Lots of competition at the box office now
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Michael Dougherty’s Godzilla: King of the Monsters took the No. 1 spot at a sunny, warm weekend box office, bringing in just $49 million over the film’s first weekend of release.
Not great numbers when you consider that films get only two big weekends these days, and Godzilla cost over $200 million to produce and promote. That being said, I went to the theater this weekend (to see Long Shot) and I heard several young kids shouting about Godzilla. And that’s kinda cool, right? Also, the film made $179 million worldwide.
So while Godzilla: King of the Monsters probably won’t go down as a major success that warrants a franchise, Warner Bros. should make their money back. Michael Dougherty (Krampus, Trick ’r Treat) will probably also get to make more movies. And that’s a good thing.
Also at the Box
Disney’s live action remake of Aladdin, starring Will Smith as the genie, took the No. 2 spot at the U.S. box office over its second weekend of release, bringing in another $42 million and upping the flick’s 10-day domestic total to just over $185 million. Add in foreign sales and this flick, which cost $183 million to produce, is already at $446 million in sales.
So Will Smith’s career is back on track? He’ll be made fun of for this film for the rest of his career, but he’s making money and appealing to a whole new generation. And we can assume that we’re going to get live-action adaptations of pretty much every Disney animated film.
Elton John biopic Rocketman stuttered at the box office over its first weekend of release, selling just $25 million against a $40 million budget. Add in foreign sales and Rocketman sold a decent enough $56 million over its first three days of release. Look for this one to chug along and sell somewhere around $200 million worldwide before it leaves theaters. Not a shameful box, but also not the Bohemian Rhapsody-like numbers Paramount was counting on.
Tate Taylor’s new thriller, Ma, starring Octavia Spencer, Juliette Lewis, and Luke Evans, took the No. 4 spot at the U.S. box office over its first weekend of release, bringing in $18 million over its first three days of release. Success! This is a small, Jason Blum-produced film that cost just $4 million to make, so the $21 million it made worldwide in just three days is a huge success. Despite some pretty lousy reviews (53/100 on Metactiric), Jason Blum continues to make big money with his smart production approach.
John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum rounded out last weekend’s Top 5 at the box office with another stellar weekend, bringing in another $11.1 million, bringing the film’s 17-day sales total to $125 million in the U.S. and $221 million worldwide. Maybe that doesn’t sound like much, but Parabellum is already the top-grossing film in the much-loved action series. I predict we get five of these films, all directed by Chad Stahelski and all starring Keanu Reeves.
Avengers: Endgame made another $7.8 million this past weekend, bringing the film’s U.S. sales total to $815 million. That good enough for second all-time. Add in sales abroad and Endgame has sold a whopping $2.713 billion, making it the No. 2 best-selling film ever. Endgame might go down as the best-selling film ever made.
New this Week
Releasing a new film wide right now is tricky with a lot of competition. This weekend will see the cautious release of two new films, starting with action flick Dark Phoenix, directed by Simon Kinberg and starring a laundry list of notable actors, including James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, Screen Time favorite Tye Sheridan, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Evan Peters, Sophie Turner, and Screen Time favorite Jessica Chastain. This is an X-Men film, so it’ll bring in some decent bread even if it’s not very good.
Also out everywhere is animated children’s flick The Secret Life of Pets 2, which looks like a very satisfying children’s film. Not kidding, this is something I’ll watch eventually despite my high-brow snobbery.
And, finally, we have the test release of the promising new A24 film, The Last Black Man in San Francisco. I highly recommend checking out the A+ trailer. Look for this one to make some end of the year lists.
A reader brought it to my attention that in last week’s column I wrongly identified Alden Ehrenreich as the lead in Elton John biopic Rocketman. Whoops. Actually, English actor Taron Egerton, best known for his work in the Kingsman series, portrays Elton. Thank you, reader, for pointing this out! Apologies for the mistake.