ENTERTAINMENT

‘Cocaine Bear’ gets high with $23.1M, ‘Ant-Man’ sinks fast

Feb 26, 2023, 10:38 AM | Updated: 10:48 am

This image released by Universal Pictures shows a scene from "Cocaine Bear," directed by Elizabeth ...

This image released by Universal Pictures shows a scene from "Cocaine Bear," directed by Elizabeth Banks. (Universal Pictures via AP)

(Universal Pictures via AP)

NEW YORK (AP)The gonzo R-rated horror comedy “Cocaine Bear” sniffed up $23.1 million in its opening weekend, according to studio estimates Sunday, while Marvel’s “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” was quickly dwarfed in its second weekend.

“Quantumania” was still No. 1 with an estimated $32.2 million in ticket sales in U.S. and Canadian theaters. But the “Ant-Man” sequel, hit with some of the worst reviews and audience scores of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, dropped a steep 69.7% in its second weekend. That’s the worst decline for an MCU film, falling faster than “Black Widow” (67.8%), a pandemic release that debuted simultaneously in homes.

Instead, Universal Pictures’ “Cocaine Bear” rampaged through multiplexes, scoring notably above expectations. Made for about $35 million and directed by Elizabeth Banks, “Cocaine Bear” stirred up plenty of buzz just from its title and its made-to-go-viral trailer.

“Cocaine Bear,” scripted by Jimmy Warden and produced by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller (“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse,” “The Lego Movie”), managed to turn a bizarre true-life tale into a tongue-in-cheek box office hit. It’s based on the real story of a 175-pound (79-kilogram) black bear who died in the Georgia mountains in 1985 after eating from a duffle bag of cocaine that had fallen from a smuggler’s plane. (The smuggler, a former Kentucky narcotics investigator, parachuted to his death in Tennessee.)

The trailer for “Cocaine Bear,” which played ahead of the Super Bowl, was watched globally by more than 90 million, Universal said, and caught fire on social media. But transferring can-you-believe-that’s-a-real-movie buzz to the box office doesn’t always work. “Snakes on a Plane,” a movie many compared to “Cocaine Bear,” opened with $13.9 million in 2006.

“Audiences discovered this very outrageous, hysterical comedy that our director Elizabeth Banks delivered,” said Jim Orr, Universal distribution chief. “The film absolutely delivers on its preposterous premise. People wanted to come out and have a good time at the theater.”

“Cocaine Bear” managed to overperform despite mixed reviews from critics and a “B-” CinemaScore from audiences. Ticket buyers were 59% male, and 63% were aged 18-34. It added $5.3 million overseas. “Quantumania” is more easily outpacing “Cocaine Bear” internationally, where it added $46.4 million over the weekend.

In just about the epitome of counterprogramming to “Cocaine Bear,” Lionsgate’s “Jesus Revolution” also debuted strongly. The film, likewise inspired by a true story, stars Kelsey Grammer as a California minister and Joel Courtney as youth minister, and dramatizes the movement of Christian hippies in the late ’60s and early ’70s. It launched with $15.5 million over the weekend and in advance screenings. Produced by the Kingdom Story Company, “Jesus Revolution” proved popular with Christian audiences, and early surpassed expectations. It earned an A+ CinemaScore.

Next week should see a new champ at the box office, with the release of Michael B. Jordan’s “Creed III.”

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Comscore. Final domestic figures will be released Monday.

1. “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania,” $32.2 million

2. “Cocaine Bear,” $23.1 million.

3. “Jesus Revolution,” $15.5 million.

4. “Avatar: The Way of Water,” $4.7 million.

5. “Puss in Boots: The Last Wish,” $4.1 million.

6. “Magic Mike’s Last Dance,” $3 million.

7. “Knock at the Cabin,” $1.9 million.

8. “80 for Brady,” $1.8 million.

9. “Missing,” $1 million.

10. “A Man Called Otto,” $850,000.

KSL 5 TV Live

Entertainment

Salt Lake County heard from the public Tuesday, regarding the upcoming revitalization project. (KSL...

Carter Williams, KSL.com

Abravanel Hall renovation funding to be determined as residents plead for preservation

Funding for major Abravanel Hall renovations has not yet been identified as its future remains uncertain amid ongoing discussions over a proposed "sports, entertainment, cultural and convention district" surrounding a renovated Delta Center.

7 hours ago

The Utah Symphony during its 61st Salute to Youth concert at Abravanel Hall in Salt Lake City on Tu...

Carole Mikita

Lead architect of Abravanel Hall says demolition plans are motivated by disposable mentality

A lead architect of Abravanel Hall says we need a better conservation mentality to preserve heritage and the important building he helped create.

10 hours ago

FILE - Matthew Perry poses for a portrait on Feb. 17, 2015, in New York. Authorities are investigat...

Associated Press

Matthew Perry’s death under investigation over ketamine level found in actor’s blood

An investigation has been opened into the death of Matthew Perry and how the “Friends” actor received the anesthetic ketamine, which was ruled a contributing factor in his death.

11 hours ago

FILE - Sean "Diddy" Combs arrives at the LA Premiere of "The Four: Battle For Stardom" at the CBS R...

Andrew Dalton, The Associated Press

Sean Combs admits beating ex-girlfriend Cassie, says he’s sorry, calls his actions ‘inexcusable’

Sean “Diddy” Combs admitted that he beat his ex-girlfriend Cassie in a hotel hallway in 2016 after CNN released video of the attack, saying in a video apology he was “truly sorry” and his actions were “inexcusable.”

2 days ago

Cailey Fleming, left, and John Krasinski pose with the character "Blue" at the premiere of Paramoun...

Lindsay Bahr, The Associated Press

John Krasinski’s ‘IF’ hits a box office nerve with $35 million debut

John Krasinski’s imaginary friends movie “IF” claimed the top spot at the box office this weekend according to studio estimates Sunday. Its $35 million North American debut was also a bit lower than some projections.

2 days ago

A new Amazon series will explore the past of Elle Woods, played in the 'Legally Blonde' movies by R...

Alli Rosenbloom, CNN

‘Legally Blonde’ prequel series to follow Elle Woods navigating high school in the ’90s

A new Amazon series will explore the past of Elle Woods, played in the 'Legally Blonde' movies by Reese Witherspoon (center), who is shown in a scene from the first film.

6 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 Internet Safety Tips for Kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why Printer Security Should Be Top of Mind for Your Business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

‘Cocaine Bear’ gets high with $23.1M, ‘Ant-Man’ sinks fast