Box Office: Tarantino’s ONCE UPON A TIME… does decent but LION KING is still king

Welcome to the Beat’s Weekend Box Office Recap!

The biggest high-profile release this weekend was Quentin Tarantino‘s Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood, though that was never expected to be #1 when it was taking on the second weekend of Disney’s The Lion King.

Disney’s live action remake has crossed the $350 million mark in ten days with another $75.5 million this weekend, down 61% from its opening weekend, which ended up being over $191 million when actuals were reported Monday. The Lion King is about to join the rest of Disney’s 2019 billion-dollar grossers, as it’s currently at $962.7 million with another $142.8 million grossed overseas this weekend.

Once Upon a Time…, starring box office superstars Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt with Margot Robbie in a strong supporting role, opened in 3,659 theaters, Tarantino’s widest release with the help of new distributor, Sony Pictures. It grossed $40.3 million with $5.8 million from Thursday previews and $16.7 million in its first full day (including those previews). That’s slightly lower than my Wednesday prediction, but it’s a great start for what should be Tarantino’s fourth movie to make over $100 million in North America. It surpassed the $38 million opening of Tarantino’s last summer release Inglourious Basterds, also starring Pitt, and its 86% Rotten Tomatoes score, mostly commending the cast and performances, might be a better gauge at its legs vs. its “B” CinemaScore. The fact that people are still talking about it means that repeat viewings might be neecessary.

Spider-Man: Far from Home held up well in its fourth weekend, down 42% to $12.2 million to take third place. It has grossed $344.4 million so far, which makes it the third highest-grossing movie in the franchise after Sam Raimi‘s first two movies. It grossed another $21 million overseas, bringing its global total over the one billion mark. This sounds crazy but that also makes it the FIRST Spider-Man movie to make over a billion mark globally, and gives Marvel Studios even more power when it comes to the next Spider-Man movie, which hasn’t been officially announced yet. It also gives Sony the only other billion dollar movie for the movie, as it’s a milestone that’s been dominated by Disney. (We’ll have to see if next week’s Fast and Furious Presents: Hobbs and Shaw continues that series’ success at the global box office.)

Disney’s other summer hit Toy Story 4 took fourth place with $9.9 million (down 36%), as it makes its way to $400 million with $395.6 million so far. It’s also close to a billion worldwide with $522 million grossed overseas and $917.9 million globally. That’s very close to becoming Disney’s fourth movie to make a billion worldwide, neck-and-neck with The Lion King for that honor.

One of the summer’s bigger surprises is Paramount’s gator thriller Crawl, which dropped to fourth place with $4 million, a minimal 34% drop, which is rather unheard of for a horror movie, especially in the summer. It just goes to show that audiences are liking it and choosing this over some of the bigger movies above. It has grossed $31.5 million in North America so far, already profitable based on its $13.5 million production budget.

Danny Boyle’s Yesterday also continues to do well as it took sixth place with $3 million and $63.3 million so far, having already passed the $59.7 million grossed by screenwriter Richard Curtis‘s popular holiday movie Love, Actually in 2003.

One of the few movies to avoid the problems faced by most movies during the early summer is Disney’s Aladdin, starring Will Smith, which has grossed $345 million domestically and crossed a billion worldwide, even though it wasn’t expected to be one of the bigger summer hits.

The only other movie in the top 10 to have a massive drop was Fox’s buddy comedy Stuber, starring Dave Bautista and Kumhail Nanjiani, which plunged 59% to eighth place with $1.7 million and about $20 million total. So yeah, it was not the breakout comedy hit that many (including me) expected.

Lulu Wang‘s drama The Farewell, starring Awkwafina, broke into the top 10 this weekend with $1.5 million for tenth place, averaging $11,500 in 135 theaters. On Friday, it will expand into somewhere between 500 and 1,500 theaters (or more), so we’ll see how well it does once the mostly Chinese language film gets out to mainstream America.

This Week’s Top 10: 

Rank Last Week Rank Movie Studio Weekend Gross % Change Total Gross
1 1 The Lion King Disney $75.5 million -61% $350.8 million
2 New Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood Sony $40.3 million N/A $40.3 million
3 2 Spider-Man: Far from Home Sony $12.2 million -42% $344.4 million
4 3 Toy Story 4 Disney $9.9 million -37% $395.6 million
5 4 Crawl Paramount $4 million -34% $31.4 million
6 5 Yesterday Universal $3 million -40% $63.3 million
7 7 Aladdin Disney $2.8  million -32% $345.9 million
8 6 Stuber 20th Century Fox $1.7 million -59% $20.1 million
9 8 Annabelle: Comes Home New Line/WB $1.6 million -40% $69.7 million
10 12 The Farewell A24 $1.5 million +36% $3.7 million

Last year, Tom Cruise‘s Mission: Impossible – Fallout topped the box office with $61.2 million, the biggest opening for that franchise, while Warners’ animated Teen Titans Go! only opened with $10.4 million. Even so, this weekend’s top 10 did about $10 million more with the powerhouse top duo and stronger movies in the top 5.

Check back Wednesday for The Beat‘s weekly Box Office Preview where I look at the box office prospects of Universal’s Fast and Furious Presents: Hobbs and Shaw, while The Farewell expands nationwide on Friday, too.


  1. Outstanding opening for a movie that isn’t a sequel, a remake, a reboot, or the start of an intended franchise. Gives me a bit of hope for cinema.

    Of course, not all talented directors can get the money and stars that Tarantino can get.

Comments are closed.