erik lundegaard

Movies - Box Office posts

Sunday April 15, 2018

Box Office: ‘Rampage’ Opens with a Quiet Win; 'A Quiet Place' Continues to Rampage

Dwayne Johnson's giant ape movie “Rampage” opened to a soft $34 million win this weekend, but what's in an opening? Last April, his “The Fate of the Furious” opened to $98 and grossed a total of $226, while last December his “Jumanji” opened to a tepid $36 (admittedly, the week before Xmas) and wound up grossing $401. That's a rarity but never underestimate The Rock's appeal. Last thing my wife wants to see is a giant ape movie. But with The Rock? She's there. 

It's also the third-biggest opening for a video game adaptation ever—after the first “Lara Kroft” in 2001 ($47.7) and “Angry Birds” two years ago ($38). Those are the only VG adapts that ever grossed north of $100 mil, and “Kroft” topped out at $131. I'm pretty sure “Rampage” will beat that. We‘ll see. 

Meanwhile, John Kransinski’s “A Quiet Place,” which grossed $50 mil last weekend, dropped only 35% to add $32 to its coffers, for a grand total of $99.6. It also added something equally important. For some reason, last weekend, under its genre, Box Office Mojo simply listed one. No, not “horror.” Not “thriller.” Just this: “Off-Screen Couples On Screen.” WTF, right? How can we gauge how it's doing against other horror films if it's not listed as one? This weekend, they fixed that. It now ranks 13th all-time in horror and 11th in “Off-Screen Couples On Screen.” The top three of those are “Twilight” movies. 

And for the record, its opening was the third-best for a horror film—after “It” and “Paranormal Activity 3.” 

In third place, another horror film, “Truth or Dare,” which earned $19. Apparently the Trump administration isn't enough for some people.

“Black Panther” earned another $5 mil, and is at $673 (third-best ever domestically) and $1.3 billion worldwide (10th-best). Even if you adjust for inflation, “BP,” a Feb. release, is 33rd all-time, just behind “The Dark Knight” and “Thunderball.” 

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Posted at 08:46 PM on Apr 15, 2018 in category Movies - Box Office   |   Permalink  
Sunday April 01, 2018

Box Office: Spielberg's ‘Ready Player One’ Opens OK

Ready Player One box office

Steven Spielberg is the only director to have two movies among the top 10 most popular movies of all time (domestic, adjusted), three in the top 20, and four in the top 25. No other director comes close. George Lucas has one in the top 10, two in the top 20, but his No. 3 isn't until No. 66. James Cameron: one in the top 10, two in the top 20, but no No. 3 until 113. 

Spielberg rules. 

Just not lately. His biggest hit of the 21st century has been the dopey “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull,” which grossed $317 in ‘08, or $405 adjusted (142nd all-time), then the grim “War of the Worlds,” which grossed $234 in ’05, or $335 adjusted (221st all-time). His biggest hit this decade, meanwhile, was “Lincoln,” $182/$208, which is definitely a feat—getting all of those asses in seats for a Civil War biopic. It's just that his lighter movies (“BFG,” “Adventures of Tintin”) don't bring them out like they used to.

“Ready Player One” doesn't quite change that. It grossed $41 million to win the weekend, and $53 over four days. (For some reason, it opened on Thursday.) Nothing to sneeze at, nothing to crow about. Its weekend total, for example, is about as good as the fourth weekend of “Black Panther,” this year's runaway hit, which, btw, earned another $11 mil to reach $650. It will soon pass “Jurassic World” ($652) and “Titanic” ($659) to become the third-highest-grossing domestic film of all time. Unadjusted. Adjust, and it's currently 36th, having just passed “Love Story” and “Butch Cassidy,” the No. 1 box-office hits of 1970 and 1969, respectively. 

Will be interesting to see how “Ready Player One” does in its second weekend. Is word-of-mouth good? Looks like it won't have any real competition until Dwayne Johnson's “Rampage” opens April 13. 

No. 2 this weekend? “Tyler Perry's Acrimony,” starring Taraji P. Henson, which is one of Perry's weaker openings. 

