Movies - Box Office postsSunday January 06, 2019
Aquaman, Freddie Mercury Rule Box Office
Worldwide, “Aquaman” already rules the DCEU.
“Escape Room” is the No. 1 movie of the year! It's also the only movie of the year:
It's a seasonal tradition, like Christmas and bad Mariners trades. For some reason, one horror flick (always just one) is released during the first weekend of the year, so for a week, and sometimes longer, it's the No. 1 movie of the year. “Escape Room” did so-so biz in this regard. A year ago, “Insidious: The Last Key” grossed $29. In 2012, “The Devil Inside” grossed $33. $18 is about average. The one thing these horror flicks have in common is they‘re all forgettable.
“Escape” is first for the year but finished second for the weekend—to the third weekend of “Aquaman,” which added another $30 million to bring its domestic total to $259.7. In the DC Extended Universe, it’s ranked fifth of six, beating only “Justice League.” Domestically, that is. Worldwide it's already No. 1, having grossed $681 overseas for a worldwide total of $970. It's the fifth biggest movie of the year, surpassed only by “Avengers,” “Black Panther,” “Jurassic” and “Incredibles.”
Back home, in places 3 though 6 for the weekend, are the same movies that have been battling each other for the spoils since Dec, 19: “Mary Poppins Returns,” now at $138.7 ($258 worldwide); “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” now at $133.8 ($275 worldwide); “Bumblebee” with $97 ($287 worldwide); and Clint Eastwood's “The Mule,” with $81 ($81 worldwide).
What's not faring well? “Holmes and Watson” at just $29 after two weeks. Odd release date. The weekend after Christmas? At that point, everyone is itching to see the movies that were released before Christmas but everyone was too busy to see. J-Lo's “Second Act,” originally pitched as a you-go-girl job movie, and repackaged at the 11th hour as a rom-com, never had much of a first act: It's grossed $33 after three weekends. And “Welcome to Marwen,” which looked supersappyawful, and whose fucking trailers I had to endure for like six months, wasn't particularly welcome: It's at $10 mil after three weekends.
The movie with the longest legs? “Bohemian Rhapsody,” which, in its 10th weekend, pulled in another $2.4 million for 11th place. It's now at $193 domestic and—get this—$550 internationally, for a worldwide total of $743 million. Holy crap, I had no idea. It's now the 99th highest-grossing film of all time, worldwide and unadjusted, and eighth among 2018 releases. The only movies above it are superhero flicks and action-adventures.
Box Office: ‘Aquaman’ Swims in International Waters
Vinny Chase, eat your heart out.
“Aquaman” dropped only 23.5% this weekend to add $51.5 million to its coffers and top box office charts for the second weekend in a row, but that ain't no great shakes. The weekend before Xmas is a busy time, the weekend after is when we relax and go to the movies, so box office tends not to drop much. Last year, for example, “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” dropped just 26%. More to the point, “Jumanji” added 38% on its way to $404 domestic and $962 worldwide.
Nothing like that this year. Yes, most movies added box office (“Mary Poppins Returns,” “Into the Spider-Verse,” “The Mule”) but there are no “Jumanji”s in the mix.
The real story about “Aquaman”'s box office is international, where it's already grossed $566 million (vs. $188 domestic). Almost half the foreign total is in China ($232). Not sure how Warners marketed it abroad but it's working.
Put it this way: Of the six films in the DC Extended Universe, “Aquaman” is still sixth domestically: $40 mil behind “Justice League” and $110 behind “Man of Steel.” But worldwide? It's third with a bullet: It's already grossed $748 vs. $821 for “Wonder Woman” and $873 for “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice.” It‘ll catch both. It will reign.
The worst decision Warners ever made was handing over its lucrative universe to Zack Snyder (“300,” “Watchmen,” “Sucker Punch”). Damage has been done but clouds are clearing. At the same time, it’s not like we need to make movie theaters safe for superheroes again. 2018 is winding down and the three biggest domestic flicks are all supers: “Black Panther,” “Avengers: Infinity War” and “Incredibles 2.” Top 10 also includes “Deadpool 2,” “Ant-Man and the Wasp” and “Venom.” “Aquaman” will join this team ... which beats the last team he joined.
Box Office: ‘Ralph,’ ‘Creed’ Exceed; ‘Robin Hood’ Misses Target
“Ralph Breaks the Internet,” the sequel to “Wreck-It Ralph,” won the weekend with a $55 million haul. And since it opened on Wednesday, the five-day haul is more like $84 million. Either way, it's better than the $49 million “Wreck-It” opened to in 2012. (Shit—six years ago? Feels like just a couple.)
“Creed II,” the sequel to “Creed,” came in second with $35 million. It, too, opened on Wednesday and it's five-day total is $55. “Creed” opened to $29, so, again, improvement. BTW: If you adjust for inflation, the first four “Rocky” movies all grossed more than $300 million domestically—with the first one north of half a billion—while the others, “Rocky V” and “Rocky Balboa,” couldn't make it to $100 million adjusted. The first “Creed” did, though, topping out at $115. This one looks to do better.
