January 19, 2020

Behind the US/Worldwide Weekend Box Office – 1.19.2020


OPENINGS:  For a year lean on powerhouse franchises and expected to be tough at the box office, Hollywood’s 2020 is off to a heartening start.  Following last week’s strong performance by 1917, this week’s BAD BOYS FOR LIFE (Columbia/Sony) blasted through expectations with a $59.2M 3-day weekend ($68M with the Monday holiday), and with no other major action title due until Birds of Prey on February 7, it could reach $200M in the US.  That would be well above the $138.6M for Bad Boys 2 in 2003.  Things were softer overseas, with $38.6M in 39 markets, but For Life should be solidly profitable on $200M in production/marketing costs, and Sony has already let it be known that a 4th installment is in the works.

DOLITTLE (Perfect World/Universal) arrived on a tide of the worst buzz and critical reaction since… well, since Cats just last month.  Its $22.5M 3-day weekend ($30M with Monday) would be respectable for a live-action family title, except for the fact that Dolittle carries $300M+ in total costs, giving it no hope of swimming past red ink.  There was little help overseas with $17.2M in 46 territories, although the financiers can take a shred of hope from the fact that many major international markets are still to open.

HOLDOVERS:  Considering the holiday weekend and its healthy crop of Oscar nominations, the 40% drop to $22.1M ($27M with Monday) for 1917 (Universal) was only so-so, and the film bears around $200M in total costs.  Still, it should easily top $125M in the US, with obvious upside if it wins Best Picture, and it has $62M overseas after a $26M weekend in 37 markets, with China among the openings still to come.

JUMANJI: THE NEXT LEVEL (Columbia/Sony) dipped 32% to $9.6M ($12.5M with Monday) in its 6th weekend, and may stretch to $300M in the US.  It’s at $438M overseas after a $17M weekend in 65 territories.  If it reaches $800M worldwide, that will be a very reasonable 17% drop from the last chapter.

STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER (Lucasfilm/Disney) fell 45% to $8.4M ($10M with Monday) in its 5th weekend, on its way to $510M in the US, down 18% from The Last Jedi.  It has $534.6M overseas after a $10.9M weekend.  If it passes the worldwide $1.073B of Toy Story 4, it would be #6 among 2019 releases, but it would slip 2 slots if it earns $10M less.

JUST MERCY (Warners) dropped 38% to $6M ($7.2M with Monday) from last week’s wide opening, and with no Oscar attention, it will hope to reach $35M in the US.  It’s also opened in 8 international markets with $1.3M.

LITTLE WOMEN (Columbia/Sony) dipped just 24% to $5.9M ($7.5M with Monday) in its 4th weekend, and has a chance of getting to $100M in the US.  It has $44.3M after a $6.2M weekend in just 13 overseas territories.

KNIVES OUT (Lionsgate) continued to be the season’s word of mouth champion, down 24% to $4.3M ($5.3M with Monday) in its 8th weekend, with a US total over $150M dead ahead.  It’s also no slouch overseas, with $131M after a $3.3M weekend in 65 markets.

LIKE A BOSS (Paramount) crashed by 62% to $3.8M ($4.5M with Monday) despite the holiday weekend, and may not see $25M in the US.  It has $1M in limited international release

FROZEN 2 (Disney) slowed by 37% to $3.7M ($5M with Monday) in its 9th weekend, still en route to $475M in the US.  Overseas, it’s at a massive $936.2M after a $12M weekend.

UNDERWATER (TSG/20th/Disney) fell 49% to $3.6M ($4.2M with Monday) from last week’s opening, and won’t get much past $20M in the US.

Several older Best Picture nominees expanded their theatre count to capitalize on the attention, none with breakout 3-day results:  PARASITE (Neon) with $1.8M in 843 theatres, JOJO RABBIT (Searchlight/Disney) with $1.4M in 1005, FORD VS FERRARI (20th/Disney) with $1.1M in 1080, and ONCE UPON A TIME… IN HOLLYWOOD (Columbia/Sony) with $300K at 705 (the latter is also available on homevideo).

LIMITED RELEASE:  WEATHERING WITH YOU (GKIDS), just barely below wide release at 486 theatres, earned a healthy $1.7M.  LES MISERABLES (Amazon) expanded to 42 with a $1600 per-theatre average.

NEXT WEEKEND:  The arrivals are Guy Ritchie’s THE GENTLEMEN (STX), the thriller THE TURNING (Universal), and war story THE LAST FULL MEASURE (Roadside).


About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."