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.