March 8, 2020

Behind the US/Worldwide Weekend Box Office – 3.8.2020


OPENINGS:  In the US, ONWARD (Pixar/Disney) was merely a disappointment by Pixar standards, with an OK 37% Saturday bump that allowed it to claim a $40M weekend, pending actuals on Monday.  That isn’t much better then the $34.7M launch for last year’s Lego Movie 2, and it’s far off last March’s $55M for How To Train Your Dragon 3.  It’s one of the lowest openings ever for Pixar, although previously their films had opened in the more lucrative summer and Thanksgiving corridors.  Still, Onward wasn’t terribly below expectations, albeit on the lowest end.  Things were scarier overseas, where the film only managed $28M in 47 markets, a bad result even without openings in China and some other major territories.  It was so low, in fact, that one has to imagine coronavirus concerns are affecting box office in a major way.  The James Bond film No Time To Die has already moved to November, when there is universal hope that health issues will be less serious, and if Mulan performs similarly to Onward in a few weeks, some of the summer blockbusters may follow Bond.  As it is, Onward is at risk of becoming a rare step into red ink for Pixar, given its $300M in production/marketing costs.

THE WAY BACK (BRON/Warners) wasn’t expected to cause much excitement at the box office, and it delivered an OK $8.5M, another sign that small-scale, adult-oriented films that don’t carry awards pedigree are an increasingly tough sell.  It hasn’t yet opened overseas.

EMMA (Focus/Universal) jumped into wide release at 1565 theatres with a fair $5M.  That’s comparable to the $4.3M earned by Lady Bird at 1194, although Emma won’t have the momentum of awards season going for it.  Emma has earned $14M overseas, more than half of it from the UK.

For some reason GREED (Sony Classics), which opened badly in limited release last week, expanded to the low end of wide release at 596 theatres, and brought in a bit over $200K, which translated into an awful per-theatre average of $350.

HOLDOVERS:  THE INVISIBLE MAN (Blumhouse/Universal) held well for the horror genre with a 46% drop to $15.2M.  That’s nothing like the 15% Weekend 2 decline for Get Out, or even the 34% for A Quiet Place, but it’s still solid, and puts the thriller on a trajectory for $80M+ in the US.  Invisible Man also has $45.6M overseas after a $17.3M weekend.

SONIC THE HEDGEHOG (Paramount) lost 51% to $8M in its 4th weekend, on its way to $155M in the US.  It’s at $154M overseas, and as with all current releases, that’s without distribution in China thus far.

THE CALL OF THE WILD (TSG/20th/Disney) fell 48% to $7M in its 3rd weekend, and may reach $75M in the US, not nearly enough to find profit.  It has $42.1M overseas.

BAD BOYS FOR LIFE (Columbia/Sony) had the best hold in the Top 10, down just 30% to $3.1M in its 8th weekend and heading toward $210M in the US.  It has a similar $213M overseas.

BIRDS OF PREY (DC/Warners) was down 47% to $2.2M in its 5th weekend, en route to $85M in the US.  Things are better overseas (but not by enough) with $113.2M.

IMPRACTICAL JOKERS: THE MOVIE (Tru/Warners) fell 49% to $1.8M, and a US total that may stretch toward $15M would be strong for the micro-budgeted release.

MY HERO ACADEMIA: HEROES RISING (Funimation) plunged 74% to $1.7M in its 2nd weekend, but similarly, a $15M US total here is a good result.  It’s also taken in $15.1M overseas.

LIMITED RELEASE:  FIRST COW (A24) opened at 4 NY/LA arthouses to the rapturous reviews that usually greet Kelly Reichardt’s films, and a moderate $24K weekend per-theatre average.  EXTRA ORDINARY (Good Deed) averaged $2600 in a 32-theatre opening.  HOPE GAP (Roadside) started low with a $1800 average at 18.  THE BURNT ORANGE HERESY (Sony Classics) averaged $4600 at 4.  PORTRAIT OF A LADY ON FIRE (Neon) expanded to 334 with a $1600 average.  ORDINARY LOVE (Bleecker Street) widened to 125 with a dim $500 average.  WENDY (Searchlight/Disney) averaged $650 after an expansion to 69.  BURDEN (101) averaged $1300 at 31.  THE ASSISTANT (Bleecker Street) widened to 55 with a $500 average.

NEXT WEEKEND:  THE HUNT (Blumhouse/Universal), which became controversial without anyone actually having seen it, finally opens, along with the Vin Diesel vehicle BLOODSHOT (Columbia/Sony) and the Christian-themed I STILL BELIEVE (Lionsgate).  Limited releases include NEVER RARELY SOMETIMES ALWAYS (Focus/Universal), BIG TIME ADOLESCENCE (Neon) and THE ROADS NOT TAKEN (Bleecker Street).

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."