As reported last week, this February has been a downer and if you engage in the normal practice of year-over-year comparisons things get downright depressing. That is because last year at this time “Black Panther” was released, to the sum of $200 million, and going on to become one of the biggest films of all time.
It may have been with that “Panther” performance in mind that studio hopes rested on there being similar audience appetite over the President’s Day weekend. While there was a little bit of juice to be seen it was nowhere near those monstrous figures from a year ago. And monster numbers were needed, at least by one release. Here are the numbers of the films that failed to move into the “Black”.
1. ALITA: BATTLE ANGEL – $27.8 Million
This is a CGI-rich adaptation of a Japanese Manga story, called “Gunnm”, and it has been somewhat distancing to audiences. Considering all of the heft behind this title you would have expected more advanced hype. It is a James Cameron production, and has a director in Robert Rodriguez who has been at times considered bankable (he did helm the effects-laden “Spy Kids” franchise). Also it weighs in with a budget well over $150 million. This is an event-picture type of pedigree, so to arrive rather calmly into theaters like it has is not an encouraging sign. An opening this low is not going to lead to automatic profits, so foreign theaters are going to have to boost this one into profitability. While there should be strong interest in Japan, China will be the main indicator, and it will have to be huge there — a studio only receives one-quarter of the BO returns from the communist nation.
2. THE LEGO MOVIE 2 – $221.21m
After a very disappointing opening last weekend it has held up decently enough, sporting a respectable drop of -44%, that is still not at the levels of the predecessors. The original film dropped only -27% in week #2, and “Lego Batman” fell -38% after a better opening.
3. ISN’T IT ROMANTIC – $14.21m
Comedy actress rebel Wilson stars in this pre-Valentines Day release that was meet with only limited affection. Including the numbers from Wednesday it sits just over $20 million. Those who came out only graded the romantic romb with a “B” CinemaScore, so prospects of a longer run are limited at best. With a budget around $330 million profits could be a heartbreaker.
4. WHAT MEN WANT – $10.92m
The Taraji P. Henson comedy remake is showing some strength, hitting expected numbers with a crowded field of new arrivals. Not a bad second week fall, and it is near the $35 million line after Day of the Presidents.
5. HAPPY DEATH DAY 2U – $9.81m
A Blumhouse sequel to the moderate horror hit, the second day however was a far cry from that first release. The original came out just ahead of Halloween and it opened to $25 million on a discount budget under $5 million. This was was made with a still cheap $9 million, but profits will be harder to come by.
6. COLD PURSUIT – $6.0m
Yet another Liam Neeson chase-’em-down action piece that American audiences may finally be getting tired of seeing. Or maybe they are tired of Neeson starring in gun-porn films as he slams the US for the Second Amendment???
7. THE UPSIDE – $5.59m
It is only now beginning to shed screens after more than a month. The surprise hit for STX is still showing on over 2,700 screens.
8. GLASS – $3.86m
Maybe took a little bit longer than anticipated, but this becomes the first film released in 2019 to cross the $100 million mark.
9. THE PRODIGY – $3.15m
Another discount horror release that may be trickling in profits for Orion Pictures.
10. GREEN BOOK – $2.75m
One of the big Oscar season success stories (the other being “Bohemian Rhapsody” for Fox)