Box Office: GODZILLA, ALADDIN Lead A Weekend That Should Have Been Much Bigger

Welcome to the Beat’s Weekend Box Office Recap!
This was a weekend that should have been bigger with three new movies that each would appeal to a different target audience with strong marketing campaigns that have been raging for months. Part of it could have been the fact that last weekend was a busy longer Memorial Day weekend.
Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures’ Godzilla: King of the Monsters came into the weekend with a roar, opening in 4,108 theaters with middling reviews that just got worse as the week went on. After making $6.3 million in Thursday previews — about $3 million less than its 2014 predecessor — the sequel starring Vera FarmigaMillie Bobby BrownKyle Chandler and more took in $19.6 million Friday (including Thursday) leading to an estimated $49 million opening weekend. That’s about $11,934 per theater and almost half the $93 million opening of the 2014 Godzilla…. and substantially below my own prediction. Audiences gave the film a “B+” rating on CinemaScore, which isn’t terrible but isn’t too positive for the movie’s chance of holding up well over the rest of the month.
Directed by Mike Dougherty, he movie did far better numbers overseas where it was #1 in many markets, grossing $130 million, only slightly less than 2014’s Godzilla made in its similar opening. About $70 million of that came from China, $8.4 million from Japan and $4.6 million from Mexico.
Disney’s Aladdin starring Will Smith dropped to second place with $42.3 million, down 54% from Memorial Day weekend, bringing its domestic total to $185, which means it’s coming close to surpassing the $217 million made by the original animated movie in 1992. Overseas, Aladdin added another $78.3 million to bring its global total to $446 million in two weeks, once again proving that if your movie isn’t being released by Disney, it probably won’t find an audience. (I’m being sarcastic, if it wasn’t obvious.)
Taron Egerton took on the role of Elton John in the Dexter Fletcher-directed musical biopic Rocketman, which Paramount Pictures released into 3,610 theaters. It opened in third place with roughly $25 million or $6,900 per theater, which isn’t terrible for a $40 million movie but is also on the lower end of most projections. Some (including myself) might have expected higher due to the success of last year’s Bohemian Rhapsody, which won four Oscars and grossed over $200 million in North America. Fletcher was also involved in finishing up that movie after director Bryan Singer was fired and Rocketman producer Matthew Vaughn recommended Fletcher to Fox, who released their previous collaboration, Eddie the EagleRocketman did slightly better overseas, grossing $31.2 million, including $6.8 million in the UK. It fared slightly better with audiences and critics than Godzilla, receiving an “A-” CinemaScore and 90% on Rotten Tomatoes.
The third new movie of the weekend was the Octavia Spencer horror-thriller Ma from Universal and Blumhouse and directed by Tate Taylorwhich wasn’t expected to do as well as the other two movies, opening in 2,808 theaters. It opened with an estimated $18.3 million, a respectable $6,500 per theater, but audiences didn’t seem to care much for the movie, rating it with a “B-” CinemaScore.
Keanu Reeves’ John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum (Lionsgate) took fifth place with $11.1 million, also down 55% from Memorial Day weekend with a franchise best of $125.8 million grossed so far domestically.
For the first time since opening six weeks ago, Marvel Studios’ Avengers: Endgame dropped out of the top 3 with an estimated $7.8 million, bringing its domestic total to an astounding $815.5 million. With an additional $8.6 million made internationally this weekend, Endgame is currently at $2.71 billion worldwide, which means it’s still roughly $70 million behind the all-time worldwide record still held by James Cameron‘s Avatar. It’s hard to believe it might surpass that record as Endgame will continue to lose theaters over the summer.
Pokémon: Detective Pikachu, starring Ryan Reynolds, dropped to seventh place with $6.7 million (down 50%) with $130.6 million grossed domestically in four weeks. It has made almost double that amount overseas to be at $392 million globally.
Olivia Wilde‘s Booksmart took a similarly large plunge as the other movies, ending up in 8th place with $3.3 million, ahead of last week’s Brightburn, which dropped 70% to $2.3 million.

This Week’s Top 10: 

Rank Last Week Rank Movie Studio Weekend Gross % Change Total Gross
1 New Godzilla: King of the Monsters Warner Bros. $49 million N/A $49 million
2 1 Aladdin Disney $42.3 million -54% $185 million
3 New Rocketman Paramount $25 million N/A $25 million
4 New Ma Universal $18.3 million N/A $18.3 million
5 2 John Wick Chapter 3 Lionsgate $11.1 million -55% $125.8 million
6 3 Avengers: Endgame Marvel/Disney $7.8 million -55% $815.5 million
7 4 Pokémon: Detective Pikachu Warner Bros. $6.7 million -50% $130.6 million
8 6 Booksmart U.A. Releasing $3.3 million -52% $14.4 million
9 5 Brightburn Screen Gems $2.3 million -71% $14.2 million
10 7 The Hustle U.A. Releasing $1.3 million -64% $33.2 million

Despite the disappointing showing for most movies this weekend, the top 10 was still up substantially up from last year (actually the first weekend in June) as there were no movies nearly as strong as this weekend’s offerings. The Shailene Woodley drama Adrift opened in third place behind Solo and Deadpool 2 with just $11.6 million, while Leigh Whannell‘s Upgrade opened in sixth place with $4.7 million. Johnny Knoxville‘s Action Point bombed with just $2.4 million.
Check back on Wednesday for The Beat‘s Box Office Preview looking at Universal’s The Secret Life of Pets 2 and the finale of Fox’s X-Men franchise, Dark Phoenix.


  1. I was surprised that Booksmart, a small indie comedy without box-office names, was given such a wide release. It’s showing at every multiplex in my city.
    It might have done better in art houses, where patrons are used to quirky comedies about eccentric, offbeat characters. (See: Ghost World.)

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