Death on the Nile: Branagh’s Mystery Thriller Commercial Disappointment

‘Death on the Nile’ Tops Super Bowl Weekend with Disappointing $12.8M

Jennifer Lopez romantic comedy Marry Me opened to a lackluster $8 million after launching simultaneously on Peacock.


Kenneth Branagh’s Death on the Nile topped Super Bowl weekend at the domestic box office with a subdued $12.8 million amid ongoing reluctance among older moviegoers to return to theaters, and particularly older females.

Super Bowl weekend is always a challenge for Hollywood studios. This year, the ongoing pandemic compounded matters.

Universal abandoned exclusive theatrical release and launch its Valentine’s Day offering Marry Me, starring Jennifer Lopez and Owen Wilson, in cinemas and on streaming service Peacock.

Marry Me, which opened to an estimated $8 million at the box office, came in No. 3 after being edged out by holdover Jackass Forever ($8.1 million).


Jennifer Lopez and Owen Wilson in 'Marry Me'


Both films opened on the lower end of already tempered expectations, just as each skewed notably older.

Of those turning out to see 20th Century/Disney’s Death on the Nile, 77 percent of ticket buyers were over 25, including 47 percent over 35 and 28 percent over 45.

Branagh both directed and stars in the Agatha Christie adaptation, which is a follow up to his successful Murder on the Orient Express.

The movie’s ensemble cast includes Branagh, Gal Gadot, Tom Bateman and Letitia Wright alongside disgraced actor Armie Hammer.

Branagh is also in the news this week for his film, Belfast, which is up for a number of top Oscars, including best picture and best director.

Overseas, Death on the Nile debuted to $20.7 million for a global start of $34 million.

Marry Me  — featuring original songs by Lopez and global Latin music sensation Maluma — stars Lopez as musical superstar Kat Valdez and Wilson as Charlie Gilbert, a nerdy math teacher. The two are total strangers who agree to marry each other in a tale of modern romance in the age of social media.

Older females fueled the film, which hopes to see a nice boost on Valentine’s Day, which falls on Monday this year. Overall, 70 percent of ticket buyers were female, while 48 percent of the audience was over the age of 25 and 27 percent over the age of 45. Throughout the pandemic, older females have been the most reluctant to resume their moviegoing habits.

Marry Me opened to $8.5 million internationally for a worldwide start of $16.5 million.

Spider-Man: No Way Home stayed high up on the chart to place No. 4 with $7.2 million for a domestic tally of $759 million and global haul of $1.8 billion (the Sony and Marvel superhero picture is now the No. 6 film of all time on the global chart, not adjusted for inflation).

The new Liam Neeson action pic Blacklight opened in fifth with just $3.6 million.