June 9, 2019

Behind the US/Worldwide Weekend Box Office – 6.9.2019

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Written by: Mitch Salem
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OPENINGS:  THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS 2 (Illumination/Universal) had a better launch than this weekend’s other big arrival, but it was a major box office disappointment in its own right.  The $47.1M weekend was down 55% from the first Pets just 3 years ago, and although Pets 2 will likely hit profit thanks to relatively moderate production/marketing costs around $225M, a $150M US total won’t do much to encourage another sequel.  Pets 2 is haing a slow rollout overseas, where it’s at $49M after a $16M weekend in 30 markets.  Although many territories are still to open including China and Japan, it’s hard to see the sequel coming anywhere near the first Pets‘ $507.1M international total.

The only positive for Marvel/Disney from the fiasco of DARK PHOENIX (20th/TSG/Disney) is that there will be zero nostalgia for this version of X-Men to hinder the inevitable MCU reboot, now that the franchise is under Disney’s direct control.  The $33M US opening was by far the lowest of the franchise, and with poisonous word of mouth (Saturday fell 23% from Friday), the domestic total may be only $85M.  Things aren’t much better overseas, where Phoenix opened in almost all major markets except Japan to a tepid $107M ($45.6M from China).  Phoenix weathered expensive reshoots along its tortuous way to theatres, and at $350M in production/marketing costs, it’s headed for serious red ink.

HOLDOVERS:  2 weeks of newcomer disappointments have helped buoy ALADDIN (Disney), down 43% in its 3rd weekend to $24.5M, and on its way to $285M in the US.  It had an additional $67.6M weekend in all major international territories, for $372.5M to date, and should reach $750M+ worldwide, which would put it at #4 or #5 among Disney’s live-action makeovers, behind Beauty & The Beast, Alice In Wonderland, The Jungle Book and possibly Maleficent.

GODZILLA, KING OF THE MONSTERS (Legendary/Warners) fell 68% from last week’s premiere to $15.5M, and may not see $110M in the US.  With $325M in costs, its destiny will depend entirely on its overseas performance, and that may only bring it to breakeven at best, with $213.7M to date ($109.7M of it from China) after a $47.1M weekend in all major markets.

ROCKETMAN (BRON/Paramount) is a pale shadow of Bohemian Rhapsody and A Star is Born, down 46% from last week’s premiere to $14M, en route to $80M in the US.  By comparison, Bohemian lost 39% in its 2nd weekend, and Star is Born was down just 33%.  Things are no brighter overseas, where Rocketman is at a very mild $51.3M after a $13M weekend in 50 markets.

MA (Blumhouse/Universal) dropped 57% to $7.8M from last week’s opening, and has a chance of hitting $50M in the US.  It has $7.3M in limited overseas release.

JOHN WICK CHAPTER 3:  PARABELLUM (Thunder Road/Summit/Lionsgate) slipped 33% to $7.4M in its 4th weekend, and should reach $155M in the US.  It’s milder overseas, consistent with the franchise’s pattern, where it has $113.6M to date.

AVENGERS: ENDGAME (Marvel/Disney) isn’t going away just yet, down 40% to $4.8M in its 7th weekend, as it heads toward $835M in the US.  Its initial release is likely to put its global total around $40M below Avatar, with $1.9B overseas that puts its worldwide tally at $2.73B.

POKEMON: DETECTIVE PIKACHU (Legendary/Warners) lost 57% to $3M in its 5th weekend, and may stretch to hit $145M in the US.  It’s at $272.1M overseas, $89.1M of that from China.

BOOKSMART (Annapurna/US/MGM) didn’t find the audience love it was seeking, down 52% to $1.6M in its 3rd weekend, and likely to just nose past $20M in the US.  It hasn’t yet entered international release.

LIMITED RELEASE:  In its only week before wide release, LATE NIGHT (Amazon) posted a splashy $62K per-theatre average at 4 NY/LA houses, although that number included starry in-theatres Q&As as well as (perhaps consequentially) a huge Sunday drop.  THE LAST BLACK MAN IN SAN FRANCISCO (A24) had an impressive start with a $33K average at 7.  Ron Howard’s documentary PAVAROTTI (CBS/Lionsgate) began with a modest $7500 average at 19.  There were a pair of unwise expansions, each with a $700 per-theatre weekend average:  ALL IS TRUE (Sony Classics) and THE TOMORROW MAN (Bleecker Street).  In addition, ECHO IN THE CANYON (Greenwich) widened to 43 with a $4800 average, and THE SOUVENIR (A24) moved into 145 flats with a $1200 average

NEXT WEEKEND:  A pair of reboots, with MEN IN BLACK: INTERNATIONAL (Columbia/Sony) and SHAFT (Paramount), as well as the wide release of Late Night, and a mid-level opening (550 theatres) for THE DEAD DON’T DIE (Focus/Universal).  Limited releases include AMERICAN WOMAN (Roadside).



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."