It was going to be an interesting weekend for the also-rans, as last week’s winner was the expected repeat hero this week. There was a flurry of new releases battling it out for the remaining slots, and therein lies the drama.
It is a bit of a lull as the anticipation for the new “Avengers in two weeks has many studios scared to release into that promised box office monster. Marvel’s imminent monster is DC’s gain, as their lesser hero benefits from a softer marketplace. Meanwhile another comic character had a pretty bad judgment day.
SHAZAM! – $25.14 Million
Week two for the transforming superhero sees it drop -53%, which is a good hold for a comic character-based film. It is nearing the $100 million mark, and has actually been a slightly bigger hit overseas, drawing an additional $125 million so far in foreign markets. With no major releases next week this one will probably look at a third straight winning frame.
2. LITTLE – $15.49m
The age-flipping comedy had a slightly better than expected run, and it is significant for a couple of reasons. Comedies have had a rough go of it in recent years, but POC-based comedies have performed well, against smaller budgets and lower expectations. This title also is notable for having African American females in the lead roles, director, writer, and some of the producer credits. The audience was also telling, as it did not over-sample; African Americans made up 52% of the ticket buyers, which is a healthier split than seen in POC-based releases.
3. HELLBOY – $12.01m
The reboot of the cult franchise suffered heavily with new names across the credits. Guillermo del Toro is not directing, and David Harbour (the sheriff from “Stranger Things”) replaces Ron Perlman in the title role. Projections had this coming in with an already unimpressive $15-20 million. Audiences were not interested, and the built-in fan base was also not impressed. Rotten Tomatoes has this at a dismal 15% approval, and audiences rated it with a poor “C” CinemaScore. Even though it cost less than most comic adaptations ($50 million) this demon may need some serious international help to bail out the looming losses.
4. PET SEMATARY – $10.0m
Although it had a tepid debut last week there was enough momentum to keep some interest. It takes a steep -60% drop, but that is the norm for horror titles. This reboot was made on a tight budget so there is probable profits ahead for Paramount.
5. DUMBO – $9.18m
Another disappointing title that will need the foreign markets to help Disney see a benefit to this live action reboot. It is limping its way to a $100 million total here, but has already drawn over $175 million overseas. It will probably need at least $350 million in total for a break-even point.
6. CAPTAIN MARVEL – $8.62m
Disney likely will not feel too much strain from its grounded flying elephant. Edging closer to a $400 million domestic total, and already over $1 billion worldwide will patch over any losses, for sure.
7. US – $ 6.94m
Another smash for Jordan Peele, who has become an auteur in sort order. Over $160 million earned on a $20 million budget will keep him getting future projects approved.
8. AFTER – $6.2m
The teen romance based on a hit novel drew well enough on just over 2,000 screens. A modest return here, the foreign markets are reportedly doing hot business, and the coming weeks should show some impressive numbers from abroad.
9. MISSING LINK – $5.84m
The stop-motion animated effort becomes the lowest debut for Laika Studios, the makers of “Coraline”, and “Paranorman”. The hope here was to cash in on schools being out for the Easter break, and there was a rather heavy advertising push for this, meaning it will be tough sledding for United Artists.
10. THE BEST OF ENEMIES – $2.0m
After a very soft debut last week it struggled to find any more of an audience. Only $8 million has been earned, still shy of its $10 million budget.