Sunday, June 17, 2018

The Power of Holly Hunter Is Felt As Incredibles 2 Has Super-Heroic Record-Breaking Weekend That Narrowly Edges Out Opening Weekend of Gotti

Incredibles 2 was always expected to be big. Many even thought it beating out the $136 million opening weekend of Finding Dory to score the biggest opening weekend ever for an animated movie was likely. But a debut of this magnitude was something even the most optimistic box office analyst could have never expected. Grossing $180 million this weekend, Incredibles 2 handily nabbed the biggest opening weekend for an animated movie in history as well as the fifth biggest opening weekend ever for a superhero movie, the second biggest opening weekend ever in June (it's also only the second time in history a movie has opened to over $150 million in June) and the biggest opening weekend ever for Holly Hunter, beating out the $166 million debut of Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice for that honor.

It's been nearly fourteen years since the first Incredibles debuted and in that time, admiration for the film has only grown as people have been widely anticipating a follow-up. One couldn't read the comments on any news piece about a PIXAR film in the last decade or so without someone inquiring where exactly a new Incredibles adventure was. Now it finally arrived and the timing couldn't have been better given the dearth of compelling family movies in the marketplace (it's been four months since the last family movie, Peter Rabbit, to cross $100 million domestically and seven months since an animated movie, fellow PIXAR title Coco, crossed $100 million domestically), the time was ripe for something that could appeal to families. Add all that up with a marketing that struck a balance between highlighting elements from the first movie audiences liked with newer elements (a new bad guy, Elasticgirl becoming the primary superhero while Mr. Incredible becomes a stay-at-home Dad) and Incredibles 2 was primed for a big opening, though few could have expected it to be this big.

So how much is Incredibles 2 gonna make in its domestic run? Well, that's where things get interesting. Typically, summertime PIXAR movies do about 3.5 times their opening weekend, with occasional exceptions emerging either in films that hold better than that (Ratatouille and Inside Out) and films that hold worse than that (both Cars sequels). If Incredibles 2 does 3.5 times its opening weekend, it makes $630 million. I feel like the film will be slightly more frontloaded than that, but then again, that A+ CinemaScore (only the seventh time ever a PIXAR movie has earned an A+ mark from audiences) suggests this could have legs. For now, I'll say Incredibles 2 at least gets to $560 million domestically, though there's a strong chance it manages to cross $600 million domestically. If it does, that means 2018 would be the first year in history to deliver three separate movies that grossed over $600 million domestically.

In second place was Ocean's Eight, which grossed $19.5 million in its second weekend of business, a 53% drop from its opening weekend, a larger second-weekend drop than the past Ocean's movies. With $79.1 million after ten days of domestic play, it look's like Ocean's Eight is headed for at least $115-120 million domestically, a solid haul that would put it on par with the $117.1 million domestic total of Ocean's Thirteen.

Those plucky Incredibles weren't the only brand new wide release in the domestic marketplace this frame as a game of Tag also got underway that scored $14.6 million. Given that this comedy cost only $28 million to produce, that's not a terrible debut, but it's certainly not as big as Warner Bros./New Line cinema would have wanted given the kind of debuts high-profile comedies have drawn up in June in the past (the studios own Central Intelligence grossed $36 million in its opening weekend when it bowed against another PIXAR sequel, Finding Dory, two years ago). Tag was likely held back from a marketing campaign that simply rested on the gimmick of "This Is A Based On A True Story...For Reals!" while only showing off generic slapstick gags when it came time to show off jokes from the movie. The fact that it didn't star any reliable box office draws or even just a compelling unexpected pairing (was anyone on the planet enticed by the prospect of Jeremy Renner and Ed Helms finally sharing the screen?) also hurt its box office prospects. Let's see if this one can cross $40 million in its domestic box office run.

In its fourth weekend of release, Solo: A Star Wars Story dropped 42% to gross another $9 million domestically for a $192.8 million domestic total. Fellow May blockbuster holdover Deadpool 2 went down 37% this frame to give it another $8.8 million for a $294.6 million total. Look for this raunchy superhero comedy to become only the third movie of 2018, and the first 2018 film not released by Disney, to make over $300 million domestically in the coming days. Though a D+ CinemaScore had people wondering if Hereditary would fall like a stone this weekend, the unorthodox horror film dropped only 48% this frame, a great hold for a horror tile. Grossing another $7 million, Hereditary has now grossed $27 million domestically and is already the third biggest movie ever from A24.

