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Welcome to the Beat’s Weekend Box Office Recap!
After breaking and setting most of the box office records last weekend, Marvel Studios’ Avengers: Endgame continued its dominance for a second weekend at #1, though it wasn’t able to beat one of Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ second weekend record of $149.2 million.
Endgame certainly came very close according to estimates, as it added another $145.8 million to its gross for a second weekend in first place. Domestically, the movie has made $619.7 million, which already place it in the top 10 for highest-grossing movies in North America. It’s just behind the $620 million that Star Wars: The Last Jedi made a few years back, and it should be achieving Black Panther’s $700 million by this time next week.
Globally, Endgame has made $2.18 billion in less than two weeks, which moves it just ahead of the worldwide box office made by James Cameron’s Titanic in 1997. Cameron’s movie made $2.18 billion while remaining in theaters worldwide for many months, but to be fair, Endgame benefitted from twenty years of ticket inflation, higher premium ticket prices as well as more theaters and screens in general. For example, Titanic grossed $659 million domestically but that would be $1.2 billion adjusted for inflation. Adjusted for inflation, with the number of tickets it sold, Titanic would probably be closer to the $4 billion range worldwide, but hey, that’s what Cameron gets for making his movie over twenty years ago when movie tickets were cheaper, right?

The Intruder
Screen Gems

There were four new movies opening in wide or moderate release this weekend. It might be little to no surprise that they all ended up on the lower side of most projections.
Deon Taylor’s psychological thriller The Intruder may have been the only surprise as it fared better than two of the other new movies, despite opening 1,000 fewer theaters. Screen Gems opened the movie, starring Dennis Quaid, Michael Ealy and Meagan Good, moderately into 2,222 theaters. After making $865,000 in Thursday previews, the thriller maintained its business through the weekend to gross an estimated $11 million through Sunday.
As you might remember from my predictions earlier in the week, I had The Intruder opening behind the other two movies but with $12 million, so with The Intruder falling short of that amount, the other movies weren’t going to fare much better. Still, critics weren’t too kind to the indie filmmaker’s first movie with Screen Gems, but obviously, the movie delivered the type of experience audiences were looking for this weekend. We’ll have to see if it has any legs at all from word-of-mouth.
The Seth Rogen – Charlize Theron political rom-com Long Shot, directed by Jonathan Levine, opened in third place with a disappointing $10 million (est.) in 3,230 theaters. That’s roughly $3,104 per theater, which isn’t great. Although it had the best reviews of all the new movies, it only received a “B” from audiences via CinemaScore. We’ll have to see if word-of-mouth helps it with bigger movies opening over the rest of the month.
STXfilms’ very first animated family release UglyDolls, based on the popular toy line, failed to make much of a mark, opening in fourth place with an estimated $8.5 million in 3,652 theaters. Reviews for the musical movie, featuring the eclectic voice cast of Emma Roberts, Ice-T, Kelly Clarkson, Pitbull and Nick Jonas, were horrid and its CinemaScore was only slightly higher than that of Long Shot. It also has to face the new Pokemon movie next weekend, so there aren’t too many good signs it will pick up business through the rest of May.
The three new movies knocked Marvel’s other film Captain Marvel down to fifth place with $4.3 million (down 49%), bringing its total to $421 million in two months. We’ll have to see if it holds up its second place for the year with the likes of The Lion King and J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars finale opening over the next seven months.
New Line’s Shazam! lost over 1,000 more theaters on Friday, so it spent its last weekend in the top 10 at #8 with $2.4 million with $135.2 million grossed domestically. It just doesn’t seem like DC is much of a match for Marvel when put head-to-head, as this one has.
Fledgling distributor Briarcliff Entertainment opened Ben Hernandez Bray’s action-thriller El Chicano, starring Raul Castillo, in 605 theaters across the country, but it failed to find much of an audience, opening outside the top 10 with $700,000 or less than $1,000 per theater.
A couple smaller films from foreign auteurs  opened in New York and L.A. with Zhang Yimou’s martial arts film Shadow making $30,000 in four theaters and Olivier Assayas’ Non-Fiction making slightly less in just two theaters.

