Friday Box Office Analysis
By Kim Hollis
June 1, 2019
As kings go, Godzilla isn't the greatest, while Elton John's biopic feels like a retread. Everyone knows Freddie Mercury is the only royalty people care about these days. (Note: Queen is #12 on the Billboard Top 100 Artists Chart. Elton John is #63.)
Godzilla: King of the Monsters will finish in first place for the weekend, but it's not going to approach the debut frame total for the "first" Godzilla movie back in 2014. Directed by Gareth Edwards and featuring Ken Watanabe and Sally Hawkins of the new film, Godzilla (2014) earned $38.4 million on its first Friday. This latest release earned just half that amount, with $19.6 million yesterday. That's also less than the second film in Warner Bros.' Monsterverse, King Kong: Skull Island earned on its opening Friday in March of 2017.
Once again, we seem to be in a place where audiences just aren't going to support a film if it doesn't have something special to offer. We've seen Godzilla before, and reviews for this one were little more than middling at best (40 percent fresh at Rotten Tomatoes). Audiences were a little more okay with it, giving it a B+ at Cinemascore, but it won't help much. Let's call it $50 million for the weekend.
Rocketman, the Elton John biopic is getting lots of love from critics (90 percent fresh at Rotten Tomatoes) and audiences like it, too (A- Cinemascore). By all accounts, Taron Egerton is spot-on perfect in the lead role. And yet, it feels like a Bohemian Rhapsody imitator even if it might be the superior film. Remember that Rhapsody was nominated for Best Picture, won Best Actor for Rami Malek, opened to $51.1 million and earned $216.4 million domestically ($900 million worldwide).
In a world where Bohemian Rhapsody never existed, Rocketman's $9.2 million would have seemed terrific. The production budget was just $40 million and almost all commentary around it is positive. An opening weekend at $25 million or so is perfectly fine. But will we remember it? Time will tell.
Our final new release is Blumhouse production Ma, a horror flick featuring Octavia Spencer. Like many Blumhouse films, it exceeded its production budget on opening day, as it earned $7.2 million versus the $5 million budget. It should finish with $18 million and count as yet another feather in Blumhouse's cap, which is pretty much a wing at this point.
Last weekend's champ, Aladdin, declined 62 percent from its debut Friday, though after outperforming expectations, no one is too upset about that. Look for around $45 million more this weekend for the Disney live-action flick.
In the "Avengers: Endgame" worldwide record watch, it's now just $90 million away from that amount. We'll continue monitoring this story, as it should grab the title though it's not certain.