Movies - Box Office postsSunday March 31, 2019
Box Office: Dumbo Drop
Disney's live-action “Dumbo,” directed by Tim Burton, finished first at the domestic box office, grossing $45 mil, about $11 milion ahead of the second weekend of Jordan Peele's “Us,” which fell 52.7% while adding another $33.6 for a domestic total of $128.2.
If that seems like a weak open for “Dumbo,” it is. Here's Box Office Mojo's rankings of the best opening weekends of Disney live-action remakes:
|1||Beauty and the Beast (2017)||$174,750,616||$504,014,165||4,210|
|2||Alice in Wonderland (2010)||$116,101,023||$334,191,110||3,739|
|3||The Jungle Book (2016)||$103,261,464||$364,001,123||4,144|
|4||Oz The Great and Powerful||$79,110,453||$234,911,825||3,912|
|8||101 Dalmatians (1996)||$33,504,025||$136,189,294||2,901|
|9||Alice Through the Looking Glass||$26,858,726||$77,041,381||3,763|
|10||Pete's Dragon (2016)||$21,514,095||$76,233,151||3,702|
Not a good spot to be in. Adjust for inflation and it's behind “101 Dalmations,” too.
“Captain Marvel” finished third with another $20 mil. It's now at $353 domestically, which is the eighth-best domestic run for an MCU movie—behind, going up the chain, “Guardians 2,” “Cap/Civil War,” “Iron Man 3,” “Avengers/Ultron,” “Avengers,” “Avengers: Infinity War” and “Black Panther.” Meaning it's Marvel's second-biggest debut after “Black Panther.” It's also the No. 1 movie of the year worldwide, currently at $990 million.
Fifth for the weekend was “Unplanned,” an anti-abortion movie, at $6 mil. So that kind of thing is back again.
Of the top 10, I've already seen “Us” and “Captain Marvel,” and want to see “Dumbo” and “Hotel Mumbai,” which finished eighth at $3.1 mil.
Jordan Peele's ‘Us’ Scares Up $70 Mil at Box Office
Class is in session.
If you discount Oscar contenders that opened in two or four theaters before going wide (“Shape of Water,” “Lady Bird”), and movies that opened the week before Xmas, when hardly anyone goes, and then hit it big (“Jumanji,” “The Greatest Showman”), the 2017 movie with the longest legs, as measured by how big its final domestic total was against its opening, was Jordan Peele's horror flick, “Get Out.” Its $33.3 million opening in February was 19% of its final domestic gross: $176 million. These days a movie does well if it grosses, says, three times its opening—particularly one that wins the weekend, as “Get Out” did—and horror movies tend to merely double their opening.
“Get Out” grossed five times its opening. That's a word-of-mouth movie. That's everyone saying, “You gotta see this.” It dropped only 15% from first to second weekend and its total gross wound up second only to “The Exorcist” among R-rated horror movies. (Both have since been surpassed by “It,” which opened in Sept. 2017.)
I doubt “Us” will have those kinds of legs, but if it does it will surpass “It” and become the all-time R-rated horror champ.
“Us” grossed $70 million this weekend, far surpassing predictions, which had it around $50 mil. I always like when they‘re wrong here, as if with all of their stats and charts they haven’t figured us out yet; but I wouldn't be surprised if the movie's power was underappreciated because of race: black director, black cast. The assumption was: it won't go boffo. But it went boffo. That $70 mil is the third-best opening for R-rated horror after “It” and 2018's “Halloween.” “Us” averaged $18.7k a theater, second-best for the weekend after “Hotel Mumbai,” which opened in only four theaters as opposed to 3,741.
Will be interesting to see where it finally lands. It got a 94% on Rotten Tomatoes but only a 69% for an audience score. Critics like it better. In terms of box office, that's never a good thing, sadly.
Overall, I think it's going to be less satisfying for a lot of people, who will leave the theater scratching their heads. That's what I saw at SIFF Egyptian yesterday afternoon when Patricia and I went. As the crowd drained out and blinked in the late-afternoon light, I saw a lot of confused faces, and conversations starting “So....” or “So wait, if...” Me, I liked parts of it, but it wasn't as cohesive as “Get Out,” and not as scary. Then I woke up at 1 this morning, terrified of dopplegangers. Go know. We'll see what kind of legs it has.
Elsewhere, “Captain Marvel” fell to second place but grossed another $35 to bring its 17-day domestic total to $321 (already 10th-best out of 21 MCU movies), and its worldwide total to just shy of a billion dollars: $910 million.
Box Office: ‘Captain Marvel’ Keeps Soaring
Last weekend, “Captain Marvel” had the seventh-biggest opening among Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) movies, $152 mil, and this weekend it only fell 54.8% to gross another $69 mil (including my ticket), which brings its 10-day total to $266. Among 10-day grosses, that’s the 19th-best ever.
Where does it stop? One assumes north of $400, putting it in the top rank of MCU movies.
Overall, there have been 21 since “Iron Man” was released in 2008. The lowest grossing is “The Incredible Hulk” with Edward Norton as Bruce Banner: $134. It’s the only MCU movie that never grossed $150.
Let's just do the rundown:
- < $200 million: “Hulk” ($134), “Captain America: The First Avenger” ($176), “Ant-Man” ($180) and “Thor” ($181)
- > $200 million: “Thor: The Dark World ($206), “Ant-Man and the Wasp” ($216), “Dr. Strange” ($232), and “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” ($259)
- > $300: “Iron Man 2,” “Thor: Ragnarok,” “Iron Man,” “Guardians of the Galaxy,” “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” and “Guardians of the Galaxy 2”
- > $400: “Captain America: Civil War,” “Iron Man 3,” and “Avengers: Age of Ultron”
- > $500: n/a
- > $600: “Marvel’s The Avengers” and “Avengers: Infinity War”
- > $700: “Black Panther”
I’ve seen them all. God help me.
