas earned just $5.25 million over its opening weekend. This takes us back to the bad old days of 2021, where almost every non-tentpole was hovering just over/under $5 million on its respective opening weekend. Even with poor reviews (47% and 5/10 on Rotten Tomatoes) and soft buzz (a B+ Cinemascore), it’s unfortunate that one of this year’s few live-action comedies, one co-starring Jimmy O. Yang, Tia Carrere, Brandon Wardell, Eva Noblezada and Asif Ali, is faltering. With Marry Me, Easter Sunday and both Bros and Ticket to Paradise opening this Fall, Universal is (with a bit of help from PVOD and Peacock) somewhat trying to keep the big-screen comedy alive.

A24 and Stage 6’s youth-skewing Bodies Bodies Bodies opened in six theaters in advance of a wide release next weekend. The acclaimed and buzzy And Then There Were None riff stars Maria Bakalova, Amandla Stenberg, Rachel Sennott, Chase Sui Wonders, Myha’la Herrold, Pete Davidson and Lee Pace and is currently at 91% and 7.5/10 on Rotten Tomatoes. However, it’s one of those A24 chillers I expect to play better with critics than audiences. I wasn’t big on the first half, strong performances aside, but the third act works, and it has a terrific epilogue. Halina Reijn’s horror comedy earned a $226,526 opening weekend. That’s a promising $37,754 per-theater average. However, it and Nope will face an upcoming month or so which is packed (The Fall, Beast, The Invitation, Barbarian, Pearl, etc.) with horror movies.