July 27, 2019

EARLY FRIDAY BOX OFFICE: “Hollywood” Solid, “Lion King” Stays On Top


ONCE UPON A TIME… IN HOLLYWOOD (Columbia/Sony), the summer’s great adult-oriented, non-franchise, auteur/movie star hope, had a solid start per preliminary numbers at Deadline with a $16.7M opening day (including $5.8M from Thursday night).  That’s the biggest opening of Quentin Tarantino’s career, higher than the $14.4M for Inglourious Basterds and the $15M for Django Unchained, but they’re not quite apples to apples, Basterds because it opened before “opening day” began on the previous evening, and Django because it opened on that year’s Christmas Day (on a Tuesday).  The Hollywood opening total suggests a $40M+ weekend, which again would be Tarantino’s best.  However, there are a couple of potentially worrisome signs:  the exit poll grade was B, quite low for a film that’s intended to thrive over the long term via word of mouth (not a shock considering its approach to plot and unexpected ending), and those opening audiences were strongly skewed toward avowed Tarantino fans, possibly an indicator of frontloading.  Hollywood has $200M+ in production/marketing costs, so it will need to sustain its start worldwide, and we’ll see on Sunday how it holds through the weekend.

Hollywood wasn’t expected to challenge the 2nd weekend of THE LION KING (Disney), which will easily retain its crown.  However, the 70% Friday-to-Friday drop (to $22.7M) was surprisingly heavy, steeper than the 63% for Beauty & The Beast and the 62% for Aladdin, and much sharper than the 49% for The Jungle Book.  Slightly forebodingly, it’s even worse than the 68% for Dumbo.  Nevertheless, Lion King should have a $75M weekend, and be on its way to $550M+ in the US.

SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME (Columbia/Sony) held quite well on its 4th Friday, down 45% to $3.3M for a $12M weekend.  It’s passed Homecoming‘s $334.2M US total, and should reach $370M.

TOY STORY 4 (Disney) dipped 38% on its 6th Friday to $2.9M, for a weekend that should approach $10M, on its way to $415M in the US, just around the same as Toy Story 3.

CRAWL (Paramount) is reaping strong word of mouth, albeit on a low level, with a 37% dip from last Friday to $1.1M.  A $4M weekend gives it a chance to reach $40M in the US.

YESTERDAY (Universal) dropped 39% from last Friday to $850K, for a $3M weekend and a US total that could hit $70M.

ALADDIN (Disney) is still slowing gradually, down 37% to $750K on its 10th Friday, as it heads toward a $2.5M weekend and a $350M US total.

STUBER (20th/Disney) has little gas in its tank, down 58% to $500K on its 3rd Friday for a $1.5M weekend and a US total that probably won’t see $25M.

ANNABELLE COMES HOME (New Line/Disney) lost 41% from last Friday to $500K, and a $1.5M weekend will have it on track for a bit less than $75M in the US.

THE FAREWELL (A24) is losing a bit of altitude with its latest expansion to 135 theatres, although it’s still a much-needed indie sleeper.  Last weekend, its per-theatre average at 35 was virtually the same as Lady Bird‘s at that point in its release, but this weekend its average may be $10K, which would be roughly what Lady Bird averaged at 75% more theatres.


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."