Meanwhile, the third “God's Not Dead” flick, “God's Not Dead: A Light in the Darkness,” died. It earned $2.6 million—or about a third of what the second film earned during its opening in 2016. It grossed less in 1,693 theaters than Wes Anderson's “Isle of Dogs” did in 165 theaters ($2.8 million; 11th place). 

The big Christian movie this Easter weekend is still “I Can Only Imagine,” which grossed another $10 mil for fourth place. It's now at $55.5. “Pacific Rim Uprising” dropped 67%, not good, and finished in fifth place. It's at $45 after two weeks. 

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Posted at 10:04 AM on Apr 01, 2018 in category Movies - Box Office   |   Permalink  
Sunday March 25, 2018

Box Office: Pacific Rim's Tepid Victory

The big news isn't that the first weekend of “Pacific Rim Uprising” overtook the sixth weekend of “Black Panther” to become the No. 1 movie at the domestic box office, since that was predicted, nor that “PRU”'s total ($28 million, down from $36 for the original) was a disappointment, since that, too, was predicted. The movie got made for the international, particularly the Chinese market, not ours. 

No, the big news, as I see it, is that for the 10th weekend out of 12 this year, the No. 1 movie at the box office starred a person/people of color:

  • Jumanji (Dwayne Johnson): 4 weeks
  • Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman, et al.): 5 weeks
  • Pacific Rim Uprising (John Boyega): 1 week

The others are “Maze Runner 3,” which was one and out, and “Fifty Shades Freed,” ditto. 

Don't know if this is getting enough attention. 

And sure, you can say that people went to see “PRU” less for Boyega than the giant roboty things, and to “Black Panther” less for Boseman, et al., than its superheroness (although that snap analysis misses something crucial to “BP”'s popularity), and that only Johnson is the true star among the group—the guy that people love and will follow from movie to movie regardless of how shitty it is. Yes. Agreed. But it also means that black stars aren't the detriment to box office that Hollywood execs have long thought. Even in China, which often wears a kind of obtuse racism on its sleeve, they spent $95 million on “BP” during its first week, and $65 mil on “PRU” during its first weekend.

Among other new movies, the animated “Sherlock Gnomes” opened to $10 mil and fourth place (good riddance); the Biblical cheapo “Paul, Apostle of Christ” opened to $5 mil and eighth place (ditto); the teen tearjerker “Midnight Sun” opened to $4.1 mil and 10th place; and Steven Soderbergh's well-reviewed “Unsane” opened to $3.8 mil and 11th place. 

Oh, and Wes Anderson's well-reviewed animation “Isle of Dogs” opened to $1.5 mil and 15th place ... but that was actually a feat, since it opened in only 27 theaters. It grossed $58k per. The others are all opened in at least 1,400 theaters. They grossed between $1 and $6k per. Ruff.

Among returners: “I Can Only Imagine,” the feel-good tale of a bad upbringing that led to a hit song, seems like a hit itself, since it fell only 19% and grossed another $13.8 to bring its domestic total to $38.3. That said, I doubt it‘ll do well abroad. The new “Tomb Raider” fell 56% (fifth place, $41 mil domestic), and the much-ballyhooed “A Wrinkle in Time” fell 50% (sixth place, $73 mil domestic). Not the Year of Women at the box office? 

Best news? The attempted reboot of “Death Wish” is dead. After four weeks, it’s earned $32 mil and this weekend it finished in 16th place. Playing in more than 1,300 theaters, it couldn't make what “Isle of Dogs” made in 27.

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Posted at 04:17 PM on Mar 25, 2018 in category Movies - Box Office   |   Permalink  
Monday March 19, 2018

Box Office: Bet on ‘Black Panther’

Black Panther passes $600 million mark

Still sharpening its claws. 

This weekend, Marvel's “Black Panther” became just the second movie this century to top the U.S. domestic box office five weeks in a row. The other was all-time box-office king “Avatar” in 2009/2010. 

