April 6, 2019

EARLY FRIDAY BOX OFFICE: “Shazam” Solid, “Pet Sematary” OK, “Best of Enemies” Soft, “Dumbo” Crashes


By superhero movie standards, SHAZAM (DC/New Line/Warners) was moderately priced, with around $225M in production/marketing costs.  Preliminary numbers at Deadline put its opening day at $20M (including $5.9M from Thursday), and although that’s a cut below comic book blockbusters like Captain Marvel ($61.7M), Spider-Man: Homecoming ($50.8M) or Wonder Woman ($38.2M), it’s solidly in line with a mid-level piece in the genre like Ant-Man ($22.6M).  Shazam should top $50M for the weekend, with some significant potential upside since it’s particularly aimed at young audience, meaning it may overperform at weekend matinees.  That would put it on track for $150M+ in the US, and if the weekend’s international openings (including China) do well, it will be on its way to profitability and a likely sequel.

PET SEMATARY (Paramount) earned $9.7M on its opening day ($2.3M of that from Thursday), out of the league of the recent $28.9M opening day for Us, and just a bit better than last April’s low-budget Truth Or Dare‘s $8.3M.  Like the latter (but at a higher budget), Pet Sematary may burn out fast, with a $22M weekend and perhaps a $50M US total.

DUMBO (Disney) fell badly for a family movie, down 67% to $5M from last Friday.  That compares to drops on parallel days of 63% for Beauty & The Beast, 49% for The Jungle Book, and 58% for Alice In Wonderland, and is unfortunately on par with the Friday-to-Friday drop for the flop Alice Through The Looking Glass.  An $18M weekend would probably mean Dumbo will fall to earth without even reaching $125M in the US, making red ink inevitable unless international markets can rescue it.

US (Blumhouse/Perfect World/Universal) continues to fall much faster than Get Out, down 57% to $4.3M on its 3rd Friday, while Get Out was down just 25% on the parallel day.  A $14M weekend would set things up for a neck-and-neck finish with Get Out‘s $176M US total, despite more than doubling Get Out‘s opening weekend.

CAPTAIN MARVEL (Marvel/Disney), perhaps aided by the gathering storm for Avengers: Endgame, is holding very well, down 39% to $3.3M on its 5th Friday.  That’s not as strong as the 25% for Black Panther‘s parallel day, but it’s better than the 42% for Avengers: Infinity War, the 46% for Age of Ultron, and the 48% for Captain America: Civil War.  With a $13M weekend, Captain Marvel would be back to being on track for a $400M US total.

BEST OF ENEMIES (STX), with a smaller release at 1705 theatres, is nevertheless failing to impress.  Its $1.8M opening day may give it a $5M weekend, and without an awards season to push it forward, and with notably mediocre reviews, it may have a hard time getting past $15M in the US, with slender chances overseas.

FIVE FEET APART (CBS/Lionsgate) continues to hold solidly, down 38% to $1.2M on its 4th Friday, and heading for a $4M weekend and a potential $50M US total.

UNPLANNED (Pure Flix) is providing a definition of the term “frontloaded”.  Despite expanding its release by 43% for its 2nd weekend, it had a remarkable 62% Friday-to-Friday drop to $1.1M.  That means on a per-theatre basis, its Friday average was down over 75%, even worse than many low-budget horror movies face.  Since last Friday was frontloaded in its own right, those numbers will moderate over the weekend, perhaps to $4M for the 3 days, but the US total may not get past $20M.

WONDER PARK (Nickelodeon/Paramount) dropped 54% on its 4th Friday to under $600K, with a $2M weekend ahead and a US total that probably won’t reach $50M.

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."