erik lundegaard

Movies - Box Office posts

Monday April 29, 2019

‘Avengers: Endgame’: The Whole World is Watching

I really buried the lede yesterday, didn't I? I was so busy talking about how “Avengers: Endgame” had shattered the domestic box office record for opening weekends with a $350 million haul, surpassing the previous record holder, “Avengers: Infinity War,” by $92 million, a 26.7% increase, which was the biggest increase in weekend box-office record-holders since “The Lost World: Jurassic Park” passed “Batman Forever”'s mark by 26.8% in 1997, I say I was so busy all this that I didn't even notice it pulled in $1.2 billion worldwide. Think of that. In just three days, it became the 18th highest-grossing movie of all time. Unadjusted. It will have to stumble a lot not to reach No. 2 all time. It might even reach number one: “Avatar”'s $2.7 billion. Truly astonishing. The pollitical slogan of the ‘60s has become the entertainment slogan for Marvel’s tentpole franchise: The whole world is watching. 

Those numbers, by the way, were estimates. The actuals came out today ... and they‘re better.  

Globally, it did $1.226 billion, which is, again, the 18th-biggest movie of all time. The highest-grossing film of the DCEU is (believe it or not) “Aquaman,” at $1.147 billion. I’m sure DC was proud. Until it took “Endgame” all of three days to pass it up. 

And domestically? It grossed $357 million, which is $99 million better than the previous record-holder (again: “Avengers: Infinity War”) and a 27.8% improvement. Which is the biggest leap for a new record-holder since “Return of the Jedi” grossed $23 million on its opening weekend in 1983, surpassing “Star Trek: Wrath of Khan”'s record by 37.7%.

Here's that weekend box-office champ chart again, updated:

Release Movie Open Thtrs Total % Increase $$ Increase
6/20/80 The Empire Strikes Back $10.8 823 $209 NA NA
6/19/81 Superman II $14.1 1,397 $108 23.1% $3.2
6/4/82 Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan $14.3 1,621 $78 1.7% $0.2
5/25/83 Return of the Jedi $23.0 1,002 $252 37.7% $8.6
5/23/84 Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom $25.3 1,687 $179 9.1% $2.3
5/20/87 Beverly Hills Cop II $26.3 2,326 $153 3.8% $1.0
5/24/89 Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade $29.3 2,327 $197 10.2% $3.0
6/16/89 Ghostbusters II $29.4 2,410 $112 0.4% $0.1
6/23/89 Batman $40.5 2,194 $251 27.2% $11.0
6/19/92 Batman Returns $45.6 2,644 $162 11.4% $5.1
6/11/93 Jurassic Park $47.0 2,404 $357 2.8% $1.3
6/16/95 Batman Forever $52.7 2,842 $184 10.9% $5.7
5/23/97 The Lost World: Jurassic Park $72.1 3,281 $229 26.8% $19.3
11/16/01 Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone $90.2 3,672 $317 20.1% $18.1
5/3/02 Spider-Man $114.8 3,615 $403 21.4% $24.5
7/7/06 Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest $135.6 4,133 $423 15.3% $20.7
5/4/07 Spider-Man 3 $151.1 4,252 $336 10.2% $15.4
7/18/08 The Dark Knight $158.4 4,366 $533 4.6% $7.2
7/15/11 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 $169.1 4,375 $381 6.4% $10.7
5/4/12 The Avengers $200.3 4,349 $623 15.5% $31.1
6/12/15 Jurassic World $208.8 4,274 $652 4.1% $8.5
12/18/15 Star Wars: The Force Awakens $247.9 4,134 $936 15.8% $39.1
4/27/18 Avengers: Infinity War $257.7 4,474 $678 3.8% $9.7
4/26/19 Avengers: Endgame $357.1 4,662 TBD 27.8% $99.4

We shall not see its like again. 

