April 21, 2019

Behind the US/Worldwide Weekend Box Office – 4.21.2019


OPENINGS:  The Good Friday/Easter weekend was solid for the most part, but it lacked a major holiday opening because Avengers: Endgame is just a few days away and set to engulf box offices worldwide.  Instead, the studios offered films aimed at niches or short runs.  They were led by THE CURSE OF LA LLORONA (New Line/Warners), which earned $26.5M in the US.  La Llorona technically isn’t part of the Conjuring universe, but it comes from the same producers and features a minor character from those films, and Warners certainly didn’t mind it fusing in audience minds with that franchise.  Compared to the official Conjuring spin-offs, La Llorona would have been at the low end, below Annabelle: Creation‘s $35M.  But in the context of 2019’s other horror releases, it did better than Escape Room ($18.2M) and Happy Death Day 2U ($9.5M), although not in a league with Us ($71.1M).  The arrival of Endgame may lower its multiple, but it should reach $60M in the US.  Overseas, LaLlorona opened in 71 markets comprising most of the world, the UK and Japan excepted, and earned $30M.

BREAKTHROUGH (20th/Disney) opted for a Wednesday opening, so its $11.1M weekend became $14.6M over 5 days.  Among Christian-aimed productions, that was better than the $6.4M opening for Unplanned, but Breakthrough was intended as a much more mainstream release, and the result was below the 3-day weekends of Heaven Is For Real ($22.5M), I Can Only Imagine ($17.1M), and Miracles From Heaven ($14.8M).  A $40M US total would be merely OK given the extensive promotional campaign.  Breakthrough also has $5.9M overseas after a $2.8M weekend in 20 territories.

PENGUINS (Disney) was the latest of the studio’s Disneynature releases, but at $2.3M for the weekend ($3.3M since Wednesday), it was the lowest of the series, considerably below the 3-day $4.6M for Monkey Kingdom.  It hasn’t opened overseas.

TEEN SPIRIT (Bleecker Street) had a catastrophic expansion to 696 theatres, averaging a horrible $360 per theatre for the weekend.

HOLDOVERS:  SHAZAM (DC/New Line/Warners) found its family-friendly audience boosted by the holiday, down just 29% to $17.3M in Weekend 3, and possibly stretching to $160M in the US.  Overseas, it’s at $201.5M after a $22M weekend in all major markets except Japan, and it should top $400M worldwide, unless Endgame decimates it next week.

CAPTAIN MARVEL (Marvel/Disney) is clearly feeling the benefit of serving as a feature-length trailer for Endgame, actually up by 6% to $9.1M in its 7th weekend.  It’s unclear what the arrival of its cousin will mean next week, but it might get as high as $425M in the US.  Overseas, it’s at $689.5M after a $6.5M weekend in 49 territories.

LITTLE (Legendary/Universal) dropped 45% to $8.5M in its 2nd weekend, with hopes of reaching $50M, where it would probably be a mild success.  It’s in 13 overseas markets, where it’s at $4.8M after a $1.4M weekend.

DUMBO (Disney) stabilized with the holidays, down 28% to $6.8M in Weekend 4, on its way to a possible $115M US total.  Overseas, it’s at $206.6M after a $13.7M weekend in 55 markets.  A $350M worldwide total will probably mean significant losses.

PET SEMATARY (Paramount) fell 50% to $4.9M in its 3rd weekend, still on track for $60M in the US.  Overseas, it’s at $46.1M after a $5.5M weekend in 58 territories.

MISSING LINK (Laika/Annapurna/United Artists/MGM) was another family film aided by the holiday, down 27% to $4.4M in Weekend 2, but still on its way to a very low $25M US total.  It hasn’t yet arrived overseas.

US (Blumhouse/Perfect World/Universal) lost 37% to $4.3M in its 5th weekend, and may edge out Get Out‘s $176M US total, but just barely.  The two Jordan Peele films are close overseas as well, where Us is at $75.3M after a $1.7M weekend in 58 markets, compared to Get Out‘s $79.4M.

The holidays did nothing for HELLBOY (Millenium/Lionsgate), which plunged 68% to $3.9M from last week’s premiere, unlikely to reach $30M in the US.  The all-important overseas release is similarly dim with $3.4M from 40 territories.

AFTER (Aviron) didn’t fare much better, down 58% to $2.5M in its 2nd weekend, as it makes its way to $15M in the US.  Things were a bit improved overseas, where it’s at $25.4M after a $9.5M weekend in 38 markets.

LIMITED RELEASE:  The Indian-language KALANK (FIP) opened with $1.3M at 320 theatres, a $3900 per-theatre weekend average.  (Overseas, it’s already at $10.4M in 2 markets, $9.5M of that from India.)  In a much narrower opening, UNDER THE SILVER LAKE (A24) averaged $20.1M at 2, although that was boosted by in-theatre Q&As.  LITTLE WOODS (Neon) launched with a $2K average at 33.  RED JOAN (IFC) averaged $10.2K at 4.  FAST COLOR (Lionsgate) premiered with a $1500 average at 25.  The documentary HAIL SATAN (Magnolia) averaged $8600 at 3.  HER SMELL (Gunpowder & Sky) expanded to 24 with a $2900 average.  AMAZING GRACE (Neon) averaged $3100 at 188.  HIGH LIFE (A24) widened to 146 with a $2K average.  THE CHAPERONE (PBS) averaged $1600 at 55.  WILD NIGHTS WITH EMILY (Greenwich) averaged $2100 at 33.  PETERLOO (Amazon) expanded to 90 with a sad $400 average.

NEXT WEEKEND:  The galaxy will belong wto AVENGERS: ENDGAME (Marvel/Disney).  No studio will attempt to compete, but THE WHITE CROW (Sony Classics) will begin a limited release.

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."