October 20, 2019

Behind the US/Worldwide Weekend Box Office – 10.20.2019


OPENINGS:  MALEFICENT: MISTRESS OF EVIL (Disney) had a weak $36M start in the US, down 48% from the $69.4 opening of the first Maleficent 3 years ago.  If Mistress of Evil manages the same multiple as its predecessor, it could reach $125M in the US, but that may be a stretch, because Maleficent opened during the summer and had stronger weekdays than the sequel is likely to have.  Even if it could get to that number, profit wouldn’t be guaranteed on production/marketing costs that are upwards of $300M.  Overseas, Mistress of Evil opened with a stronger $117M, but that includes all significant international territories including China and Japan, so there’s limited room to grow.

ZOMBIELAND: DOUBLE TAP (Columbia/Sony) opened with $26.7M, a solid number for a sequel to a decade-old cult hit.  (The first Zombieland launched with $24.7M in 2009 and had a 3.1x multiple.)  Costs were moderate, with around $100M for production and marketing, and while the US total may be more or less steady with the original movie, there should be some upside overseas.  Zombieland earned a mild $26.8M outside the US, while Double Tap already has $5.3M in only 17 markets.

HOLDOVERS:  JOKER (BRON/Village Roadshow/DC/Warners) continued to hold well, down 48% to $29.2M in its 3rd weekend (last year’s Venom dipped 49% in its Weekend 3), and now on track to pass $300M in the US.  Overseas, it’s at $490.3M after a $77.8M weekend, and it seems to be headed for $900M+ worldwide, even without a release in China.  That would put it above all the post-Dark Knight DC movies except Aquaman, and Joker cost roughly $100M less to produce than its watery cousin.

THE ADDAMS FAMILY (BRON/MGM) dropped 47% to $16.1M from last week’s opening, and should reach $85M in the US, a good enough result for the modestly-budgeted cartoon that a sequel has already been greenlit.  It hasn’t yet opened overseas.

GEMINI MAN (Fosun/Alibaba/Skydance/Paramount) fell 59% to $8.5M from last week’s opening, and won’t get much past $50M in the US.  With $82.2M overseas (now including China), the only question at this point is how much red ink its financiers will have to swallow.

ABOMINABLE (Pearl/DreamWorks/Universal) stayed underwhelming, down 42% to $3.5M in its 4th weekend on its way to $60M in the US.  It was heavily aimed at Asian markets, but has only $74.8M overseas.

DOWNTON ABBEY (Focus/Universal) slipped 37% to $3.1M in its 5th weekend, and may pass $95M in the US.  It also has $75.5M overseas, and the only surprise is that another sequel hasn’t yet been announced.

JUDY (Roadside) stopped adding theatres, at least for now, and slid 36% to $2.1M.  It should be able to reach $25M in the US, making it one of the highest-grossing indies of the year (it should pass Roadside’s Peter Butter Falcon next week) as it settles in for awards season.  It hasn’t yet opened overseas.

HUSTLERS (STX) passed $100M in the US with a 47% drop to $2.1M in its 6th weekend.  It’s softer overseas with $23.6M.

JEXI (CBS/Lionsgate) found no word of mouth, crashing by 61% to $1.2M after last week’s low opening, and unlikely to see $10M in the US.  No international openings yet.

LIMITED RELEASE:  A pair of awards-hungry titles opened solidly, JOJO RABBIT (Fox Searchlight/Disney) with a $70K weekend per-theatre average at 5 arthouses, and THE LIGHTHOUSE (A24) with a $52.5K average at 8.  PARASITE (NEON) expanded splendidly to 33 theatres with a $38K average, a bit better than the $33K average The Farewell had at 35.  PAIN AND GLORY (Sony Classics) widened to 67 with a $6900 average.  THE CAVE (NatGeo) opened at 2 and averaged $11K.  BY THE GRACE OF GOD (Music Box) averaged $4900 at 2.  GREENER GRASS (IFC, also available on VOD) averaged $600 at 22.

NEXT WEEKEND:  Big-budget productions are taking the week off, leaving BLACK & BLUE (Screen Gems/Sony), COUNTDOWN (STX), THE CURRENT WAR (101) and WESTERN SKIES (Warners).  Limited releases include FRANKIE (Sony Classics).


About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."