May 19, 2019

Behind the US/Worldwide Weekend Box Office – 5.19.2019


OPENINGS:  JOHN WICK CHAPTER 3: PARABELLUM (Thunder Road/Summit/Lionsgate) continued the upward climb of the franchise in the US with a $57M weekend, substantially ahead of the $30.4M for Wick 2, which was above the $14.4M of the original.  If Parabellum plays out like Wick 2, it could cross $150M in the US, on costs that are higher than they used to be, but still very reasonable for an action franchise.  The pebble in the franchise’s shoe, though, remains its stubbornly middling international appeal, as Parabellum opened to a mild $35.2M in 66 territories.  There are a few significant markets yet to open, including France and Germany, but it seems like John Wick will continue to be the rare action series not to see an overseas bump.

A DOG’S JOURNEY (Amblin/Reliance/Walden/Alibaba/Universal) opened at just $8M, far below the $18.2M original 2 years ago, and also below the $11.3M start for the not-quite-franchise A Dog’s Way Home earlier this year.  Even if Journey manages the family-friendly box office multiple of Purpose (not a certainty since Aladdin is just days away), it would have to stretch to reach $30M in the US.  Journey also earned $3M in 14 overseas territories for a $15.5M international total.

THE SUN IS ALSO A STAR (MGM/Warners) utterly failed to find an audience with a $2.6M opening, and things were no brighter overseas, where it managed an awful $500K in 25 markets.

HOLDOVERS:  AVENGERS: ENDGAME (Marvel/Disney) won’t catch up to The Force Awakens in the US.  After a 54% Weekend 4 drop to $29.4M, it’s on a path to around $825M domestically (Force Awakens totaled $936.7M), and will have to settle for passing Avatar for the #2 slot.  However, things are going to be closer worldwide.  Endgame is at $2.615B globally after a $46.8M weekend overseas, and seems like it may fall slightly short with $2.75B compared to Avatar‘s $2.788B.  But Disney could certainly try to make up that ground with a late-summer re-release, so stay tuned.

POKEMON: DETECTIVE PIKACHU (Legendary/Warners) fell 54% in its 2nd weekend to $24.8M, and as it will also be competing directly with Aladdin, it may struggle to reach $150M in the US.  It’s at $193.4M overseas after a $53.8M weekend in all major markets.  A $450M worldwide total would be a success, but with costs that could be as high as $300M, the profits would be relatively limited.

THE HUSTLE (United Artists/MGM) dropped 53% from last week’s opening to $6.1M, on course for a mediocre $35M in the US.  It’s at $28.1M overseas after a $7.7M weekend in 32 territories.

THE INTRUDER (Screen Gems/Sony) lost 44% to $4M in its 3rd weekend, on its way to $35M in the US, with negligible overseas openings thus far.

LONG SHOT (Lionsgate) fell 46% to $3.4M in its 3rd weekend and may not see $35M in the US.  As of now, it has $7.1M overseas.

POMS (STX) plunged 61% to $2.1M from last week’s opening, and may not get to $15M in the US.  It hasn’t yet opened overseas, although at this point it can only hope to reduce its losses.

UGLYDOLLS (STX) was even worse news for its studio because of its higher cost, down 61% in its 3rd weekend to $1.6M and unlikely to get much past $20M in the US.  It has $1.6M in early overseas ticket sales.

TOLKIEN (Fox Searchlight) perished fast with a 67% drop to $700K in its 2nd weekend, possibly not even hitting $5M in the US.  There haven’t been any overseas openings yet.

LIMITED RELEASE:  THE SOURVENIR (A24) opened with a fair $21K per-theatre weekend average at 4 NY/LA arthouses.  TRIAL BY FIRE (Roadside) bombed with an awful $700 average at 109.  THE BIGGEST LITTLE FARM (Neon) expanded to 45 with a $6K average.  THE WHITE CROW (Sony Classics) widened to 136 with a wan $1700 average.

NEXT WEEKEND:  ALADDIN (Disney) is the marquee title, with low-budget counterprogramming coming from two directions:  the sci-fi horror thriller BRIGHTBURN (Screen Gems/Sony), and the critically-acclaimed teen comedy BOOKSMART (Annapurna/MGM).


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."