The question is why would any studio dare release a title into a marketplace so overcome by a behemoth, guaranteeing an embarrassing result?! Moreover, why would many studios engage in such folly? This week we saw a few new attempts fly into the teeth of a Marvel monster devouring the marketplace, and the results were not pretty.
The hope at earning some possible counter-programming dollars is the only thing that approaches a strategy, but honestly, there were only scraps available, and not nearly enough to nourish such a decision. So let’s just get into the inevitable result and measure the carnage.
1. AVENGERS: ENDGAME – 148.5 Million
It will take thee Monday actual numbers to see, but this is moving close to yet another record for the film, which would be the biggest second-week total. That record is for “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”, at $149.2 million, so it is possible. It has become the fastest film to clear $600 million domestically, and by today it has hauled in $2 billion worldwide. In just 10 days it is already the fifth highest global-earning picture of all time, and is about the pass the entire run of “Infinity War”. The numbers crunchers are waiting to see if it can approach the all-time global champ, which is “Avatar”.
2. THE INTRUDER – $11m
Leading the pack of the also-rans is this adult thriller starring Dennis Quaid as a deranged middle-aged man who sells his estate and then refuses to stop harassing the new tenants. The only good news to be had is that the film was made on almost a micro-budget of just $5 million, and with any duration at all it could find a way to maybe breaking even.
3. LONGSHOT – $10.02m
Seth Rogen is a reporter who has an unlikely romance with a politician out of his league, played by Charlize Theron. Lionsgate moved the release date on this one a few times and for reasons few can determine they ended up deciding that playing in the wake of a historical Marvel release was the wise move. It did decently with critics (80+% on Rotten Tomatoes) so if it had some better exposure elsewhere on the calendar it may have had a better chance.
4. UGLYDOLLS – $8.5m
The upstart studio STX has been vying to become a major player in Hollywood, and this was the attempt for them to enter the animated kid’s film realm, adapting this from a once popular toy line of dolls. They treated this like a major summer family release, by buying the global rights to the toy merchandising line, hiring a number of recording stars to do voice work and songs, and having a 6 episode TV show to run on Hulu sometime down the road. They also have well over 100 licensing deals with companies, and it was all for nothing. Even while made inexpensively for a CGI animated feature ($45-50m estimate) roll in the promotional expenses and this needs to gross about $200 million worldwide in order to break even. The dismal projections were for a $10-15 million open, so this figure means almost an assured loss for the studio.
5. CAPTAIN MARVEL – $4.27m
Considering this has now crested the $20 million level we can be assured we’ll be “blessed” with Brie Larson’s activism for some time to come.
6. BREAKTHROUGH – $3.94m
The surprisingly strong faith-based film from Fox has found a fertile foundation.
7. THE CURSE OF LA LLORONA – $3.5m
It is shedding over 800 screens in just its third week, but this is typical for a cheaply made horror attempt. Warners is not crying, as this is inching up to a $500 million total, off of a slim $9 million budget.
8. SHAZAM! – $2.45m
If you are in need of an uplifting time after the “Endgame” emotional rollercoaster this one is a decent tonic, while it is still in theaters.
9. LITTLE – $1.47m
A sign of the Marvel dominance is this meager total is still enough to land in the top-10.
10. DUMBO – $1.43m
See? Disney CAN make a film that underperforms! After a month and a half it has barely gotten over the $100 million mark. It is doing better globally, but honestly — look at the #1 film and know Disney is not too concerned.