February 3, 2019

Behind the US/Worldwide Weekend Box Office – 2.3.2019


OPENINGS:  It’s possible to make money on Super Bowl weekend, as hits like Dear John ($30.5M), Taken ($24.7M) and Chronicle ($22M) have shown.  But MISS BALA (Columbia/Sony) didn’t have what it takes, with a sluggish $6.7M start.  The 5% Saturday bump suggests that word of mouth isn’t bad, but next weekend it will have to face off with the latest Liam Neeson vehicle Cold Pursuit.  Costs were relatively low, probably $75M including production and worldwide marketing, and its best hope will be overseas, particularly in Spanish-speaking territories.

After several limited engagements, THEY SHALL NOT GROW OLD (Warners) started a regular run in 735 theatres with a fair $2.4M.  It’s already a win for this esoteric documentary to have reached $10.7M in the US, with some runway still ahead, and depending on the intended release pattern, it should certainly have potential in Europe.

HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON: THE HIDDEN WORLD (DreamWorks Animation/Universal) is still 3 weeks from its US opening, but it’s launched in 40 international territories for a $40.2M weekend and $84.4M all-in.

HOLDOVERS:  Despite the expected Super Bowl Sunday plunge, several holdovers held quite well thanks to the minimum of new competition.  However, that didn’t include GLASS (Blinding Edge/Blumhouse/Buena Vista Intl/Universal), which fell 50% to $9.5M, and is now running 10% below Split in the US, likely to end up at $110M.  Glass has $110.3M overseas thus far.

THE UPSIDE (Lantern/STX) dipped 26% in its 3rd weekend to $8.9M, and has a shot at reaching $100M, a remarkable result.  It’s barely in international release, with $6.1M to date.

AQUAMAN (DC/Warners) dropped 34% on its 7th weekend to $4.8M, and should reach $335M in the US before it’s done.  It has $783.4M overseas, with its Japan opening on the horizon.

SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE (Sony Animation/Columbia/Sony) lost 28% to $4.4M in its 8th weekend, and is on its way to $185M in the US, with potential for more since it’s now the favorite to win the Best Animated Film Oscar.  It’s at $172M overseas.  These aren’t big numbers compared to live-action Spider-Man productions, but they should add up to a pleasing profit for Sony.

GREEN BOOK (Participant/DreamWorks/Reliance/Universal) grew its theatre count by 9%, and lost just 21% for the weekend to $4.3M.  Its ultimate will depend on the Oscars, but it should be at $65M or so by the night of the awards.  It’s earned $25.5M overseas.

THE KID WHO WOULD BE KING (20th) fell 42% from last week’s opening weekend to $4.2M, and will stretch to reach $25M in the US.  There’s no good news there for a film with $150M+ in production/marketing costs.  It has $3.6M overseas.

A DOG’S WAY HOME (Columbia/Sony) lost 31% to $3.5M in its 4th weekend, on its way to $40-45M in the US, significantly below the $64.5M for A Dog’s Purpose (whose own sequel is just around the corner).  Its overseas total to date is $15M.

ESCAPE ROOM (Columbia/Sony) dropped 30% in its 5th weekend to $2.9M, and might reach $60M in the US.  It’s at $44M overseas, $33.5M of that from China.

Things didn’t improve for last weekend’s flop SERENITY (Aviron), which sank by 62% to $1.7M, and may have trouble getting past $10M in the US, to the apparent displeasure of its stars, who feel the studio dumped it.  (Although considering the reviews and exit poll scores, perhaps one can’t blame Aviron for now pouring good money after bad.)

LIMITED RELEASE:  ARCTIC (Bleecker Street) opened at 4 theatres with an OK $14K average.  PIERCING (Greenwich) didn’t fare nearly as well, opening at 25 with a dismal $340 average.  Despite losing out on its hoped-for Best Actress nomination, DESTROYER (Annapurna) expanded to 235 with a low $1000 average.  The other expansions were mostly Oscar-related.  FREE SOLO (NatGeo) jumped to near-wide release at 483 with a $2900 average, bringing its total to $15M.  COLD WAR (Amazon) widened to 217 and is claiming a $2600 average, but that number is extremely suspect because it makes no allowance at all for Super Bowl Sunday.  THE WIFE (Sony Classics) has been up and down with its theatre count, and it expanded to 202 this weekend with a dim $800 average.  CAPERNAUM (Sony Classics) averaged $2800 at 47.  THE INVISIBLES (Greenwich) averaged $2600 at 14.

NEXT WEEKEND:  The studios will be much busier, with THE LEGO MOVIE 2: THE SECOND PART (Warners), the gender-switched comedy remake WHAT MEN WANT (Paramount), the aforementioned COLD PURSUIT (Summit/Lionsgate), and the low-budget horror entry THE PRODIGY (Orion/MGM).  Limited releases include EVERYBODY KNOWS (Focus/Universal).

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."