Meanwhile, the zillionth “Robin Hood” opened to poor reviews and poor box office, finishing the weekend in seventh place with $9.1 million. Good.
Sadly, the new “Grinch,” which I‘ve heard is bad, and which received mediocre reviews, fell only 21% during its third weekend, for third place and another $30 mil. It’s now at $180 domestic, which is just encouraging bad behavior on the part of the studios.
“Fantastic Beasts/Grindelwald” did fall, though, 50+% in its second weekend, and looks to not reach the heights of the first “FB,” which opened to $74 and topped out at $234. “FB2” scraped in another $29 but is at a sluggish $117.
In its fourth weekend, “Bohemian Rhapsody” refuses to bite the dust, grossing another $13. It's now at $152. For the modern, post-1980 era, that's the second highest-grossing music biopic after “Straight Outta Compton,” which is just a stone's throw away at $161. Adjust for inflation, though, and “Coal Miner's Daughter” is on top with $228.
The BOM numbers.
‘Venom’ Breaks October Box-Office Record
“Venom,” a supervillain movie more than a superhero movie, directed by the guy who directed “Zombieland” (fun) and “Gangster Squad” (not so fun), and which garnered a pretty shitty 32% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, broke the October box-office record this weekend with a $80 million opening haul. The previous record has been set by “Gravity,” when it opened to $55 mil in 2013.
That $80 mil is still the lowest opening box-office record for any month. The only other month that hasn't broken the $100 million mark is January, whose record-holder is still Clint Eastwood's “American Sniper,” which grossed $89 million on MLK Weekend in 2014. Five months—February, April, May, June and December—have already broken the $200 million mark.
“Venom” is now the fifth superhero/villain movie to hold the monthly box-office mark:
- February: “Black Panther” ($202)
- April: “Avengers: Infinity War” ($257)
- May: “The Avengers” ($207)
- August: “Suicide Squad” ($133)
- October: “Venom” ($80)
It's also the second-highest opening for a Tom Hardy movie, after “The Dark Knight Rises.”
The better news is that Bradley Cooper's “A Star is Born,” co-starring Lady Gaga, with Oscar buzz preceding its glowing reviews and 91% RT rating, came in second with a strong $41 mil. If it gets nominated best picture, as it's likely to, it will already have surpassed the entire gross of six of the nine best-picture nominees from last year. And only “Dunkirk,” at $50 million, opened bigger.
Box Office: ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ Has Crazy Good Labor Day Weekend
Most movies stayed afloat this weekend—particularly “Crazy Rich Asians,” which dropped only 10% to pull in another $22 million. Four-day estimates are around $28 mil. A sequel is in the works.
I’d say movies were buoyed by the holiday, but Labor Day weekend is an historically bad weekend for moviegoing. We have four established three-day holiday weekends in the U.S., and this is the best domestic box office for each:
- MLK: “American Sniper,” $107 million *
- President’s Day: “Black Panther,” $242 million
- Memorial Day: “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End,” $139 million **
- Labor Day: “Halloween” (2007), $30 million
*Yes, it’s embarrassing that a movie with this title did so well over MLK weekend.
** This was way back in 2007 and no recent movie has come close. Is Memorial Day not the great movie weekend I thought it was? This decade only four Memorial openers have even crossed the $100 mil mark: “Hangover Part II” in 2011, “Fast & Furious 6” in 2013, “X-Men: Days of Future Past” in 2014, and “Solo: A Star Wars Story." “F&F6” did best, $117, so not even within $20 mil of “POTC3.” Interesting.
That’s quite a drop-off from the other holiday weekends. Even so, this weekend they came out for “Crazy Rich Asians.” If the estimates hold, it’ll be the third-best box office ever during Labor Day weekend—after the aforementioned 2007 reboot of “Halloween” and the fourth weekend of “The Sixth Sense” back in 1999. If it does just a little better than estimates (another $2 mil), it’ll break the record. Stay tuned. (I think only I am excited by this possibility.)
In other news, “The Meg” dropped 17% to gross another $10 for $120 total. “M:I-F” added $7 for $204. “Searching,” starring Jon Cho, came in fourth: $6 mil in only 1207 theaters.
The two biggest new releases were “Operation Finale,” about extradicting Adolf Eichmann for trial in Israel, which got so-so notices (62%), and earned $6 mil in 1818 theaters; and “KIN,” a supposed “crime thriller with a sci-fi twist,” which got shitty notices (34%), and did shittier box office: $3 mil in 2141 theaters. It finished 12th.
Despite the holidayish weekend, a few movies did drop big. “The HappyTime Murders” fell 53% in its second weekend, earning $4.4, for a total of just $17; and “Mile 22,” the latest Berg/Wahlberg military adventure, fell 43% in its third weekend and has grossed just $31 total.
P and I went to see “Juliet, Naked,” which is a funny, original story for adults. I guess that’s why it’s only playing in 318 theaters. It grossed $804k.
The lowest screen-average for the weekend? Dinesh D’Souza’s idiot right-wing documentary, “Death of a Nation,” which earned just $375 per theater. That's 375 dollars. Couldn’t happen to a nicer fellow.