Weekend Wrap-Up

by Tim Briody

March 24, 2019

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After a rough first two months of box office, March is looking up as another big release, this time without the Marvel/Disney name, arrives and passes all tests with flying colors.

A little over two years ago, Jordan Peele was best known as one of the guys from that Comedy Central sketch show, where you'd see YouTube clips of it linked on Facebook or Twitter or wherever. Turning that success into a film deal, the result was Get Out, a horror film he wrote and directed. Defying expectations of the genre, the film was a critical success, rating 98% Fresh at Rotten Tomatoes. It was also a runaway box office success, opening to $33.4 million (on just a $4.5 million budget, since it was a Blumhouse production, natch), and then dropping just 15% in its second weekend, something unheard of for the horror genre. It finished with $176 million, and also turned that success into four Oscar nominations, including Best Picture and Best Director for Peele, who took home Best Original Screenplay.

Most of you probably know all of the above already, but what all of that accomplished is setting crazy high expectations and anticipation for his followup, which arrived this weekend, called Us.

With an outstanding weekend of $70.2 million, Peele has avoided any sophomore slump in terms of both box office and quality, with Us rating 94% at Rotten Tomatoes (though nobody's expecting any Oscar nominations at this time, but we all said the same thing when Get Out was released; that one went from "cute, but will never happen" to "it might sneak in" to "complete lock" in a two month span later in 2017). Two films in, Peele may be established enough as an auteur to be the rare director to have his name actually mean something to the box office.

Peele was given a much bigger budget this time, $20 million, and it's already made back that in spades. Unless Us completely falls off a cliff next weekend, and there is no indication that it will (but I wouldn't expect a 15% decline like Get Out had, if it holds at least 50% it's still a big deal), Peele now has more than enough clout to do whatever he wants in the future, and if that happens to be more films like Get Out and Us, then he's going to establish himself as one of the all time great directors after just a handful of films.

Captain Marvel gets bumped to second place after two weekends at the top, but all is still good, it falls 48% to $35 million and has $321.4 million after three weekends. Also, it's approaching $1 billion worldwide and surpassed Wonder Woman's total this weekend. It's still on pace to be the fifth biggest Marvel film of all time, behind Black Panther and the Avengers movies. But Marvel has a problem!




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Wonder Park slides 43% to $9 million and $29.4 million in two weekends. This one somehow cost $80-100 million and has no shot at making that back, and it becomes the second tier family option next weekend so it's going to struggle to even get to $50 million.

Five Feet Apart has a solid hold to earn $8.7 million (down 34%) and give it $26.4 million in two weekends. Costing just $7 million, the teen romantic dramedy has found a little niche and looks to land with around $40 million, which is good enough.

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World gets one last weekend of relevance and adds $6.5 million (down 30%) to give it $145.7 million in five weekends. Still lagging behind both films at this same point in release even though it had the highest opening, it's headed to about $170 million, just behind the $177 million total of the second film.

A Madea Family Funeral (I've killed the Tyler Perry running joke, you're welcome) earns $4.5 million (down 43%) in its fourth weekend, and it has a solid $65.8 million to date. I have my doubts that this is the final send off for Perry's Madea character, given that they tend to be his most successful films. Around $80 million would be one of the best performances of his filmmaking career.

Gloria Bell is a surprise entry in this weekend's top ten, earning $1.8 million in 654 theaters to finish seventh. A "reimagining" of a Spanish film from 2013 called Gloria from the same writer/director, this stars Julianne Moore as a free spirited older woman (don't @ me) attempting to find love via the club scene. As one does. Gloria Bell earned critical acclaim, rating 94% Fresh on the strength of Moore's performance, and the targeted release capitalized on a weak lower third of the box office chart this weekend.

We wrap up our top ten this week with Spanish release No Manches Frida 2 getting a second weekend in the top ten despite a 54% drop to $1.7 million, giving it $6.6 million in two weekends. The LEGO Movie 2 adds $1.1 million and has $103.3 million in seven weekends, while Alita: Battle Angel earns $1 million in its sixth weekend to give it $83.7 million to date.

Powered by Us the top 12 films this weekend totaled $141.4 million, well ahead of last year's $111.9 million when Pacific Rim: Uprising dethroned Black Panther with $28.1 million.

Next weekend we get the latest live action update of a Disney classic; this time it's Dumbo.


Top Ten for Weekend of March 22-24, 2019
Rank
Film
Distributor
Estimated
Gross ($)
Weekly Change
Cumulative
Gross ($)
1 Us Universal 70.2 New 70.2
2 Captain Marvel Walt Disney 35.0 -48% 321.4
3 Wonder Park Paramount 9.0 -43% 29.4
4 Five Feet Apart Lionsgate 8.7 -34% 26.4
5 How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World Universal 6.5 -30% 145.7
6 Tyler Perry's A Madea Family Funeral Lionsgate 4.5 -43% 65.8
7 Gloria Bell A24 1.8 +394% 2.4
8 No Manches Frida 2 Lionsgate 1.7 -54% 6.6
9 The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part Warner Bros. 1.1 -48% 103.3
10 Alita: Battle Angel 20th Century Fox 1.0 -47% 83.7
Box office data supplied by Exhibitor Relations

     


 
 

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