Weekend Box Office Top 10 (Jan 25-Jan 27): (Title / Weekend Gross / Percent Change from Last Week / Weekend # / Distributor), Sunday Estimates
- Glass / $19,049,000 / -52.8% / Weekend 2 / Universal
- The Upside / $12,240,000 / -18.4% / Weekend 3 / STX Entertaiment
- Aquaman / $7,350,000 / -27.8% / Weekend 6 / Warner Bros.
- The Kid Who Would Be King / $7,250,000 / (N/A) / Weekend 1 / Fox
- Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse / $6,150,000 / -18.8% / Weekend 7 / Sony (Columbia)
- Green Book / $5,413,000 / +150.1% / Weekend 11 / Universal
- A Dog’s Way Home / $5,225,000 / -27.3% / Weekend 4 / Sony (Columbia)
- Serenity / $4,800,000 / (N/A) / Weekend 1 / Aviron Pictures
- Escape Room / $4,275,000 / -23.8% / Weekend 4 / Sony (Columbia)
- Dragon Ball Super: Broly / $3,600,000 / -63.3% / Weekend 2 / FUNimation
13. The Favourite / $2,560,000 / +214.0% / Weekend 10 / Fox Searchlight
14. Bohemian Rhapsody / $2,475,000 / +7.6% / Weekend 13 / Fox
16. Vice / $1,750,568 / -1.1% / Weekend 5 / Vice
20. A Star is Born / $1,260,000 / +106.6% / Weekend 17 / Warner Bros.
Alas, a surprisingly fruitful January at the cineplex ended not with a bang but a whimper. Yes, despite a slate of solid hits amongst the December holdovers, this last weekend’s fresh crop of movies failed to galvanize audiences as others had. Neither The Kid Who Would Be King nor Serenity could outmatch their projections and in so are signaling a further lull at the box office as we head into Superbowl week. On the bright side, we got to see some fantastic holds from some of our favorites as well as watch a few Oscar nominees get some solid boosts.
In first place, however, the verdict is officially in on Glass and it is not pretty. To be fair, my more optimistic predictions about the film ended up being pretty accurate. Where most pundits were predicting a drop around 60%, I had postulated that the curiosity factor would allow Glass to hold better with a drop of around 50%. Sure enough, Glass came in with a drop of about 52.8%, an okay drop for a blockbuster film, which translated to a gross of $19 million and has pushed the film to $73 million domestic. Not bad, but also not good, as the unfortunate truth is that with a deflated opening of $40 million, a drop in the fifties still signals audience disillusionment with the film. While it will likely cross $100 million domestically, Glass is an undeniable underperformer and officially can be labeled as a “Shyamalan Stinker” based on the audience response. It’s not a total meltdown on all fronts as the $20 million budget means that Shymalan’s would-be superhero team-up film is likely to be in the black very soon (if not already), especially with a worldwide gross of $162 million. However, Glass simply doesn’t live up to the promise of Split, which may have had the same level opening as Glass, but truly ended up capturing people’s imaginations and interest as shown with its second-weekend drip of just 35.9%. As of now, despite being ahead of Split for the past week, Glass is currently trailing behind its predecessor by $4 million dollars at the same point it the release cycle; a gap that is likely to only increase with every weekend should Glass continue to see drops around 50%. Overall, one has to wonder what could have been given the anticipation that surrounded Glass prior to its release.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, we find The Upside at number two, which is being widely embraced by audiences, as denoted by its mere 18.4% drop (the lowest in the top ten). Translating to a gross of $12.2 million, The Upside has officially become STX’s third highest grossing domestic release after both the Bad Moms movies (and thereby their highest grossing non-franchise film) with a domestical total of $63.1 million. I’m genuinely curious to see what STX ends up gleaning from this brush with success and how it affects them going forward. On one hand, the star-centric Kevin Hart and Bryan Cranston pic seems to play into STX’s film making model so far: developing and packaging films that are built around their leads as star vehicles, a more old-fashioned approach to filmmaking that has been dying out as of late in the wake of franchises. Perhaps their take away is that they need stronger talent? Kevin Hart has officially proved himself to be an audience draw, and if STX can show that they were able to manage his film well, perhaps they can sign on more marquee talent to their films going forward.
In third place, Aquaman had another fantastic hold (this time 27.8%) for a gross of $7.3 million, pushing its domestic gross past $316 million total. What’s even more impressive, though, is that Aquaman officially became the highest grossing film based on a DC property ever made with a worldwide total of $1.09 billion. Going forward, expect the DC trinity of Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman, to likely become a quartet. Unfortunately, no such good news could be found for the poor The Kid Who Would Be King. Instead of roping in younger audiences with its unique blend of fantasy and humor, reactions to Kid ended up being surprisingly mixed, with many simply just not being into it. The lack of buzz from families ended up translating into a measly $7.2 million, well below expectations of $10 million going into the weekend and certainly not a good start for the film carrying a reported $59 million budget.
In better news, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse had another fabulous hold this weekend with a drop of merely 18.8% for a gross of $6.1 million in fifth place. Normally, I would say that this was a boost from its recent Oscar nomination, however, I am starting to believe that Spider-Verse has officially reached the point at which it no longer needs to rely on awards contention to give it momentum. Looking at how it has begun to now appear everywhere and on the lips of nearly everyone with praise and enthusiasm, I believe Spider-Verse is official a mainstream hit. With less than $700k standing between it and Hotel Transylvania 2, expect the film to officially become Sony Animation’s most successful film in the States by tomorrow.
