February 10, 2019

Behind the US/Worldwide Weekend Box Office – 2.10.2019


OPENINGS:  THE LEGO MOVIE 2: THE SECOND PART (Warners Animation) had a solid 83% family matinee bump on Saturday, but its $34.4M weekend studio estimate is still down more than 50% from the opening of the original Lego Movie, and down 35% from The Lego Batman Movie.  (It’s considerably better than the relatively disastrous $20.4M for The Lego Ninjago Movie.)  A US total of $125M will require strong performance overseas for any profit, but early results are unimpressive, with $18.1M in 63 markets (not including China, which was occupied this weekend with local Chinese New Year releases).

WHAT MEN WANT (Paramount) was within its expected range at $19M, which included a 14% Saturday bump.  That’s 20% below the opening of Night School, and points to an OK $60M US total.  It hasn’t yet opened overseas, and it’s not clear how wide that release will be.

COLD PURSUIT (Studiocanal/Summit/Lionsgate), despite the torrent of words devoted to Liam Neeson’s controversial interview, also opened as expected at $10.8M, with a 24% Saturday bump.  That’s Neeson’s worst action-movie opening, but just barely behind Run All Night‘s $11M, and should end up at $25M in the US, with any profit coming from overseas (where it hasn’t yet opened).

THE PRODIGY (Orion/MGM) launched with $6M (up 20% on Saturday) and probably won’t see $15M in the US.  This supposedly is a road to profit for the low-budget horror entry.

ALITA:  BATTLE ANGEL (20th) doesn’t open in the US until next week, but it’s premiered with $32M in the UK and 10 Asian markets (not including China).  Alita carries around $300M in production/marketing costs, so it’s likely to require major success overseas to establish itself as a franchise.

We’re still 2 weeks away from HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON: THE HIDDEN WORLD (DreamWorks Animation/Universal) hitting US soil, but it’s already earned $138.7M overseas after a $38.2M weekend in 46 overseas markets.

HOLDOVERS:  Sunday-to-Sunday comparisons will be particularly strong due to last week’s Super Bowl, helping many of the holdovers’ overall weekends.  THE UPSIDE (Lantern/STX) dipped 17% to $7.2M in its 5th weekend, and could make it all the way to $100M in the US.  It’s still in limited overseas release with $8.9M to date.

GLASS (Blinding Edge/Blumhouse/Universal) was down 33% to $6.4M in its 4th weekend, still on track for $110M in the US.  Its overseas performance is very similar, with $123M so far after a $6.6M weekend.  Glass will certainly be profitable thanks to its low production cost, but it won’t match Split‘s $278.5M worldwide total.

GREEN BOOK (Participant/DreamWorks/Reliance/Universal) lost 18% to $3.6M, and the question of how far it will get over $70M in the US will be resolved on Oscar night.  Overseas, it’s at $44.6M after an $11.4M weekend in 54 territories.

AQUAMAN (DC/Warners) is nearing the end of its US run, down 32% in its 8th weekend to $3.3M as it heads to $335M.  Overseas, it opened in Japan this weekend and is now in all major markets, with a $791.9M total after $6M for the weekend.

SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE (Sony Animation/Columbia/Sony) dropped 33% to $3M in its 9th weekend, and will hope for an Oscar bump to get it above $185M as a US total.  It’s at $172.7M overseas.

MISS BALA (Columbia/Sony) unsurprisingly fell 60% to $2.7M from last weekend’s opening, and probably won’t reach $20M in the US.  So far it’s only had a token opening overseas, under $100K.

LIMITED RELEASE:  The highest-profile opening was EVERYBODY KNOWS (Focus/Universal), which had an OK $19K weekend per-theatre average.  The yearly slate of OSCAR NOMINATED SHORT FILMS (Magnolia), which includes separate shows for animation, live action and documentary, averaged $3400 at 265 theatres.  As noted, the Chinese New Year has been a bonanza in the holiday’s home market, where The Wandering Earth has earned $298M in 6 days.  In the US, the only visible sign was the $1000 per-theatre average for PEPPA WELCOMES CHINESE NEW YEAR (STX) in 70 theatres (the film has earned $16.6M in China).  LORDS OF CHAOS (Gunpowder & Sky) averaged $7K at 4.  COLD WAR (Amazon) expanded to 270 theatres with a $1900 average.  CAPERNAUM (Sony Classics) averaged $2200 at 63.  ARCTIC (Bleecker Street) averaged $5500 at 15.  NEVER LOOK AWAY (Sony Classics) averaged $13K at 3.

NEXT WEEKEND:  Due to Valentine’s Day, openings are spread across Wednesday and Thursday.  The first day brings ISN’T IT ROMANTIC (New Line/Warners) and HAPPY DEATH DAY 2 U (Blumhouse/Universal).  They’re joined the next day by the aforementioned Alita: Battle Angel and FIGHTING WITH MY FAMILY (Annapurna/MGM).  Limited releases include BIRDS OF PASSAGE (Orchard).


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."