Each week on Atom Insider, we break down the box office numbers for all of the biggest films opening in theaters. Let’s go through the Top 10 at the domestic box office this weekend, starting with Hollywood’s newest power couple.
This Week’s Top Earner – ‘Hobbs & Shaw’
OK, fine, it’s Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw, but you’ve probably seen enough TV spots to know by now that this is the first of probably many “Fast and Furious” spin-off movies from Universal, especially off the heels of Hobbs & Shaw grossing a solid $60.8 million domestic debut, and $180.8 million total counting worldwide ticket sales.
That’s good business compared to other summer blockbusters in 2019, but far short of previous Fast and Furious movies. In fact, this is the lowest opening for a film in this series since Tokyo Drift in 2006 and just a 10-spot higher than 2 Fast 2 Furious. In other words, Hobbs & Shaw came in sixth place out of the nine movies to date in this franchise. Is it fatigue? Its August release date? The fact that it’s a spinoff? It’s hard to tell, especially when you factor in the film’s high audience and CinemaScore. But time will tell if this action-comedy truly has post-summer legs (or wheels?)
Second Place – ‘The Lion King’
Simba and the gang have been on a tear these last few weeks, dropping to just #2 after three weekends of box office domination. The film brought in $38.2 million domestically (after adding 77 more theaters, by the way), but its day-to-day momentum has been the real story, as the film has already collected a wild $1.19 billion worldwide. That’s billion with a “b.”
That means in just three weeks, The Lion King has already surpassed Captain Marvel to become the second highest-grossing movie of the year, just a billion and a half under Avengers: Endgame. Just as a reminder, five out of the ten highest-grossing films of the year are all distributed by Disney. Hakuna matata.
And Third – ‘Once Upon A Time In Hollywood’
Week 2 for Quentin Tarantino’s nearly three-hour jaunt through 1969 Hollywood saw a 51.3% drop to $20 million domestically. Bottom line: it’s doing OK, not great. The film has a reported $90 million budget and a slew of marketing costs and contractual obligations to account for, so only grossing $78.8 million to date spells trouble for the film unless it can somehow spark interest overseas as it rolls out in more markets these next few weeks.
The numbers are mysterious, truth be told, and there’s no way of knowing exactly how much money Once Upon a Time in Hollywood needs to make in order to start turning a profit, unless Sony just comes out and tells us. My best guess — which, you know, requires mountains of salt — is that the film needs at least $350 million or more to be considered profitable. If the film can finish its domestic run at $150 million plus in North America and make at least $200 million internationally…well, that just might be enough for this movie to have a happily ever after. Plus, there’s that rumor that Tarantino might be releasing a 4-hour cut on Netflix, so it has the potential to be a success in other ways.
Rounding Out The Rest Of The Box Office
The rest of the Top 10 is a who’s who of summer darlings fighting for box office scraps. Aside from Spider-Man: Far from Home and Toy Story 4, which both grossed in the $7 million range, every other film dabbled with around $2 million for the weekend, save for Annabelle Comes Home (Warner Bros) at #10, which made just $875,000 domestically. That’s thousand with a “T.”
It’s been a while since we’ve seen a film in the Top 10 make less than $1 million, which is a true sign that the box office continues to be front-loaded with the major blockbusters. Yesterday (Universal) has been one of the few exceptions, holding on to #6 this weekend after six weeks at the box office. Its $118.9 million worldwide box office is looking pretty good right now against its $26 million budget.
Another unlikely success story: The Farewell (A24), which despite only playing in 409 theaters climbed to #7 this weekend with $2.4 million. We can probably expect the film to expand even further next weekend to meet this surprising demand for a film that isn’t based on any existing IP (unless you count This American Life as IP, which…let’s not).
As for the bottom of the Top 10, Crawl and Aladdin are slowly winding down, with Crawl bleeding over 600 theaters after a month at the box office. Aladdin has been a mainstay on the Top 10 all summer (11 weeks!), but it’s now at #9 after crossing the $1 billion mark last month. It will probably bow out of the Top 10 by next weekend.
And They’re Out
Farewell, Stuber. It had a bumpy ride at the box office, just earning $29.3 million worldwide. But that’s about double the reported production budget of $16 million, so if marketing costs weren’t too extravagant, the film might just be a break-even situation for Fox and Disney.
That’s it for this weekend. Check back with Atom Insider next week as we recap all the newest releases vying for the top of the box office.
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