My initial guess, for what it’s worth (nothing), is “Captain Marvel” finishes in fifth place in the current MCU: ahead of “Iron Man 3,” behind “Ultron.” We’ll see.
The rest of the weekend was poorly-reviewed movies doing not-great business. The animated movie “Wonder Park” (30% RT) finished in second place with $16 million from 3,838 theaters, while the latest sick-teens-in-love romance, “Five Feet Apart,” grossed $13 mil in 2,803 theaters.
The near-future, sci-fi flick “Captive State,” about aliens taking over, finished seventh, grossing an abysmal $3 million. It actually finished behind the Mexican comedy “No Manches Frida 2,” despite debuting in 2,548 theaters as opposed to “Manches”’ 472.
Has anyone seen “The Mustang” starring Matthias Schoenaerts? Four theaters, $76k. I’m interested. Redemption songs and horses.
Amid Shrugs, Captain Marvel Blasts Box Office
This past weekend, “Captain Marvel,” the latest Marvel Cinematic Universe flick, opened to $153 million domestic and $455 worldwide.
Domestically and unadjusted, that's the 18th-biggest opening ever, and seventh biggest of the MCU—after the three “Avengers” movies, “Black Panther,” “Iron Man 3” and “Captain America: Civil War” (which is really an Avengers movie). Worldwide, that's the sixth-largest debut ever, and second-biggest of the MCU—after “Infinity War,” which is the all-time record-holder at $640 million.
Worldwide, “Captain Marvel” is already the second-biggest movie of the year, trailing only China's sci-fi flick, “The Wandering Earth,” which made almost all of its money in China. Domestically, it's already the biggest movie of the year.
The big question is what kind of legs it will have. I have yet to see the movie, a kind of prequel set in the 1980s/90s, but friends who have mostly shrug when I ask how it is. They say it's OK. It's got an 80% on Rotten Tomatoes but also an audience score of 58%. For the latter number, one wonders how many misogynistic trolls are involved; for the former, how many thumbs ups are accompanied by hapless shrugs.
Me, I'm old enough to remember when Capt. Marvel meant either Shazam! or the blonde-haired astral figure who shared Neutral Zone time with Rick Jones. I also remember the 1977 debut of Ms. Marvel, with her bare legs and midriff and mid-70s coif. I'm pretty sure I bought the issue. I remembering thinking the promise of the cover—“in the senses-stunning tradition of Spider-Man!”—sounded a bit odd. Senses-stunning? Would you want that? How could you even read the comic?
I also don't remember being too impressed with the storyline, or something, but by then I had one foot out the comic-collecting door. Others seemed to feel the same. Ms. Marvel only lasted 23 issues.
That was 40 years ago. One wonders what failed enterprise aimed at kids/teens today will become a billion-dollar blockbuster in 40 years.
More Box Office Ho Hum; the Story is Abroad
“Wandering Earth” is the biggest movie worldwide of 2019.
The second weekend of the third “How to Train Your Dragon” movie, which opened bigger than its predecessors ($55 million vs. $43 and $49), dropped 45% but still won the weekend, grossing another $30 million, to bring its 10-day domestic total to $97.
In second place, the ninth Tyler Perry Madea movie, “A Madea Family Funeral,” had the fourth-best opening of that series at $27. Most Madea movies make a little more than twice what they did opening weekend, so expect the same. The eight previous grossed between $47 and $90.
The other big opener, the camp horror film “Greta,” starring Isabelle Hupert and Chloe Moretz, opened with a pittance: $4.5 in 2400 theaters. Eighth place.
The rest of the top 10 were the other non-performers of spring—“Alita,” “LEGO 2,” “Fighting with My Family,” “Isn't It Romantic,” “What Men Want” and “Happy Death Day 2 U”—along with, in fifth place, recent Academy Award winner “Green Book,” which expanded by 1300+ theaters but whose per-theater average was still low: $1.7k.
More ho-hum, in other words.
The real story this spring has been worldwide rather than domestic box office:
|1||Glass||$109||The Wandering Earth||$665|
|2||The Upside||$102||How to Train Your Dragon 3||$375|
|3||How to Train Your Dragon 3||$97||Alita: Battle Angel||$350|
|4||LEGO Movie 2||$91||Glass||$243|
|5||Alita: Battle Angel||$72|
Why is there only four movies under Worldwide? Because Box Office Mojo only lists four 2019 movies among its top 768 all-time.—or any movie that's done better than $200 worldwide. Only four movies in 2019 have done that.
Which ... isn't exactly true. Or it's only true for movies that have opened in the U.S. Because two other Chinese movies (to go with their big one, “Wandering Earth”) have grossed more than $200 in China alone this year—“Crazy Alien” at $321, and “Pegasus” at $246—but neither has played in the U.S. yet. Not sure why Box Office Moho doesn't list them in worldwide. They‘re part of worldwide, after all. Worldwide shouldn’t mean “As long as they‘ve played in America.” And Box Office Mojo knows their numbers since that’s where I got them. Must be a kind of left hand/right hand thing. They should fix that.
The Chinese numbers, by the way, are so far ahead of U.S. numbers because one of China's busiest moviegoing periods, Chinese New Year, already happened. Even so, the difference is starker because domestic b.o. is down 26% from last year. One wonders if maybe this isn't the year China passes the U.S. as the world's largest movie market.
We‘ll see if “Captain Marvel” can come to the rescue. If it’s even a rescue. Maybe it's just a torch passing.