June 1, 2019

EARLY FRIDAY BOX OFFICE: “Godzilla: King of Monsters” Wins But Doesn’t Devour, “Rocketman” OK, “Ma” Slow


It’s too soon to tell just how GODZILLA: KING OF THE MONSTERS (Legendary/Warners) will fare based on its $19.7M opening day (including $6.3M from Thursday), per preliminary numbers at Deadline.  The reason is that the two previous installments of what Warners calls its “Monsterverse” have had strikingly divergent trajectories at the US box office.  The 2014 Godzilla had average legs at best, with an opening weekend that was 2.42x Friday, and a US total that was only 2.15x opening weekend.  But 2017’s Kong: Skull Island unexpectedly played as a family movie, with a healthy Saturday bump, a 3.03x weekend multiple, and a 2.76x multiple from opening weekend.  The one thing we can say is that King of the Monsters‘ opening day was the lowest start of the trio (Godzilla‘s was $38.4M, and Kong‘s was $20.1M), so its ceiling will be around Kong‘s $168.1M.  Also, considering the roughly $325M production/marketing costs to be recouped, the movie’s fate will lie decided overseas, where Godzilla earned 62% of its worldwide total, and Kong found 70%.

ALADDIN (Disney) had a 61% drop from last Friday to $12M.  That’s better than the 68% drop for Dumbo, but not nearly as good as the 49% drop for The Jungle Book.  A $43M weekend would put Aladdin on track for $275M in the US.

ROCKETMAN (BRON/Paramount) had an OK $9.1M Friday (including $1.8M from Thursday).  That’s less than half the $18.8M opening day for Bohemian Rhapsody, and substantially lower than the $15.7M for A Star Is Born.  It might reach $25M for the weekend, and even strong word of mouth may not get it past $125M in the US.  That will leave it hoping for something like the overseas punch of Bohemian, which found 76% of its total outside the US.

MA (Blumhouse/Universal) seemed to have a more aggressive (i.e., pricier) TV marketing presence than other low-cost Blumhouse entries, so even with a small production budget, the $7.2M opening day and likely $18M weekend may not lead to much profit.

JOHN WICK CHAPTER 3: PARABELLUM (Thunder Road/Summit/Lionsgate) continued to run out of gas much faster than its predecessors, down 54% to $3M on its 3rd Friday, compared to 33%/41% drops for the earlier films.  Nevertheless, Parabellum is already the highest-grossing Wick, and a $10M weekend should mean a $145M US total.

AVENGERS: ENDGAME (Marvel/Disney) is approaching the end of its ride, down 52% to $2M on its 6th Friday, with a $7M weekend and $830M US total in sight.

POKEMON: DETECTIVE PIKACHU (Legendary/Warners) dropped 47% to $1.8M on its 4th Friday, with a $6M weekend and $145M US total ahead.

BOOKSMART (Annapurna/United Artists/MGM) wasn’t able to capitalize on its reviews, or the social media and print dismay at its slow start, as it lost 61% from last Friday to $1M.  With a $3.5M weekend, it might manage to reach $25M in the US.

BRIGHTBURN (Screen Gems/Sony) fell 77% from last Friday’s opening to $700K, and with a $2.5M weekend, it might get to $20M in the US.


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."