May 5, 2019

Behind the US/Worldwide Weekend Box Office – 5.5.2019


OPENINGS:  THE INTRUDER (Screen Gems/Sony) performed on target with $11M, and given the massive competition and the fates of the weekend’s other arrivals, that counted as a win.  It still wasn’t anything to get excited about, considering that similar Screen Gems releases like When The Bough Breaks ($14.2M), No Good Deed ($24.3M) and The Perfect Guy ($25.9M) all opened better.  Intruder may find tough sledding overseas, and with $30M+ in worldwide production/marketing costs, it’s not likely to get much past breakeven.

LONG SHOT (Good Universe/Lionsgate) only managed a $10M opening (and we’ll see in finals if it stays ahead of The Night Before‘s $9.9M), another nail in the coffin of the big-screen rom-com genre.  It couldn’t even reach the $14.2M start for Isn’t It Romantic from February.  What’s notable here is the apparent sharp disconnect between critical response (83% on Rotten Tomatoes) and audience reactions.  Even though Long Shot was intended as a mainstream, viewer-friendly entertainment, it had lackluster scores in exit polling, and only bumped up 4% on Saturday (The Intruder gained 7%, despite its typically front-loaded genre).  Audiences seemed to reject Long Shot on its merits, and unless a more friendly second wave shows up, word of mouth may not be kind.  The response wasn’t any more enthusiastic overseas, where it earned only $3.3M in 22 markets.

UGLYDOLLS (Alibaba/STX) was a clear miscalculation by all concerned, with a lousy $8.5M weekend on costs that will top $100M worldwide.  It qualifies as a China co-production, so if there’s an audience for it there, the studio will get a bigger cut, but that’s likely only to limit its losses.

EL CHICANO (Briarcliff) launched in 605 theatres with a quiet $700K, translating into a $1200 weekend per-theatre average.

HOLDOVERS:  Somewhat surprisingly, AVENGERS: ENDGAME (Marvel/Disney) may be better placed to beat Avatar‘s $2.79B all-time worldwide box office record than The Force Awakens‘s $936.7M record in the US.  Domestically, Endgame dropped 59% to $145.8M from last week’s monumental start, which is a notch steeper than Infinity War‘s 56% Weekend 2 drop, and not quite at Force Awakens‘ $149.2M Weekend 2 total.  Currently, Endgame is $79.6M ahead of Force Awakens, but that film was just beginning Christmas week, with giant numbers to come every day, and a lot of the lead will erode over the next week.  As of now, it seems as though Endgame may wind up with around $900M in the US.  Overseas, however, Endgame had a gigantic $282.2M weekend, putting its international total at $1.57B.  It’s now at $2.19B worldwide, about $1M ahead of Titanic and with only Avatar ahead.  It seems as though it might be able to get narrowly past $2.8B worldwide, although of course some of its fate will depend on upcoming competition.

Stablemate CAPTAIN MARVEL (Marvel/Disney) continued to draft on Endgame in the US, down 49% to $4.3M as it heads to $430M, firmly behind only Black Panther and the 4 Avengers movies in the MCU.  Overseas, it’s at $699.3M after a $1.2M weekend.

BREAKTHROUGH (20th/Disney) had the best hold in the Top 10, down 42% to $3.9M, although even a $45M US total would fail to hit the breakout numbers of Heaven Is For Real ($91.4M) or Miracles From Heaven ($61.7M).

THE CURSE OF LA LLORONA (New Line/Warners) fell 57% to $3.5M, still on its way to $55M in the US.  Overseas, it’s at $55.4M after a $5.8M weekend in all major markets.

SHAZAM (DC/New Line/Warners) dropped 56% to $2.5M, en route to $140M in the US.  It’s at $220.4M overseas after a $2.3M weekend in all major territories.  At $365M worldwide, it’s going to be less of a moneymaker than buzz had initially expected.

LITTLE (Legendary/Universal) lost 58% to $1.5M, and may pass $40M in the US.  It’s in only 13 overseas territories, where it earned $400K for a $7.5M international total.

DUMBO (Disney) lost hundreds of theatres and dropped 59% to $1.4M, unlikely to see $115M in the US.  Overseas, it’s at $229M after a $4M weekend in 34 markets.

LIMITED RELEASE:  NON-FICTION (IFC) had a sedate start with a $14.5M average at 2 arthouses.  SHADOW (Well Go) averaged $7500 at 4.  RED JOAN (IFC) expanded to 139 with a dull $1800 average.  THE WHITE CROW (Sony Classics) averaged $5200 at 19.  HESBURGH (O’Malley) averaged $1900 at 36.  HER SMELL (Gunpowder & Sky) could only muster a $500 average at 63.

NEXT WEEKEND:  The other studios continue to tiptoe around Endgame with counterprogramming, much of it aimed at female-skewing audiences and families due to Mother’s Day.  They include POKEMON: DETECTIVE PIKACHU (Warners), THE HUSTLE (United Artists/MGM) and POMS (STX), although TOLKIEN (Fox Searchlight) will seek a fantasy audience in part.  Limited releases include Kenneth Branagh’s ALL IS TRUE (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."