It won’t top Avatar: The Way of Water, which continues to reign atop the box office, but M3GAN is off to a strong start, even stronger than earlier estimates, in its opening weekend. The new horror film will $30 million during its first weekend, including $11.7 million on Friday (which did beat out the Avatar sequel). Avatar: The Way of Water continues to dominate with $45 million in its fourth weekend, leading to a domestic box office that surpasses the $500 million milestone marker. M3GAN has been well-received by critics, with a high Rotten Tomatoes score and a consensus that reads, “Unapologetically silly and all the more entertaining for it, M3GAN is the rare horror-comedy that delivers chuckles as effortlessly as chills.” ComicBook.com’s Patrick Cavanaugh gave it a more middle 3-out-of-5 star review. He writes:
“M3GAN remains an enigmatic experience, as it feels both like a killer doll movie and also a killer child movie, given the physical stature of the titular killer. Her physicality and body language are inherently creepy, so with this specific subgenre being relegated to the backburner or straight-to-streaming releases for years, it’s at least refreshing to see something this weird for the horror realm earning a major release. January is often known to be a dumping ground for horror, with M3GAN absolutely bucking that trend and offering audiences something that is genuinely entertaining, even if its horrors and humor are sure to land with mixed reactions. The movie might not do anything new for the subgenre, but even bringing these concepts back in a big way, especially given the disappointments of the 2019 Child’s Play reboot, is worth celebrating. Then again, seeing the ways in which Chucky on SYFY is breaking new ground not only for the killer doll tropes, but horror storytelling in general, makes M3GAN feel like it missed some opportunities. If anything, we’re hoping that this is merely M3GAN 1.0 and, whether it’s in this universe proper or in the hands of new filmmakers whose first introduction to killer dolls is this film, this is just the beginning of some much-needed upgrades to the concept.”
Puss in Boots, A Man Called Otto, and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever fill out this week’s top five at the box office. The full list of the top 10 films at the box office is in the works.