Superfly, a remake of the 1972 film of the same name, got off to an underwhelming start this weekend with a $6.3 million bow, though the title opened on a Wednesday and has grossed $8.4 million domestically in its first five days of release. Costing only $16 million to produce, nobody at Sony/Columbia is losing sleep over this one's performance, but any feature released in over 2,200 theaters in the middle of June is expected to do better than a $6.3 million bow and Superfly just couldn't stand out in its marketing despite having high-profile names behind-the-scenes like Director X or Joel Silver.

Eight weeks into its domestic run, Avengers: Infinity War is still snapping up some moviegoers as it dipped 26% this weekend to gross another $5.2 million for a $664.1 million domestic haul. Holding far worse this frame was Adrift, which is turning out to be one of the more frontloaded titles of the summer as it plummeted 60% this weekend, giving it a $2 million sum this frame for a $26.8 million domestic gross. it may have lost 56% this weekend, but Book Club continued its impressive run by adding $1.8 million to an outstanding domestic total that now stands at $62 million. Just outside the top ten this weekend was A Wrinkle In Time, which Disney finally got past $100 million by attaching it to drive-in-movie theater double-feature screenings of Incredibles 2. Grossing $1.7 million this weekend, A Wrinkle In Time has now grossed exactly $100 million domestically, making it (discounting the documentary Born In China) the twelfth consecutive Disney release to gross over $100 million domestically, a streak Avengers: Infinity War, Solo: A Star Wars Story and of course Incredibles 2 have kept going.

John Travolta's Gotti finally debuted this weekend to only $1.67 million from 503 theaters for a per-theater average of $3,320. That's the third-best opening weekend for a 2018 limited release, but Gotti is playing in way more theaters on opening weekend than the vast majority of fellow 2018 limited releases, meaning this is still a poor debut for the crime drama. Just behind Gotti was Race 3, which debuted to a solid $1.62 million from 315 theaters for a per-theater average of $5,168.  In its second weekend of limited release, Won't You Be My Neighbor held quite well as it expanded to 96 locations and grossed $985,000 for a per-theater average of $10,260, giving it a current domestic total of $1.6 million. Holding far worse in its own second weekend was Hotel Artemis, which dropped 70% to gross another $959,375 for a measly domestic gross to date of just $5.7 million. In its third weekend of domestic release, Upgrade plummeted 78%, adding $510,000 to a domestic total that now stands at $11 million, putting it past the $10.7 million haul of The Darkness to make it the biggest BH Tilt title of all-time.

RBG crossed the $10 million domestic box office mark this weekend, making it the first ever title from Magnolia Releasing gross over $10 million domestically. Taking in $483,000, a 35% drop from last weekend, RBG has now grossed $10.1 million. Hearts Beat Loud found itself struggling in its expansion to 83 locations as it grossed $249,581 for a per-theater average of only $3,007, bringing its domestic total up to $348,453. At least Hearts Beat Loud fared better in its theatrical expansion than The Seagull, which only took in $144,760 from 211 locations for a per-theater average of only $686 and a similarly meager domestic haul of only $873,596. Meanwhile, the 2018 70mm theatrical re-release of  2001: A Space Odyssey continued putting up solid numbers as it expanded to 13 locations, its highest theater count yet, and grossed $80,000 for a per-theater average of $6,154 and a domestic total to date of $852,958. Looks like this film's 2018 re-release will get past $1 million despite playing in so few theaters, a truly remarkable accomplishment. Finally, Eating Animals debuted in limited release this weekend with $35,215 from 2 locations for a per-theater average of $17,608.

The top 12 movies this weekend grossed a massive $258 million, the second biggest weekend ever in June (only the June 12-14, 2015 frame when Jurassic World premiered was bigger) and it's the eighth-biggest weekend in history. The last few weeks of domestic box office may have been sluggish save for Ocean's Eight, but this bustling weekend proves that all you need to do to liven up the domestic box office is put out a movie like Incredibles 2 that people actually wanna see.

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