Box Office: SPIDER-MAN and TOY STORY 4 hold smaller films CRAWL and STUBER at bay

Welcome to the Beat’s Weekend Box Office Recap!

It was another so-so weekend at the summer box office as two movies were given wide releases that never stood a chance at making much of a mark despite (or maybe because) both were based on original ideas. Both movies also were of a familiar genres that have led to other bigger hits during the summer. Like I said, neither of them stood a chance.

Sony’s 4th of July hit Spider-Man: Far from Home held up well in its second weekend, remaining at #1 with $45.3 million, down a respectable 51% and having made $274.5 million in North America in less than two weeks. It shouldn’t have a problem reaching the $334.2 million grossed by its predecessor, Spider-Man: Homecoming, although it isn’t likely to achieve the $400 million gross of Sam Raimi’s original Spider-Manin 2002. Far from Home has grossed twice as much ($572.5 million) overseas, and it should be well on its way to a billion globally if it can withstand the overwhelming competition over the next couple weeks.

Disney’s Toy Story 4 held even better at #2, down 39% with $20.7 million in its fourth weekend. It has grossed $346.4 million domestically since opening in mid-June and made another $441 million overseas.  It will be interesting to see if it can match the $415 million made by Toy Story 3in 2010, especially with a number of back-to-back big movies in the weeks to come.

Paramount’s Crawl did slightly better than expected with an estimated $12 million in 3,170 theaters, averaging $3,785 per site, to open in third place.  Although Paramount barely screened the movie in advance for critics and Louisiana was facing some of the same treacherous conditions as in the movie, the reviews weren’t horrible and the marketing that sold the idea of Kaya Scodelario and Barry Pepper (both from the Maze Runnermovies) trapped in a flooded house with giant killer alligators was enough to get people into theaters. Paramount hasn’t had a ton of success with non-franchise genre fare going by last year’s Annihilation  ($11 million opening, $32.7 million total) and Overlord ($10.2 million opening, $21.7 million total). Crawlopened better than both of those but will probably still end up under $40 million.

On the other hand, 20th Century Fox’s buddy action-comedyStuber, starring Kumail Nanjiani and Dave Bautista, bombed in fourth place with just $8 million in slightly fewer theaters, potentially hurt by the predominantly negative reviews. It averaged less than $3,000 per theater – usually a good barometer for whether a film can be deemed a “bomb” – and that’s despite the leading actors being all over the talk circuit over the past few weeks.

Both new movies received a “B” CinemaScore rating from audiences, but it does make you wonder whether Crawlwould have done better if Paramount screened it more in advance for critics… and whether Stuber might have done better if Fox hadn’t.

Universal’s Beatles-inspired Britcom Yesterday, directed by Danny Boyle, also continues to do well with another $6.8 million in its third weekend, down 33% to fifth place. It has grossed $48.3 million domestically, not bad for a movie that cost $26 million and was expected to do bigger business overseas. We’ll have to see if business holds up against stronger fare in the coming weeks and it’s able to match the success of Richard CurtisLove, Actually, which grossed $59.7 million over the holidays in 2003.

Guy Ritchie’s Disney movie Aladdin, starring Will Smith, continues to bring in big business after crossing the $300 million milestone. This weekend, it took sixth place with $5.9 million, down just 22% in its eighth weekend, continuing the Disney tradition of movies having long legs well into their second month. Its $331 million domestic gross puts it behind Toy Story 4 for the summer and year, but is still quite a feather in the studio’s cap. We’ll have to see if it’s able to hold up well against the direct family competition of The Lion King as it has against Toy Story 4.

New Line’s Annabelle Comes Home was right behind Aladdin with $5.5 million and $60.8 million grossed since opening last month. As of now, it’s going to be the lowest grosser of the The Conjuring spin-off franchise, although there is a Conjuring 3 in prep for next year.

A24’s Midsommardropped a respectable 46% to eighth place with $3.5 million and $18.4 million. It could continue to bring in business, especially if A24 eventually releases director Ari Aster’s longer director’s cut, but right now, this movie is probably going to stall out once Quentin Tarantino’s new movie opens in two weeks.

Probably one of the biggest mysteries of the summer is how poorly Universal’s The Secret Life of Pets 2fared despite being the sequel to a popular blockbuster family-friendly film. This weekend it took ninth place with just $3.1 million and its $147.1 million domestic gross is less than half what its predecessor made. Some might think it’s due to ennui towards animation or sequels in general or animated sequels, but that doesn’t explain how Toy Story 4avoided that curse just a few weeks later.

What’s good to note about this weekend is that the percentage drops from last week’s extended holiday weekend weren’t nearly as bad as what we have seen earlier in the summer. Some of that might be accounted to better quality films, but it also could be due to the inclement hot and humid weather that convinces people to go to theaters for the air conditioning.

Lulu Wang’s The Farewell, a critical hit for A24 from this year’s Sundance, opened in four theaters in New York and L.A. on Friday, bringing in an impressive $351,330 in those four theaters.  Starring last year’s breakout star Awkwafina, the China-based family drama averaged over $87,000 per theater, which makes it one of the best showings for a limited release this year as well as one of the best per-theater averages overall including Avengers: Endgame’s astounding $76,601 per theater. Granted, the latter was in over 4,000 theaters to The Farewell’s four (which is a lot easier to do), but it’s now up to A24 to figure out a suitable release pattern to get The Farewellto the widest audience possible at just the right rate to capitalize on that fantastic opening weekend. As of now, it will expand over the next couple weeks with August 2 being its official “nationwide” release. (Go see this movie!!)

Bleecker Street’s dark comedy The Art of Self Defense, starring Jesse Eisenberg (Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice), wound up with $121,000 in seven theaters, so less than half what The Farewell made in half as many theaters. Undaunted, Bleecker Street plans to expand Eisenberg’s movie into over 500 theaters on Friday as some sort of skewed counter-programming to Disney’s The Lion King.

This Week’s Top 10: 

Rank Last Week Rank Movie Studio Weekend Gross % Change Total Gross
1 1 Spider-Man: Far from Home Sony $45.3 million -51% $274.5 million
2 2 Toy Story 4 Disney $20.7 million -39% $346.4 million
3 New Crawl Paramount $12 million N/A $12 million
4 New Stuber Fox $8 million N/A $8 million
5 3 Yesterday Disney $6.8 million -33% $48.3 million
6 5 Aladdin Disney $5.9 million -22% $331.5 million
7 4 Annabelle: Comes Home New Line/WB $5.6   million -41% $60.8 million
8 6 Midsommar A24 $3.6 million -46% $18.4 million
9 7 The Secret Life of Pets 2 Universal $3.1 million -34% $147.1 million
10 8 Men in Black International Sony $2.2 million -41% $76.5 million

 

Maybe it was no surprise that this weekend was down about $40 million from last year when Sony’s animated Hotel Transylvania 3 opened with $44 million, while Dwayne Johnson’s action movie Skyscraper (Universal) disappointed by opening in third place with less than $25 million.  Marvel’s Ant-Man and the Wasp was right in between with $29 million, down 62% from its opening weekend.

Check back on Wednesday for The Beat‘s weekly Box Office Preview, which takes a look at Disney’s latest summer blockbuster, The Lion King.

1 COMMENT

  1. Saw MIDSOMMAR with a packed audience Sunday afternoon. Word of mouth may be helping this movie. At least people are curious about this polarizing but worthwhile film.

    “Ari Aster’s longer director’s cut”

    It’s long enough already, at 2 and a half hours! But I wouldn’t mind more of Florence Pugh, who is great in the lead role.

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