Sunday, March 3, 2019

Dragons Stay Atop The Box Office As Madea Goes Out On Strong Box Office Note And Greta Disappoints In First Weekend of The March 2019 Box Office

Back on Friday, it looked like a more neck-and-neck race for the top spot at the domestic box office between How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World and A Madea Family Funeral, but the animated dragons had the upper hand, though both titles managed to prosper over the first weekend of March 2019. The first seven weekends of 2019 might have been slow, but as this weekend shows, injecting some compelling titles into the marketplace will always get things back on track. Topping this frame was How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World with a $30 million second weekend haul. That's a 45% drop from last weekend, an improvement over the 50% drop of the second movie and the biggest second-weekend for any entry in the series. With $97.6 million after ten days of domestic play, The Hidden World looks like it'll make a serious play for a domestic total just over $200 million.

The final Madea film, A Madea Family Funeral, may not have topped the box office but it still grossed a great $27 million over the frame, the fourth biggest opening weekend for one of these Madea films. That's also the biggest opening weekend for a Lionsgate release since the $27.5 million bow of Wonder in November 2017, before that, you'd have to go back to March 2017 for the $40.3 million debut of Power Rangers for a bigger Lionsgate opening weekend. It's also the second biggest opening weekend for a comedy (only behind the $27.2 million debut of Night School) since Daddy's Home 2 in November 2017.

Moving on to more holdovers, in third place we find Alita: Battle Angel, which grossed $7 million this weekend, a 43% drop from last weekend for an underwhelming domestic total of only $72.2 million. The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part actually held well this weekend with only a 31% dip for a fourth-weekend gross of $6.6 million but its domestic gross stands at only $91.6 million. Rounding out the top five was the most recent Best Picture winner Green Book (I know, I hate just writing that out) which went back into 2,641 locations this weekend and grossed another $4.7 million for a domestic total of $75.9 million. Right behind it was Fighting With My Family with $4.69 million, a 40% drop from last weekend, which isn't great for a title meant to be buoyed by strong word-of-mouth. Fighting With My Family has grossed only $14.9 million domestically. In its third weekend of release, Isn't It Romantic grossed another $4.64 million, a 34% drop from last weekend, for a domestic total of $40.2 million. Can this one get the extra $9.8 million it needs to crack $50 million domestically? 

Our only other new wide release this weekend was Greta, which grossed only $4.5 million, a poor showing for a movie opening in over 2,400 locations. There's not much to say about this title, which didn't get much in the way of marketing and seemed to be an awkward release for Focus Features, which doesn't have a tremendous amount of experience marketing and releasing wide release thrillers. Both of those elements seemed to have been the key reasons behind its lackluster bow.

Moving on to the holdovers, What Men Want dropped 48% this weekend for a $2.7 million fourth weekend, bringing it up to a domestic total of $49.6 million. Happy Death Day 2U rounded out the top ten with a $2.5 million sum, a 48% drop from last weekend, for a $25.2 million domestic total which is still below the opening weekend of its predecessor. Fresh off its Best Animated Feature win at the Oscars, Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse went back into 2,404 locations and grossed another $2.1 million for a per-theater average of $874 and a fantastic domestic total of $187.3 million. The Upside kept on chugging this weekend as it dipped only 35% for an eighth weekend gross of $2 million for a domestic gross of $102.8 million. Also increasing its theater count this weekend, this time to show an extended cut, was A Star Is Born, which grossed $1.88 million from 1,235 locations for a $1,526 per-theater average in its 22nd weekend of release. This movie just keeps on going and going like the Energizer bunny! A Star Is Born has grossed $212.9 million.

NEON had a rough 2018 at the domestic box office save for the CNN Films documentary Three Identical Strangers. The studio kicked off their 2019 in excellent form with another CNN Films documentary, Apollo 11, which launched with $1.65 million from 120 IMAX locations for a per-theater average of $13,750, the biggest opening weekend ever for NEON. Maybe they should just stick to release documentaries? Cold Pursuit, in its fourth weekend of release, dropped 48% for another $1.6 million for a lackluster $29.9 million domestic gross. Yet another Oscar-winning movie to increase its theater count this weekend was Bohemian Rhapsody, which went back into 839 locations to gross $975,000 for a per-theater average of $1,162 and a domestic total of $214.4 million. Bohemian Rhapsody has now surpassed the $213.7 million domestic total of Solo: A Star Wars Story to crack the top ten biggest movies at the 2018 domestic box office.

The Favourite expanded back into 742 locations this weekend for an $825,000 15th weekend gross, a $1,112 per-theater average and a $33.2 million domestic total. Yet another Oscar winner, Free Solo, also made a location expansion this weekend, this time going back into 238 locations to gross another $364,100 for a per-theater average of $1,530 for a domestic total of $16.9 million. In its fifth weekend of limited release play, Arctic fell 27% from last weekend to gross another $362,124 from 268 locations for a per-theater average of $1,351 and a domestic total of $1.6 million. Ralph Breaks The Internet added $233,000 to its domestic gross this weekend, which finally took the title past the $200 million mark domestically. With $200.1 million, Ralph Breaks The Internet is now the fourteenth title of 2018 to crack $200 million domestically. Furie got off to a $145,400 start this weekend from only 14 locations for a per-theater average of $10,386 while the first A24 release in nearly five months, Climax, opened to $121,655 from 5 locations for a per-theater average of $24,331. That's actually one of the stronger domestic starts for a super limited release foreign-language film in a good long while and indicates A24 could take this one to a domestic run that far surpasses the ones seen by prior Gaspar Noe directorial efforts. Finally, Transit opened to $35,368 from 2 locations for a per-theater average of $17,684 while Giant Little Ones opened to $13,500 in a single location.

The top 12 movies this weekend grossed a title of $98.7 million, only the tenth biggest ninth weekend in any given year and it's down 29% from this same weekend last year. However, this isn't far off from the average sums seen in years past and it's actually up from the same weekend in 2016, 2015 and 2013.

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