You are barefoot. You grasp for the wall. The carpeted floor reeks of an infusion of stale popcorn dust and spilled soda. The heavyset man wheezes as he leads you through the lobby. “It was probably the Russians,” he says. “Maybe Al-Qaeda. Nowadays they got bioweapons so sophisticated, you’d never know where the attack came from.”
The attack. The word sinks on you, like a weight in the pit of your stomach. The beam of the flashlight catches a poster on the wall. Two men, one bald, the other with shaggy sideburns. The Brothers Grimsby. God, you forgot all about The Brothers Grimsby.
“Everyone did,” says the heavyset man. “It made only $3.15 million, opening at No. 8.” He stops. Perhaps he’s looking at his reflection in the poster case, or maybe just a reminder of the world that disappeared so unexpectedly. “I’m good with numbers,” he adds. “15 years in the service.”
Box office reporting. The faded tattoo of the Spider-Man 2 weekend totals on his arm. You were on your way to see Zootopia, just like millions of Americans. It was No. 1 for the second weekend in a row. An estimated $50 million, plus the $56.5 million it made in China. He told you that when you woke up in the utility closet. He always talks about China.
The car accident. The attack. It seemed like only yesterday, because it was. “We keep the popcorn away from moisture,” he says, “and I figure we can live for two, three years on the stuff. However long it takes for the air outside to become safe again.”
So many questions. How did he bring you here? Can you trust him? Did 10 Cloverfield Lane do all right on its opening weekend?
“No. 2,” says the heavyset man. His voice is affectless. “An estimated $25.2 million. About the same numbers as The Visit. Thank God these bag-in-box soda syrups don’t expire either. Sugar’s real good for preserving.” Those last words hang ominously. Preserving what? Or whom? “And The Perfect Match? Young Messiah?”
He shakes his head. The finality of it all is hard to come to terms with. “The Perfect Match did $4.15 million. The Young Messiah did $3.4 million.” The pause is made all the heavier by his labored breathing. “I’m afraid to say they both underperformed.” He clips the keys off his belt and unlocks a door recessed into the lobby wall. A storage room. He is the manager here, or was.
“Eye In The Sky had a per theater average of $23,410, and Hello, My Name Is Doris averaged $21,310.” It’s almost automatic, as though he were trying to keep his mind off of everything that’s gone. Only the numbers remain. Only the numbers. “River Of Grass didn’t do tell well in its re-release,” he mutters. “Just $3,370 on that first screen.”
He pulls a stack of clothes off the storage room shelf. “I figure you can wear these,” he says. Black slacks, a snap placket polo—an usher’s uniform. The nametag says Meagan. “She’s gone now,” he says, “but I figure these will fit.”
For more detailed numbers, visit Box Office Mojo.