Weekend Box Office (March 29 - 31, 2019)
THIS WEEKEND Disney scored another number one hit with a live-action remake of a classic from its vault with Dumbo which opened to an estimated $45M. The PG-rated family film directed by Tim Burton averaged a solid $10,566 from 4,259 locations and played to younger children and their parents.
The figure more than doubled the $20.4M debut of the studio's The Nutcracker from last November as well as the $33.1M of last spring's A Wrinkle in Time, however it did not match some of the megahit numbers seen by other smashes. And the hefty $170M production cost means that global grosses will be critical for breaking even.
As an older brand, Dumbo did not carry the same excitement as recent Disney hits like Beauty and the Beast plus reviews were mixed and may have turned some parents off. All international markets launched this weekend including China and Japan leading to an overseas opening weekend of $71M and a global launch of $116M with the Easter school holidays still ahead.
The horror hit Us dropped a spot from first to second place and still drove in substantial business grossing an estimated $33.6M this weekend. Universal's hit thriller declined by 53% which was normal for a fright flick like this. The cume is now $128.2M and the final should be able to surpass the $176M of Jordan Peele's first directorial venture Get Out from two years ago. Rarely do directors break $100M on their first two films with original stories.
Soaring to within striking distance of the magical billion dollar mark, the super hero smash Captain Marvel ranked third in its fourth weekend grossing an estimated $20.5M for a reasonable 40% decline. Disney and Marvel have banked a stunning $353.8M from North America and have watched the international take climb to $636.8M led by China's $151.5M. That puts the worldwide tally at a jaw-dropping $990.6M with the $1B barrier set to fall later this week. Reaching $1.1 billion is still possible.
The teen saga Five Feet Apart enjoyed a superb hold in its third weekend of play dipping only 27% to an estimated $6.3M. The hit from CBS Films and Lionsgate has now collected $35.9M and could be headed for a finish in the $50M neighborhood which will be impressive for a low-cost production like this. Critics were not big fans, but the target audience of young women have been very entertained.
The faith-based film Unplanned delivered a solid debut in fifth place with an estimated $6.1M from 1,059 locations for a $5,770 average which was third best among all wide releases. The Pure Flix release generated almost half of its weekend gross from opening day which had substantial previews and buyouts rolled in.
Paramount's animated entry Wonder Park picked up some modest business with an estimated $4.9M, down 44%, for a cume of only $37.9M after its third weekend. The blockbuster toon How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World followed with an estimated $4.2M, off 35%, with $153M to date domestically for Universal. Overseas grosses rose to $348.9M putting global at $501.9M. The entire trilogy has taken in a stellar $1.62 billion over the course of this decade.
Expanding nationwide and reaching eighth place was the India-set thriller Hotel Mumbai which grossed an estimated $3.2M from 924 theaters for a $3,424 average. The R-rated film from Bleecker Street and ShivHans Pictures features a cast that includes Dev Patel, Armie Hammer, Nazanin Boniadi, Anupam Kher, and Jason Isaacs.
Falling 39% to an estimated $2.7M was Lionsgate's A Madea Family Funeral which has banked $70M so far. Rounding out the top ten was the new Matthew McConaughey film The Beach Bum which opened with an estimated $1.8M from 1,015 sites for a weak $1,773 average. Reviews were mixed for the R-rated title from Neon.
The top ten films grossed an estimated $128.3M which was up 11% from last year when Ready Player One debuted at number one with $41.8M; but down 21% from 2017 when The Boss Baby opened on top with $50.2M.
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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 31, 2019 at 12:50PM ET
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