Friday Box Office Analysis
By David Mumpower
April 20, 2019

Wait, we're in a Conjuring universe movie?

What’s the safest bet in Hollywood? Come on, you know the answer. When in doubt, always make horror movies. We learned this again yesterday at the box office when a film directed by someone you don’t know opened huge.

Yes, something called The Curse of La Llorona dominated the box office on Friday, earning a scintillating $11.8 million. This seems like a good time to mention that the published budget for the production is $9 million. And I’ll add that one of the producers of the project is James Wan, whose deal with the devil is apparently ironclad. Dude’s the Rumpelstiltskin of movie box office.

The Curse of La Llorona stars former Freaks and Greeks actress, Linda Cardinelli, who has done a marvelous job of staying on the outskirts of celebrity throughout her career. She’s had key roles in Scooby-Doo, Daddy’s Home, and Green Book, but this horror flick is her first triumph as a lead. She’s joined here by Patricia Velasquez, whom you may have forgotten, but who played a key role in The Mummy franchise. Also, Raymond Cruz of Breaking Bad fame is here.

You’re looking at these people and wondering how the film could have done so well, I know. The explanation is that The Curse of La Llorona is billed as the sixth film in The Conjuring Universe, something that at least doubled its box office. With shoddy reviews hurting its word-of-mouth and Easter Sunday damaging its weekend multiplier, the film is looking at a $26 million opening. In other words, it will almost triple its budget in three days. Have some pride, horror fans!

James Wan had nothing to do with the rest of the top ten, so it’s a deadly dull affair. The other new release is largely a historical footnote. Breakthrough is a faith-based film that earned $3.8 million on Friday and has amassed $7.3 million so far. It’s relevant because it’s the first “Fox” release that Disney gained in its acquisition of the movie studio. It should earn about $7.5 million this weekend, although this film could have the biggest halo effect from Easter post-church movie-goers.

After, the One Direction slash fiction thing that somehow became a movie, fell off the table with $1.07 million on Friday. It’s down 74% from last Friday and is done. It’s going to get about $2.6 million for the weekend and then we can go back to forgetting it ever existed. Little held pretty well, falling 47% to $2.89 million on Friday. It should get about $7.8 million this weekend. Relative to its $20 million budget, it’s done very well.

Finally, Hellboy is the debacle that everyone knew it would be. After Lionsgate inexplicably cut ties with Guillermo del Toro, he went on to create a little flick called The Shape of Water. All that thing did was win four Academy Awards including Best Picture. Meanwhile, Hellboy grossed a piddling $1.32 million yesterday, off 73 percent from last Friday. It has a running total of $17.1 million against a $50 million budget. This seems like a good time to mention that The Shape of Water grossed $189 million worldwide against a $20 million budget. Great call, Lionsgate!

Happy Easter, my friends! Thank you so much for your continued loyalty to BOP over the years!