August 25, 2019

Behind the US/Worldwide Weekend Box Office – 8.25.2019

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Written by: Mitch Salem
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OPENINGS:  ANGEL HAS FALLEN (Millenium/Lionsgate) smartly picked a weekend to open that was far enough away from Hobbs & Shaw with its larger and overlapping audience, and near enough to the end of summer to keep the competition sparse  The result was a solid $21.3M opening, almost the equal of the last franchise installment London Has Fallen, which started with $21.6M in March 2016.  (Angel, however, was more frontloaded, with a 2% Saturday drop compared to London‘s 13% bump.)  Angel should hold well over Labor Day weekend, and even if the drops get steeper after that, it could come close to London‘s $62.5M US total.  London earned 70% of its overall overseas, and Angel is rolling out gradually, with $8.4M so far.

OVERCOMER (Affirm/Sony) aimed squarely at the Christian market, and it had a middling start with $8.2M, below the $11.4M for War Room and the $9.1M for Courageous, but better than the $6.8M for Fireproof.  The genre tends to have strong multiplers, so Overcomer should pass $30M before it’s done, making it a profitable venture thanks to low production and marketing costs.

READY OR NOT (Fox Searchlight/Disney) managed to avoid the politiccal media controversy that killed The Hunt, although the two thrillers have similar premises.  The downside of staying under the radar was that not many noticed it existed at all, with a $7.6M weekend in Searchlight’s widest opening ever (2855 theatres), and a $10.6M total since its Wednesday launch.  A $30M US total may be a stretch, and it hasn’t opened overseas yet.

THE PEANUT BUTTER FALCON (Roadside) jumped to 991 theatres with a soft $3M, a $3K per theatre weekend average compared to Angel Has Fallen‘s $6500.  It isn’t clear what the strategy was here, or whether further expansion is planned.

HOLDOVERS:  The slender crop of newcomers was good news for most of the holdovers.  GOOD BOYS (Good Universe/Universal) dropped 45% to $11.8M from last week’s premiere, and might reach $65M in the US on moderate costs.  It has $6.9M to date overseas after a $3.5M weekend in 22 markets.

THE LION KING (Disney) slipped 34% to $8.2M in its 6th weekend, on its way past $525M in the US.  Overseas, it’s at a gigantic $998M after a $30M weekend in 56 territories.  A $1.6B worldwide total would put it at #7 all-time.

HOBBS & SHAW (Universal) lost 43% to $8.1M in its 4th weekend, and might get to $165M in the US.  But its big weekend news was its arrival in China, which contributed an overwhelming $102M of the spin-off’s $120.4M overseas weekend, putting it on track to surpass $700M worldwide.  That would put it below the last 3 Fast & Furious chapters, still a strong result for an extended universe debut.

THE ANGRY BIRDS MOVIE 2 (Sony Animation) dropped 38% (a bit less impressive than it sounds because of the film’s mid-week opening) to to $6.4M, unlikely to get much past $40M in the US–a long way down from the first Birds‘ $107.5M.  Overseas, it’s at $47.6M after a $10.2M weekend in 43 markets, and although it still has several territories to come, it won’t touch its predecessor’s $244.8M international total.

SCARY STORIES TO TELL IN THE DARK (Lionsgate) continued to hold well for a horror title, down 40% to $6M in its 3rd weekend, and possibly en route to $65M in the US.   It’s currently in only 8 overseas markets, and has $21.5M after a $4.3M weekend.

DORA AND THE LOST CITY OF GOLD (Nickelodeon/Paramount) dropped 39% to $5.2M in its 3rd weekend, likely to land at $55M in the US.  So far it’s stirring little interest overseas, with $17.4M after a $3.2M weekend in 28 territories.

ONCE UPON A TIME… IN HOLLYWOOD (Columbia/Sony) continued to validate Sony’s big bet on Quentin Tarantino.  In the US, it dipped a mere 35% to $5M in its 5th weekend, and should reach $135M.  Overseas, it’s at $116.6M after a $28M weekend in 55 territories, with a few still to open.  It won’t match the $425.4M worldwide total of Django Unchained, but should at least get close to Inglourious Basterds‘ $321.5M.

Things didn’t improve for last weekend’s low openings.  47 METERS DOWN: UNCAGED (Entertainment Studios) dropped 53% to $4M, and probably won’t see $25M in the US, far below the first Meters‘ $44.3M, and with $1M in early international release.  BLINDED BY THE LIGHT (New Line/Warners) fell 52% to $2.1M, unlikely to reach $15M in the US, with no overseas openings yet.  WHERE’D YOU GO, BERNADETTE (Annapurna/UA/MGM) plunged 59% to $1.4M, and will be lucky to get past $10M in the US, with any overseas release still to come.

LIMITED RELEASE:  Buoyed by extensive in-theatre Q&As, BRITTANY RUNS A MARATHON (Amazon) had a solid start with a $35K per-theatre average at 5.  FIDDLER: A MIRACLE OF MIRACLES (Roadside) averaged $5100 at 7.  LUCE (Neon) expanded to 160 with a soft $1600 average.  AFTER THE WEDDING (Sony Classics) widened to 81 with a $2K average.  ONE CHILD NATION (Amazon) averaged $1300 at 34.  THE NIGHTINGALE (IFC) only managed an $800 average at 51.  AQUARELA (Sony Classics) averaged $2K at 13.

NEXT WEEKEND:  Labor Day weekend, as is usually the case, will extinguish the summer movie season with a whimper.  The only wide release is the Sundance title DON’T LET GO (OTL), and limited releases include another Sundance debut, BEFORE YOU KNOW IT (1091).

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."