A refreshing change from the assembly-line output from studios with some original content getting rewarded.
The obsession Hollywood has for sequels has been a long-established complaint, but there is now a measurable metric to quantify this practice. Earlier this week I covered how not only Disney was relying heavily upon existing properties this summer but all the studios are following this blueprint. Of the top fifteen movies in box office returns so far in 2019 only ONE is an original story not based upon an established property, (Jordan Peele’s smart horror effort “Us”.)
There was actually a new idea that was released this weekend and it was met with some impressive success. Meanwhile all of the familiar hits surrounding it continue to see healthy business and are collecting their share of the summer crowd. Overall a strong weekend performance, and there should be more on the way with the release of “Hobbs & Shaw” next weekend.
THE LION KING – $76.5 Million
The question for the weekend would be, does this have enough juice to become the seventh film to reach the $100 million plateau in its second week of release? (Of those half dozen, Universal’s “Jurassic World” is the only non-Disney property.) Early projections were bringing the second-week performance in the $90 million range, but things backed down slightly once Friday arrived. As it stands “King” is right in line with the performance of the live-action “Beauty and the Beast”, which ended its run at $500 million earned.
2. ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD – $40.3m
This counts for just the third weekend since the release of “Avengers: Endgame” where no sequels or rebooted properties were released this summer, and Quentin Tarantino brought out the crowds. The prospects for his period piece set in the world of filmmaking have been scaling higher, and this return comes in slightly ahead of those numbers. This stands as the best debut in Tarantino’s career. It seems adults and serious movie fans have been hungry for some quality product in the wave of recycled product this summer.
3. SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME – $11.8M
A nice hold of -44% after a month shows there is hunger for this franchise. It has been a massive hit overseas, nearly doubling the impressive $340 million here, as it is quickly closing in on a $1 billion worldwide total.
4. TOY STORY 4 – $9.7m
Also showing fan resilience, after 6 weeks it remains on over 3,600 screens, dropping only -37%. It is closing in on a $400 million total domestically, it has a chance at passing “Toy Story 3
“ to become the third-highest grossing Pixar film.
5. CRAWL – $3.9m
Becoming something of a small surprise for Paramount, the studio may have left some money on the table by under-promoting what has become a respectable hit. The biggest surprise has been the critical reaction. It stands with an impressive 83% on Rotten Tomatoes, which few saw coming, including the marketing department.
6. YESTERDAY – $3.0m
The surprise adult fantasy/drama just keeps lingering, gathering up decent totals on a weekly basis. It has topped off now over $60 million, and crossed over a global take of over $100 million.
7. ALADDIN – $2.6m
While other hits have arrived with sexier up front numbers it has managed to show long range success. After ten weeks it is still a player as this will become Disney’s FOURTH film moving past the $350 level this year. It also has now taken in globally $1 billion.
8. STUBER – $1.7m
The usual third-week signs of a stalled effort are in play with this car-based comedy that never found traction with audiences. It drops a large chunk of theaters – 900 – and falls off -58%. It has taken this long just to barely roll to $20 million.
9. ANNABELLE 3 – $1.58m
A bit of an odd doll this one, as it has underperformed against the fortunes of the previous entries, but it defies the usual run of horror titles by sticking around in the top-10 after 5 weeks.
10. THE FAREWELL – $1.55m
A Chinese drama that is playing in just 135 theaters. It has been an arthouse hit in select cities, and just expanded slightly to see if it can collect a larger purse for the small scale distributor A24.