November 10, 2019

Behind the US/Worldwide Weekend Box Office – 11.10.2019


OPENINGS:  MIDWAY (AGC/Bona/Lionsgate) was mildly ahead of expectations with $17.5M in the US, and it should perform well on Veterans Day Monday.  However, with around $150M in production and worldwide marketing costs, a $60M US total would leave it with a steep uphill climb to reach profitability.  Early overseas results weren’t particularly promising at $24M from 20 territories, including $16M from China (source of a significant part of its financing).

The weekend’s shock was the moribund start for DOCTOR SLEEP (Warners) at just $14.1M in the US, far below the $24.5M start for this year’s Pet Sematary remake, let alone either of the It films.  As horror movies go, this was on the expensive side, with over $100M in costs, and it isn’t getting any help overseas, where it’s at $20M after a $13M weekend in all major markets except Germany and Japan.  Audiences just weren’t interested, perhaps in part due to marketing confusion about the divergences between the original novel and film of The Shining, as well as the very different storyline of Doctor Sleep from both of them.

PLAYING WITH FIRE (Paramount) launched at $12.8M, fueled with Saturday matinee audiences (the Friday to Saturday bump was 36%), and it will have one more weekend to itself before Frozen 2 takes possession of the family audience.  Costs were low, probably around $75M including marketing, but it’s not making much of an impression overseas, where it earned $2.5M in 10 territories.

LAST CHRISTMAS (Perfect World/Universal), with a low-wattage cast and the burden of not really being the rom-com it seems to be, started with $11.6M (and even that number assumes a healthy Sunday), and although costs were moderate, it faces direct competition for the female audience from next week’s Charlie’s Angels.  It had a quiet arrival overseas with $3.1M in 10 markets.

A pair of awards contenders expanded into the low end of wide release.  JOJO RABBIT (Fox Searchlight/Disney), now at 802 theatres, earned $3.9M for a per-theatre average of $4900, better than the $4100 average for The Shape of Water when it reached 726 theatres, and just slightly below the $5100 for Lady Bird at 791.

PARASITE (NEON) widened to 603 theatres with $2.6M, a $4300 average that’s particularly notable because its audiences were willing to brave the challenge of subtitles.  As with Jojo Rabbit, Parasite should be able to use the soon-to-start critics awards season to stretch its run through the holidays.

HOLDOVERS:  TERMINATOR: DARK FATE (Skydance/Tencent/20th/Disney/Paramount) fell 63% from last week’s dim opening to $10.8M, and may not reach $75M in the US.  It also fell apart overseas, where it’s at $150.9M after a $29.9M weekend in all major markets.  At this point, the most important figures in the franchise are the accountants who will allocate losses among the financiers.

JOKER (BRON/DC/Warners) continued to be the fall’s phenomenon, down 32% to $9.2M in its 6th weekend and now aiming at $335M in the US.  It’s knocking on $1B worldwide, with $984.7M to date of which $671.2M is international, including this weekend’s $20.2M–and all of this is still without a release in China.

MALEFICENT: MISTRESS OF EVIL (Disney) dropped 38% to $8M in its 4th weekend and may get to $115M in the US, less than half of the first Maleficent‘s $241.4M.  Similarly, it’s at $333M overseas after a $19.8M weekend, which compares to $517M for Maleficent.  High costs mean that its profits, if any, will be fairly slim.

HARRIET (Focus/Universal) increased its theatre count by about 6% and dipped 38% to $7.2M, on its way to an impressive $40M+ in the US, with no international openings to date.  The question will be whether it can parlay this box office success into awards attention.

ZOMBIELAND: DOUBLE TAP (Columbia/Sony) lost 42% to $4.3M in its 4th weekend, and should reach the $75.6M total of its 2009 predecessor.  Overseas, it’s a bit ahead with $35.3M after a $5.1M weekend in 49 markets, compared to Zombieland‘s 26.8M.

THE ADDAMS FAMILY (BRON/MGM) fell 50% to $4.2M in its 5th weekend, but may have enough gas to hit $100M in the US.  It has $63.4M internationally after a $13.2M weekend.

MOTHERLESS BROOKLYN (Warners) dropped 39% to $2.3M in its 2nd weekend, and won’t get much past $10M.

ARCTIC DOGS (Entertainment Studios) cratered by 65% to $1.1M in Weekend 2, and won’t see $8M.

LIMITED RELEASE:  HONEY BOY (Amazon) started big with the help of some intensive in-theatre Q&As, and averaged $72K in 4 NY/LA arthouses.  PAIN & GLORY (Sony Classics) expanded to 266 and averaged a meager $1500.  FRANKIE (Sony Classics) widened to 22 and averaged $1100.

NEXT WEEKEND:  CHARLIE’S ANGELS (Columbia/Sony) is the reboot of the week, with counterprogramming from FORD VS. FERRARI (20th/Disney) and THE GOOD LIAR (Warners).  Limited releases include WAVES (A24).



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."