February 1, 2019. The day that studios stopped trying.
Friday Box Office Analysis
By Kim Hollis
February 2, 2019
With the Super Bowl looming, only one distributor figured it was worthwhile to release a new movie into more than 2,000 studios, and even they weren't too emphatic about it. What does that mean? We're going to wind up with the weakest weekend of box office in about a year and a half, worse even than when The Void hit in early December. Meanwhile, a few new releases hit Netflix. It certainly feels like we're starting to see a major shift in movie consumption. We may be looking at event films (and I would include movies like The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part and How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World in that category) as the primary driver for business in theaters moving forward. Why bother with the smaller releases when you can watch them on demand two to three months later? Or get equally good product from the Netflix or Amazon catalog?
Anyway, Miss Bala is that lone new release, a Sony product. They were super proud of the fact that the cast was more than 90 percent Latinx, but alas, they forgot to make a movie that was any good. Once again, potential viewers can watch similar stories in a number of places, including the Netflix series Narcos. It's terrific that Sony went with a female lead and female director (though I suppose "director of Twilight should have been a warning sign on its own), but tragic that Miss Bala is likely to end up on a lot of people's "Worst Movie of 2019" lists. Obviously, the studio gave it very little support, and it earned just $2.8 million, effectively tied for first place yesterday with Glass. That won't hold up over the rest of the weekend, though. Miss Bala should earn just $7 million total.
That leaves the door open for Glass to win a third weekend, unless The Upside has some sort of surprising hold on Saturday. Sunday is pretty much a lost cause for all of our movies. With $2.8 million yesterday, I'll predict around about $8.4 million for Glass. The Upside looks like it's going to come in with a weekend total of $7.8 million after its $2.5 million Friday.
Peter Jackson's documentary They Shall Not Grow Old has received glowing reviews, and it expanded to 735 venues this weekend. It earned $880,000 yesterday and could finish with $2 million on the weekend. That will put it over the $10 million mark, and I expect it will continue to gain a lot of attention over time. It's nice to see the story of these World War I soldiers told.