January 20, 2019

Behind the US/Worldwide Weekend Box Office – 1.20.2019


OPENINGS:  Despite a holiday opening and a much higher (and more costly) level of hype, GLASS (Blinding Edge/Blumhouse/Buena Vista Intl/Universal) barely squeezed past Split over the 3-day weekend, $40.6M vs. $40M.  Even that number assumes a solid Sunday, although an 8% Saturday drop (Split gained 13% on its 1st Saturday), indicates that word of mouth may not be its friend.  Glass, which should increase to $47M with the Monday holiday, probably doesn’t have to worry about red ink despite its big marketing costs, since the production itself reportedly cost under $30M.  But it’s unlikely to generate a US total in league with Split‘s $138.3M, or to be the culminating blockbuster of auteur M. Night Shyamalan’s 20-year long trilogy.  Overseas, Glass opened in 55 markets (not including China) with $48.5M.  (Note for those unfamiliar with corporate names, Buena Vista Intl is Disney, which doesn’t really release adult dramas anymore–something that may change with the Fox merger–but which owned rights to the Unbreakable portion of the Glass material.)

If Glass brought a faint wisp of disappointment to the weekend, DRAGON BALL SUPER: BROLY (Funimation) was the happy surprise.  With a theatre count that’s varied from 1250 to 467 over its 5 days of release, Dragon Ball earned $10.4M on Wed-Thurs, and added $10.7M over the 3-day weekend, which could become $13M with Monday.  It’s unclear what the planned future release pattern is, but with negligible marketing costs, Dragon Ball should be extremely profitable.

HOLDOVERS:  THE UPSIDE (Lantern/STX) held very well, down just 23% from last weekend to $15.7M ($19M with Monday).  It could reach $75M in the US, quite a feat for a production that sat on studio shelves for more than a year.

AQUAMAN (DC/Warners) dropped 41% in its 5th weekend to $10.3M ($12.5M with Monday), as it heads toward $325M in the US, roughly even with Batman v Superman ($330.4M) and Suicide Squad ($325.1M).  It’s already DC’s biggest title overseas, with $759.1M after a $14.3M weekend in all major territories except Japan.

SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE (Sony Animation/Columbia/Sony) dipped just 20% in its 5th weekend to $7.3M ($9M with Monday), and after last night’s Producers Guild award, the studio will no doubt try to keep it in theatres through the Oscars.  It’s still only a moderate success, on track for $175M in the US, and with $164.6M overseas after a $4.7M weekend in 65 markets.

A DOG’S WAY HOME (Bona/Columbia/Sony) lost 37% to $7.1M in its 2nd weekend ($8.5M with Monday), and may reach $40M in the US.  Overseas, it’s at $5.1M after a $2.8M weekend in only 8 territories.

ESCAPE ROOM (Columbia/Sony) lost 41% in its 3rd weekend to $5.3M ($6M with Monday), and could still get to $50M in the US.  It also has $13M overseas after a $9.5M weekend in 16 territories, the bulk of that from China.

MARY POPPINS RETURNS (Disney) dropped 32% to $5.2M in its 5th weekend ($6.5M with Monday), as it heads toward $170M in the US.  Overseas, it’s at $147.3M after a $6M weekend in 44 markets, and although Japan and Korea are yet to open, this wasn’t the sure-thing smash it was envisioned to be.

BUMBLEBEE (Tencent/Paramount) was down 35% in its 5th weekend to $4.7M ($5.7M with Monday), perhaps able to reach $130M in the US.  Overseas, it’s at a more impressive $296.4M after a $20.9M weekend in 64 territories, with Japan still to open.  About 45% of that international total is from China, where it may have a favorable deal on the amount of box office the studio is allowed to keep, thanks to Tencent’s participation.

ON THE BASIS OF SEX (Focus/Universal) dropped 35% in its 2nd weekend of wide release to $4M ($4.7M with Monday), and with little Oscar fuel, it should end up around $25M in the US.

GREEN BOOK (DreamWorks/Participant/Universal) increased its theatre count by 23%, and rose 5% to $2.3M ($2.8M with Monday).  Coming off its big PGA win, it can be expected to expand more widely after the Oscar nominations are announced, and that will make its upside much clearer.

LIMITED RELEASES:  A few late 2018 openings expanded.   STAN & OLLIE (Sony Classics), now in 84 theatres, averaged $4700, and also has $8.1M overseas after a $2.4M weekend in 2 markets, mostly earned in the UK.  COLD WAR (Amazon) widened to 39 with a $9100 average.  DESTROYER (Annapurna) expanded to 50 with a $3K average.  CAPERNAUM (Sony Classics) averaged $2600 at 17.

NEXT WEEKEND:  The major studios are continuing their slow start to the year, with THE KID WHO WOULD BE KING (20th) for families, and SERENITY (Aviron) for adults.



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."