Welcome to the Beat’s Weekend Box Office Recap!
In one of the most astounding weekends at the box office I personally have seen in my 17 years writing about the box office, Marvel Studios’ Avengers: Endgame destroyed every single box office record as well as most predictions (including my own) to deliver an estimated $350 million in its opening weekend. And that’s just domestically in North America.
Obviously, there was a lot of anticipation to see the conclusion of the story began not only in last year’s record-setting Infinity War but also the cumulation of a decade of Marvel Studios’ 21 movies going all the way back to 2008’s Iron Man.
After making $60 million in Thursday previews (one of its earliest records), Endgame clobbered the previous single day record held by Star Wars: A Force Awakens with $156.7 million. That was a pretty good start for its weekend, as it clearly was going to break the previous opening record set by Infinity War last year. Indeed, it ended up surpassing the $300 million opening weekend some had been predicting last week and even earlier. Despite opening in a record 4,622 theaters nationwide, Endgame also managed to average around $75,000 per theater, which is also a record for a wide release.
There are probably a lot of other records that Avengers: Endgame broke, such as being the fastest movie to $100 million (somewhere under 24 hours), fastest to $200 million (sometime Saturday afternoon), and then of course, fastest to $300 million, as the only movie to ever make that in three days. Presumably, it will be the fastest to $400 million sometime in the next couple days.
As of now, Avengers: Endgame grossing $800 million or even more domestically is definitely in play, but we’ll have to see if business is maintained once other big movies open in late May. The movie’s “A+” CinemaScore is a good sign that word-of-mouth and repeat business will be high.
The last Marvel movie to receive an “A+” was last year’s Oscar-winning Black Panther, and Endgame might follow the precedent set by 2012’s Marvel’s The Avengers, which grossed $1.5 billion worldwide. $623 million of that was from North America, which at the time made it the third highest-grossing movie after James Cameron’s Titanic and Avatar. Four other movies grossed more than that amount since, and Endgame will make it #5.
Internationally, Avengers: Endgame did just as well, being the #1 movie in every country in which it opened. It got a headstart in China by opening on Wednesday, and in just two days, it had grossed over $200 million in the Middle Kingdom alone. As of now, Endgame has grossed $859 million overseas in 44 markets its opening week, which is… you guessed it… another record! It also set a new IMAX opening record, opening with $91.5 million worldwide on IMAX screens.
But enough about Marvel’s new movie, let’s talk about Marvel’s OTHER movie.
As expected, almost every other movie in theaters had massive drops due to losing theaters with a few exceptions. One of those exceptions was Marvel Studios’ Captain Marvel, which moved back up into second place with $8 million (down just 12% from last week) despite having been in theaters for eight weeks and already grossing $400 million domestically. Clearly, many people going to see Endgame wanted to catch up on their Marvel movies and having Captain Marvel still in 2,435 theaters helped Marvel make it their second row with two movies in the top 10.
While we saw Lionsgate’s Hellboy take a massive plunge last weekend, this weekend saw a number of movies have similarly massive drops. Probably hit the worst were the horror movies including New Line’s The Curse of La Llorona, which dropped from #1 to #3 with an estimated $7.5 million, down a whopping 72% from its debut. It’s still profitable with a 1o-day gross of $41.3 million based on a $9 million budget.
20th Century Fox’s Breakthrough held up much better in its own second weekend, taking fourth place with $6.3 million and $26.1 million grossed so far. Its 44% drop from last weekend shows that it was seen as one of the viable alternatives to Endgame.
Not even New Line’s well-received Shazam! was safe from the destruction created by the groundswell of Endgame support, as it dropped from second down to fifth with $5.5 million, down 67% from last week. It has grossed $131 million domestically and another $215 million overseas. It’s no surprise that New Line hasn’t announced a sequel yet although the Dwayne Johnson Black Adam will likely come next.
All the other movies dropped one place with Paramount’s Pet Sematary and Jordan Peele’s Us taking substantial 70%+ hits from last weekend. Even so, Us has grossed $172.8 million in six weeks and is the third highest-grossing movie of the year after Marvel’s two movies.
Another surprise in the top 10 was Disneynature’s Penguins, which opened outside the top 10 at #12 last weekend but was able to edge its way into the top 10 this weekend with a little more than a million dollars.
Oh, yeah, and remember that movie Hellboy? It plunged 91% in its third weekend after losing almost 2/3rds of its theaters, grossing just $355,000 this weekend. It is officially one of the most disastrous bombs of 2019, so far. Yes, it’s a shame, especially for Stranger Things star David Harbour in his first major leading film role. Maybe the producers should have just waited until Guillermo del Toro was ready to make a third movie in his series.
As far as limited releases, Ralph Fiennes’ drama The White Crow (Sony Pictures Classics) opened in five theaters in New York and L.A. to $80,675 or $16,135 per theater.
This Week’s Top 10:
|Rank||Last Week Rank||Movie||Studio||Weekend Gross||% Change||Total Gross|
|1||New||Avengers: Endgame||Marvel / Disney||$350 million||N/A||$350 million|
|2||4||Captain Marvel||Marvel / Disney||$8.1 million||-12%||$413.6 million|
|3||1||The Curse of La Llorona||New Line / WB||$7.5 million||-72%||$41.3 million|
|4||3||Breakthrough||20th Century Fox||$6.3 million||-44%||$26.1 million|
|5||2||Shazam!||New Line / WB||$5.5 million||-67%||$131.1 million|
|6||5||Little||Universal||$3,4 million||-59%||$35.8 million|
|7||6||Dumbo||Disney||$3.2 million||-51%||$107 million|
|8||7||Pet Sematary||Paramount||$1.3 million||-74%||$52.6 million|
|9||8||Us||Universal||$1.1 million||-73%||$172.8 million|
|10||12||Penguins||Disneynature||$1.1 million||-54%||$5.7 million|
Obviously, with Avengers: Endgame making $350 million on its own, this weekend was going to destroy the $300 million made by the top 10 this weekend last year even with $258 million of that coming from Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War. This weekend’s top 10 grossed an estimated $387.5 million but most of that was indeed from Endgame.
Check back on Wednesday for The Beat‘s Box Office Preview of the coming weekend, which includes the Seth Rogen-Charlize Theron rom-com Long Shot, STXfilms’ UglyDolls and more.
Edward Douglas has been writing about movies and other forms of entertainment for over 25 years, so he’s probably older than you.