In sixth place, we find our first Oscar contender to receive a bump at the box office, however, not the one we might have expected. I had predicted that, with Best Picture nominations out, Bohemian Rhapsody would see a surge thanks to its surprise place in the lineup and given that it had been surging more than any other Best Picture contender in the wake of Rami Malek’s continuous award wins on his way to his Best Actor nomination (a nomination that is more likely than ever to become a win after Malek won the Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Actor last night). However, Universal had bigger plans as in the wake of Green Book‘s Best Picture nomination, as the studio sent the film into over 2,000 theaters resulting in a massive +150.1% surge to $5.4 million. This officially takes the film to a domestic gross of nearly $50 million and a worldwide gross of nearly $60 million, nearly three times its $23 million budget which is not too shabby for an awards-bait flick. That said, recent developments (like Black Panther‘s SAG Ensemble win) are likely to keep Green Book away from Best Picture, making its best chance for a win on Oscar night that of Mahershala Ali in Best Supporting Actor, himself having won for that category at the SAG Awards, virtually locking up his Oscar win.
In seventh place, A Dog’s Way Home had another solid hold with 27.3% for a gross of $5.2 million, thereby pushing its domestic gross to $30 million. Like Escape Room, which ended up in ninth place with a hold of 23.8% and a gross of $4.2 million, A Dog’s Way Home is looking to turn a tidy little profit for Sony in theaters before heading to streaming where it will likely do even bigger business. Serenity, on the other hand, will not be having such luck. While I had made the radical projection that Serenity would slightly overperform thanks to Matthew McConaughey’s seemingly stronger appeal, the film ended up tanking right out of the gate with $4.2 million in eighth place. While there was the potential to overperform at the start of the weekend, the fact is that the film’s word-of-mouth was simply just that bad, as noted by the film’s “D+” Cinemascore. Reportedly, much of the chatter on social media revolved around people mistaking this film for the 2005 Firefly follow-up and being highly disappointed. In any case, expect it to fall out of the top ten by next weekend. (On a side note, I decided to look up the ending to see just how bad the damage was. All I can say is that I am shocked that this film was greenlit and that you’ll have to look it up yourself to believe it.)
Rounding out the top ten, we find Dragon Ball Super: Broly, which ended up, surprisingly, falling in line with the box office patterns of other anime films. I say ‘surprisingly’ given the fact that the film was well received by audiences and therefore had the potential to hold a bit better. Instead, Broly ended up falling 63.3% for a gross of $3.6 million, bringing its domestic total to $28.9 million. This ends up making some sense thanks to two factors, one being the fact that the film’s opening weekend was a mixture of a regular theatrical release and several limited engagement events throughout the country. With those limited events now over (given that they were likely put out to take advantage of the MLK Holiday Weekend), the lack of screens would result in a more significant drop than regular fare. Outside of that, it all goes back to the limited appeal of anime in the States. While its appeal is certainly growing as time goes on (just look at how well Broly opened), anime still has an arguably niche fanbase in America and the members of that fanbase that like Dragon Ball likely all showed up to see Broly on opening weekend. To Broly‘s credit, its short run in the top ten was productive as it is now the third highest grossing anime film domestically, soon to reach $30 million here in the US, while also only $1.2 million away from making it to $100 million worldwide.
As for outside the top ten, our new Best Picture nominees all expanded their theater counts and each saw a respective bump in their weekend box office gross. However, of them all, only Green Book (mentioned above) and The Favourite got much of a boost, with the latter seeing a very large +214% jump for a gross of $2.5 million in 13th place. To my surprise, Bohemian Rhapsody, which has continued to see a very strong performance as time has gone on despite dropping out of the top ten, ended up only getting a bump of +7.6% for a gross of $2.4 million in 14th place instead of jumping back into the top ten like I had predicted. Perhaps the film has already made as much money as it is going to make in its theatrical release (which Fox has no reason to be unhappy with as the film has already grossed over $205 million domestically). The same looks to be said of Vice, although that case doesn’t have many (if any) positive connotations. Failing to get a boost from its Best Picture nomination and instead dropping 1.1% for a gross of $1.7 million in 16th place, the fact that Vice is the only Best Picture nominee in the lineup to not see gains following its nomination is further proof that the film doesn’t really deserve said nomination. Given that the film’s financial future has become fully dependent on its awards success, this is a very bad sign, especially with Bale’s loss at the SAG Award last night virtually guaranteeing that he will be losing the Best Actor Oscar (the film’s best hope for a win) to Rami Malek. Reportedly, Vice may potentially bankrupt Annapurna with its failure to recoup its budget, so this is quite a bad turn of events for company CEO, Megan Ellison. Outside of that financial meltdown, A Star is Born also got a boost of 106% for a gross of $1.2 million in 20th place, but like Bohemian Rhapsody, I suspect A Star is Born has made just about as much as its going to make in theaters (once again, not too shabby for Warner Bros. with a domestic gross of $206 million).
(Box Office Data from Box Office Mojo, Deadline, and Box Office Pro)