Box Office Wrap Up: A Wrinkle in Mistiming?
Disney steps on its own toes as Ava DuVernay’s A Wrinkle in Time falls below expectations.
Beuna Vista may just have an embarrassment of riches problem this week, where owning the top two movies, Black Panther and A Wrinkle in Time, was good news for the former and bad news for the latter. Black Panther has had unrivaled staying power and retains its seat upon the top of the box office, which may have contributed to Disney’s newest release performing below projections. Lukewarm critical reception but strong initial foreign sales means it may be many weeks before we know the true fate of A Wrinkle in Time.
This Week in Box Office History.
The box office was down modestly from last week, around 7%, and down a more significant 15% from last year when Kong: Skull Island made a big splash. New arrivals tended to be the most effected by the slower ticket sales. Strangers: Prey at Night opened with 50% of the revenue of the first Strangers movie, and performed weaker than similar horror movies of recent years. Heck, even The Bye Bye Man had a better opening.
Hurricane Heist, from the folks who shovel Fast and Furious movies at you every other year, had an abysmal debut, though luckily they didn’t spend nearly as much on this breezy heist flick as they do on Vin Diesel. Gringo, despite boasting an excellent cast, completely fell off the chart. Finally, we have a modest disappointment in A Wrinkle in Time, which finished anywhere from 2-10 million dollars shy of predictions. Those predictions were probably kind of optimistic anyway, since new IP’s from Beuna Vista usually perform a little weaker than Wrinkle’s 33 million. Tomorrowland, Into the Woods, and The Lone Ranger all finished in the same neighborhood.
Top Three Films.
The top spot went to Black Panther. Again. The four week stretch is the longest for a Marvel movie, and Panther is poised to become the biggest super hero movie in American box office history. With just 60 million separating Black Panther from The Avengers, chances are still good that the heavyweight belt is moving from Stark Tower to Wakanda. For reference, both The Avengers and Wonder Woman added 100 million dollars to their cumulative totals after their fourth week.
Second place went to A Wrinkle in Time, with 33 million dollars. While that is marginally below the studio estimate of 35 million, the real worrying numbers are the steep drop off from early ticket sales and Thursday screenings (which had many movie prognosticators proclaiming the film a preemptive triumph that would generate 45 million dollars in its debut). While competition from Black Panther may have accounted for some of the disparity, the sag in numbers from early screenings to the full weekend most likely reflects the middling-to-negative reviews from critics and audience polls.
Strangers: Prey at Night had its killing spree nipped in the bud and wound up at third place. The film earned 10 million dollars, which as we stated does not compare favorably to other recent slasher films. There is currently no budget information, but it is likely in the ballpark of 10-15 million, like the first film, so this serial killer should do OK, at least financially.
There was no “modest failure” for the other two wide release films. The Hurricane Heist made an abysmal 3 million dollars against a 35 million dollar budget, and under-performing against pretty much any comparison you can make. Perhaps they should have premiered at Netflix, instead?
Amazon Studio’s dark comedy, Gringo, also suffered an inglorious fate. Despite starring David Oyelowo, Charlize Theron, Joel Edgerton and Sharlto Copley, the film has been savaged by critics and ignored by audiences. It failed to make the top ten, earning just 2 million dollars and change. Once again, no budget information is available, but I can’t imagine that this was a passion project for these stars to take on the cheap.