Surprising box office showing for "Cocaine Bear"

"Cocaine Bear" sign at the Los Angeles premiere. Photo: Araya Doheny/FilmMagic via Getty Images

"Cocaine Bear" clawed its way to a $23.1 million opening weekend, AP reports, beating out expectations.

Driving the news: Ahead of its release, the film became a viral sensation online because of its trailer, which currently has more than 18 million views on YouTube and 25 million views on Twitter. It also inspired plenty of memes.

  • The movie, directed by Elizabeth Banks, is based on a 1985 true story of a black bear who ate a duffle bag of cocaine in the Georgia mountains.

What they're saying: “The film absolutely delivers on its preposterous premise. People wanted to come out and have a good time at the theater," Jim Orr, Universal distribution chief, told AP.

The success of "Cocaine Bear" comes as Marvel’s “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania" saw a massive drop at the box office.

  • The third "Ant-Man film" — which still finished No. 1 in ticket sales and the domestic box office this weekend — saw a 69.7% drop compared to its opening weekend, per AP.This is the worst decline of any Marvel Cinematic Universe film.
  • “Black Widow” — which was released in the thick of the COVID-19 pandemic in theaters and on Disney+ — had a slower drop at 67.8%, according to Variety.
  • Though "Quantumania" was panned by critics, audiences appeared to enjoy it.

What's next: Many sequels to "Cocaine Bear" have already been teased.

  • A similar film in "Attack of the Meth Gator" looks to be in production from The Asylum, the film studio responsible for "Sharknado."

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