After last weekend's mixed bag of new releases, we got another slate of five wide releases, which is some crazy kind of whiplash after weekeend after weekeend of just one major tentpole.
by Tim Briody
August 18, 2019
Lest you think the upper echelons of the weekly box office chart are reserved exclusively for superhero movies and franchise films, we have the first original IP to win a weekend since The Curse of La Llorona back in April (or Us, back in March, if you think the former's connection to The Conjuring Universe disqualifies it as an original idea).
Even more surprising at an original idea topping the box office is that it was a comedy that did it, as the hard R-rated Good Boys wins the weekend with $21 million. Produced by Seth Rogen and Jonah Hill, Good Boys evokes memories of 2007's (wait, really? Sigh, yup.) Superbad (which Rogen co-wrote and Hill co-starred), and sort of takes the concept a few years younger.
Earning surprisingly decent reviews (80% Fresh) as there was still some heart to go along with the raunch, Good Boys matched its budget with this opening weekend, so it's going to be a good late summer surprise for Universal.
Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw slides to second place with $14.1 million (down 44%) and $133.7 million after three weekends. It's funny because the domestic total isn't what matters here at all, as it's been the overseas earnings that have turned the Fast & Furious franchise into a behemoth. Add in $300 million in international gross to what Hobbs & Shaw has taken in here, and the total is a lot more respectable, if not close at the level of the last couple F&F movies. The $200 million budget means this isn't going to be as profitable as Universal had hoped, but the spinoff always sacrifices some amount of box office, and if next year's Fast & Furious 9 matches the takes of 7 & 8, I bet they give The Rock and Jason Statham another go.
The Lion King holds in third with another $11.9 million and putting it on the cusp of $500 million with $496.1 million after five weekends. Firmly in second place among 2019 films, it will cross that threshold midweek, and $550 million is definitely a solid landing point, with the only threat to that total December's Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.
We get our second opener in fourth place as The Angry Birds Movie 2 comes in with $10.5 million for the weekend and $16.2 million in six days after a Tuesday opening for some reason. The sequel to the first smartphone app to be adapted to a movie, the first Angry Birds Movie was a big success, coming in 2016 and opening with $38.1 million and earning $107.5 million total. A sequel was inevitable with that box office, but it took over three years to hit theaters.
The Angry Birds sequel earned much better reviews (76% Fresh) than the first one (44%) but suffered at the box office big time, perhaps due to the middling reception of the first one, and also being tossed into theaters at the end of the summer instead of a much more prime pre-Memorial Day release in 2016. With The Lion King still being a top choice, it's going to be an uphill battle for Angry Birds 2 to match even the opening weekend of the original.
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark slides 52% to $10 million. It's got $40.2 million in two weekends. After a surprising opening weekend, that's a respectable decline for the horror entry, even if it's targeted at a younger set. It's headed to more than double its reported $25-28 million budget, which makes it a solid win for Lionsgate and CBS Films.
Another sequel new release lands in sixth as 47 Meters Down: Uncaged opens with $9 million. A sequel to 2017's 47 Meters Down (shame on whomever chickened out from calling it 48 Meters Down), the first one opened to $11.2 million and earned $44.3 million on just a $5 million budget. This one upped the price tag to $12 million but came in with a lower opening. Hey, I don't blame them for trying again, but this is not going to be as lucrative as the first one. Who knew Mandy Moore was good for box office?
Dora and the Lost City of Gold slips 51% (bad kids movie, bad!) to $8.5 million and $33.9 million in two weekends. It's got a major uphill battle to match the reported $49 million production budget, and at this point $50 million seems like a final destination. This was just several years too late for it to really launch as a live action franchise.
Once Upon a Time...in Hollywood earns $7.6 million in its fourth weekend and has $114.3 million to date. By next weekend it'll cross Inglourious Basterds as Quentin Tarantino's second biggest film of his career. The wildly divisive film among Tarantino fans has done pretty well, but that $90 million budget is a bit of a yikes. It'll do well once it hits the streaming sites, though.
Ninth goes to our fourth new release, Blinded by the Light. Earning $4.4 million, it's the story of a British-Pakistani teenager who discovers a love of the music of Bruce Springsteen. Not quite as fantastical as Yesterday, but sharing a couple things in common, it was the best reviewed film of the weekend (90% Fresh). Blinded by the Light had a $15 million budget, but won't get that back domestically. I'd expect it to be a lot more popular on video than it will be in theaters.
The Art of Racing in the Rain wraps us up this week as the dog drama with the ridiculous title earns $4.4 million (down 46%) in its second weekend and has $16.8 million to date.
The top 12 films this weekend earned $107.7 million, just behind last year's $116.2 million when Crazy Rich Asians opened to $26.5 million.
We get one last weekend of the studios cleaning out their closets at the end of the summer as it's three more wide releases. Leading is Angel Has Fallen, an inexplicable third sequel in the Olympus Has Fallen franchise starring Gerard Butler, plus black comedy thriller Ready or Not, and faith-based entry Overcomer.
Much like last weekend, a fifth wide release, in this case Where'd You Go Bernadette, misses the top ten with $3.4 million for the weekend.