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Posted at 05:10 PM on Apr 29, 2019 in category Movies - Box Office   |   Permalink  
Sunday April 28, 2019

Game Over, Man: ‘Avengers: Endgame’ Shatters Box Office Record with $350 Million Opening Weekend

Since 1980, the title of “biggest opening weekend” has changed hands 24 times, which means it happens about once every 18 months. It happened nine times in the ‘80s, four times in the ’90s, five in the aughts, and six times this decade. It happened three times in 1989 alone, when then-champ “Beverly Hills Cop II” ($26 million) was unseated by “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” ($29.3), which lost its title three weeks later to “Ghostbusters II” ($29.4), which held onto the title exactly one week, when Tim Burton's “Batman” shattered the norms with a record $40.4 million weekend and made every exec in Hollywood realize the age of the superhero was here. 

Kidding. That wouldn't happen for another 10 years. 

Anyway, you see how it goes. Generally there's an incremental leap forward—like with “Ghosbusters II”: $117k, 0.4%. Rarer is the great leap forward, as with “Batman”: $11 million, 27.2%. 

This weekend, “Avengers: Endgame” made the greatest leap forward of all. It opened at $350 million. 

On one level, percentage-wise, this isn't the biggest. The biggest since ‘80 is “Return of the Jedi” at 37.7%. Then “Batman at 27.2%, followed by 1997’s ”The Lost World: Jurassic Park“ at 26.8%. Because it's easier to leap percentage-wise when the raw numbers are small. That's why no movie has touched a 20% increase since ”Spider-Man“ nearly 20 years ago. The numbers are just too big now.

Except ”Avengers: Endgame“ broke the record by 26.4%

And in terms of dollar amounts? Nothing's close. The previous best jump was ”Force Awakens,“ which increased the record by $39 million; second is the first ”Avengers“ movie in 2012, which did the same by $31 million. 

”Endgame“ bested the record, its own record, by $92 million. 

Here's another indicator of how much this is shattering norms. When the 2012 ”Avengers“ became the first film to break the $200 million mark, there were 20 previous movies that had already opened north of the previous benchmark, $100 million—including pirate movies and Pixar and Harry Potter. And ”Avengers“ just eked over that $200 million line. This time, ”Endgame“ is roaring past $300 million, halfway to $400, while there's only six movies that managed to break the previous benchmark, $200 million—and three of those were MCU movies. (The others are ”Star Wars“ and ”Jurassic World.“)

And, again, ”Endgame“ is doing it all with a three-hour runtime, meaning there are fewer shows and thus fewer opportunties for moviegoers to lay down their dough. 

Now that it's happened, or happening, I don't see any movie breaking this record for a long, long time. I know records are made to be broken—once every 18 months since 1980, for this. That said, the longest period without a new champ was four and a half years. In May ‘97, ”The Lost World: Jurassic Park“ took the mantle from ”Batman Forever“ with a $72 million weekend. That wasn’t beaten until the first Harry Potter movie grossed $90 million in November 2001. I think we‘re going to get that again; that kind of gap. Or longer. Because nothing’s close to it. You'd need to put Harry Potter in a ”Star Wars" movie with dinosaurs to maybe have a shot. Maybe. 

Here's the chart of weekend box-office champs over the years: 

Release Movie Open Thtrs Total % Increase $$ Increase
6/20/80 The Empire Strikes Back $10.8 823 $209 NA NA
6/19/81 Superman II $14.1 1,397 $108 23.1% $3.2
6/4/82 Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan $14.3 1,621 $78 1.7% $0.2
5/25/83 Return of the Jedi $23.0 1,002 $252 37.7% $8.6
5/23/84 Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom $25.3 1,687 $179 9.1% $2.3
5/20/87 Beverly Hills Cop II $26.3 2,326 $153 3.8% $1.0
5/24/89 Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade $29.3 2,327 $197 10.2% $3.0
6/16/89 Ghostbusters II $29.4 2,410 $112 0.4% $0.1
6/23/89 Batman $40.5 2,194 $251 27.2% $11.0
6/19/92 Batman Returns $45.6 2,644 $162 11.4% $5.1
6/11/93 Jurassic Park $47.0 2,404 $357 2.8% $1.3
6/16/95 Batman Forever $52.7 2,842 $184 10.9% $5.7
5/23/97 The Lost World: Jurassic Park $72.1 3,281 $229 26.8% $19.3
11/16/01 Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone $90.2 3,672 $317 20.1% $18.1
5/3/02 Spider-Man $114.8 3,615 $403 21.4% $24.5
7/7/06 Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest $135.6 4,133 $423 15.3% $20.7
5/4/07 Spider-Man 3 $151.1 4,252 $336 10.2% $15.4
7/18/08 The Dark Knight $158.4 4,366 $533 4.6% $7.2
7/15/11 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 $169.1 4,375 $381 6.4% $10.7
5/4/12 The Avengers $200.3 4,349 $200 15.5% $31.1
6/12/15 Jurassic World $208.8 4,274 $652 4.1% $8.5
12/18/15 Star Wars: The Force Awakens $247.9 4,134 $936 15.8% $39.1
4/27/18 Avengers: Infinity War $257.7 4,474 $678 3.8% $9.7
4/26/19 Avengers: Endgame $350.0 4,662 TBD 26.4% $92.3

