The summer movie season goes out with a bang as the Fast and Furious franchise returns with a spinoff before the ninth (wait, really?) movie in the main franchise next year.
By Tim Briody
August 4, 2019
Okay, so it's not really the end of the summer movie season yet. That doesn't technically happen until the end of August. But we're just a couple days into the month and Hobbs & Shaw is the last sure thing that's hitting theaters until It Chapter 2, and that's not until after Labor Day.
Ironically, when I say sure thing, I actually mean worldwide and not domestically. A funny thing happened with the Fast & Furious franchise this decade (the original film is now old enough to vote, by the way), and it's kind of become a microcosm for box office in general: the worldwide totals have been huge, compared to the domestic earnings.
As 2011's Fast Five ramped up the ridiculousness of the franchise, the international earnings took off ($210 million domestic, $630.1 million worldwide). The franchise peaked with 2015's Furious 7, which as Paul Walker's sendoff, had the highest domestic total in the series by far ($353 million) and earned an incredible $1.5 billion worldwide. 2017's The Fate of the Furious gave back over $100 million domestically (earning $225.7 million), but still took in a cool billion in the rest of the world (for a total of $1.23 billion worldwide). If you want to know why they keep making these movies, that's why.
In a bit of a gamble, two popular supporting characters are spunoff into their own movie, as The Rock and Jason Statham get their own buddy comedy of sorts as Hobbs & Shaw.
Hobbs & Shaw (or properly, Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw) does win the weekend, but with a relatively modest $60.8 million, with perhaps some clever rounding by Universal to get it over the $60 million mark. Compared to the other films in the franchise, it beats the first three, which were released in what is essentially a different box office era, and that's it.
While far too soon to call it a disappointment, again we're witnessing another example of the sea change that has suddenly happened to box office in 2019: without a major hook or overwhelming need to see something right away, audiences are content with waiting for it to show up on digital. I feel like I write that nearly every week at this point, but it's really the best explanation.
Hobbs & Shaw carried a price tag of $200 million, a number that there's no hope of reaching domestically, but after just one weekend the international earnings have it nearly at that mark already, as it's got $180 million worldwide. I don't think it's gonna hit a billion, but the overseas earnings should prop things up just enough that Universal walks away happy.
The Lion King slides to second in its third weekend with $38.2 million (down 50%) and has $430.8 million to date. With this weekend, it passes Captain Marvel and Toy Story 4 to become the #2 film of 2019. The Lion King has also passed the total gross of the 1994 original, which earned $421.7 million, an absolutely colossal figure for the day. (Though that's in three separate releases, $312.8 million in its original run, $15.6 million from a 2002 IMAX release and $94.2 million from a 3D release in 2011.) That would adjust to just over $800 million in today's dollars, which is not going to happen here, but Disney will just have to be satisfied with over $500 million domestically and another billion from the rest of the world. Pity them.
Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time...in Hollywood drops 51% to $20 million and has $78.8 million in two weekends. Despite the best opening weekend of his career, it doesn't look like it's going to top his biggest film, the $162.8 million earned by Django Unchained in 2012. The $120.7 million of Inglourious Basterds is the absolute top end right now, and OUATIH needs a better hold next weekend to even get that far.
Spider-Man: Far From Home adds $7.7 million in its fifth weekend (down 38%) and has $360.3 million to date. The MCU can do no wrong, as it's topped Homecoming and both Amazing Spider-Man films, which at this point I'm pretty sure Sony is disavowing knowledge of. Far From Home is just $13 million away from becoming the second highest grossing Spider-Man film (topping the $373.5 million of 2004's Spider-Man 2), and will make a run at Spider-Man's $403.7 million, but right now looks to come up just a little short.
Toy Story 4 moved passed the $400 million mark midweek, adding $7.1 million this weekend (down just 32%) and has $410 million in seven weekends. While Disney's The Lion King leapfrogged it to take over second place among 2019 films at the box office, Toy Story 4 is just $16 million behind Disney's Captain Marvel for third place. Nobody's catching Disney's Avengers: Endgame for #1 overall anytime soon, and the only film that might have a chance is Disney's Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.
Disney's pretty good at this, is what I'm saying.
Yesterday continues to hold well, dipping 21% to $2.4 million and has $67.9 million after six weekends. It's been decently leggy after a $17 million opening.
After coming in tenth last weekend, The Farewell expands to 409 theaters and takes seventh place with $2.4 million. The Awkwafina-led dramedy is 99% Fresh at Rotten Tomatoes and A24 has been slowly expanding the film that only cost $3 million to make. It's got $6.8 million after four weekends in theaters.
Crawl earns $2.1 million in its fourth weekend and has $36 million to date, not bad on a $13.5 million budget.
Aladdin's ridiculous run is finally coming to an end as it earns $2 million in its 11th weekend, giving it a tidy $350.3 million.
Finally, reduced to under 1,000 theaters, Annabelle Comes Home adds $875,000 and has $71.5 million in six weekends, still short of the $84.2 million earned by the first film, and not close to the $102 million of Annabelle: Creation.
The top 12 films this weekend earned $145.1 million. That's ahead of last year's $126.5 million when the second weekend of Mission: Impossible - Fallout led with $35.2 million and the top new release was Christopher Robin with $24.5 million.
Next weekend, with all the blockbusters out of the way, Hollywood empties the junk drawer as we have five new wide releases headed to theaters. Leading the way is Dora and the Lost City of Gold, a live action adaptation of kiddie show Dora the Explorer. Also hitting theaters are female crime thriller The Kitchen, biopic Brian Banks, pet dog drama The Art of Racing in the Rain, and Scary Stories to Tell In the Dark, which is exactly what it says on the tin. Everything must go!