Friday Box Office Analysis
By Kim Hollis
May 11, 2019
Do you like adorable, fuzzy creatures? Do you enjoy mysteries? And do you like Ryan Reynolds? Well, you are the EXACT target audience for Detective Pikachu, along with a couple million of your closest friends.
I admit that I found this seemingly subversive take on the Pokemon franchise intriguing, and it seems I wasn't alone. Detective Pikachu, from Warner Bros. and featuring the voice talent of Reynolds along with appearances from such luminaries as Bill Nighy, Ken Watanabe, and Mr. Mime, earned $20.7 million on Friday. This number does include $5.7 million from its Thursday night previews. Therefore, its "true" Friday total was $15 million. The good news for the film is that it's solidly targeted at kids, so it might hold up some over the weekend. The bad news is that previous Pokemon type films have been super frontloaded to Friday. I think we're looking at an estimate right at $50 million for Friday, which considering that this movie is actually pretty bonkers to begin with, is perfectly fine.
We do have a few other new releases to discuss, even if their impact was minimal. The best of them was The Hustle, a gender swapping remake of the classic comedy Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (which itself was a remake of the 1964 Marlon Brando/David Niven film Bedtime Story) earned $4 million, which is a pretty okay testament to the fact that Anne Hathaway and Rebel Wilson were an interesting combination. This might be the choice for Mother's Day, so I'm going to predict $12 million.
Clearly not the choice for Mother's Day is Poms, a movie about... senior citizens who form a cheerleading squad for some reason? Like, I don't even understand the point of this. Everyone involved did bad and should feel bad, including Diane Keaton, Jacki Weaver, and Rhea Perlman. It earned $1.5 million and I guess it might hit $4.5 million if the retirement crowd gives it a shot. I hope they don't, though.
Finally, I have read J.R.R. Tolkien's books multiple times and yet I still have no desire whatsoever to see the movie based on his life and times. Neither did anyone else, because it earned only $825,000 yesterday. The ads for this one smacked of a lot of desperation, and it shows in the results. It was pretty apparent that it was intended as awards bait, but a mid-May release date pretty much dispels any notion that the studio would push it with that intent. $2.4 million is about the best it can hope for, which is going to hurt considering the $20 million budget.
Let's go to the saga of Avengers: Endgame, as it continues its quest to be the #1 film both domestically and worldwide. The latter is all but assured, as it currently sits in the second spot after just two weeks and a day. It's "only" $444 million behind Avatar for that top spot. I see no reason to believe it won't overtake the James Cameron film within the next couple of weeks or sooner.
With regard to that domestic total, it's got to content with Star Wars: The Force Awakens and its $937 million record. After Friday, Endgame sits in the fifth spot all-time (behind The Force Awakens, Avatar, Black Panther, and Infinity War), and it will be #3 by the end of the weekend. I think it's going to be awfully close to beating The Force Awakens, but a lot will depend on weekdays and depreciation next weekend against big competition in John Wick Chapter 3. Yesterday's $16.1 million should lead to about $66 million for the weekend.