Friday Box Office Analysis
By Kim Hollis
February 16, 2019
Happy Valentine's weekend! Most of you seem to have celebrated by not even thinking about watching a movie in theaters. We're just singing the same tune weekend after weekend. People aren't going to movies. I hope that changes with How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, as it's absolutely delightful, but I truly do wonder if the hits will be limited to superhero films, Toy Story 4, and Star Wars at this point.
In the past, Presidents' Day has been a stellar weekend to release a movie. Kids have the Monday off, and with the Super Bowl and the NFL behind us, everyone has a little more time on their hands for entertainment. Last year, Black Panther opened to a mighty $202 million on this weekend. In 2019, all films combined aren't going to approach that total.
Our winner for the weekend, if you can call it that, is Alita: Battle Angel. A pet project of James Cameron's for many, many years, I think we all saw the reason that perhaps he struggled to conceptualize it and bring it into being. Rather than direct it himself, he stayed on as producer and let Robert Rodriguez take the reins. With an off-putting main character and a lack of real clarity on what the movie was offering, audiences just didn't bite.
Yesterday, Alita: Battle Angel earned $7.5 million. It actually debuted on Valentine's Day Thursday, when it made $8.7 million. Since this film was budgeted at $170 million, Fox isn't going to be super happy with a $20 million three-day weekend and possibly a $25 million holiday total. The good news for them is that it's tracking well for its overseas release next weekend. But still.
I guess they'll be happy enough that they got the win, which is more than can be said for weekend two of The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part. It earned $4.5 million yesterday, a 47 percent decline from the previous Friday. Obviously, it's going to play a lot better over the remainder of the weekend as families get out to see it, but Warner Bros. can't be pleased with a second weekend frame of $18 million.
Isn't It Romantic will probably be slightly less of a miss for them, although it's not really anything to brag about, either. After $1.8 million on Wednesday and $4.4 million on Valentine's Day, the Rebel Wilson comedy took in $4.2 million yesterday. We'll call it a three-day total right around $12 million. Since the budget was probably pretty reasonable (they did cast the non-Thor Hemsworth brother, after all), the WB won't be hurting too badly here.
Remember when I mentioned that you want to be either Disney or Blumhouse in my Friday update last weekend? Well, about that... Happy Death Day 2U, a follow up to the production company's wildly successful 2017 horror film that earned $26 million over opening weekend and $55.7 million overall, won't even approach those totals. It started on Wednesday with a grim total of $980,000. It ticked up on Valentine's Day with $2.7 million, and yesterday's box office came in at $2.8 million. I think its three-day weekend total will be about $8 million, which isn't catastrophic since the budget was just $9 million and it will have cleared that number already. However, Universal had to be thinking it would be bigger than that.
I'm hoping to have a lot more fun with next weekend's update, because I'm emotionally invested in How to Train Your Dragons' success. Toothless is everything.