June 16, 2019

Behind the US/Worldwide Weekend Box Office – 6.16.2019


Note:  The Father’s Day tide is expected to lift virtually all movie boats on Sunday, and the studios have factored that into their weekend estimates.  However, next weekend’s declines may be steeper than usual as a result.

OPENINGS:  MEN IN BLACK: INTERNATIONAL (Tencent/Columbia/Sony) was the latest big-budget franchise entry to perform dimly, with a $28.5M weekend that marked the first time the series has opened with less than $51.1M–and that number dates back to 1997, unadjusted for inflation.  International may not even reach $75M in the US, and things weren’t much better overseas, where the opening in 56 markets (including all majors other than Italy) was $73.7M.  Sony is using the full “open in case of flop” playbook, insisting that (a) International cost less than everyone thinks ($210M for production and marketing compared to the generally reported $250M), and (b) third party partners will bear much of the loss.  Nevertheless, with a worldwide total that may not even see $300M, red ink will probably splash on all concerned.

SHAFT (New Line/Warners) cost much less than Men In Black: International but is an even more certain loser after an awful $8.3M start.  A $25M US total won’t even pay for the domestic marketing, and Warners unloaded all the overseas rights to Netflix, reportedly for just a few million dollars, so there’s no potential upside there.

LATE NIGHT (Amazon) follows Long Shot and Booksmart as the latest 2019 adult-oriented comedy to fail at the box office, opening lower than either of them at $5.1M.  As a female-skewing title, it’s also one of the few films this weekend that’s unlikely to benefit from Father’s Day.  Amazon paid $13M for the movie at Sundance before incurring millions in marketing costs, and Late Night won’t come close to the total investment.  A limited opening overseas brought in $500K.

THE DEAD DON’T DIE (Focus/Universal) opened on the low end of wide release at 613 theatres (director Jim Jarmusch’s widest opening ever by a large margin) with a soft $2.4M.  It also earned $700K in 5 overseas markets.

HOLDOVERS:  THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS 2 (Illumination/Universal) enjoyed its last weekend before Toy Story 2 takes possession of the family market with a 49% drop to $23.8M.  It might reach $140M in the US, down more than 60% from the first Secret Life.  It’s still in gradual release overseas, with $62.5M to date after a $8.5M weekend in 34 territories.  China is among the openings ahead, but Pets 2 won’t get near the $507.1M international total of the original film.

ALADDIN (Disney) has prospered as later summer openings dried up, down 32% to $16.7M in its 4th weekend, and with a chance of reaching $300M in the US if its own cousin Toy Story 4 doesn’t cut it off.  It’s at $461.4M overseas after a $47.5M weekend in 55 markets, and its worldwide box office is going to pass Maleficent‘s $758.5M to become the #3 Disney live-action retooling, behind only Beauty & The Beast, Alice In Wonderland and The Jungle Book.

The 2nd weekend of DARK PHOENIX (20th/TSG/Disney) was going to be ugly, and the 73% drop (to $9M) was worse than the 69% for Batman v Superman and the 67% for Suicide SquadDark Phoenix may only get to $70M in the US, and while the numbers were larger overseas, $152.5M to date after a $24.2M weekend in all major markets except Japan may mean a 9-figure loss.

ROCKETMAN (BRON/Paramount) held well, down 36% to $8.8M in its 3rd weekend, but that still puts it on target for a mild $85M in the US.  The results are almost identical overseas, where the film has $67M after a $8.5M weekend in 55 territories that includes all major markets except Japan.  A $175M worldwide total won’t remind anyone of Bohemian Rhapsody or A Star Is Born.

GODZILLA: KING OF THE MONSTERS (Legendary/Warners) dropped 48% to $8.1M in its 3rd weekend, on its way to an underwhelming $110M in the US.  Overseas is inevitably bigger, but even so, $254.8M to date ($123.2M of that from China), after a $14.1M weekend in 79 territories, may not even get the expensive spectacle to breakeven.

JOHN WICK CHAPTER 3: PARABELLUM (Thunder Road/Summit/Lionsgate) has the best word of mouth of the summer’s action movies, down just 18% to $6.1M in its 5th weekend as it heads to $160M in the US.  However, it remains oddly lagging overseas, like the franchise’s other entries, with $127.5M to date after a $6.2M weekend in 87 territories.

MA (Blumhouse/Universal) fell 54% to $3.6M in its 3rd weekend and probably won’t reach $50M in the US.  It’s at $11.4M overseas after a $2.3M weekend in 36 markets.

LIMITED RELEASE:  THE LAST BLACK MAN IN SAN FRANCISCO (A24) expanded fairly well to 36 theatres with a $10K per-theatre weekend average.  ECHO IN THE CANYON (Greenwich) widened to 68 with a $2900 average.  FRAMING DELOREAN (IFC, also available via streaming/VOD) averaged $2400 at 10.

NEXT WEEKEND:  TOY STORY 4 (Pixar/Disney) will be counterprogrammed by the thriller ANNA (Lionsgate), the horror reboot CHILD’S PLAY (UA/MGM) and the music-oriented indie WILD ROSE (Neon).


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."