This Week’s Top 10:

Rank Last Week Rank Movie Studio Weekend Gross % Change Total Gross
1 1 Avengers: Endgame Marvel/Disney $145.8 million -59% $619.7 million
2 New The Intruder Sony/Screen Gems $11 million N/A $11 million
3 New Long Shot Lionsgate $10 million N/A $10 million
4 New UglyDolls STXfilms $8.5 million -N/A $8.5 million
5 2 Captain Marvel Marvel/Disney $4.3 million -49% $420.8 million
6 4 Breakthrough 20th Century Fox $4 million -42% $33.2 million
7 3 The Curse of La Llorona New Line/WB $3.5 million -57% $48.1 million
8 5 Shazam! New Line/WB $2.5 million -56% $135.2 million
9 7 Little Universal $1.5 million -58% $38.6 million
10 6 Dumbo Walt Disney $1.4 million -59% $1o9.7 million

Endgame‘s $145.8 million helped put the top 10 well ahead of the same weekend last year when its precursor Avengers: Infinity War topped the box office with $115 million followed by the comedy remake Overboard with $14.7 million. Charlize Theron’s previous comedy Tully opened in sixth place with $3.3 million in 1,353 theaters.
Check back on Wednesday for The Beat‘s Box Office Preview of the coming weekend, which includes Warner Bros’ Pokemon: Detective Pikachu, starring Ryan Reynolds, the Anne Hathaway-Rebel Wilson comedy The Hustle and the Diane Keaton film Poms.

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8 COMMENTS

  1. “Cameron’s movie made $2.18 billion while remaining in theaters worldwide for many months, but to be fair, Endgame benefitted from twenty years of ticket inflation, higher premium ticket prices as well as more theaters and screens in general.”
    Titanic is the last movie I remember that stayed in theaters for 6 months or longer. It opened in Dec. 1997 and was still playing in the summer of ’98. I doubt that will ever happen again. Movies now open on so many screens that anyone who really wants to see it in the first week usually can. “Tentpole” movies open big and fade fast.
    Re higher ticket prices, which many people complain about: film critic Matt Zoller Seitz noted that adjusted for inflation, the average movie ticket is only 50 cents more than it was in 1979. He thinks the real problem is the stagnant or declining wages that most people below the executive level have dealt with for decades. If wages had kept pace with the rising costs of living and of goods and services, we probably wouldn’t hear these complaints about the high cost of seeing a movie.

  2. I don’t know where Matt Zoller Seitz sees movies — I think he’s based in NYC like I am — but the average NYC ticket price is probably $14-16 and I’m guessing L.A. and other big cities are similar. Tickets in other countries can be INSANELY priced like in London, where I’ve been and seen movies. When I moved to NYC in 1987, they probably were $9 to 10, so that’s $5-6 just since then.

  3. edouglasww,
    Seitz isn’t using anecdotal evidence from his own ticket-buying experiences; he’s using historical average ticket prices across the entire US (e.g., from Box Office Mojo) and an inflation calculator. It was a twitter thread (https://twitter.com/mattzollerseitz/status/1124382918938329088), but I found similar posts with actual graphs: https://www.davemanuel.com/the-cost-of-a-movie-ticket-throughout-the-years-166/ and http://collider.com/movie-ticket-price-inflation-statistics/.
    More on-topic for this website, a similar thing is true for comics books. The inflation-adjusted price of an average single comic issue has been more-or-less stable since the early ’90s, hovering between $3.50 and $4.50 in 2019 dollars. The large change in real price happened in the mid- to late ’80s, at the advent of the direct market, when comics became a specialized hobby.

  4. The average movie ticket today is $9 and change. That’s what I pay at most theaters in the Nashville area, if I go to a night show. Matinees are cheaper. Of course it’s higher in expensive cities like New York, L.A. and San Francisco. But those cities have ALWAYS had higher prices than the rest of the country.
    Being childless, paying $8 or $9 for an occasional movie is no big deal. But if I were taking, say, a family of four, and if everyone wanted snacks, that would be different. That would be getting into real money. Fortunately, every theater in my town has free parking, so I don’t have to deal with that.
    I agree with Quentin Tarantino that moviegoing is not as affordable for working-class Americans as it was a few decades ago. And that’s a big reason why people are leery of buying a ticket for a movie that isn’t part of a familiar brand or franchise. People want to know what they’re getting; franchises are seen as safe bets.
    I intentionally seek out movies that AREN’T part of franchises, but I know that most people aren’t that adventurous.

  5. Agreed. Gone With The Wind is still the biggest movie of all time and that’s not going to change anytime soon.
    Comics are still way better on the page than on the screen and even though Marvel/Disney is making headway, that is also unlikely to change anytime soon. At the current rate of illiteracy, we still have a decade or two before kids can’t read any longer. Movies/TV are a more limited form of imagination-generator than comics or books are. That’s inherent to the form, no fault of their own.

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