Toppling buildings, but not records.
A slate of new arrivals were released on this weekend, and audiences were severely underwhelmed. (“Can you ever be just ‘whelmed’???”) The most impressive performances were actually from those titles that have already been in theaters.
So with a new batch of titles that ranged from a special-effects epic, to animation, to horror shot on a smartphone few were so impressed to create a new hit film. Here’s the numbers amid all the rubble.
1. PACIFIC RIM UPRISING – $28 Million
The original film was an expensive CGI extravaganza that had a middling opening and just barely reached $100 million with a nearly $200million budget. However Warner Brothers long considered a sequel, because it made three times that amount overseas. So eventually this moved to Universal, as the production company Legendary pictures entered a new agreement with the distributer a few years ago. The budget was trimmed to $150 million, and the result here was $9 million lower than the opening of the original. That overseas money really better come in for them to make this worth their while.
2. BLACK PANTHER – $16.65m
It just continues to rewrite history. As of now its $631 million total becomes the highest grossing Marvel title, and sits at #5 top-grossing of all time. It has a good chance to pass “Jurassic World” ($652.2m) and may even reach “Titanic ($659.3m). Baffles the mind to consider.
3. I CAN ONLY IMAGINE – $13.83m
Last week’s shocking performance continues to impress. Taking a slight -19% drop, this second-week performance outstrips the original projected opening. The Roadside release impressed enough to add over 600 screens, and the per-screen average would have placed it ahead of “Black Panther”.
4. SHERLOCK GNOMES – $10.6m
Even with a relatively modest budget of $60 million this depressed return on opening weekend is a bad sign. Even the few who did go see this gave it middling approval, as most of the CinemaScore grades were in the “B” range. When the movie for children is based on an old adult crime character the mystery becomes, who was this made for???
5. TOMB RAIDER – $10.43m
Last week’s disappointment did little to improve its prospects. It dropped a significant -56%, but this was always going to have an eye on the international markets. Overseas this has drawn a far better $170 million.
6. A WRINKLE IN TIME – $8.04m
It has been a far more disappointing run than Disney had in mind for this fantasy sci-fi hybrid. In just its third week it has shed over 500 screens, and it still has yet to make back its production budget. There was just no audience for this bastardized adaption of the classic novel.
7. LOVE, SIMON – $7.8m
This new version of the teen romance has found a bit of an audience. It had a respectable -33% hold in week two, if not igniting the ticket window.
8. PAUL, APOSTLE OF CHRIST – $5.0m
A small budget retelling of the Gospel time period. Jim Caviezel (“Passion of the Christ”) reprises his role as Jesus, but the faith-based success of “Imagine” must have bled off a significant amount of audience for this Biblical tale.
9. GAME NIGHT – $4.16m
The adult comedy is just lingering, dropping only -25% again as it hangs around and draws enough interest. At $60 million it is approaching break-even, so most anything going forward will be profit.
10. UNSANE – $3.85m
Steven Soderbergh tried an experimental gambit by shooting this entire drama, about a wrongfully committed woman (Claire Foy from “The Crown”) who is in fact not crazy, on an iPhone. Audiences commented on how cheaply the feature appeared as a result.