Nothing says “summer” like a big visceral action movie. The blockbuster season is all about delivering what I have called “Big Gulp Movies”: Oversized, content-light, bloated, and delivering more than is needed while becoming ultimately forgetful. (For future examples look to “Hobbs & Shaw”, and “Rambo: Last Blood” coming later.)
To go along with the CGI blast on screens was a flurry of other new arrivals hoping for counter-programming gold and finding a decent amount of business. As schools are letting out and temperatures are rising up more are going to be flocking to the air-conditioned environs of the multiplexes.
1. GODZILLA: KING OF THE MONSTERS – $49.02 Million
While a decent stake and a #1 ranking this is a disappointment for Warner Brothers. Original projections had this monster mash-up drawing in the $60-65 million range, and even that was below the much more impressive 2014 release, which drew just under $100 million its opening weekend. Things started out great for the title on Thursday. Those preview screenings brought in a healthy 6.3 million, but then Friday softened. The film was both a fanboy turnout at the start, and it suffered at the hands of the kid-friendly competition. Critics also did not help the cause, because even while exit scores were strong from audiences the experts were giving this only a 40% level of support on Rotten Tomatoes. That may have kept some at bay, since the last film drew 75% approval.
2. ALADDIN – $42.33m
A strong hold for this title that had a massive open. It dips only -53% in week two, and the interest was evident. This was the biggest challenge to the monster-verse, as on Saturday the Will Smith vehicle actually earned more than “Godzilla”. Already it has taken in a massive $185 million in two weeks.
3. ROCKETMAN – $25.0m
The Elton John biopic fared well if it did not pack the arenas. This is regarded as a strong return to the extent it should end up turning a profit with a trim $40 million budget. The obvious comparison here will be to “Bohemian Rhapsody”, which opened to double the business last November. That film earned triple the domestic box office overseas, and another British singer with a global name could do similar things in the coming weeks.
4. MA – $18.26m
With little in the way of similar content to be found this horror/thriller with Octavia Spencer managed to lure in a respectable audience. This is another trademark Blumhouse production, made on the cheap for $5 million, so this will be a money-maker.
5. JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 3 – PARABELLUM – $11.1m
At $125 million earned so far it not only is easily the biggest of the three films of the franchise, it will soon outgross the combined totals of the first two films.
6. AVENGERS: ENDGAME – $7.81m
Sitting at $815 million domestically, but it now stands at $65 million shy of reaching “Avatar” for the all-time global box office total.
7. POKEMON DETECTIVE PIKACHU – $6.66m
In the coming days this one will be crossing over $400 million in global returns.
8. BOOKSMART – $3.32m
A touted female comedy for United Artists it has very modest returns, having earned $115 million total, while on a smaller release platform of 2,500 screens.
9. BRIGHTBURN – $2.31m
After a softer-than hoped-for opening this plunges a stark -70% in week two. It should have a massive drop in screens next week as a result of this dismal performance.
10. THE HUSTLE – $1.3m
Managing to linger around due to softer competition at the bottom of things. The ladies never managed to turn much attention their way.