Friday Box Office Analysis
By Kim Hollis
August 10, 2019
It's yet another Saturday in North America, and since Disney didn't have a new release this weekend, there's just not much to talk about with regards to box office. Considering that studios had five titles that debuted yesterday, that's a big yikes, though it's certainly an expected result.
I'm not sure what movie you were expecting to see in the top spot for Friday. A repeat of Hobbs & Shaw? Maybe a shocking breakout from Dora the Explorer? No?
If no was your answer, you win! Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, based on a series of children's books by Alvin Schwartz and produced by Guillermo del Toro, finished in first place for Friday and should lead all of the brand new releases for the weekend overall. With $8.8 million yesterday, this $28 million budgeted film should come in with a three-day total of $23 million. Lionsgate will be perfectly happy with that type of performance, which is a good reminder that kids actually like to be scared - provided it's in the right way. Critics have enjoyed the film, though the C Cinemascore is cause for long-term concern.
Second place, then, goes to Hobbs & Shaw, which experienced a massive 70 percent decline from last Friday. Since it underperformed expectations here in North America, the huge drop is pretty bad news for Universal on the domestic front. It's going to be pretty close between this Fast & Furious spinoff and Scary Stories for first place, but I think Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham will just eke out the win with $25 million.
Dora and the Lost City of Gold, a movie about the sorta kinda grown up version of Dora the Explorer but she's a teenager I guess?, earned $6.5 million yesterday. This one didn't have a huge budget or big name cast (though Isabela Moner is a winning up-and-comer), so I think Paramount will be generally okay with results here, though probably not ecstatic. The film does have great reviews at Rotten Tomatoes (82 percent fresh) and has an A Cinemascore, so it might prove to be the family choice in these last few weeks before school starts (assuming it hasn't started in your area already - kids were back last week in my area). $18.2 million seems about right here.
I've gotten to the point where I thoroughly despise movies like The Art of Dancing in the Rain, as I hate hate hate films that manipulate emotion through traumatic, melodramatic, or heartwarming experiences with pets/animals. It's such a trite method of storytelling that any story that includes an animal automatically sends up my spidey senses to the point that I always check the site DoesTheDogDie if I get a even a sniff of the possibility. It's not that I'm oversensitive or easily triggered, but I legitimately get offended by people who use this plot device. And it's not like we haven't had three or more movies that are exactly the same this year.
Anyway, I'll quit ranting long enough to tell you that the Milo Ventimiglia film earned $3 million yesterday and might come in with $9 million for the weekend if it's lucky. I hope it's not, though. I felt angry when I saw the trailer for this one and I'm annoyed that it exists at all.
Seems like The Kitchen, a female-centric heist film featuring Melissa McCarthy, Tiffany Haddish, and Elisabeth Moss, should be a movie to anticipate, right? No. It's only 21 percent fresh at Rotten Tomatoes, and it seems all but certain that Warner Bros. knew this one was a dud. It earned just $1.8 million yesterday and will likely come in with $5.4 million - easily the worst wide release performer of McCarthy's career.
Our final new release is Brian Banks, an inspirational story featuring an actor I really like in Aldis Hodge. Though I've been seeing some minor marketing from Bleecker Street for a while, they clearly didn't have money to actually spend on the promotion for this release, and it earned $760,000 yesterday. That's probably fine since it's only 54 percent fresh at Rotten Tomatoes, anyway. With a score like that, it's not going to be any kind of awards contender. Look for around $2.1 million for the weekend.
In landmark news, The Lion King crossed the $450 million mark during the middle of the week, while sleeper summer hit Yesterday should cross $70 million domestically by the end of this weekend.