In its fifth weekend, “BP” dropped just 34% to gross another $26.6 million. It's now at $605 million domestic, $1.185 billion worldwide. The latter is 14th-best, the former seventh-best. Domestically, it will soon pass “The Last Jedi” ($619) and “The Avengers” ($623). The only real question is if it can pass “Titanic,” too ($659), and become the third-highest-grossing domestic movie ever. “Avatar,” at $760, is out of reach.

That's unadjusted, of course. But even if you adjust for inflation, “BP” is 47th all-time, having already passed up the likes of the ‘89 “Batman,” “Bambi” and “Around the World in 80 Days.” 

Less celebrated but also relevant? “Jumanji” grossed another $1.6 to eke over the $400 million mark. 

Most of the new releases didn’t exactly bowl anyone over. The reboot of “Tomb Raider” finished second with $23.6 mil, while the gay teen movie “Love, Simon” finished fifth with $11. But: the Christian uplifter “I Can Only Imagine,” starring Dennis Quaid, surprised with a healthy $17 mil. It finished third. 

Meanwhile, the much-ballyhooed “A Wrinkle in Time” dropped 50% in its second weekend for $16 mil and fourth place. It's grossed $60 mil domestic.

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Posted at 01:21 PM on Mar 19, 2018 in category Movies - Box Office   |   Permalink  
Sunday March 11, 2018

A Box Office Wrinkle for ‘Wrinkle in Time’

A Wrinkle in Time bombs at box office

In its weekend preview, Box Office Mojo predicted $42 mil for the new Ava DuVernay-directed “A Wrinkle in Time,” with “Black Panther” settling into second place with $38 mil or so. 

Scratch that. Reverse it.

And then push “Wrinkle” even lower. 

“BP” had the biggest gross for the fourth weekend in a row, earning another $41 mil, and raising its domestic total to $562 million. That's 7th-best all time, unadjusted. Ahead: two “Star Wars,” two Camerons, one Avengers and one Jurassic. It's also now past the $1 billion mark worldwide: 21st and counting. 

“Wrinkle,” meanwhile, opened to a tepid $33 mil, which is surprising given the hoopla around it, but unsurprising given its trailer. Last year, when my wife and I saw the trailer, she leaned over to me and whispered, “That looks awful.” I agreed but hadn't read the books. (She had and wasn't a fan.) But yes: Oprah, Renee and Mindy looked absurd. Zack did, too, but wasn't he supposed to? He was comic relief. The others, in the trailer, played up the nobility angle. Or the trailer played it up for them. Or DuVernay or the book did. 

Critics weren't exactly kind: 42% on Rotten Tomatoes. Here's one comment: 

Unfortunately, the slow pace of the first hour coupled by the tedium of a CGI overload, reduces A Wrinkle in Time to one of Disney's most lackluster big-budget releases since The BFG.

Believe it or not, that's from one of the positive reviews. 

Friday on social media, a female film critic responded to the film's negative reviews by stating she didn't care what 50ish white men thought of the film. Immediately, on FB anyway, a bunch of 50ish white men responded about how enthused they were to see the film. That cracked me up. I thought: Isn't that what she didn't want to hear? What you guys thought? Or we guys? Or was it OK as long as they/we liked it or were enthused by it? I.e., the problem was less “50ish” and “white” and “male” than “thumbs down.” 

But I get where she's going. Her stated rationale is “It's what the kids think that matters,” and that's true. And not. When I was a kid, I loved 1967's “Dr. Doolittle” not realizing until decades later what a disaster it was—financially and critically. Would be interesting to see it now. Is there anything there? It's a kids movie that didn't last except in reboots ... which also haven't lasted. But I did enjoy it. I still have fond memories of it. 

The real rationale for the critic, though (who is 50ish, white and female), is to promote a movie directed by a woman of color, and starring women of color, with a young female lead. Such movies need to make money if Hollywood is going to change. At the moment, “A Wrinkle in Times” doesn't help the cause, and she wants it to help the cause. But there's only one cause a critic should care about. 

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Posted at 10:23 AM on Mar 11, 2018 in category Movies - Box Office   |   Permalink  
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Twitter: @ErikLundegaard