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Credit: Sony Pictures/Graham Bartholomew

Box office: Bloodshot barely comes to life with $9.3 million amid coronavirus slump

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Mar 15, 2020, 7:30 PM EDT (Updated)

According to Variety, this weekend's box office has hit one of the worst slumps of the last 20+ years, with an estimated $54 million in total domestic sales. No surprise there, as the coronavirus pandemic continues to grow and people decide to self-quarantine rather than attend public spaces like movie theaters. AMC and Regal's new policy of "social distancing" didn't do much to ameliorate the situation.

Sony's Bloodshot opened in third place to a meager $9.3 million domestically. Not great for a comic book project that cost nearly $50 million to produce. Foreign sales amount to a little over $1 million, per Box Office Mojo. The middling reviews and a cumulative 31 percent on Rotten Tomatoes probably didn't drum up much excitement, either. Regular moviegoers just won't take the risk during a global health scare by rushing to see a film that isn't being well received by critics in the first place.

Based on the Valiant Comics character of the same name, Bloodshot tells the story of Ray Garrison (Vin Diesel), a veteran soldier who is killed before being brought back to life by major advancements in nanotechnology. With self-healing robots called "nanites" now in his bloodstream, Garrison becomes an unstoppable killing machine and sets out to avenge his wife's murder.

Guy Pearce, Eiza González, Sam Heughan, Lamorne Morris, Toby Kebbell, Jóhannes Haukur Jóhannesson, Talulah Riley, and Alex Hernandez co-star.

Dave Wilson, a VFX vet making his feature-length debut, directed the picture, which was written by the genre duo of Jeff Wadlow (Fantasy Island) and Eric Heisserer (Bird Box).

Credit: Sony Pictures/Graham Bartholomew

"The only thing I wanted to make sure, and Vin was a big part of this, was making sure that we didn't box ourselves in," Wilson recently told SYFY WIRE, explaining why he didn't want to overtly set up a shared Valiant universe in the first franchise entry. "I didn't want to be left at a point where I'm like, 'Well, you can't go there anymore or that character's useless because of this …' You want to like throw enough little seeds out there that you could explore concepts and characters further if you wanted to, but not enough to the point where it takes you out of the immediacy of the story that you're currently telling."

Universal's long-delayed The Hunt also opened this weekend but didn't fare much better, with $5.3 million from North American ticket sales. That was enough to nab it fifth place. Nevertheless, the social commentary film has much less to prove, with a more humble production budget of $14 million. Originally slated to hit theaters last September, The Hunt 's theatrical debut was pushed off after a number of tragic mass shootings soured the public's opinion on depictions of violence in the media.

Helmed by Craig Zobel (a directorial alum of The Leftovers and Westworld), the film is about a group of rich folk who hunt "poor people" for sport during an annual safari of sorts. Nick Cuse and Damon Lindelof (both of whom were critically involved in the making of HBO's Watchmen) penned the screenplay, which aims to lampoon class inequality in the United States.

The movie, which currently holds a 53 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, boasts an all-star ensemble of Betty Gilpin, Hillary Swank, Emma Roberts, Glenn Howerton, Ike Barinholtz, Amy Madigan, Ethan Suplee, Macon Blair, J.C. MacKenzie, Usman Ally, Wayne Duvall, Reed Birney, and Teri Wyble.

Credit: Universal/Blumhouse

Now in its second week, Pixar's Onward stayed at No. 1 with an extra $10.5 million domestically. Even with that 73 percent decline, the animated release has still made $60.8 million in North America and $101 million globally. It is possible that the family-friendly flick is remaining dominant because its inherent feel-good and lighthearted nature is just what audiences need in these chaotic times.

In fourth place, we have Universal's The Invisible Man, which took in an extra $6 million during its third weekend. With $64.4 million domestically and $122 million worldwide, the horror reimagining has already broken even on its $7 million budget.

Credit: Pixar/Disney & Universal Pictures/Blumhouse

International box-office returns will pretty much be nonexistent as countries in Europe and Asia shutter movie theaters and other public spaces until the spread of COVID-19 can be properly curbed.

(SYFY and SYFY WIRE are both owned by NBCUniversal, which released The Hunt and The Invisible Man.)


Credit: SYFY WIRE

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