Leave it to Marvel to once again save the summer.
By Tim Briody
July 7, 2019
The Summer of the Unnecessary Sequel is really dragging things down after the ridiculous high that was Avengers: Endgame just a couple months ago. Outside of one big surprise, it's been a pretty disappointing few weeks as we once again visit the recurring theme that is 2019 and which the theater companies don't want to hear: without a really compelling reason to see something in the theater, audiences are going to wait. Fortunately, they had a good reason to go to the movies over this holiday weekend.
Spider-Man: Far From Home arrived this week, opening on Tuesday to take advantage of the long-ish weekend, with Independence Day (your author's birthday, by the way) falling on Thursday.
In its first six days, Far From Home has earned a solid $185 million, with $93.6 million coming on the weekend proper. The extended release did hurt the weekend total, but the reception of 2017's Spider-Man: Homecoming and Far From Home being the first film to follow up on the events of Avengers: Endgame were massively in its favor. Reviews were excellent (91% Fresh), as nobody else seems to be able to figure out the formula for printing money like Marvel and the MCU.
Homecoming opened to $117 million on essentially the same weekend two years ago, but post-holiday as it fell on a Tuesday that year. A Thursday 4th of July is kind of the best case scenario for the day, as it sort of creates an extended weekend situation. The last time this happened was in 2013, when Despicable Me 2 opened on that Wednesday and took in $143 million in its first five days on its way to become the most successful film in the franchise.
Though Spider-Man is the one IP not under the Disney umbrella, the Marvel brand is still the easiest bet in Hollywood right now, and after the mediocre Amazing Spider-Man films, rebooting again and connecting it to that universe was the magic touch for Sony. With the extended opening, Far From Home is of course ahead of Homecoming after six days in theaters ($185 million to $154.1 million), and it should improve slightly on Homecoming's $334 million total, perhaps getting to the $350 million mark, but next weekend will provide a clearer picture.
Toy Story 4 earns $34.3 million for the weekend, but crosses the $300 million mark thanks to strong weekdays, as it has $306.5 million in just three weekends. Anyone concerned about "only" opening to $120.9 million shouldn't worry anymore, but I think it's finally time for Pixar to let this one go.
Yesterday shows some okay legs, dipping just 37% from opening weekend to $10.7 million, giving the fantasy comedy $36.8 million to date. That tops the reported $26 million budget (Beatles songs aren't cheap to license, it seems), and it's likely getting to at least $60 million domestically, which Universal should be very happy with.
Annabelle Comes Home drops 52% in its second weekend to $9.7 million and has $50.1 million to date. The first real crack in the Conjuring franchise, it's going to fall well short of Annabelle: Creation's $102 million, and may not quite make it to the 2014 original's $84.2 million. It's ahead of budget, of course, but might be the first one in the series to be considered a disappointment.
Aladdin, the one true big winner of the summer (non-Marvel division) so far, continues to hold on, earning $7.6 million this weekend (down just 25%) and has $320.7 million in seven weekends. It's got another weekend of relevancy before The Lion King hopes to duplicate the success in two weekends.
The weekend's other opener lands in sixth place as Midsommar earns $6.5 million for the weekend, and $10.9 million in five days. A horror film from the director of Hereditary (which earned $44 million on a $10 million budget last year), this one also had decent reviews (81% Fresh) and a creepy trailer but couldn't match the $13.5 million debut of Hereditary. The budget was about the same, so anything else it earns is found money for A24, but it's going to fall real hard next weekend.
The Secret Life of Pets 2 earns $4.7 million for the weekend and has $140.7 million in five weekends. It's still going to finish with less than half (HALF!) of $368.3 million the first one.
Men in Black International earns $3.6 million in its fourth weekend and has earned $71.9 million to date. If this was planning to reboot the franchise, that idea ended as soon as the opening weekend figures came in.
After last weekend's rer-elease, Disney was hoping that some viewers would go see Avengers: Endgame again in order to pregame Spider-Man: Far From Home, as it gets closer and closer to Avatar's worldwide total, but it doesn't quite get there this weekend as Endgame earns $3.1 million (down 49%) and has $847.8 million in 11 weekends. Per our friends at ERC, it's got $2.772 billion worldwide, which is just $15 million behind Avatar. Disney might have to give it one last push.
John Wick: Chapter 3 holds onto the top ten for one more weekend, earning $2.2 million in its eighth weekend. The franchise that saved Keanu Reeves' career has $165.2 million to date, as the franchise that put him on the map begins filming a long-rumored third film.
Your top 12 films for the holiday weekend earned $178.5, about even with last year's $179.3 million when Ant-Man and the Wasp won the weekend with $75.8 million.
Next weekend sees buddy comedy Stuber and extreme weather thriller Crawl hit theaters.