Friday Box Office Analysis
By Kim Hollis
July 13, 2019
If the infinite sadness of the box office isn't enough to send you into a depression, think of the distributors, the exhibitors, and the stars who are probably wondering whether it's better just to return to wrestling or maybe look at a career starring in Netflix series. At least people will see your work that way.
Thankfully, we still have Disney and the MCU around to keep things hopping, because those two entities are nearly the only thing people view as worthy of their attention these days. Take a look at the top five films domestically. Two out of the five are Disney specific (Aladdin and Toy Story 4), three out of five involve the MCU (Avengers: Endgame, Captain Marvel, and Spider-Man: Far from Home), four out of five are distributed by Disney, and you can make an argument that five out of five have Disney's handprints on them. (Spider-Man is technically Sony, but without Disney's purchase and evolution of the MCU, Sony wouldn't be making money on Spider-Man movies these days).
Beyond that, the remainder of 2019's top 10 includes a Jordan Peele follow-up to Get Out (note that since he's also in Toy Story 4, he has two movies in the top 10), John Wick 3 (note that since Keanu's also in Toy Story 4, he has two movies in the top 10), and three family films involving animation (How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, Secret Life of Pets 2, and Detective Pikachu).
Grown-ups don't find movie-going to be a compelling way to spend time anymore.
And so, despite two new releases this weekend, we'll just once again talk about Spider-Man: Far from Home. It repeats in the top spot with $13.4 million. That's a 59 percent decline from last Friday's holiday inflated number (the Friday was the 5th, which many people in the United States had as either a holiday or a vacation day). It should finish with about $45 million for the weekend, bringing its domestic total near to the $275 million mark.
Toy Story 4 is actually our second place film with $6.3 million for Friday. It's down 48 percent from last Friday, which again was inflated due to the holiday configuration. Its weekend total should be right at $22 million, pushing the project nearer to the $350 million mark. Somehow, people feel like this one is a disappointment, but I think it's more a reflection of changing media consumption. Still, if you love Toy Story and/or Pixar, this is a film you really need to see. It's probably the funniest of the franchise and for my money, it has a more emotionally impactful ending than Toy Story 3.
Of our two new weekend releases, horror/weather/action film Crawl will come out best, earning $4.3 million on Friday. That number does include $1 million from Thursday night previews, so it's not really looking at any sort of special Friday here. The good news is that the production budget was just $13.5 million, so Paramount is likely going to make a few bucks off of this one by the time home video distribution comes into play. Look for a $11 million weekend. Paramount has a few interesting upcoming releases later this year (Dora and the Lost City of Gold, Gemini Man, and Terminator: Dark Fate), and 2019 might go down as a tough one for them if those three underperform.
The second of the new openers, the Kumail Nanjiani/Dave Bautista film Stuber, finished with just $3.1 million yesterday. I thoroughly enjoy both gentlemen, but the film itself received only middling reviews. With a B Cinemascore, it's not likely to pick up the general audience bump. Comedy just doesn't do well these days. It's a strange progression, really.
Next week brings The Lion King in all its glory. You might point to the Rotten Tomatoes score, but Aladdin shows that audiences are all about the live-action projects for films they LOVE. And The Lion King might be the most beloved of all the Disney renaissance animation projects of the 80s and 90s. Stay tuned...