July 28, 2019

Behind the US/Worldwide Weekend Box Office – 7.28.2019


OPENINGS:  Quentin Tarantino’s ONCE UPON A TIME… IN HOLLYWOOD (Columbia/Sony) had a 21% Saturday drop, indicating a fair amount of frontloading, but studio estimates have it reaching its goal at $40.4M for the weekend, setting a new record for the filmmaker by topping Inglourious Basterds‘ $38.1M.  (However, Basterds opened in the era before opening weekend began on Thursday night.)  Tarantino’s films, which appeal to older audiences, have enjoyed lengthy runs, with Basterds more than tripling its start, and the question is whether Hollywood will do the same–especially with fairly direct competition coming next weekend from Hobbs & Shaw.  Unusually for a big-budget production these days, Hollywood opened only in the US this weekend, and since Tarantino’s recent films have earned over 60% of their worldwide total overseas, those runs will of course be crucial in the film’s attempt to hit profit on $200M+ in production/marketing costs.

HOLDOVERS:  THE LION KING (Disney) sank by 61% to $75.5M in its 2nd weekend, much steeper than the 48% for Beauty & The Beast, 40% for The Jungle Book, and 53% for Aladdin, and even a tiny bit worse than the 60% for Dumbo.  That suggests a US total that may be more like the $504M for Beauty & The Beast than a higher number, although to be sure that would still put it in the top dozen or so US releases in history.  Overseas, Lion King is already at $611.9M after a $142.8M weekend (with Japan and Italy still to come), and it will pass $1B worldwide this week.  After 7 months of 2019, Disney has already beaten its previous industry record for an entire year’s box office, and the mega-studio still has Frozen 2 and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker on its slate.

SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME (Columbia/Sony) lost 42% to $12.2M in its 4th weekend.  In the US, it’s already topped Homecoming‘s $334..2M, and has a shot to get past Spider-Man 2‘s $373.6M, although the original Spider-Man‘s $403.9M will be a bridge too far.  However, overseas Far From Home is at $692.4M after a $21M weekend, and it’s the top Spider-Man movie both internationally and worldwide, with $1.03B to date.

TOY STORY 4 (Pixar/Disney) dropped 37% to $9.9M in its 6th weekend, and should become the top Toy Story chapter in the US, passing Toy Story 3‘s $415M.  (It will still be behind The Incredibles 2 and Finding Dory among Pixar titles.)  Overseas, it’s at $522.3M after a $19.4M weekend, and it may have a tougher time getting past Toy Story 3‘s $1.07B worldwide total.

CRAWL (Paramount) is showing impressive word of mouth for the horror genre, down just 34% to $4M in its 3rd weekend.  However, it’s still unlikely to get much past $40M.  Overseas, it’s at $14.4M after a $3.4M weekend in 30 markets.

YESTERDAY (Universal) continues to be a sleeper in the US, down 40% to $3M in its 5th weekend, and on track for $70M.  Overseas, though, it’s lagging with $46.3M after a $3.6M weekend.

ALADDIN (Disney) is still the summer’s word of mouth king, down a mere 32% to $2.8M in its 10th weekend, as it heads toward $350M+ in the US.  It’s at $663.8M overseas ($185.9M of that from Japan and Korea) after a $7.2M weekend.

STUBER (20th/Disney) stumbled again with a 59% Weekend 3 drop to $1.7M, and it may not reach $25M in the US.  It has $5.2M overseas.

ANNABELLE COMES HOME (New Line/Disney) dropped 40% to $1.6M in its 5th weekend, and has a chance of stretching to $75M in the US.  Overseas, it’s at $137.7M after a $3.7M weekend.

Last week’s decision to expand THE ART OF SELF-DEFENSE (Bleecker Street) to the low end of wide release continued to look ill-advised as the film fell an alarming 71% to $300K.

LIMITED RELEASE:  THE FAREWELL (A24) expanded to 135 theatres with a solid $11.5K per-theatre seekend average.  That’s on par with the $11K that The Shape of Water averaged at 158, and the challenge will be to keep the momentum going once awards season kicks in.  The documentary HONEYLAND (Neon) launched with a fair $15K average at 2.  MIKE WALLACE IS HERE (Magnolia) averaged $6500 at 3.  THE MOUNTAIN (Kino Lorber) averaged $8K at 2.  MAIDEN (Sony Classics) expanded to 113 with a $1800 average.  SWORD OF TRUST (IFC, also on VOD/streaming) widened to 44 with a $1300 average.  DAVID CROSBY: REMEMBER MY NAME (Sony Classics) averaged $2700 at 11.

NEXT WEEKEND:  The summer’s final presumptive sure thing is Fast & Furious spin-off HOBBS & SHAW (Universal).  There are no other wide openings, but limited releases include LUCE (Neon) and THE NIGHTINGALE (IFC).

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."