There’s just one wide release this weekend and while it does well, an expansion and a smaller release also break into the top ten, giving us a modicum of excitement as we await for Pixar to provide some fireworks next week.
By Tim Briody
March 1, 2020
No, there hasn’t been a horror entry released every week so far in 2020, but that’s not all that far off from the truth. Most have been of the cheap, disposable kind that spent a week or two in the top ten and then vanished quickly (how briefly we knew thee, The Grudge). But this time we’ve got one that, while also made on the cheap, earned strong reviews and appears to actually have some staying power.
With $29 million, The Invisible Man wins the weekend handily. In a year so far largely devoid of quality, audiences were ready for the modern adaptation of the H.G. Wells story (last seen in theaters with the Kevin Bacon adaptation Hollow Man from 2000) given the Blumhouse treatment, starring Elisabeth Moss and directed by Leigh Wannell (writer of the first three Saw films and the Insidious series and who previously directed 2018’s Upgrade). Critics rated it 90% Fresh at Rotten Tomatoes, making it the top new wide release of 2020.
Oh, and since it was Blumhouse, it cost a mere $7 million to make, a figure it had made back Friday night. I think Jason Blum should bottle whatever magic he works to keep the budgets down on the films he produces while still releasing quality. With a strong start, The Invisible Man should hang around for the next few weeks and is going to turn out to be a huge win for Universal given the minuscule cost.
Sonic the Hedgehog moves to second with a third weekend of $16 million and $128.2 million to date. It’s not far from the total of last year’s Detective Pikachu ($144 million) to make it the biggest video game adaptation of all time, which is still a bafflingly low bar.
The Call of the Wild with Harrison Ford drops 47% from opening weekend to take $13.2 million for the weekend and $45.8 million after ten days. That’s not a terrible performance, but given the huge price tag (reportedly $125 to $150 million), the former 20th Century Fox studio is not going to be happy with the final total here, which is looking to be around $75-$80 million domestic right now.
The first big surprise of the weekend is anime My Hero Academia: Heroes: Rising landing in fourth place with $5 million for the weekend in 1,275 theaters. Good job, weebs. A popular anime series based off a Japanese manga gets a theatrical treatment and capitalizes on a weak box office. This maybe isn’t that surprising as Funimation (who bought the domestic distribution rights and released both subtitled and dubbed versions) was also behind Dragon Ball Super: Broly, which crashed the top ten for a week in January of 2019 with a $9.8 million weekend.
Bad Boys For Life is almost there, earning $4.3 million for the weekend and giving it $197.3 million after seven weekends in theaters. By next weekend we should be talking about 2020’s first $200 million film, which is still a ridiculously impressive feat.
Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey continues to struggle, dipping another 40% to $4.1 million and giving it $78.7 million in four weekends. There’s just not enough gas left in the tank to get it to $100 million domestically, and even worldwide it’s yet to crack $200 million. The DC Extended Universe is suddenly reeling from this setback, as this was definitely not the plan here.
Our other weekend surprise places seventh as after just missing the top ten last weekend, Impractical Jokers: The Movie expands to 1,900 theaters and is rewarded with a $3.5 million weekend. Essentially an extended version of the show that’s constantly in reruns on truTV, the show does have a fairly loyal fanbase, and just enough came out for the film version.
Wrapping it up with a mini lightning round: 1917 adds $2.6 million to bring it to $155 million after eight weekends in wide release, while the other horror films round things out as Brahms: The Boy II drops 55% to $2.6 million and $9.7 million after ten days, while Fantasy Island (also from Blumhouse) earns $2.3 million and has $24 million in three weekends on a mere $7 million budget.
The top 12 films this weekend earned $86.4 million, not close to last year’s $98.4 million when How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World led for a second weekend with $30 million while Tyler Perry’s A Madea Family Funeral opened with $27 million.
Next weekend brings Pixar’s latest, and first original idea in three years, with Onward, while Ben Affleck also returns with the sports drama The Way Back.