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Choose your fighter: ‘Cocaine Bear’ takes on ‘Ant-Man’ at the box office

The titular black bear in Cocaine Bear and Paul Rudd as Scott Lang in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.
(Universal Pictures; Marvel Studios)

Choose your fighter: ‘Cocaine Bear’ takes on ‘Ant-Man’ at the box office

Hero complex

Chariots of Christ

February 26, 2023

Universal Pictures’ “Cocaine Bear” couldn’t beat Disney and Marvel’s “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” at the domestic box office this weekend, according to estimates from measurement agency Comscore.

The fizzy horror comedy debuted in second place with $23.1 million, behind the superhero sequel, which took in $32.2 million in its second weekend for a North American cumulative of $167.3 million. The latest installment of “Ant-Man,” one of the worst-rated Marvel movies of all time, also suffered a sharp 70% drop in ticket sales during its second run.

“Cocaine Bear,” directed by Elizabeth Banks, is loosely based on the true story of a black bear who ingested large amounts of cocaine after a drug smuggler’s plane crashed in a Georgia woods in 1985. Russell, Margo Martindale, Alden Ehrenreich, OShea Jackson Jr., Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Kristofer Hivju, Kahyun Kim, Christian Convery, Brooklynn Prince, Scott Seiss and the late Ray Liotta in one of his last roles.

Review: The pleasantly creepy ‘Cocaine Bear’ is nothing to sniff at

Supported by an innovative marketing campaign that included a Super Bowl commercial and an 8-bit “Rise of Pablo Escobear” video game, “Cocaine Bear” scored a respectable 70% rating on review aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes and a minus B. audience rating polled by CinemaScore.

“Whether or not audiences form rules for ‘Cocaine Bear,’ it’s hard to completely dismiss a mainstream horror comedy that offers a nice array of sharp and creepy, at least until it takes a disappointing turn for soft and cuddly,” writes Times film critic Justin Chang.

“You’ve seen worse new movies in February, maybe even February.”

Also new to theaters this weekend was Lionsgate’s “Jesus Revolution,” which secured third place at the domestic box office with $15.5 million. The religious film, based on the book of the same name, directed by Jon Erwin and Brent McCorkle, stars Joel Courtney as a teenage boy who experiences a spiritual awakening in the 1970s.

Review: Stripped of real drama, the faith-based ‘Jesus Revolution’ is an absent-minded slog

“Jesus Revolution” received a mediocre 54% on Rotten Tomatoes and an A-plus rating from audiences polled by CinemaScore.

“Unfortunately, despite its interesting history, the ‘Jesus Revolution’ is a dry, scattered slog, castrated of all the thorny, contradictory details of the real story,” writes film critic Katie Walsh for the Los Angeles Times.

“‘Jesus Revolution’ is also a completely uncritical portrait of the Jesus movement. Because this is a faith-based film, it simply presents the genesis of this ‘spiritual awakening’ and explosion of these churches, without the possible dark sides or ramifications of how this evangelical Christian movement has influenced American culture and politics in the decades since Elizabeth Banks’ “Cocaine Bear” is now a video game. And people are eating it

Rounding out the top five

at the domestic checkout

were “Avatar: The Way of Water” from Disney and 20th Century Studios, which added $4.7 million in its 11th weekend for a North American cumulative of $665.4 million; and Universal Pictures’ “Puss in Boots: The Last Wish,” which grossed $4.1 million in its 10th weekend for a North American cumulative of $173.4 million.

“Avatar: The Way of Water” currently ranks as the third highest worldwide release of all time.

Opening in wide release

after this

weekend are STX Entertainment’s “Operation Fortune: Ruse De Guerre


and Welcome Villain’s “Hunt Her, Kill Her.”