Weekend Box Office (September 13 - 15, 2019)

by Gitesh Pandya

THIS WEEKEND Clown-based terror was once again the top choice of moviegoers as It: Chapter Two held onto the number one spot with an estimated $40.7M in its second round. The 55% decline was a little more than the 51% of its 2017 predecessor which was understandable given that this new chapter is a sequel with more of an upfront audience. Having Friday be the 13th helped a bit too.

Warner Bros. has now banked $153.8M which is 30% below where It was at this same point in its run two years ago. However, Chapter Two is now the top grossing film for the studio this year and the first to break the $150M domestic mark. A final in the neighborhood of $220M may result. Overseas markets kicked in an additional $47M this weekend boosting that total to $169.5M and the worldwide tally to $323.3M. $500M global seems possible.

Jennifer Lopez anchored the red hot hit Hustlers which rocked the box office with a sensational debut of $33.2M this weekend. It was the third biggest opening weekend of 2019 for a non-franchise movie trailing only the director-driven pics Us ($71.1M) and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood ($41.1M). Hustlers averaged a muscular $10,225 from 3,250 theaters for the strongest average of any wide release this weekend.

Ethnic women drove the spending as studio demos from STX showed that the crowd was 67% female, 69% over 25, and 64% non-white. A glitzy premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival helped to generate more excitement and the target audience was energized and turned out. While a solid supporting cast helped, the R-rated film allowed J. Lo to flex her commercial muscles proving she is still a powerful box office draw. Positive reviews contributed to the success too. With a budget of only $20M, Hustlers looks on course to finish with at least four times its cost.

The rest of the top ten featured scraps which all grossed under $5M a piece, all with weak averages of under $1,600. The Lionsgate action sequel Angel Has Fallen dropped 27% to an estimated $4.4M for a new cume of $60.4M. The comedy hit Good Boys followed with an estimated $4.3M, off 22%, putting Universal at $73.3M to date. Both were late summer hits that attracted solid numbers.

Disney's summer giant The Lion King eased only 18% to an estimated $3.6M pushing the domestic haul to $534M. Overseas markets have added $1.08 billion putting Simba's global tally at $1.62 billion. Disney's trio of remakes of 1990s classics (Lion King, Aladdin, and Beauty and the Beast) have now grossed an astounding $3.92 billion worldwide. No surprise that more updates of old hits are already on the calendar for the next few years.

The Universal hit Hobbs and Shaw stuck around in the top ten for a seventh weekend with an estimated $2.8M, down 27%, with $168.3M domestic. International grosses rose to $572.6M, led by China's $196.1M, allowing the global take to rise to $740.9M. Sony's Overcomer fell 26% to an estimated $2.7M for $29M to date.

Book adaptation The Goldfinch was dead on arrival with a weak opening weekend of an estimated $2.6M from 2,542 locations for a dismal $1,039 average. Many September or fall releases try to premiere at TIFF to create hype and drive box office for the opening, but this one backfired as negative reviews came out fast and furious. Starpower was low too for the R-rated pic.

Slipping only 10% was The Peanut Butter Falcon with an estimated $1.9M giving Roadside Attractions $15M and counting. Still pulling in kids was Dora and the Lost City of Gold which grossed an estimated $1.9M dipping 21% and putting Paramount at $56.7M.

The top ten films grossed an estimated $98.1M which was up 4% from last year when The Predator opened at number one with $24.6M; but down 3% from 2017 when It remained on top with $60.1M.

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Last Updated: September 15, 2019 at 12:15PM ET

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