Friday Box Office Analysis
By Kim Hollis
August 3, 2019
Imagine, if you will, that a demigod named Maui was forced to join forces with a rough-cut, small-time criminal type named Bacon. The two of them must subvert the plans of a super-villain named Shere Khan. Dean Hardscrabble of Monsters University also has a cameo.
Maybe if this had been the Disney-fied version of Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (aka Maui & Bacon), we'd be talking about the awesomeness of the box office of the latest movie in the Fast & Furious franchise. Alas, Disney is not involved in this project, so here we are, forced to eventually talk about the great international box office numbers in an effort to make the latest disappointing 2019 release seem better.
Despite the fact that the Fast & Furious franchise has generally been a top-notch box office draw, reaching its pinnacle with Furious 7, a film that likely had inflated numbers due to the loss of Paul Walker in a tragic accident. All of the films other than Tokyo Drift have opened in excess of $40 million - and I should point out that the $40 million was a huge, whopping, unexpected success when the very first film was released all the way back in 2001.
It's mostly been uphill from there, with a few exceptions. 2 Fast 2 Furious opened better but made less money than the first film (mainly because it was truly terrible). Tokyo Drift was obviously a bit of an anomaly that tried to spin off with new characters and new locations without a lot of success. But then came Fast & Furious, with the series getting ever more ridiculous (but also fun), reaching out to international audiences as much as to domestic.
That's why Hobbs & Shaw is going down as a disappointment with what's likely to be about a $61 million debut. It's going to be the lowest for the franchise since they moved to the Fast & Furious model in 2009, and far from the near-$100 million or $100 million plus openings of the last three films. Yes, this one is a spin-off; however, it does star Dwayne Johnson, who is one of the biggest stars in the world, along with Jason Statham, who is also beloved if on a smaller level.
Anyway, Hobbs & Shaw had a production budget exceeding $200 million, and international numbers will probably drive this project to profitability overall, but Universal is probably still licking their wounds nonetheless. This one looked like a bigger win on paper, I'm sure. The A- Cinemascore probably helps to some degree, as well as a dearth of interesting releases in the coming weeks (though I wouldn't sleep on Good Boys or Ready or Not). It doesn't start the month off on the best note, though. We'll mostly be waiting for IT 2 at the beginning of September.
The Lion King crossed the $400 million mark yesterday as it earned $11.1 million, down 50 percent from last Friday. That's probably a bigger drop than Disney might like to see; however, $400 million is plenty fantastic and it's still going. Look for around $46 million for the weekend.
Last weekend's major new release, Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood fell 66 percent to $5.7 million, which is no surprise given the tendency of Tarantino fans to rush out and see his films early on. $18.5 million sounds about right for the weekend.
In other news, Spider-Man: Far from Home crossed the $350 million mark during the week, while Toy Story 4 got to $400 million domestically. Aladdin is just a couple million from $350 million and should be there either this weekend or sometime mid-week. Disney loves you and thanks you for your generous support.