For the MLK weekend (kids out of school, so a bonus day of audiences) Hollywood likes to roll the dice a little in an otherwise dismal month. Studios might either position a hoped-for moderate hit with the extra day, or at least give a losing effort some chance at earning what little money it may be able to earn in a desperate first-week bid.
This weekend was an expected flurry as a film property was wrapping up its trilogy As a result it was a quiet time for other new releases, and meanwhile studios are rubbing hands in anticipation of Tuesday’s Oscar Nominations announcement. It will be telling to see what titles benefit, and get an expanded theater run as a result.
1. GLASS – $40.58 Million
Expectations had been higher leading up to the weeekeend, but still this is considered a decent result. The M. Knight Shyamalan thriller is the culmination of his “Unbreakable” trilogy. That film had become a minor hit in 2000, ahead of his “Signs” becoming a major hit. But then he fell into a bit of a morass. “Split” became a surprise two years ago, to break his slump, and it was decided to take that success and contort it into the “Unbreakable” storyline. There were projections this could reach the $50 million mark, or more, and it may after the 4-day MLK holiday run. Critics have not been impressed, as this is grading out at 35% on Rotten Tomatoes, where “Split” was favored by 76%. Audiences gave it a “B” CinemaScore, so there is muted excitement overall. Still, in the end it should prove a success.
2. THE UPSIDE – $15.67m
Last week’s surprise winner continues to be strong. A very impressive second week with only a -23% drop, and that is against competition of a new drama opening. Thought at one time to be a stretch to reach $60 million – near its break even point – it will now be easily crossing by that threshold.
3. DRAGON BALL SUPER: BROLLY – $10.65m
Quite a surprise, as no one regarded this anime release showing on far fewer screens. It has found a strong core audience. Playing on an early limited run of 1,200 screens for a few days since Tuesday, it dropped to a 500 screen release for the weekend. This amazing return has it with $21 million so far.
4. AQUAMAN – $10.33m
This has been quite the success for Warners, as it has easily beat out the origin-story that was “Justice League”. Now at $300 million domestic it is the first movie in the DC extended universe to cross $1 billion globally. Domestically it should pass “Suicide Squad”, and “Batman Vs. Superman” in the coming weeks, but probably will not reach “Wonder Woman”, which peaked at $400+ million.
5. SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE – $7.25m
An unqualified hit, as critics and fans – and foreigners – have all embraced this version of the Spider-Man story. It has now reached $300 million worldwide.
6. A DOG’S WAY HOME – $7.11m
While not lighting up the turnstiles it is performing respectable tricks. This is only a slight -35% drop, against a modest opening. It may manage to find its way to a profit.
7. ESCAPE ROOM – $5.27m
Surprisingly robust, considering this was a largely disregarded January horror release. Expected to fade quickly this one instead has shown enough heft to linger a bit. It has retained most of its original screen release, and is already at $40 million earned, which is a number few saw coming.
8. MARY POPPINS RETURNS – $5.24m
Only now starting to shed screens, after 5 weeks in release. The attempt by Disney to revisit the classic story has been a decent hit, earning $300 million global to date.
9. BUMBLEBEE – $4.66m
That “other” major holiday release, it has managed to survive decently despite being somewhat overlooked in a crowded market. A bigger hit overseas it now has a global take of $400 million.
10. ON THE BASIS OF SEX – $3.96m
The drama surrounding Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s early career has performed admirably enough, but is still a long shot at seeing a profit.