Friday Box Office Analysis

By Kim Hollis

June 2, 2019

Donald Glover is everything.

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A bunch of studios ran away from this weekend, figuring they'd rather not contend with the second frame of Solo: A Star Wars Story's big box office success. Like Rick Blaine regarding the waters in Morocco, they were... misinformed.

After a lackluster opening weekend where it earned just $103 million in four days, Solo continues to disappoint. The reasons why are confounding, but it seems that the troubled production was enough to keep people away. People aren't ready for a Han Solo who isn't Harrison Ford. Even with pretty good word-of-mouth, people just can't be bothered to go to theaters for this latest Star Wars movie, the fourth in just three years.

Yesterday, Solo earned just $8.2 million. There's no good reason this movie should be in single digits during its second weekend, and yet here we are. I think we're looking at only about $24 million over three days. For the first time ever, a Star Wars movie is not going to be profitable while in theaters. You'd wonder if international grosses might be able to help it out, but remember that Star Wars is never quite as beloved overseas as it is in North America. So far, it has just $82 million from those international venues. Disney will still make money with all the licensed products being sold (including some nifty shoes that can be found at Disney Springs in Orlando right now), but they surely could never have anticipated this. Neither could we. If not for Black Panther, it would be the biggest box office story of the year - and not in a good way.


We do have a few new releases to discuss, even if there's not much to say about them. STX Entertainment's survival tale Adrift did well enough considering its pedigree, earning $4.2 million. Featuring Shailene Woodley and The Hunger Games' Sam Claflin, it's a low-budget affair that should find a small, dedicated audience. Let's call it $11 million for the weekend and a dubious claim on the best box office performance of the new films this frame.

Also releasing was Upgrade, a Blumhouse production from Saw's Leigh Whannell. This is yet another Jason Blum production that somehow finds itself with outstanding reviews. Upgrade is currently 85 percent fresh at Rotten Tomatoes. It doesn't have a Cinemascore, so it's hard to tell what the word-of-mouth will really be. Still, it's a great year for horror, and Blumhouse once again does it on a minuscule budget of $3.5 million. Upgrade earned $1.7 million yesterday and will end the weekend with $4 million or so. Over the long haul, it should bring in some dough, especially on home video.

Finally, Johnny Knoxville did not make a triumphant return to theaters. Action Point, the fictional Caddyshack-like story of a super unsafe theme park, could only manage $790,000. That's a long way off from Bad Grandpa, which shocked the world with its $102 million domestic performance. Perhaps the recent murder charges around the Schlitterbahn water park's Verruckt slide just made this one too uncomfortable. Or maybe Johnny Knoxville just isn't interesting anymore.



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