And I haven't even gotten to the global box office: $1.2 billion. Good god. In just three days, it's already the 18th-biggest movie of all time. Unadjusted. And it completely shattered that mark. Per Box Office Mojo:

  • Worldwide Opening Weekend: $1.2 billion
  • Previous Record: $640.5 million (Avengers: Infinity War)

It's uniting the world more than anything besides hatred of Donald Trump.

Review up tomorrow. 

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Posted at 11:41 AM on Apr 28, 2019 in category Movies - Box Office   |   Permalink  
Saturday April 27, 2019

‘Avengers: Endgame’ Grosses $156 Million In One Day—With a Snap of Its Fingers

In one day, “Avengers: Endgame” became the fourth-highest-grossing movie of the year. With Thursday night's shows, and Friday's receipts, it grossed an estimated $156 million, shattering the single-day mark of $119 million set by “The Force Awakens” in 2015. That's a superpowered leap. 

There are only four movies that have ever grossed $100 million in a single day:

  • Avengers: Endgame (2019): $156.7 (est.)
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015): $119.2
  • Avengers: Infinity War (2018): $106
  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017): $104.6

Back in your corner, “Star Wars.” Good luck. 

Of course they‘re all owned by the same studio now. Who’s the leader of the club that's made for you and me. 

I guess this is the way you do it. You make good movies and create a continuous universe. Over a decade. Then you give us the slambang two-part finale.

Where she stops, nobody knows. Box Office Mojo is assuming a $300 million opening weekend. Abroad, it's already grossed nearly half a billion. 

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Posted at 02:06 PM on Apr 27, 2019 in category Movies - Box Office   |   Permalink  
Sunday April 21, 2019

Box Office: Calm Before the Avengers Storm

Probably because it hops around a lot—so far this century, showing up as early as March 23 (2008) and as late as April 23 (2000)—Hollywood doesn't seem to have much of an Easter weekend strategy the way it does with other holidays.

Here are the box office winners for movies opening on past Easter weekends. Detect the pattern:

  • 2009: Hannah Montana the Movie ($32.3)
  • 2010: Clash of the Titans ($61.2)
  • 2011: Tyler Perry's Madea's Big Happy Family ($25)
  • 2012: American Reunion ($21.5)
  • 2013: G.I. Joe: Retaliation ($40.5)
  • 2014: Heaven Is For Real ($22.5)
  • 2015: Furious 7 ($147.2)
  • 2016: Batman v. Superman ($166)
  • 2017: The Fate of the Furious ($98.7)
  • 2018: Ready Player One ($41.7)
  • 2019: The Curse of La Llorona ($26.5)

Yeah, there isn't one. It's gotten more blockbustery, but that's true for March and April, generally. They‘ve opened everything from concert films to gross-out comedies to muscle-car muscle-man movies to—this year—horror. Generally we celebrate the weekend Christ died and ascended by watching people beat each other up. As the Bible intended. 

This weekend, after “La Llorona,” a horror movie I hadn’t heard of until it opened, “Shazam!,” Warner Bros.' more tongue-and-cheek entry into the superhero world, finished second with another $17.3, to bring its domestic total to $121. It's not falling fast (just 29% this weekend) but seems assured of being the lowest-grossing entry in the DCEU—a title currently held by “Justice League” (of all movies) at $229. It also seems just as assured of catching the lowest-grossing entry in the MCU (“Incredible Hulk” at $134) but that's probably the only one it‘ll catch. The second-lowest-grossing MCU movie, “Captain America: The First Avenger” is at $176. 

