May 26, 2019

Behind the US/Worldwide Weekend Box Office – 5.26.2019


OPENINGS:  ALADDIN (Disney) will probably be in the top half-dozen Memorial Day openings when Monday brings it to $105M or so (the 3-day total is $86.1M).  Compared to other Disney live-action reboots of animated hits, though, it had a subpar 5% drop on Saturday (The Jungle Book gained 28% on its 2nd day of release, Cinderella was up 18%, and even the woeful Dumbo rose 15%).  That may suggest frontloading and perhaps word of mouth that isn’t as strong as exit polls indicate.  Nevertheless, Aladdin has a good chance of hitting $300M in the US, with only The Secret Life of Pets 2 in its way for the next month.  Overseas, Aladdin is in all major territories, and opened with $121M.  However, in some parts of the world, next week’s Godzilla, King of Monsters may blunt its long-term prospects.  At the moment, Aladdin appears to be on its way to $600M+ worldwide.

BRIGHTBURN (Screen Gems/Sony) had an unassuming $7.5M start ($9M with Monday), and was equally soft with a $4.5M launch in 50 international markets.  A $35M worldwide total won’t pay the bills, even with low costs.

BOOKSMART (Annapurna/UA/MGM) gambled on word of mouth, and so far it isn’t paying off.  Despite almost unanimously rave reviews, the film dropped 16% on Saturday for a $6.5M weekend ($8M with Monday), and it may have trouble getting past $20M in the US, with limited prospects overseas.

ROCKETMAN (BRON/Paramount) doesn’t arrive in the US for a week, but it opened in Elton John’s home market of the UK with $6.4M, more like A Star Is Born ($5.4M) than Bohemian Rhapsody ($12.5M).

THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS 2 (Illumination/Universal) also had an early UK opening with $4.1M, which is a bit scary since the first Secret Life launched there with $13.4M.

HOLDOVERS:  JOHN WICK CHAPTER 3: PARABELLUM (Thunder Road/Summit/Lionsgate) dropped 57% from its opening weekend to $24.4M ($32M with Monday).  That’s significantly steeper than the 45%/47% Weekend 2 drops for the other Wicks, suggesting that Parabellum will burn out faster.  Nevertheless, the third installment is the biggest hit of the franchise to date and should reach $150M in the US.  Overseas, it’s at $74.4M after a $24.8M weekend in 74 markets, still the rare action franchise that generates more interest in the US than abroad.

AVENGERS: ENDGAME (Marvel/Disney) declined by 44% in its 5th weekend to $16.8M ($22M with Monday), and tomorrow it will pass $800M in the US, probably landing at $835M.  Its overseas total is $1.88B after a $15.3M weekend.  It’s currently $110M behind Avatar‘s $2.79B record, and will likely come up short, although if Disney wants the record, it may stunt a late-summer return to theatres before home release

POKEMON: DETECTIVE PIKACHU (Legendary/Warners) lost 47% to $13.3M in its 3rd weekend ($17M with Monday), and may not reach $150M in the US.  It’s slowing down overseas as well, where it’s at $236.8M afer a $24.3M weekend in virtually all major markets, and may end up at $450M worldwide, moderately profitable on $300M in costs.

A DOG’S JOURNEY (Amblin/Reliance/Walden/Alibaba/Universal) fell 49% on its 2nd weekend to $4.1M ($5M with Monday), and may not see $25M in the US.  It has $31.6M overseas.

THE HUSTLE (UA/MGM) slid 37% to $2.8M in its 3rd weekend ($3.7M with Monday), on its way to $35-40M in the US.  Overseas, it’s at $31.1M after a $3.5M weekend in 31 territories.

THE SUN IS ALSO A STAR (MGM/Warners) collapsed by 69% in its 2nd weekend to $800K ($1M with Monday), and it won’t get much past an ugly $5M in the US.  It’s barely opened overseas.

LIMITED RELEASE:  ECHO IN THE CANYON (Greenwich) had an extremely splashy opening with a $52K per-theatre average in 2 theatres, but that included not just in-theatre Q&As, but musical performances, so it may not be indicative of the film’s strength on its own.  THE TOMORROW MAN (Bleecker Street) had a slow start with a $4800 average at 4.  The weekend featured many expansions:  THE BIGGEST LITTLE FARM (Neon) averaged $2700 at 180; THE WHITE CROW (Sony Classics) had a dim $1000 average at 356; THE SOURVENIR (A24) averaged a fair $6200 at 23; ALL IS TRUE (Sony Classics) averaged $2200 at 64; NON-FICTION (IFC) had a $2100 average at 60; and PHOTOGRAPH (Amazon) averaged $1K at 124.

NEXT WEEKEND:  GODZILLA, KING OF MONSTERS (Legendary/Warners) provides the spectacle, with counterprogramming from the US arrival of Rocketman and the low-budget thriller MA (Universal).  Limited releases include THE FALL OF THE AMERICAN EMPIRE (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."