February 24, 2019

Behind the US/Worldwide Weekend Box Office – 2.24.2019


OPENINGS:  The weekend multiple for HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON: THE HIDDEN WORLD (DreamWorks Animation/Universal) was 3.2x, about mid-way between the first Dragon‘s 3.6x and Dragon 2‘s 2.6x.  (Note that the studio isn’t including $2.5M in paid preview income in its weekend number–if that were added to Friday the way Thursday night revenue is, the multiple would be 2.9x.)  The all-in total is $58M, handily better than the $43.7M/$49.2M openings for the previous franchise installments, and with that start, Hidden World should be able to become the top-grossing chapter in the story with around $225M in the US.  It’s been playing overseas for several weeks, and is at $216.9M after a $34.7M weekend in 53 territories, with China and Japan still to come.  The question now, of course, is whether DreamWorks Animation will really end the Dragon saga as the trilogy it’s been announced to be, when there’s clearly still money to be made.

FIGHTING WITH MY FAMILY (Annapurna/MGM) had a modest $8M start in wide release, and will hope that word of mouth can carry it to a lengthy run.  It hasn’t yet opened overseas, and its UK results will be worth watching, since its main characters are British.

The Christian-themed RUN THE RACE (Roadside) didn’t find many takers outside the fold with a $2.3M opening at 853 theatres.

HOLDOVERS:  The eggs of ALITA: BATTLE ANGEL (20th) are entirely in the basket of China.  In the US, it dropped 58% from opening weekend to a meek $12M, and probably won’t get past $85M.  It’s currently at $202.7M overseas after a $92.4M weekend in all major markets, dominated by its $62.3M China opening.  Even if China holds strong, a $450M worldwide total is probably breakeven at best for the tentpole-expensive adventure, and if China proves to be frontloaded, red ink will be a near-certainty.

THE LEGO MOVIE 2: THE SECOND PART (Warners Animation) fell 52% in its 3rd weekend to $10M, and might inch past $100M in the US, down about 65% from the first Lego Movie.  Unusually for an animated spectacle, the news is even worse overseas, where Lego 2 is at $53M afrer a $10.3M weekend in all major territories except Australia.  This seems likely to be the end of the line for the franchise, at least until a reboot.

ISN’T IT ROMANTIC (BRON/New Line/Warners) lost 47% to $7.5M from last week’s opening, on track for perhaps $50M in the US.  Although it was moderately budgeted, some success overseas will be needed for any profit.

WHAT MEN WANT (Paramount) dropped 51% to $5.2M in its 3rd weekend, heading for $55M in the US.  It has $4.6M overseas thus far, after a $1.6M weekend in 10 territories, with a long road ahead.

HAPPY DEATH DAY 2 U (Blumhouse/Universal) slowed by 48% to $5M from last week’s opening, and won’t get much past $30M in the US, down about 45% from the first Death Day.  Overseas, it’s at $20.9M after a $6.1M weekend, and isn’t likely to get close to the first film’s $69.8M international total.

COLD PURSUIT (Studiocanal/Summit/Lionsgate) froze by 45% to $3.3M in its 3rd weekend, and should end up with a US total just a sliver behind The Commuter‘s $36.3M, despite all the Liam Neeson controversy.  It has $8.4M overseas.

THE UPSIDE (Lantern/STX) lost just 42% to $3.2M in its 7th weekend, and tomorrow it should reach the $100M milestone in the US, with some gas still in the tank.  It has $10.8M in limited overseas release.

LIMITED RELEASE:  Oscar weekend is a bad time to be opening a new indie, and only the Indian-language TOTAL DHAMAAL (FIP) debuted, with a $4700 per-theatre weekend average at 202 theatres.  The 3 programs of OSCAR NOMINATED SHORT FILMS (Magnolia) expanded to 410 theatres with a $1500 average.  ARCTIC (Bleecker Street) widened to 257 with a $2000 average.  EVERYBODY KNOWS (Focus/Universal), now at 71, averaged $5K.  NEVER LOOK AWAY (Sony Classics) expanded to 80 with a $2100 average.  BIRDS OF PASSAGE (Orchard) averaged $4K at 10.  RUBEN BRANDT, COLLECTOR (Sony Classics) averaged $2300 at 3.

NEXT WEEKEND:  With Captain Marvel on the horizon, the studios are sticking to low-budget openings, thr thriller GRETA (Focus/Universal) and Tyler Perry’s A MADEA FAMILY FUNERAL (Lionsgate).  Limited releases include the documentary APOLLO 11 (Neon), as well as CLIMAX (A24) and THE WEDDING GUEST (IFC).

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."