March 17, 2019

Behind the US/Worldwide Weekend Box Office – 3.17.2019


OPENINGS:  For a movie aimed at children that isn’t a frontloaded franchise installment, WONDER PARK (Nickelodeon/Paramount) had an unimpressive 19% Saturday bump, and it emerged with a $16M weekend that won’t do it much good against production/marketing costs in the neighborhood of $200M–especially with Disney’s Dumbo just 2 weeks away.  The initial overseas results were less than exciting, with $4.3M in 19 territories, suggesting that Wonder Park will likely find itself deep in red ink.

The very inexpensive FIVE FEET APART (CBS/Lionsgate) opened with $13.2M, and if it can get to $40M in the US and find some international interest (The Fault In Our Stars earned 59% of its worldwide total overseas), it has a path to possible success.

CAPTIVE STATE (Focus/Universal) found no constituency with a $3.2M opening, especially since the film, while moderately budgeted by sci-fi standards, was far from low-cost.  It probably won’t even earn back its marketing spend.

APOLLO 11 (Neon) expanded to the low end of wide release at 588 theatres, but it didn’t show much promise with a $1.2M weekend that translated into a $2100 per-theatre weekend average.  That’s less than half of the average for Five Feet Apart, even though Apart was in almost 5x as many theatres.

HOLDOVERS:  None of the newcomers gave CAPTAIN MARVEL (Marvel/Disney) anything to worry about.  It dropped 55% in its 2nd weekend to $69.3M.  That’s not as good as the 45% Weekend 2 drop for Black Panther or Wonder Woman‘s 43%, but it’s on pace with Guardians of the Galaxy (55%) and Avengers: Infinity War (56%), and better than the 59-60% for Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Age of Ultron.  It should end up at $375-400M in the US, which would make it Marvel’s #7 or #8.  Internationally, it’s at $494M after a $119.7M weekend in all major markets, and is on track to become Marvel’s 7th film to pass $1B worldwide.

HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON: THE HIDDEN WORLD (DreamWorks Animation/Universal) dipped 36% in its 4th weekend to $9.3M, on its way to $160M in the US.  Overseas, it’s at $330.9M after a $9.4M weekend in all major markets except India and Japan, so it will probably be a notch below Dragon 2 both domestically ($177M) and overseas ($444.5M).

MADEA FAMILY FUNERAL (Lionsgate) had a surprisingly smooth 3rd weekend by the standards of its franchise, down 35% to $8.1M.  That suggests that it could get as high as $75M in the US, and if it tops the $73.2M for Boo! A Madea Halloween, it will be the #2 installment, behind only the $90.5M for Madea Goes To Jail.  It has less than $1M from international release.

THE LEGO MOVIE 2: THE SECOND PART (Warners Animation) fell 45% to $2.1M in its 6th weekend, and while it’s passed $100M, it won’t get much higher, an ugly 60% below the first Lego Movie.  Things are no better overseas, where it’s at $70.1M after a $2.1M in 65 markets, although it has one last chance of redemption with next week’s China opening.

ALITA: BATTLE ANGEL (20th) dropped 41% to $1.9M in its 5th weekend, and won’t get much past $85M in the US.  79% of its worldwide business has been earned overseas, where it’s at $312.2M after a $4M weekend in 62 territories, and around 40% of the international total is from China.  Considering the reduced amounts that country allows studios to retain, it’s unlikely that Alita will break even.

GREEN BOOK (Participant/DreamWorks/Reliance/Universal) lost 37% of its theatres as it headed to home release, and it dropped 49% to $1.3M, with $85M as its US target.  It continues to do quite well overseas, where it’s at $192M after a $17.1M weekend in 67 markets, a remarkable $60.1M of that from China.  That international success will push the Oscar winner from marginal profit to genuine hit.

LIMITED RELEASE:  NO MANCHES FRIDA 2 (Pantelion/Lionsgate) opened well at 472 theatres with $3.9M, slightly better than the $3.7M for the original film (although that opened in around 75% of the sequel’s theatre count), and we’ll see whether it will expand wider and push past the original’s $11.5M US total.  THE MUSTANG (Focus/Universal) had a solid start, averaging $19K in 4 NY/LA arthouses.  THE AFTERMATH (Fox Searchlight) was less promising with an $11.5K average at 5.  THE HUMMINGBIRD PROJECT (Orchard) is claiming a $9K average in its opening at 4, although that estimate relies on an extremely strong Sunday.  ASH IS THE PUREST WHITE (Cohen) launched quietly with a $6500 average at 7.  Among expansions, GLORIA BELL (A24) had a fair $10K average at 39.  However, CLIMAX (A24) bombed with a $900 average at 217.  THE WEDDING GUEST (IFC) had a wan $1200 average at 94.  TRANSIT (Music Box) expanded to 42 with a $2700 average.  BIRDS OF PASSAGE (Orchard) averaged just $800 at 97.

NEXT WEEKEND:  Jordan Peele’s US (Blumhouse/Universal) will hope to ride its rave SXSW reviews as the week’s only wide opening.  Limited releases include HOTEL MUMBAI (Bleecker Street) and SUNSET (Sony Classics).

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."