The retread movie ideas are not having a blowout session once again.
In keeping with the trend of this current blockbuster season, blockbusters are very hard to come by. The last major release to make an impact was the live action version of “Aladdin”, and that was four weeks ago. This weekend brought a pair of titles based on established properties and they failed to establish any serious traction at the turnstiles.
What may be at play as well is the lull ahead of some massive releases. Like the water being drawn back before a tidal wave, audiences may be holding back money ahead of “Toy Story 4” next weekend, and then the reconfigured “Spiderman: Far From Home” the first week of July. What has been proven out so far is that if it is not a Disney property there are challenges for studios to this point.
1. MEN IN BLACK INTERNATIONAL – $28.5 Million
Sony attempts to completely rebuild their alien franchise here with the departure of Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones. They are replaced with the “Thor: Ragnarok” team of Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson, but this is not what the studio was looking for. Months ago there were much higher numbers projected, but in recent weeks that was cut down significantly, some suggesting a $25 million return would be a struggle. Critics have this rated lowest in the franchise, at just 24% approval, and the audiences have not delivered much love either, grading the film with an average response of “B”. The movie actually recovered a bit on Saturday and started to creep up towards Sony’s projection of $30 million. The real hope here is the International aspect comes into play. Overseas it was received a bit better, having drawn over $100 million global, and since Sony kept the cost for this well below the prior titles in the franchise it may yet become profitable.
2. THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS 2 – $23.8m
A not surprisingly strong Saturday for the kids floated things a bit, so after a very disappointing open last week this has found some footing. By the end it looks like Universal will have a profitable run, though it may be rethinking how to go forward with this as a franchise.
3. ALADDIN – $116.71M
This is essentially serving as the king of summer (depending on viewing “Avengers” in April as a Spring, or Summer release, of course.) After an impressive drop of only 32% Will Smith’s Genie has now conjured up well over $250 million domestically, and a worldwide haul of $725 million. It may feel a bigger hit when the “Toys” arrive next weekend.
4. DARK PHOENIX – $9.0m
Last week there were some fans of the franchise who were insisting that critics were being unfair and the movie was actually regarded well with the devotees. It is now official – this qualifies as a Bomb. Last weekend it arrived as the only “X-Men” title to fail to draw at least $50 million to open, and following a $32.8 debut it now plunges -72%. That is a stark rebuke from audiences and shows a severe lack of passion from the fans. An alcohol tie-in promotion now makes all the more sense.
5. ROCKETMAN – $ 8.8m
Showing the expected resilience from a well-received adult drama what will be revealing is if this title ends up passing the thunder lizard in overall box office, since they opened on the same weekend.
6. SHAFT – $8.31m
This is an utter collapse for Warner Brothers, which is having a tough year. At one point this recrafting of the urban crime story was expected to deliver anywhere from $20-25 million. Coming into the weekend it was being looked at more likely to draw about $15 million. The version released in 2000, that also had Samuel L. Jackson, managed over $20 million. This time nobody seemed to care and avoided the title outright.
7. GODZILLA: KING OF THE MONSTERS – $8.1m
Another of Warners struggling properties, this expected hit is foundering, falling well off of projections. While healthier overseas it does not appear that is going to be enough to bail out this title. In just its third week it has lost 900 screens, as theaters are giving up.
8. JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 3 – $6.1m
One of the rare sequels to overperform this summer. Vastly exceeding the combined grosses of the first two chapters Lionsgate must be borderline shocked that this film is about to make $150 million.
9. LATE NIGHT – $5.13m
A new comedy with Mindy Kaling and Emma Thompson about an older female talk show host. This is an Amazon Studios release, and the portal paid heavily to snap this up from the Sundance Film Festival – $13 million. They took a strong gamble by platforming this into 2,2200 theaters, but it could be an effort to break even. Of course, it will become a streaming exclusive for the outlet, so there could be financial gains in the ling run.
10. MA – $3.61m
Lingering after three weeks, and dropping 1,000 screens, but this is nothing but a success for Universal. Partnered with Blumhouse it was made dirt cheap for only $5 million and now has earned $40 million.