Sunday, May 12, 2019

Avengers: Endgame Continues To Top Box Office While Detective Pikachu Is Super Effective With Biggest Video Game Movie Opening Weekend Ever

Chris Evans in an image from Avengers: Endgame
For the third weekend in a row, Avengers: Endgame was on top of the domestic box office, though it did fall a sharp 57% from last weekend for a third-weekend haul of $63 million. That's a much bigger third-weekend drop than usual for early summer Marvel Cinematic Universe movies (Avengers: Infinity War dropped only 45% in its third weekend), but it's doubtful anyone at Disney is complaining since that still gave Endgame the fourth biggest third-weekend in history and took it to $723.4 million domestically, making Endgame the third-biggest film of all-time domestically after just 17 days of release. It's also accumulated just under $2.5 billion worldwide as of this weekend, putting it just under $300 million away from toppling Avatar to become the biggest movie of all-time worldwide.

In second place was Pokemon: Detective Pikachu, which may not have been the massive breakout hit many (including myself) thought it would be but it did manage to still gross enough money to unite all people within our nation. Its opening weekend managed to deliver the biggest video game movie opening weekend of all-time and the fourth-biggest opening weekend of 2019 (only Avengers: Endgame, Captain Marvel and Us have had better bows). Opening to $58 million, Detective Pikachu easily outgrossed the previous biggest video game movie opening weekend, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider. It also managed to provide a nice financial comeback for Legendary Pictures, who have had a rough few years at the domestic box office with titles like Warcraft, Skyscraper and The Great Wall. There's lots of family movie competition coming down the pipeline, so it's doubtful Pikachu holds exceptionally well in the weeks to come but I'd imagine it at least grosses $160 million domestically, a fine haul that will likely lead to Warner Bros./Legendary Pictures executives going "Meowth! That's right!"

Another wide release newcomer can be found in third place this weekend in the form of The Hustle, which debuted 11 months later than expected (it was originally set for June 29, 2018) and managed a $13.5 million bow. That's actually on the lower end for opening weekends for Anne Hathaway vehicles and behind the opening weekends of the last two comedies that opened over Mother's Day weekend (Life of the Party and Snatched). The star power of Hathaway and Rebel Wilson was likely able to keep this one above $10 million but the marketing was never able to make this Dirty Rotten Scoundrels remake look enough like a must-see comedy to allow it truly break out at the domestic box office.

The Intruder actually had a better than expected hold this weekend with a 39% drop from opening weekend. Grossing another $6.6 million, it's now taken in $20.9 million domestically after ten days of release. Long Shot also had a solid second-weekend hold of 37%, though it's opening weekend was so low that this feels like a "too little, too late situation". Taking in another $6.1 million, Long Shot has now grossed only $19.7 million after ten days of release.

If its first two releases of the season are any indication then summer 2019 will be the summer of STX Entertainment's discontent. After their animated film Uglydolls flopped last weekend, the studio saw another financial dud this frame with Poms, which opened to only $5.1 million, down 62% from the opening of Diane Keaton's last comedy, Book Club. Competing against two more high-profile comedies in the marketplace (Long Shot and The Hustle) didn't do Poms any favors and the generic marketing campaign couldn't help it stand out from the competition.

Speaking of Uglydolls, this Kelly Asbury directorial effort dropped 54% from opening weekend, an unusually large drop for an animated family movie. Grossing another $3.9 million, Uglydolls has taken in only $14.2 million after ten days of release. Fellow family movie holdover Breakthrough held better with a 37% hold for a fourth-weekend gross of $2.4 million and a domestic total of $37.1 million.

Tolkien, the first Fox Searchlight movie distributed by Disney, got off to one of the worst wide release starts of 2019 with only a $2.1 million bow from 1,495 theaters for a per-theater average of just $1,440. There's really not much else to say about this minimally-marketed title other than that, between this and The Aftermath (remember The Aftermath?), Fox Searchlight's 2019 is not off to a great start.

Rounding out the top ten was Captain Marvel, which, in its tenth weekend in it the top ten, grossed another $1.81 million (a 57% drop from last weekend) for a domestic total of $423.7 million, making it the 22nd biggest movie in the history of the domestic box office. Right outside the top ten was The Curse of La Llorona, which fell 51% to gross another $1.80 million for a domestic total of $51.4 million while fellow Warner Bros./New Line Cinema holdover Shazam! fell 57% to gross another $1 million for a domestic total of $137.1 million.

Student of the Year 2 opened to $438,000 from 190 locations for a per-theater average of $2,305. Holdover Amazing Grace continued to be one of the strongest titles in the marketplace in terms of weekend-to-weekend drops as it dipped just 17% this frame to add $312,000 to its domestic haul that now stands at $3.28 million. Within the next week, it'll surpass the $3.48 million haul of The Beach Bum and then three of the top four movies released by NEON will be documentaries. Red Joan grossed $252,164 this frame, a 1% dip from last weekend, from 193 locations for a per-theater average of $1,307 and a domestic gross of $898,206. The White Crow expanded to 50 locations and grossed $144,770 for a per-theater average of $2,895 and a domestic gross of $397,903 while Shadow expanded into 47 locations and grossed $135,400 for a per-theater average of $2,881 and a domestic gross of $178,284.

NEON's aforementioned solid track record with documentaries continued this weekend with the studios newest foray into the genre, Biggest Little Farm. Opening to $101,012 at 5 locations for a per-theater average of $20,202, this title seems poised to potentially do solid business in the next few weeks. Getting off to a less successful start was All Is True, which grossed only $46,000 from 4 locations for a per-theater average of $11,500. Non-Fiction expanded into 5 locations and grossed $45,271 for a per-theater average of $9,054 (only a 35% drop from its opening weekend per-theater average) and a domestic gross to date of $74,327. Charlie Says opened to $39,114 from 39 locations for a per-theater average of $1,003 while My Son debuted to $4,484 from 3 locations for a per-theater average of $1,395.

The top 12 movies this weekend grossed a total of $165.6 million, the third-biggest nineteenth weekend of any given year and the biggest nineteenth weekend ever that didn't see a Marvel Cinematic Universe debuting in the marketplace. Up 29% from this same weekend last year, this weekend is a great example of how a new release (like Detective Pikachu) can thrive even in the face of a massively successful holdover like Avengers: Endgame. May 2019 has now grossed about $475 million and, depending really on how well Memorial Day blockbuster Aladdin does, we could be looking at a month that manages to surpass May 2013's $1.141 billion haul for the title of biggest May of all-time.

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