Weekend Box Office (April 26 - 28, 2019)
THIS WEEKEND With Hollywood wondering if a billion-dollar opening weekend was possible for the highly awaited sequel Avengers: Endgame, the Marvel blockbuster went a step further and generated a monstrous $1.2 billion debut in its first five days of global play crushing records in the process.
In North America it was a thunderous $350M estimated opening weekend from Friday-to-Sunday including Thursday pre-shows with daily records set across the weekend. The old industry record was set by its predecessor Avengers: Infinity War which bowed to $257.7M while Endgame soared 36% higher. The Thanos cliffhanger at the end of Infinity War which left so many beloved super heroes dead led to feverish fan interest to see how the story concluded in Endgame.
The record weekend began with a colossal $156.7M on Friday including $60M from Thursday pre-shows. Those beat the old records of $119.1M and $57M set by Star Wars: The Force Awakens from December 2015. Endgame's Saturday was down 30% and came in at $109M marking the first time in industry history that any day generated over $100M in sales by itself with no help from prior-day pre-shows added in. Disney estimates a 23% decline on Sunday to $84.3M. Infinity War was down only 16% on its first Sunday a year ago, but Endgame seems more front-loaded so far. It is certainly possible that when the dust clears, the final weekend gross will be even higher.
After just one weekend, the latest Avengers saga has already entered the all-time domestic Top 50 right at number 50 beating the lifetime grosses of so many super hero films in just a few days. Look for Endgame to smash $400M by Wednesday and $500M on Saturday with plenty more to go after that. This weekend, the new Avengers accounted for a massive 90% of the entire box office.
Reviews were terrific calling this a wonderful end to a well-loved storyline and the A+ CinemaScore showed that fans loved what they got. The entire Marvel Cinematic Universe has now hit $19.9 billion with 22 films across 11 years and Endgame will soon put it over $20B and likely $21B too. While future films will look different, Disney already has eight untitled Marvel films on the calendar through 2022, plus Sony launches the next one in the series Spider-Man: Far From Home this July so the brand will live on for a long time.
International records were destroyed too as Endgame surged to a jaw-dropping $859M over five days from all territories except Russia which opens Monday. China led with a new high of $330.5M over five days since its Wednesday debut. Infinity War opened differently with $200M over a Friday-to-Sunday period which was a few weeks after the U.S. bow. This time they were day and date. Other top markets included the U.K. at $53.8M, Korea with $47.4M, Mexico at $33.1M, and Australia with $30.8M. The worldwide opening was a mammoth $1.21 billion and Endgame has its eyes on challenging Avatar's $2.8 billion for the all-time global box office crown.
Thanks to all the intense MCU interest, Captain Marvel raced back up the charts to claim the number two spot in its eighth weekend of release with an estimated $8.1M dipping a scant 12%. Fans eager to catch up on the storyline of the franchise took another turn with Carol Danvers who was introduced in this film and also shows up in Endgame. She was hinted at during the final scene of Infinity War a year ago as a savior for this saga. Plus there were some who never got around to seeing Captain Marvel and wanted to watch it before seeing Endgame. Over the last couple of weeks it's played just like major Best Picture Oscar contenders do that moviegoers need to catch up with before the big day.
Goose and company have now grossed a stellar $413.6M in North America putting the comic book smash at number 25 on the all-time domestic list surpassing Wonder Woman, Iron Man 3, Captain America: Civil War, and The Hunger Games. Overseas grosses are now at $696.6M with the global haul at $1.11 billion.
Crumbling by 72% in its second weekend was the horror film The Curse of La Llorona which had no Marvel super heroes in it. The Warner Bros. thriller grossed an estimated $7.5M lifting its sum to $41.3M with global at a solid $87M for the low-budget film. The faith-based drama Breakthrough held up well on Avengers weekend dropping only 44% to an estimated $6.3M putting the Fox film at $26.1M overall.
Shazam was the third super hero film to make the top five this weekend and collected an estimated $5.5M, off 67%. Warner Bros. has taken in $131.2M from North America, $215.2M from international markets, and $346.4M global. Universal's comedy Little took in an estimated $3.4M, down 59%, for a $35.9M cume to date. The Disney kidpic Dumbo dropped 51% to an estimated $3.2M pushing the cume up to $107M domestic and $327.6M global.
Fright films followed while falling more than 70% a piece. Paramount's Pet Sematary grossed an estimated $1.3M, down 74% while Universal's Us fell 73% to an estimated $1.1M. Totals are $52.6M and $172.9M, respectively with Us on the verge of breaking $250M worldwide. Disney's nature doc Penguins declined by 54% to an estimated $1.1M for $5.7M to date.
The top ten films grossed an estimated $387.5M which was up 28% from last year when Avengers: Infinity War debuted at number one with a then-record $257.7M; and up a sensational 380% from 2017 when The Fate of the Furious remained on top with $19.9M.
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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: April 28, 2019 at 1:05PM ET
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