June 23, 2019

Behind the US/Worldwide Weekend Box Office – 6.23.2019

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Written by: Mitch Salem
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OPENINGS:  TOY STORY 4 (Pixar/Disney) opened with $118M in the US, and that’s obviously a huge amount of money and in a different dimension from the flops that Hollywood has weathered over the past several weeks.  Nevertheless, it’s around 25% below general expectations, and considerably less than the June openings for The Incredibles 2 last year ($182.7M) and Finding Dory 3 years ago ($135.1M).  It’s been 9 years since the last Toy Story (which opened to $110.3M in unadjusted 2010 dollars), and 25 years since the franchise began, and that no doubt accounts for some of the shortfall, but it’s also increasingly a theme of the summer that audiences may be losing their excitement for sequels and franchises.  (Incidentally, the excuse that Toy Story 4 was injured greatly because it didn’t open on Father’s Day weekend is silly:  if it had performed on Sunday the way Incredibles 2 did on its Father’s Day opening Sunday, the increase in Toy 4‘s weekend would have been about $4M, still far below its peers–and Finding Dory actually had a steeper drop on Father’s Day than Toy 4 is estimating for today.)  Toy Story 4 should benefit from strong word of mouth, and it also faces no animated competition for most of the summer, so it will have plenty of runway.  In addition, things are brighter overseas, where Toy Story 4 opened in 37 markets including China, representing around two-thirds of international with $120M.  It appears to be headed for $900M worldwide, which would put it at #4 or #5 among Pixar productions.  (Finding Nemo is at $899.2M.)

CHILD’S PLAY (UA/Orion/MGM) was content to pick up the scraps this weekend at $14.1M, and with around $55M in production/marketing costs, a $30M US total will leave it in need of help overseas just to get past breakeven.  It hasn’t yet opened outside the US.

ANNA (Europa/Summit/Lionsgate) had an unknown star, negative reviews, and a major marketing problem due to the sexual misconduct allegations made against director Luc Besson.  That added up to a terrible $3.5M opening that means Lionsgate will lose whatever it paid for US rights.   Anna hasn’t arrived overseas, where it will hope to earn the bulk of its revenues.

HOLDOVERS:  ALADDIN (Disney) has proven to be the word of mouth champion of the summer, and even with its cousin Toy Story 4 dominating the market, it declined just 30% to $12.2M in its 5th weekend, now on target for $310M in the US.  It’s at $522.6M overseas after a $32.9M weekend in all major markets, with particular strength in Asia, and it should match Toy Story 4‘s $900M global projection.

MEN IN BLACK: INTERNATIONAL (Tencent/Columbia/Sony) inevitably fell heavily in its 2nd weekend, down 64% to $10.8M, and unlikely to get past $75M in the US.  It’s stronger overseas, where it has $129.4M after a $30.2M weekend in all major markets except Italy.  Nevertheless, a $275M worldwide total won’t get it close to where it would need to be financially.

THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS 2 (Illumination/Universal) dimmed by 58% to $10.3M in its 3rd weekend, on track for $140M in the US, which will be down more than 60% from its predecessor.  It’s still in gradual release overseas, where it has $77.1M after a $10.8M weekend in 42 markets, but it will need to overperform in China, Japan, and its other remaining territories to be more than a modest success.

ROCKETMAN (BRON/Paramount) continues to hold well at a low level, down 40% to $5.7M in its 4th weekend, and on its way to $90M in the US.  It’s now opened everywhere but Japan, and it has a very mild $76.1M overseas ($26.8M of that from the UK) after a $5.5M weekend.

JOHN WICK CHAPTER 3:  PARABELLUM (Thunder Road/Summit/Lionsgate) dropped just 36% to $4.1M in its 6th weekend, and should reach $165M in the US.  It’s quieter overseas with $133.1M.

GODZILLA: KING OF THE MONSTERS (Legendary/Warners) is nearing the end of its run, down 58% to $3.7M in its 4th weekend, with $110M as its likely US destination.  Overseas, it’s at a more robust $247.6M, but $123.5M of that is from China, with its lower studio revenues, so profit is still in question.

DARK PHOENIX (20th/TSG/Disney) stayed on the road to oblivion, down 62% to $3.6M in its 3rd weekend, perhaps unable even to reach $70M in the US.  Things aren’t better enough overseas, where it’s now opened in all major territories and has a $172.8M total ($58M of that from China) after an $11.1M weekend.

SHAFT (New Line/Warners) fell 60% from last week’s opening to $3.6M, and probably won’t get past $25M in the US.  With only a few million coming in from Warners’ sale of international rights to Netflix, this won’t come close to breakeven.

LATE NIGHT (Amazon) got no help from word of mouth, down 51% to $2.6M from last week’s opening, and probably not destined to see $20M in the US.

THE DEAD DON’T DIE (Focus/Universal) increased its theatre count by 13% and still fell 56% to $1.1M, making further expansion an uncertain proposition.

LIMITED RELEASE:  WILD ROSE (Neon) opened with a mild $14.1K per-theatre average in 4 NY/LA houses.  TONI MORRISON: THE PIECES I AM (Magnolia) averaged $11K in its opening at 4.  THE LAST BLACK MAN IN SAN FRANCISCO (A24) expanded to 72 with an OK $5700 average.  PAVAROTTI (CBS) averaged $3K at 135.  FRAMING JOHN DELOREAN (IFC, also available via streaming/VOD) had a $1000 average at 26.

NEXT WEEKEND:  With Spider-Man: Far From Home opening a week from Monday night, the studios are holding their heavy artillery.  On Wednesday, the latest Conjuring spin-off ANNABELLE COMES HOME (New Line/Warners) opens, and Friday’s only wide opening is the adult-oriented comedy YESTERDAY (Universal).  Limited releases include the documentary MAIDEN (Sony Classics) and OPHELIA (IFC).

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."