Sunday, May 5, 2019

Avengers: Endgame Continues To Score With One of the Biggest Second Weekends In History While A Trio of New Releases Struggle

A spoilery image from the climax of Avengers: Endgame
Summer 2019 is now in full swing, with Avengers: Endgame having a second-weekend comparable to the opening weekends of past Marvel Cinematic Universe titles that have opened on the first weekend of May in the past. Grossing $145.8 million this weekend (only a few hundred thousand dollars behind the opening weekend of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2), Avengers: Endgame fell 59% from its opening weekend, a bigger second-weekend drop than the 55% drop of Avengers: Infinity War, which was to be expected given how much of Endgame's opening weekend came from its $60 million Thursday night gross. That $145.8 million gross means that Endgame had the second-biggest second-weekend in history, only behind the massive $149.2 million second-weekend of Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Having grossed now $619.6 million after just ten days of release (the biggest ten-day haul in history), Endgame will surpass the final domestic gross of The Avengers by tomorrow. It's also grossed $2.188 billion worldwide, only $590 million behind the final worldwide haul of Avatar, the biggest film of all-time at the worldwide box office. Can Endgame dethrone Avatar? We shall see with how it holds in the weeks to come, though I'd personally predict Endgame does manage to dethrone Avatar at the worldwide box office but still ends up just behind The Force Awakens for the title of biggest film of all-time domestically. For now, Endgame is certainly a gargantuan box office success that isn't slowing down anytime soon.

The biggest of this weekend's new releases was The Intruder with an $11 million bow. That's beneath the opening weekend of past Michael Ealy headlined movies released by Sony/Screen Gems, but it's not a bad opening at all given that the project cost just $8 million to make and opened in only 2,222 locations. And now, a fun fact about Dennis Quaid: this is the fifteenth biggest opening weekend ever for a movie he appeared in! Quaid will next be seen talking to a dog that can be reincarnated through different bodies in The Day After Tomorrow 2: A Dog's Journey. 

Long Shot was supposed to be the first big comedy sleeper hit of the summer. Lionsgate premiered the feature two months ago at South by Southwest to positive reviews and kept screening the movie like nuts in hopes of generating good word-of-mouth among audiences. Instead of getting the next Neighbors, Lionsgate got the next Zach and Miri Make a Porno as Long Shot debuted to only $10 million. That's 9% behind the opening weekend of the far less commercial Seth Rogen comedy Observe and Report and only three other Seth Rogen vehicles have had worse wide release opening weekend launches. Considering there are plenty of other comedies opening up in May 2019 and the fact that Long Shot only recieved only a B CinemaScore, the chances of it recovering from this opening weekend are slim. Lionsgate needed a big hit out of Long Shot and instead, they got a box office disappointment.

In its four years of existence, STX has had an interesting quirk of finding success where it least suspects it. When it's trying to launch a franchise like The Happytime Murders or Mile 22, box office misfortune lies in wait. But when it comes to more low-key commercial titles like The Upside, The Gift or Bad Moms, well, that's when they've scored their biggest hits. Uglydolls was the newest example of STX trying and failing to launch a big-time franchise as it grossed just $8.5 million this weekend. That's $388,000 behind the opening weekend of My Little Pony: The Movie and only $200,000 ahead of The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature. Heck, it's only $1.7 million ahead of the opening weekend of Norm of the North despite boasting a massive array of big names in its cast and a major promotional spend. STX's first foray into animation landed with a thud this weekend and with so many family movies (Detective Pikachu, A Dog's Journey, Aladdin) opening in the next few weekends, it'll be impossible for these dolls to rebound. I guess you could say that it could get better than this.

And now we move on to the holdovers! First up is Captain Marvel, which fell 48% to add $4.2 million to a domestic gross of $420.7 million while Breakthrough fell 42% from last weekend for a third-weekend gross of $3.9 million for a domestic haul of $33.2 million. There's a good chance Breakthrough ends up becoming only the fourteenth Christian movie ever to crack $40 million domestically. The Curse of La Llorona continued to fall sharply as it dropped another 56% this weekend for a third-weekend of $3.5 million and a domestic total of $48.1 million, more than five times it $9 million budget. Shazam! fell a sharp 56% in its fifth weekend of release, adding $2.4 million to a domestic haul that now stands at $135.1 million. Little dropped 57% for a fourth-weekend gross of $1.4 million and a domestic gross of $38.5 million while Dumbo rounded out the top ten with $1.4 million (a 59% drop from last weekend) and a domestic total of $109.7 million.

Right outside the top ten was the final wide release newcomer of the weekend, El Chicano. Grossing only $700,432 from 605 locations, El Chicano ended up having the worst opening weekend for a 2019 movie debuting in wide release (excluding Fathom Events titles). Clearly, this title didn't end up becoming a sleeper hit like newbie distributor Briarcliff was hoping for. It's not hard to see why given how the marketing for the project was minimal, advanced reviews were poor and opening a new superhero film a week after Avengers: Endgame is like opening another circus musical one week after The Greatest Showman came out.

In its last weekend of wide release, Pet Sematary grossed another $500,000 (a 62% drop from last weekend) for a domestic gross of $53.7 million while fellow Spring 2019 horror title Us dropped 57%  this frame to add $496,000 to a massive domestic haul that now stands at $173.9 million. Amazing Grace once had a strong weekend-to-weekend hold as it dipped just 29% from last weekend to gross another $367,395 from 263 locations for a per-theater average of $1,397 and a domestic total of $2.7 million. Penguins continued to fall further and further behind past DisneyNature titles as it fell a whopping 69% this weekend to gross another $344,000 for a $6.7 million domestic total to date. Red Joan expanded into 139 locations and grossed another $253,814 for a per-theater average of $1,826 and a domestic total of $527,783.

The White Crow expanded into 19 locations this weekend and grossed $98,495 for a per-theater average of $5,184 and a domestic total of $210,089. High Life finally cracked $1 million domestically this weekend with a fifth-weekend gross of $79,000 bringing it up to a domestic haul of $1.092 million. Her Smell expanded ints theater count to 63 locations and managed to gross $31,483 (a 1% increase from last weekend) for a per-theater average of $500 and a domestic total of $217,763. Shadow opened in 4 locations this weekend and grossed $30,100 for a per-theater average of $7,525 while fellow limited release newcomer Non-Fiction opened to $29,000 at 2 locations for a per-theater average of $14,500.

The top 12 movies this weekend grossed a total of $193.6 million, the fourth biggest first weekend of May in history, which kicks off May 2019 in style. Next weekend, it'll be interesting to see if Endgame's reign at the top of the box office comes to an end at the furry little hands of one Detective  Pikachu.

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