July 21, 2019

Behind the US/Worldwide Weekend Box Office – 7.21.2019


OPENINGS:  THE LION KING (Disney) was expected to be the crown jewel in Disney’s recreations of its animated classics, and despite sharply mixed reviews, it delivered with a $185M opening weekend–and that studio estimate includes a fairly conservative number for Sunday, so it could go higher in finals.  If it stays at $185M, it will be the #9 opening in US history (it would hit #8 if it goes above Age of Ultron‘s $191.3M), and it’s already the biggest of the Disney remakes, toppling Beauty & The Beast‘s $174.8M.  The only other major family movies of the summer are Dora and the Lost City of Gold on August 9 and Angry Birds Movie 2 on August 14, so Lion King has weeks of open landscape ahead, and should top $500M in the US.  Overseas, it’s at $346M after a $269,4M weekend in all major markets except Japan (a huge market for the genre), Hong Kong and Italy, and should end up well above $1B worldwide.  Counting Marvel’s partnership with Sony on Spider-Man: Far From Home, Disney now has a piece of all top half-dozen of 2019’s openings, and it still has Frozen 2 and Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker ahead.

THE ART OF SELF-DEFENSE (Bleecker Street) decided to expand from 7 theatres to the fringes of wide release at 550, and the attempt at counterprogramming had little impact, with a $1.1M weekend that translated into a $1900 per-theatre average.  (Lion King‘s theatres averaged $39.2K.)

HOLDOVERS:  The weekend’s biggest holdover news was for a film that only earned $1.2M in the US on Friday-Sunday and $300K overseas.  That was enough to push AVENGERS: ENDGAME (Marvel/Disney) atop the biggest record of them all (not adjusted for inflation), as the highest-grossing film of all time worldwide with $2.790.2B, passing Avatar‘s $2.789.7B.  (Avatar is still #1 overseas, and The Force Awakens retains the title in the US.)  Fittingly, the announcement was made as part of Marvel’s Comic-Con unveiling of the “Phase 4” projects of its cinematic universe, as the behemoth plans to engulf Blade, the Fantastic Four and the X-Men, not to mention streaming TV, over the next few years.

Thinking of Marvel, SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME (Columbia/Sony) dropped 54% to $21M in its 3rd weekend, and should reach $360M in the US, behind only the original Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2 in the US.  However, Far From Home is already the #1 Spidey movie worldwide, after a $37.2M weekend that put its international total at $651.1M, shortly to become the 9th MCU production to reach $1B worldwide.

TOY STORY 4 (Pixar/Disney) was barely dented by the arrival of The Lion King, down just 30% to $14.6M in its 5th weekend, as it continues to head toward $400M+ in the US.  It’s at $483.9M overseas after a $25.8M weekend, with Germany still to open, and will get past $900M worldwide.

CRAWL (Paramount) had a fairly good Weekend 2 for a horror movie, down 50% to $6M, and might reach $35M in the US.  It has $9.9M overseas after a $2.7M weekend in 21 territories.

YESTERDAY (Universal) is proving to have real staying power in the US, down just 24% to $5.1M in its 4th weekend, and on its way to $70M.  Unfortunately, it’s showing much less appeal overseas, where it’s at $40.6M after a $4.3M weekend in 39 markets.  Still, there should be some moderate profit here.

STUBER (20th/Disney) fell 51% to $4M in its 2nd weekend, and may not get past $25M in the US.  It also has $2.8M overseas.

ALADDIN (Disney) is still holding well in its 9th weekend, down 38% to $3.8M, and may hit $350M in the US.  With $648.8M overseas after a $9.2M weekend, it’s poised to hit $1B worldwide in the next week or so.

ANNABELLE COMES HOME (New Line/Warners) lost 53% to $3.7M in its 4th weekend, and has a chance of getting to $75M in the US.  It’s close to $200M worldwide, with $129.6M overseas after a $7.4M weekend in all major markets except Japan.

MIDSOMMAR (A24) fell 56% to $1.6M in its 3rd weekend, and won’t get much past $25M in the US, which would put it at the level of A24’s Ex Machina and The Witch.  It hasn’t yet opened overseas.

LIMITED RELEASE:  THE FAREWELL (A24) expanded impressively to 35 theatres with a $33.5M per-theatre weekend average, slightly above Lady Bird‘s $32.5K average at 37.  DAVID CROSBY: REMEMBER MY NAME (Sony Classics) opened at 4 with a mild $10K average.  MAIDEN (Sony Classics) widened to 84 with a $3000 average.  WILD ROSE (Neon) averaged $1300 at 195.  MARIANNE & LEONARD: SONGS OF LOVE (Roadside), now at 55, averaged $2200.  SWORD OF TRUST (IFC, also on VOD/streaming) averaged $5200 at 12.

NEXT WEEKEND:  Summer’s best hope for an adult-oriented breakout hit is Quentin Tarantino’s ONCE UPON A TIME… IN HOLLYWOOD (Columbia/Sony), which should be helped by a lack of weekend competition.



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."