Weekend Box Office (November 8 - 10, 2019)

by Gitesh Pandya

THIS WEEKEND Opening with more firepower than expected and hitting the number one spot was the Lionsgate entry Midway which collected an estimated $17.5M to capture the top position. While the amount would normally not be enough to hit first place in the usually strong month of November, a lackluster menu of offerings from Hollywood studios has made for a predictably slow first part of the month.

Midway averaged a good $5,398 from 3,242 locations and connected with its target audience despite mixed reviews from critics. With Monday being Veterans Day, the studio expects $20M or more in the first four days. The PG-13 film skewed 60% male and 87% over 25, in line with historical military movies.

The R-rated thriller Doctor Sleep, which continues the story of The Shining some 40 years later, witnessed a lackluster opening grossing an estimated $14.1M from 3,855 theaters for a mild $3,658 average. Film critics were pretty positive on the Warner Bros. release, but paying audiences only had so much interest.

A pair of comedies followed with moderate results for moviegoers looking for lighter entertainment. The firefighter pic Playing With Fire bowed to an estimated $12.8M from 3,125 locations for a mild $4,096 average. Paramount earned negative reviews on this PG-rated John Cena pic.

Universal offered the romantic comedy Last Christmas which debuted to an estimated $11.6M averaging $3,364 from 3,448 sites. Reviews for the PG-13 pic were not too great. Both comedies hope to play through the Thanksgiving holidays and reach ticket buyers over time.

The box office is witnessing the worst start for the month of November in 19 years. The top ten films both last weekend and this weekend have now failed to break $100M. The last time the first two weekends of November failed to do this was in 2000 when movie ticket prices were much cheaper. The number one film over both of those weekends back then was Charlie's Angels, which coincidentally has a reboot opening this coming weekend.

Stumbling from first to fifth place was Terminator: Dark Fate which fell a sharp 63% to an estimated $10.8M for Paramount. Cume to date is only $48.5M on its way to a possible $70M final making it the lowest grossing Terminator sequel ever. The return of the Linda Hamilton-Arnold combo, along with James Cameron back in writing and producing duties, was not enough to jumpstart fan interest. Overseas markets are of course doing better with a $150.9M total for $199.4M global.

Inching closer to that magical billion dollar mark was the comic book juggernaut Joker which spent five straight weeks in the number one and two spots and finally dropped back to sixth place this time with an estimated $9.2M. Its low 32% dip was the smallest of any film in the top ten and the domestic cume has climbed to $313.5M. A final near the $340M mark may result surpassing DC hits Suicide Squad, Batman v Superman, and maybe even Aquaman which were all PG-13 and carried much higher budgets.

Disney's fall tentpole Maleficent: Mistress of Evil declined by 39% to an estimated $8M putting the new totals at $97.3M domestic, $333M overseas, and $430.3M worldwide. The period drama Harriet followed with an estimated $7.2M, off 38%, leaving Focus with a solid $23.5M.

Creepy franchise holdovers from the Halloween month of October rounded out the top ten. Zombieland: Double Tap fell 42% to an estimated $4.3M giving Sony $66.7M to date. UA saw its toon The Addams Family drop 51% to an estimated $4.1M for $91.3M overall.

The top ten films grossed an estimated $99.6M which was down 35% from last year when The Grinch opened at number one with $67.6M; and down 28% from 2017 when Thor: Ragnarok remained on top with $57.1M.

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Last Updated: November 10, 2019 at 1:00PM ET

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