Anyway, I liked “Shazam!” and hope they keep making movies like it. 

The religious entry for Easter weekend, “Breakthrough,” about a boy who falls through the ice and is saved by prayer, got surprisingly good reviews (67% on RT) considering how painfully bad the trailer always felt to me. But even with good reviews, it still just grossed $11 mil. This is why you can’t have nice movies, Christians; you don't go see them. Unless they‘re not nice and/or part of the culture wars. (Cf., “Passion of the Christ.”)

Fourth is the seventh weekend of “Captain Marvel”: another $9 to bring its total domestic gross to just over $400 million. That’s seventh-best in the MCU, and only needs another $9 mil to be fifth-best. Another $12 and it surpasses “Wonder Woman”—the highest-grossing DCEU film. 

All in all, a quiet weekend at the box office. It's next weekend that things get noisy. 

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Posted at 05:47 PM on Apr 21, 2019 in category Movies - Box Office   |   Permalink  
Sunday April 07, 2019

Box Office: Shazam! Lightens DCEU

Remember, kids: Floss before you fight.

This weekend, we got the first “Shazam!” movie in 78 years, the first “Pet Sematary” since 1992, and the first “white man overcomes racism with the help of an unlikely black friend” period piece since “Green Book” opened six months ago. 

“Shazam!” wins. No surprise.

The surprise is that its $53.4 million opening is the worst of the DC Extended Universe by far. The second-worst is “Aquaman,” which opened the week before Christmas 2018, and that's always a busy time to see movies. Almost everything else in the DCEU debuted with more than $100 mil. 

You could argue “Shazam!” is hardly DCEU anyway. Or if it is, it indciates how schizophrenic that universe has become. It began dark, with Superman killing people, got darker, with Batman a nutjob and with the death of Superman, lightened its (and our) load with “Wonder Woman,” chuckled a bit with “Aquaman,” and is now it's an outright comedy. That's not a universe, with consistent laws, but an entire spectrum. But at least it's going in the right direction. I‘ll take laughs any day over the groans Zack Snyder’s crap causes.

“Pet Sematary” finished in second with $25 million. Unadjusted, that's the second-biggest opener for a movie based on a Stephen King story/novel. Adjust for inflation and things change only slightly:

RNK MOVIE ADJ. OPENING
1 It $124,785,300
2 The Green Mile $32,026,600
3 Pet Sematary $27,399,700
4 1408 $27,060,700
5 Secret Window $26,519,400

Except, oops, that “Pet Sematary” is the 1989 one with Fred Gwynn and Denise Crosby. When I wrote a Stephen King Top 5/Worst 5 list for MSN back in 2004, I tapped 1989's “Pet Sematary” as the third-worst of the bunch, behind only “Sleepwalkers” and “Maximum Overdrive.” But it opened well and did well at the box office. Here's SK's top 10 total box office, adjusted:

RNK MOVIE ADJ. GROSS 
1 It $329,672,600
2 The Green Mile $235,822,400
3 The Shining $147,760,900
4 Carrie (1976) $143,293,000
5 Misery $131,089,100
6 Pet Sematary (1989) $130,717,700
7 Stand by Me $127,265,600
8 1408 $94,481,100
9 The Running Man $87,677,100
10 The Lawnmower Man $69,848,300

Where's the now-beloved “Shawshank Redemption”? In 15th place, with $60 million—just ahead of one of my favorites, “Dead Zone” with Christopher Walken. Where will this year's “Pet Sematary” wind up? Who knows, but it won't touch the 1989 version. At the same time, it's probably better. Can't get no worse, as John sang. 

The other opener, “The Best of Enemies,” this year's “Green Book,” didn't do so well out of the gate: sixth place, $4.5. Trivia that doesn't feel trivial: “Green Book” has grossed almost as much in China ($70 million) as in the U.S. ($84).

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Posted at 12:56 PM on Apr 07, 2019 in category Movies - Box Office   |   Permalink  
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