The long-awaited hit of the summer has attacked the box office with a herd of audiences
This weekend was on the radar of everyone in Hollywood, as the release of the rebooted Disney classic was regarded as the Tentpole production of the summer. All scheduling decisions were made with this release in mind as maximizing returns and minimizing damage from the onslaught was all considered.
With a handful of titles this year expected to explode Disney has hit on each one to this point. Before this weekend Disney had already earned 35% of the total box office returns in 2019, and by Monday the total to-date will likely exceed the complete earnings of the next three studios combined. This is not market dominance by The House of Mouse, it is more like a brute-force takeover.
On related news, the long-watched event has finally taken place. The all-time global box office total has been surpassed by “Avengers: Endgame”, as it inches its way to a $2.8 billion total, besting the amount earned by “Avatar”. Disney is having quite the weekend.
THE LION KING – $185.0 Million
It will take Monday to nail down the exact figure, because the sheer amount of interest is tough to accurately gauge. Factors like how many kids tickets are bought, and how many viewers offset plans to Sunday due to the crowds creates a small amount of uncertainty. This one lands however as huge as many expected, a given as it has the widest theater release of all time, showing on 4,725 screens. This return sets a new all-time record for the month of July (“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” opened to $170 million in 2011.) Director John Favreau also makes this his personal best debut, no small accomplishment for the director of the “Iron Man” films. While some were questioning the decision to make this remake so close to the original (critics only have this at 55% approval on Rotten Tomatoes) it delivered its intended content. The audience numbers show a good mix of old and new fans, with strong grades in the “A” range for the CinemaScore exit polling. Overseas the film is proving to be a smash hit as well and by next weekend we will have a grasp on just how big of a hit this will become.
2. SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME – $21.9m
This is a rather big number when facing such competition, in its third weekend. The film is something of a conduit to the next iteration to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which was just unveiled at the San Diego Comic-Con this weekend. Interest has been high as a result and already the Man of the Web is sitting on $320 million.
3. TOY STORY 4 – $14.6m
Another surprisingly strong showing, possibly benefitting from an overflow of those unable to get tickets. This comes as only a -32% drop for the fifth week and the playthings have not shed off too many screens to its lion brethren. They gave up fewer than 500 screens this weekend, still showing on 3,750. Globally the title has taken in $800 million to this point.
4. CRAWL – $6.0m
Turning into a slight counter-programming success. This marks a respectable -53% drop, which is usually better than a second-week return for a horror-thriller. Factor in the massive competition and this small pic is managing to find its audience.
5. YESTERDAY – 5.1m
Still impressing on its scale, the adult fantasy drama is managing to be an impressive hit. It will probably earn $60 million before next weekend, a figure no one saw coming.
6. STUBER – $3.8m
Not a horrible drop in week #2, but with its poor opening it did not have far to go either. The adult action-comedy is struggling even in the context of the poorly performing films in that category.
7. ALADDIN – $3.6m
The other live-action remake for the studio is still around. This means that Disney has four titles in the top-10 this weekend.
8. ANNABELLE 3 – $2.66m
As the lone true horror option the demon doll is managing to stay in the mix.
9. MIDSOMMAR – $1.57m
Meanwhile this arthouse horror has not been as warmly received. While favored by critics it has only generated one-third of the business of “Annabelle”.
10. THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS 2 – $1.53m
Only just now getting across the $150 million mark, this falls well short of making 50% of the original, which closed out at nearly $370 million.