Friday Box Office Analysis
By Kim Hollis
January 5, 2019
It's the first weekend after the holiday box office bonanza, and while sometimes studios will release a heavy hitting wide release or expand on some awards contenders, this year we have just one single horror film. Audiences have liked it well enough, and there's also plenty of room for the holiday holdovers to keep right on making money.
Obviously, Aquaman continues to be the story of the season. Now the biggest worldwide earner ever for the DC Extended Universe, it added yet another $9.3 million to its domestic tally yesterday. That's a decline of 45 percent from last week, which is pretty darned good considering that lots of people were still off during that time frame. Another $33.8 million this weekend will make Warner Bros. very happy indeed. Also, is it fair to say that Khal Drogo is a star now? I'll even call him Jason Momoa.
Yesterday's second place film was Escape Room, the new horror release from Sony. They'll be more than pleased with $7.7 million on Friday (which includes $2.3 million from its Thursday previews). Given its tiny $9 million budget, it will be profitable by the end of the weekend. I believe the studio will estimate the weekend right at $20 million, and though the film's lifespan will be short since there are new options in the offing next week, its final total will be acceptable to good.
Mary Poppins Returns had one of the larger declines for the weekend, though it was also really the biggest beneficiary of people having time out of the office and school. With $5.1 million yesterday, it should challenge Escape Room for second place. I think it will fall a touch short with about $18 million, but don't be surprised if Saturday/Sunday push it over the $20 million mark.
The delightful Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse continues to roll along and holds pretty well, actually. Its 37 percent Friday-to-Friday decline meant $4.1 million yesterday, and I think we can count on a weekend total of $14 million. The animated picture currently sits with $125 million and should keep rolling along for a bit, especially as it's starting to look like the favorite for Best Animated Picture at the Academy Awards.
While Bumblebee will reach $100 million thanks to the holiday add-on money, it's still got to be a little disappointing that a film reviewed so well and with a female protagonist can't capitalize better on the holiday season. Its $3.9 million yesterday amounts to a drop of about 42 percent, and the weekend total should come in around $13.5 million.
The Mule has one of the best holds of all the December films as it falls just 28 percent from last Friday. Clint Eastwood's people are a loyal set. Its $2.9 million yesterday should translate to a three-day total around $9 million.
Also hanging in nicely is Vice, the awards contender that seems to be alienating for audiences. A $1.8 million Friday equals a decline of 34 percent from the previous week, and the weekend total should be right at $5.5 million.
That holiday release that no one will remember later, Second Act earned $1.6 million and fell 36 percent. $5.2 million is just fine this weekend, considering that if it had a wide release any time throughout the remainder of the year, that's probably about the best it should hope for. It's completely innocuous and there is no good reason why it should be earning more than $30 million, but it is.
Finally, Holmes and Watson manages to hang around even though I'm not sure who could possibly be paying money to see it at this point. Its $1.1 million yesterday represents a drop of 60 percent, and the weekend should be right around $3.7 million. Considering that the studio tried to sell this to Netflix (and Netflix declined), the fact that it will at least come close to matching its budget has to be considered a win.