Weekend Box Office (March 1 - 3, 2019)
THIS WEEKEND The sluggish North American box office witnessed another lackluster weekend with total sales not showing much strength at all. Every single weekend this year, the Top 20 has been down vs 2018. Eight of the nine weekends were actually down double digits. The average year-over-year decline for the Top 20 in 2019 has been a disturbing 25.8%. And this was the first time in four years that a March top ten failed to generate at least $100M in ticket sales. It may be time to page Captain Marvel to come and save us all.
After scoring the biggest opening weekend for DreamWorks Animation in seven years, How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World held onto the number one spot in its second weekend with an estimated $30M declining by 45%. That pushed the domestic cume to $97.7M. After no releases in 2018 and a shift in distribution to Universal, DWA is seeing sturdy numbers for its well-reviewed toon sequel. It also scored a big $33.4M debut in China this weekend pushing the international total to $277.7M and the worldwide tally to $375.4M.
Tyler Perry presented his 20th directorial effort with A Madea Family Funeral and was met with a loyal fan base that drove the franchise film to a second place debut with an estimated $27.1M this weekend. The Lionsgate release averaged a fantastic $11,077 from 2,442 locations marking the filmmaker's last outing with his long-time studio.
The 20 films directed by Perry during his career over the past 13 years (including his recent one for Paramount) have now collectively grossed a stellar $966.3M at the domestic box office. None of them were big-budget projects as he keeps his costs reasonable. Each film has averaged nearly $50M in grosses and budgets are usually under $20M, often under $15M. Funeral might bring him to the $1 billion domestic mark.
The big-budget action vehicle Alita: Battle Angel dropped a reasonable 43% in its third round to an estimated $7M pushing the domestic cume up to $72.2M. Overseas is where this James Cameron production is rocking and its $40.4M international weekend gross pumped the offshore cume to $278.2M led by China, the world's number one market on this film, with $112.1M after its second weekend. Fox will see the global total break $350M tonight.
Sliding only 32% was the toon sequel The LEGO Movie 2 with an estimated $6.6M and $91.7M to date. At this same point five years ago, the first LEGO Movie had already banked more than twice as much with $209.1M. The international take for Warners on the new film is $61.1M putting worldwide at $152.8M.
Best Picture Oscar winner Green Book capitalized on all the new attention and doubled its screens allowing the weekend gross to more than double to an estimated $4.7M shooting it back into the top ten at the number five spot. Available on some home entertainment platforms, the Academy Award champ has found some renewed interest in theaters, but will continue to attract audiences to the viewing option each person finds best. Cume is now $75.9M. It also opened to $17.1M in China this weekend, quite big for an American drama. Global is now $187.9M on its way to breaking $200M next weekend.
The wrestling-themed comedy Fighting With My Family dropped 40% to an estimated $4.7M giving MGM $14.9M to date. The rom-com Isn't It Romantic followed with an estimated $4.6M, down 35%, with $40.2M so far for Warner Bros.
Focus saw a soft opening for its new suspense thriller Greta which bowed to an estimated $4.6M from 2,411 locations for a weak $1,902 average. Reviews were mixed and word of mouth has not been too strong.
The Paramount comedy What Men Want placed ninth with an estimated $2.7M, off 49%, for $49.6M overall for Paramount. Rounding out the top ten was the horror sequel Happy Death Day 2U which fell 49% to an estimated $2.5M for Universal putting the sum at $25.3M.
The top ten films grossed an estimated $94.6M which was down 30% from last year when Black Panther held onto the number one spot for a third time with $66.3M; and off a big 44% from 2017 when Logan opened on top with $88.4M.
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This column is updated three times each week: Thursday (upcoming weekend's summary), Sunday (post-weekend analysis with estimates), and Monday night (actuals). Opinions expressed in this column are those solely of the author.
Last Updated: March 3, 2019 at 1:35PM ET
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