Sunday, March 18, 2018
Black Panther Spends Fifth Week At The Top Of The Box Office While Tomb Raider Underwhelms, Love, Simon Does Solid Business And I Can Only Imagine Stuns
The biggest of this weekend's new releases was the best-reviewed video game movie of all-time, Tomb Raider. This new Lara Croft adventure grossed only $23.5 million, a middling haul for a $94 million budgeted blockbuster. That's at least up 8.5% from the opening weekend of Lara Croft: Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life (God, what a convoluted title) from 2003, though it's slightly less than half of the $47.7 million opening weekend of Lara Croft: Tomb Raider from 2001. After only three days, this is also already the fourth biggest movie Alicia Vikander has ever appeared in and it should surpass the $25.4 million gross of Ex Machina by tomorrow. This title was likely kept from hitting higher box office heights due to more generic marketing that failed to give Lara Croft a compelling new villain to face or quest to go on. Alicia Vikander in 2018 is also not as much of a draw as Angelina Jolie in 2001 and the film failed to Vikander any notable supporting actors that could attract viewers. With a deluge of blockbusters coming out in the next four weeks (two of which arrive from Tomb Raider's distributor Warner Bros.), expect Tomb Raider to fade quickly.
The big surprise of the weekend was handily I Can Only Imagine, which surpassed all expectations to gross $17 million. That's the seventh biggest opening weekend of all-time for a Christian movie, by far the biggest opening weekend ever for distributor Roadside Attractions (it's the first time in history one of their movies has opened to above $5 million) and also that studio's fifth biggest movie ever in just three days while it's also Dennis Quaid's seventh biggest opening weekend ever. The Christian band MercyMe and their tune I Can Only Imagine are just beloved in Christian social circles (trust me, I'm a practicing Christian, I'd know!) and that kind of massive following turned up in droves this weekend.
A Wrinkle In Time shed 50% this weekend to gross another $16.5 million, slightly larger than usual for second-weekend drops experienced by these March family tentpoles from Disney, though it's better than I expected given the film's B CinemaScore. The film seems to be heading towards a $90 million domestic finish, though it may just hit $100 million if it doesn't collapse in the weeks ahead.
The new Josh Duhamel star vehicle Love, Simon grossed $11.5 million this weekend, the seventh biggest opening weekend ever for a movie starring an LGBTQA+ lead. That's $200,000 below the $11.7 million opening weekend of Everything, Everything and more comparable to the opening weekends of The Host ($10.6 million) and The 5th Wave ($10.3 million) among Young-Adult Book Adaptations. I'm surprised this didn't open bigger given that the marketing seemed clever and the book it's based on seems popular, though a bunch of these John Green-esque teen romance movies have stumbled in the wake of The Fault In Our Stars (even Paper Towns, another John Green novel, stumbled) become a major box office hit. An A+ CinemaScore indicates Love, Simon might have good word-of-mouth going forward, though YA novel adaptations tend to be very frontloaded.
Holding well once again this weekend was Game Night, which dipped 29% to gross another $5.5 million for a $54.1 million domestic cume. Could this title make a run for $70 million domestically? It sure doesn't seem impossible. Also continuing to be impressive in its weekend-to-weekend retention was Peter Rabbit, which became only the second movie of 2018 to crack $100 million domestically this weekend by grossing another $5.2 million (a 23% dip from last weekend) for a $102.4 million domestic total. Strangers: Prey At Night dropped 54% this frame to add another $4.8 million to a domestic total that now stands at $18.6 million. Meanwhile, Red Sparrow fell another 47% to gross an additional $4.4 million for a middling $39.5 million domestic total. Rounding out the top ten, Death Wish grossed another $3.3 million (a 49% drop from last weekend) for a $29.9 million domestic total.
Losing 48% this weekend was Annihilation, which added $1.7 million to a domestic total that now stands at $29.5 million. Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle became only the 30th movie in history to crack $400 million domestically as it added $1.6 million this weekend to a current domestic haul of $400.2 million. Looks like the $3.6 million it needs to surpass Spider-Man and become the biggest Sony/Columbia movie of all-time domestically isn't so far out of reach. Focus Features debuted 7 Days In Entebbe in 838 theaters this weekend and the feature grossed only $1.6 million for a per-theater average of $1,943. The Greatest Showman had it's biggest weekend-to-weekend drop yet in its domestic run this weekend as it fell 38% this frame to gross another $1.1 million for a $169.7 million domestic haul. In its second weekend, The Hurrican Heist plummeted 66% and grossed an additional $1 million for a disastrous domestic haul of only $5.3 million.
Recent Best Picture winner The Shape of Water fell sharply from last weekend as it went down 66% after losing more than half of its theaters to gross another $800,000 for a $62.6 million domestic haul. Like The Hurricane Heist, Gringo fell sharply in its second weekend as it plummeted 77%, the 25th biggest second-weekend drop of all-time, and grossed only $630,000 for a domestic total of only $4.5 million, making it the sixth biggest Amazon Studios movie ever. Expanding into 32 theaters this weekend was The Death of Stalin and grossed $580,576 for a per-theater average of $18,143 and a domestic total of $843,967. Thoroughbreds was yet another movie in it's second weekend of release that fell harshly this weekend as it dropped 61% this frame to gross another $470,000 for a domestic total of only $2.2 million. Meanwhile, A Fantastic Woman expanded into 190 theaters and grossed $203,711 (a 25% drop from last weekend) for a $1.49 million domestic gross. Fellow Sony Pictures Classics release The Leisure Seeker grossed $149,028 from 49 theaters for a per-theater average of $3,041 and a domestic total of $326,984.
Finally, we come to a pair of limited release newcomers that each managed strong showings that proved to be among the best performances among the current crop of 2018 limited releases. Biggest of these two movies was Flower, which debuted to $57,851 from 3 locations for a per-theater average of $19,284, giving it the third biggest opening weekend ever for its distributor, The Orchard (only Hunt For The Wilderpeople and The Dinner had bigger bows for the studio) and the second-best opening weekend per-theater average for a 2018 limited release. That's a pretty good debut for the title and it'll be interesting to see how much of a push The Orchard gives this one given that they apparently plan to expand into at least 300 locations on March 30th. Meanwhile, Keep The Change premiered in a single movie theater and grossed $13,000, giving it the fourth biggest opening weekend per-theater average for a 2018 limited release and the eighth biggest opening weekend ever for it's distributor, Kino Lorber.
The Top 12 movies this weekend grossed a total of $122.4 million this weekend, the third biggest eleventh weekend in any given year, though down about 52% from this same weekend last year when Beauty And The Beast broke box office records.