Kenneth Branagh’s Murder on the Orient Express may have been an unqualified smash hit after earning $352 million at the box office on a $55 million budget back in late 2017, but nobody was expecting sequel Death on the Nile to perform anywhere near that standard.
For one thing, the literary adaptation has been hit very hard by the pandemic, having originally been scheduled for release in December 2019. It finally arrived this past Friday, not only a full 26 months behind schedule, but during the historically slow Super Bowl weekend.
On top of that, adult-skewing movies have struggled massively since the pandemic first ravaged the theatrical industry, and that’s without even mentioning the presence of contentious, controversial, and canceled cast members Armie Hammer and Letitia Wright.
With that in mind, it comes as a surprise that Death on the Nile is tracking for an opening weekend of almost $13 million, which isn’t bad at all for a mid-February release competing against one of the biggest events on the sporting calendar, one that keeps a whole lot of people occupied from Friday right through to Monday morning.
Reviews have been better than expected, too, so it can’t be discounted that Branagh’s glorious mustache could return to solve a third tightly-wound mystery in the future.