February 17, 2019

Behind the US/Worldwide Weekend Box Office – 2.17.2019


OPENINGS:  ALITA: BATTLE ANGEL (20th) squeezed everything it could out of its opening 2-holiday week, with paid preview screenings on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday nights (totaling $2.4M) preceding its official Thursday opening.  All-in, that put it at $36.5M through Sunday, which will probably become $41M with Monday.  It has two more or less open weekends ahead before Captain Marvel swamps the box office, which may help with week-to-week declines, but it’s still hard to see a path to more than $100M in the US, a tough number for a franchise wannabe that carries $300M in production/marketing costs.  As with all big-budget action spectacles, it will look overseas for profit, and the results so far are merely OK:  $94.4M after a $56.2M weekend in all major markets besides China and Japan, where it opens next week.  Alita will probably need blockbuster success in China to have any hope of breaking even, and in China it will have to compete with the ebbing but still powerful local film The Wandering Earth, which after 2 weeks has reached $560M in its home market.

ISN’T IT ROMANTIC (BRON/New Line/Warners) earned a mild $14.2M over the 3-day weekend, putting its total since Wednesday at $20.5M, which should become $23M with Monday.  It might get to $50M in the US, lining up with the $16M opening and $48.8M US total of I Feel Pretty.  That comedy added $45.7M overseas, which probably pushed it near breakeven, and Romantic will hope for the same.

Audiences weren’t all that interested in the sequel HAPPY DEATH DAY 2 U (Blumhouse/Universal).  Its 3-day weekend was $9.8M, putting it at $13.5M since its Wednesday opening, which will likely become $15.5M with Monday.  That 6-day total compares with a $26M 3-day opening for the first Happy Death Day, and 2 U may struggle to reach $35M in the US, down 35% from the original.  Since this is a Blumhouse production, production costs were low, so there may still be profit here, especially if the sequel can perform overseas in the neighborhood of the first film’s $69.8M.  But a third installment seems like a significant risk.

HOLDOVERS:  The Monday holiday buoyed up most titles.  THE LEGO MOVIE 2: THE SECOND PART (Warners Animation) was down 38% from last week’s opening to $21.2M ($27M with Monday), and  might reach $100M in the US, although it will have to cope with the arrival of How To Train Your Dragon 3 next weekend.  Even that result would be very far from the first Lego Movie‘s $257.8M US total.  Lego 2 has $34.7M overseas thus far, after a blah $12.1M weekend in 69 territories.

WHAT MEN WANT (Paramount) dropped 40% to $10.9M ($13M with Monday), and might get to $60M in the US.  Reportedly, it cost less to produce than Isn’t It Romantic, but likely faces a more uphill climb overseas, where it’s currently at $2.5M in a few markets.

COLD PURSUIT (Studiocanal/Summit/Lionsgate) fell 46% to $6M ($7.5M with Monday), and probably won’t get past $35M in the US, around the same as the $36.3M for The Commuter, although better than the $26.5M for Run All Night and $26.3M for A Walk Among The Tombstones.  It hasn’t yet opened overseas.

THE UPSIDE (Lantern/STX) continues to enjoy great word of mouth, down 21% in its 6th weekend to $5.6M ($7M with Monday), and all but certain to pass $100M in the US.  It has $9.8M in limited overseas release.

GLASS (Blinding Edge/Blumhouse/Universal) dropped 39% in its 5th weekend to $3.9M ($4.7M with Monday), on its way to $115M in the US.  It also has $130.3M overseas, and is a sizable hit, although not the breakout blockbuster that was initially hoped.

THE PRODIGY (Orion/MGM) lost 46% to $3.2M in its 2nd weekend ($4M with Monday), and will hope to hang on long enough to reach $20M in the US.  No overseas openings yet.

On its final pre-Oscar weekend, GREEN BOOK (Participant/DreamWorks/Reliance/Universal) declined 20% to $2.8M ($3.5M with Monday), and its future beyond $75M will lie with the results next Sunday night.  It also has $60.6M overseas, after a $9M weekend in 59 markets.  It opens in China and Japan the weekend after the Oscars.

LIMITED RELEASE:  FIGHTING WITH MY FAMILY (Annapurna/MGM) had a solid $33K per-theatre weekend average in its brief overture before going wide next weekend, boosted in part by in-theatre Q&A sessions.  BIRDS OF PASSAGE (Orchard) opened with a $12K average at 2.  ARCTIC (Bleecker Street) expanded to 63 theatres with an OK $4100 average.  CAPERNAUM (Sony Classics) widened to 136 with a $1400 average.  EVERYBODY KNOWS (Focus/Universal) averaged $8300 at 23.  NEVER LOOK AWAY (Sony Classics) averaged $4400 at 31.  LORDS OF CHAOS (Gunpowder & Sky) expanded to 25 with a $2100 average.  TO DUST (Good Deed) averaged $2K at 15.

NEXT WEEKEND:  HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON:  THE HIDDEN WORLD (DreamWorks Animation/Universal) finally arrives in the US with $172.5M in overseas revenue in its pocket.  As noted, Fighting With My Family also goes wide.

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."