April 13, 2019

EARLY FRIDAY BOX OFFICE: “Shazam” Leads Slow Weekend, “Little” OK, “Hellboy” Weak, “After” & “Missing Link” Dim


SHAZAM (DC/New Line/Warners) is going to win a bleak weekend at the box office, and even it doesn’t have much to boast about.  Preliminary numbers at Deadline have it dropping 68% from last Friday to $6.6M, worse than the Friday-to-Friday drops for Wonder Woman (-59%) and Justice League (-57%).  A $23M weekend would put it on track for a $140M US total, and its moderate profitability will only be thanks to its relatively mid-sized budget for a superhero spectacle.

LITTLE (Legendary/Universal) led the newcomers with a soft $5.1M Friday (including around $700K from Thursday night), less than the $6.6M start for What Men Want.  It seems to be heading for a $14M weekend, although weekend matinees may boost that number (even though it’s not really a family movie).  It may be heading for a $40M US total, with limited prospects overseas, which may make profitability a dicey proposition, even with a modest production budget.

That’s still far better than the picture for HELLBOY (Millenium/Summit/Lionsgate), a considerably more expensive piece of work that only mustered $4.9M on Friday ($1.4M from Thursday night).  Word of mouth is likely to be unhelpful, leading to a $12M weekend and a US total that may not get past $35M.  Hellboy will need considerable overperformance internationally to reach breakeven, but even that won’t help Summit/Lionsgate, which only has US rights.

PET SEMATARY (Paramount) had a horror movie’s typical 72% Friday-to-Friday plunge, with a $2.8M day that may give it $9M for the weekend.  A $60M US total would barely be more than the $57.5M earned by the original Pet Sematary in 1989 dollars.

The trajectory for DUMBO (Disney) remained bumpy, down 56% from last Friday to $2.2M, with an $8M weekend ahead.  It now seems unlikely to get much past $100M in the US, and even if it doubles that number overseas, it may not rise above red ink.

The YA romance AFTER (Aviron) had low production/marketing costs, but with a $3M opening day and $7.5M weekend, a $20M US total may not be enough to bail it out.

CAPTAIN MARVEL (Marvel/Disney) was Friday’s sole bright spot, down 41% to $2M on its 6th Friday (the same hold Black Panther had on the parallel day of its run).

US (Blumhouse/Perfect World/Universal) continued to drop at a much faster rate than Get Out, down 57% to $1.9M on its 4th Friday, where Get Out was down 37% on the parallel day.  It now seems possible that despite an opening weekend more than 2x Get Out‘s, Us may not equal the earlier film’s $176M US total.

MISSING LINK (Laika/Annapurna/United Artists/MGM) had a disastrous debut at $1.7M, less than half of Laika’s previous opening day low with 4.1M for Kubo and The Two Strings.  Its opening weekend may not even reach $6M, for a US total around $25M.

BEST OF ENEMIES (STX) could only hope for strong word of mouth after last week’s soggy opening, but it didn’t materialize with a 67% Friday-to-Friday drop to $500K.  A $2M weekend would mean even a $15M US total would likely be out of reach.

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."