erik lundegaard

Sunday March 01, 2020

Box Office: ‘Wendy,’ ‘Burden’ Open

Six movies opened this weekend and these were two of them:


What's the significance? Wendy Burden is my wife's best friend, the maid of honor at our wedding, and the author of a very good, very funny memoir, “Dead End Gene Pool,” which should be the next book for your book group. I‘ve recommended it to a few groups and they always love it. Several years back, Wendy was visiting us in Seattle and we were standing in line at one of the shops down at Pike Place Market when a teenage girl in front of us, who kept looking back, interrupted and asked, “Are you Wendy Burden?” She’d read the book, loved it, etc., and had to tell her so. It was nice. That kind of thing doesn't happen every day, you know. 

Anyway, I‘ve never seen two movies—let alone two movies opening on the same day—that spelled out a friend’s name. So I had to mention it. Sadly, neither did gangbuster business: “Wendy” finished 36th ($30k in 4 theaters), “Burden” 40th ($20k in 5 theaters). Neither got a fresh rating from critics, either. So it goes.

The big movie for the weekend was the horror/sci-fi amalgam “The Invisible Man,” starring Elisabeth Moss, which grossed $29 mil. The third weekend of “Sonic the Hedgehog” finished second ($16), the second weekend of “Call of the Wild” finished third ($13).

“1917” is still in the top 10 and pulled in another $2.6 million for $155.8 domestic, $362 worldwide. In terms of true WWI movies (i.e., not “Wonder Woman”), it's now the biggest WWI grosser of them all. Well, unadjusted. Adjust for inflation and it's got competition:

  • “The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse” (1921): $430 million
  • “Sergeant York” (1941): $450.9 million
  • “Lawrence of Arabia” (1962): $519 million

The other big post-Oscar grosser has been “Parasite,” of course, and this weekend it grossed another $1.5 million for a domestic total of $51.5. That's the fourth-best domestic showing for a foreign-language film ever. “Hero” is third with $53.7; “Life is Beautiful” is second with $57.2, while “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” soars above everyone else (on invisible wires) at $128.

Speaking of: Chinese movie theaters are still closed because of the coronavirus. Since mid-to-late January, its total gross has been around $120k. A year ago, during the same timeframe, the Chinese box office grossed about $900 million.

Don't forget to read “Dead End Gene Pool.” 

Posted at 02:45 PM on Sunday March 01, 2020 in category Movies - Box Office  
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Twitter: @ErikLundegaard