July 11, 2019
Spider-Man: Far From Home dominated the box office during its first weekend of release, selling $185 million domestically over the flick’s four-day weekend release. Add in foreign sales and Jon Watts’ $150 million Spidey flick has already made $580 million.
These numbers surprise me. I was all ready to write a column about how the Netflix release of Stranger Things 3 on July 4 killed what would have otherwise been a huge summer weekend at the movies. But nope, Marvel is still filling seats at alarming rates and, thank goodness, people still like to go to the movies. (More on this topic below, in this week’s ScreenRant.)
Also at the Box
Toy Story 4 continued to roll, taking the No. 2 spot with another $34 million in sales, bringing the flick’s 17-day worldwide sales total to a whopping $650 million. We call those “Toy Story numbers” right there.
Danny Boyle’s Beatles film, Yesterday, continued to sell, bringing in another $10.8 million, good enough for the third spot at the U.S. box office. So far, the movie has made just under $57 million worldwide in 10 days (against a budget of $26 million). Success, Danny Boyle!
And while we’re on the topic, here are my Top 10 Danny Boyle flicks: 10. Trance (2013); 9. Slumdog Millionaire (2008); 8. The Beach (2000); 7. 127 Hours (2010); 6. 28 Days Later (2003); 5. Millions (2005); 4. Steve Jobs (2015); 3. Trainspotting (1996); 2. Sunshine (2007); 1. Shallow Grave (1995). (Eek! So I guess now we know that Danny Boyle has only seven good films.)
Horror flick Annabelle Comes Home took the No. 4 spot at the box with another $9.7 million in sales, upping the film’s 10-day domestic sales total to just over $50 million.
Disney’s live action remake of Aladdin, starring Will Smith at the Genie, continued to sell tickets, taking the No. 5 spot at last weekend’s domestic box, bringing in another $7.6 million, upping the remake’s worldwide sales total so far to just over $921 million.
Also, Hereditary writer/director Ari Aster’s second film, Midsommar, had a ho-hum first weekend, selling just over $10 million over its first four days of release. Here’s hoping word-of-mouth helps this one out, as it’s a great film that I think could do very well. Some critics are even calling it an “instant classic.” Go see this one!
New this Week
Three films of note open this week, starting with horror flick Crawl, starring Kaya Scodelario and Barry Pepper and directed by Alexandre Aja (High Tension, The Hills Have Eyes, Piranha 3D). Looks not great.
Next up is Stuber, an unlikely-buddy action-comedy romp starring Dave Bautista and Kumail Nanjiani, with support from Karen Gillan and ScreenTime dream girls Mira Sorvino and Natalie Morales. The film was directed by Michael Dowse, who is perhaps best known for his 2011 two-shot of Goon and Take Me Home Tonight, two good movies that underperformed. Here’s hoping Dowse can finally get the crowds he deserves.
And, finally, we have a smaller release called The Art of Self-Defense. A dark comedy from director Riley Stearns and featuring performances by Jesse Eisenberg, Alessandro Nivola and Imogen Poots, The Art of Self-Defense is getting written up as a possible surprise summer hit. Others are writing it up as an instant cult classic. Either way, based on the trailer alone, I can’t wait to see this one. Looks fun, and cool, and odd.
Stranger Things 3 is, for my money, the best entertainment of 2019. The coolest, the most fun, the most nostalgic, the funniest, and the best-crafted thing I’ve seen this year. It’s the strongest statement yet in the TV Taking Over Film argument.
It’s one of the great casts of all time, working with a Duffer Brothers-led production team that is about as good as they come.
I can’t help but wonder how Stranger Things 3 would do if Netflix were to release the full eight-episode arc as a single seven-hour movie event in theaters (not unlike how the OJ Simpson doc worked for ESPN). Or maybe even edit it down to a lean, mean Avatar-like 210-minute epic feature film. I’d go. Probably twice. I think it’d make a billion dollars and I think it’d get Oscar nominations for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Cinematography, and Best Original Score.
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