Box Office: ‘The Bad Guys’ Poised to Snag No. 1 From ‘Fantastic Beasts 3’

In a crowded weekend at the domestic box office that includes northmen and fantastic beasts and Nicolas Cage — oh my! — “The Bad Guys” has risen above the competition. The DreamWorks Animation film is projected to take the weekend’s top slot in its opening.

Universal’s “The Bad Guys” is projected to open to $25 million from 4,009 locations — more than enough to land at No. 1. Although that figure is a ways away from the film’s production budget of $70 million, it’s a promising start for a prospective first entry in a family-friendly franchise. “The Bad Guys” is already exceeding box office projections, which had predicted an opening weekend between $15 million and $20 million. That would’ve placed the film in a tight battle with theatrical holdovers “Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore” and “Sonic the Hedgehog 2.”

Reviews have been largely favorable for “The Bad Guys,” with the DreamWorks production currently holding an 85% approval rating from critics on Rotten Tomatoes. Variety’s Guy Lodge wrote that director “Pierre Perifel’s cartoon romp may be a trifle, but it’s still DreamWorks Animation’s most appealing offering in several years.” Audience reactions have also been strong, with general moviegoers bestowing a glowing “A” grade on Cinema Score to the film.

With no kid-friendly animated movies on the calendar until Pixar’s “Lightyear” in June, “The Bad Guys” has a lot of runway to capitalize on strong word-of-mouth in the coming weeks.

With “The Bad Guys” taking the top slot, the weekend’s two other new wide releases — “The Northman” and “The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent” — look to land at fourth and fifth.

More to come…

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