February 16, 2020

Behind the US/Worldwide Weekend Box Office – 2.16.2020


OPENINGS:  A Friday Valentines Day that leads into a long holiday weekend is a bonanza for Hollywood, and the movie that cleaned up the most was SONIC THE HEDGEHOG (Paramount), with a remarkable $57M over the 3-day weekend and $68M with Monday.  That’s the biggest opening ever for a videogame-based property, and it gives Paramount a badly-needed new franchise, with profitability assured against around $175M in production/marketing costs.  The Presidents Day holiday doesn’t exist overseas, and business was a bit more subdued but still strong with $43M from 40 territories, with Russia and Japan (and possibly China) among those still to come.

FANTASY ISLAND (Blumhouse/Columbia/Sony) morphed the old TV format into a horror movie, and it found some audience with $12.4M ($14M including Monday).  In addition, it earned $7.6M in 35 international markets that don’t yet include some of the most prominent like Russia, Germany, Brazil and Mexico.  This is Blumhouse, so costs were low, and the film might hit black ink (which is appropriate, given one of the visual motifs of the movie), although it doesn’t seem destined for franchise status.

THE PHOTOGRAPH (Perfect World/Universal) had a healthy Valentines Day, but then it got walloped with a 41% drop on Saturday, and settled into a $12.3M weekend ($13.4M with Monday).  It cost a bit more than Fantasy Island to produce, and it isn’t clear at this point how much of an international release is planned, so breakeven may be as far as it gets.

DOWNHILL (Searchlight/Disney) didn’t get the Sundance buzz or the reviews it was aiming for, and it sank into a dim $4.7M weekend ($5.2M with Monday), likely to disappear quickly, with a box office result similar to the $17.6M total for Julia Louis-Dreyfus’s indie dramedy Enough Said rather than a typical Will Ferrell title.

HOLDOVERS:  The holiday helped buoy BIRDS OF PREY (DC/Warners) a bit, giving it a respectable 48% Weekend 2 drop to $17.1M ($19.5M with Monday).  It has a chance of reaching $100M in the US, but that will still be a low result given its genre and budget.  Overseas, it’s at $83.6M after a $23M weekend in all major markets except Japan, not enough to pull it out of its hole.

BAD BOYS FOR LIFE (Columbia/Sony) dipped just 6% to $11.3M in its 5th weekend ($12.8M with Monday) and now seems likely to pass $200M in the US.  It’s at a similar $187M overseas after an $11.1M weekend, with Italy still to open.

Despite losing the big Oscars, 1917 (DreamWorks/Reliance/Universal) held up very well, down 12% to $8.1M ($9.4M with Monday), and on its way to $160M in the US.  It also has $178.1M overseas after a $13.6M weekend, and despite the Oscar disappointment, it’s been a very profitable venture.

JUMANJI: THE NEXT LEVEL (Columbia/Sony) is the last wide Christmas season opening in the Top 10, actually up 3% in its 10th weekend to $5.7M ($7M with the holiday Monday), and making its way to $320M in the US with the same kind of long tail that the last Jumanji had at the box office.  It also has $473M overseas after a $1.9M weekend.

Of course, the big winner of last week’s Oscars was PARASITE (Neon), which wisely nearly doubled its theatre count this weekend to a new high of 2001 theatres and saw business more than triple to $5.5M ($6.7M with Monday).  It’s going to break past $50M in the US, and if it can get past Life Is Beautiful‘s $57.6M, it would be the #2 foreign-language film (not adjusted for inflation) in US history, behind only the $128.1M for Crouching Tiger, Hidden DragonParasite was already a smash overseas, and is now at $161M after a $12.8M post-Oscar weekend in 43 markets.

DOLITTLE (Perfect World/Universal) continues to perform in a way that would be respectable if it hadn’t been so madly expensive to produce.  In the US, it lost 23% to $5.1M in its 5th weekend ($6.4M with Monday), and might reach $85M.  Overseas, it’s at $110.6M after an $8.6M weekend in 64 territories, with Brazil and Japan (and possibly China) still to come.

LIMITED RELEASE:  Beginning its official run after a brief December Oscar-qualifying engagement, PORTRAIT OF A LADY ON FIRE (Neon) averaged a solid $20K for the 3-day weekend at 22 theatres.  THE TIMES OF BILL CUNNINGHAM (Greenwich) opened at 2 with a $22.2K average.  ORDINARY LOVE (Bleecker Street) averaged a quiet $8300 at 3.  THE ASSISTANT (Bleecker Street) expanded to 82 with a $2600 average.  THE LODGE (Neon) averaged $6K at 21.  THE TRAITOR (Sony Classics) averaged $1800 at 29.

NEXT WEEKEND:  With the holiday past, the studio faucet slows again to a trickle, with the family adventure CALL OF THE WILD (20th/Disney) and the horror sequel BRAHMS: THE BOY II (STX).  Limited releases include EMMA (Focus/Universal).

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."