Friday Box Office Analysis

By Kim Hollis

March 30, 2019

Look at the baby.

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So, remember how we said Disney and Blumhouse would be the two success stories of 2019? Not so fast, I guess. Blumhouse is now 1-1 and Disney will have the same record now that Dumbo has made its way into theaters.

Granted, Blumhouse's Happy Death Day 2U is much better in scale, since it's at least going to make its budget back and find lots of life on home video. Dumbo, on the other hand is budgeted at about $170 million, so it was going to need a lot of success for Disney to make its money back. With a $15.3 million Friday, Dumbo would have to REALLY hope for a big Saturday in order to cross the $50 million threshold. I don't think it's going to get there. $45 million sounds about right.

What went wrong here? I think there's a few issues at hand. First and foremost is that even though the animated film is a truly beloved animated classic, it doesn't have the same kind of interest or cachet as a remake of a princess movie like Cinderella or Beauty and the Beast (or the upcoming Lion King, one of the biggest animated triumphs in history). Dumbo is adorable, but with a 1941 release, so much time has passed that other films have been able to surpass it in the public's fondness.


Then there's the matter of Tim Burton. When he's good, his films soar. When he's weird, he's... well, weird. And from reviews and commentary on the film, that's exactly the situation we have here. While it seems like a circus setting would be the perfect avenue for his style and quirkiness, instead, he's just created something off-putting. It's only 50 percent fresh at Rotten Tomatoes, though an A- Cinemascore still might help (that's low for a Disney film, though). Alas, I think this one goes down on the list of not-so-great ideas. Disney might want to rethink some of their live-action updates, depending on the property. They probably also want to consider taking a break from Burton, whose last consensus "good" movie was Frankenweenie, which no one saw. (I liked Big Eyes, but no one saw it, either.)

Us fell 65 percent, which honestly makes sense given that a LOT of people who probably saw Get Out over the course of its release likely rushed out for opening weekend. I think it'll straighten out some over the remainder of the weekend, giving it about $35 million for weekend two. Nothing wrong with that, and Jordan Peele's next project, Twilight Zone, is already getting some stellar reviews.

It's been a while since I first heard about the Jimmy Buffett Matthew McConaughey film The Beach Bum, directed by Harmony Korine, who definitely likes to color outside the lines. No one wanted to see this one, which earned just $650,000 yesterday and will probably finish up with $1.9 million for the three-day portion of the weekend.



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