Box Office Wrap Up: Abominable Box Office?
Universal took first with Abominable, putting a weak final flourish on an otherwise solid September.
The box office took a step backwards this week, but it wasn’t enough to diminish what is shaping up to be a strong fall season. Abominable’s first place finish puts Universal Studios in the lead for most films at #1 this year, no mean feat with Disney flooding the market with big-money remakes. The China-centric animated tale has a long way to go to get back to profitability, but taking the top spot certainly helps. As the only wide release film, it pretty much had the place to itself.
This Week in Box Office History.
September finished on a bittersweet note. The final weekend of the month was down considerably: 23% from last week and 11% from last year. Comparing the same week’s totals over a decade, the take of 94 million dollars was the second worst in ten years. Looking at 2019’s weekly totals, it was the third worst total of the year. Not a great finish.
Despite the swoon at the end, September looks to have been a strong month. Final totals may shift a bit, but the year-to-date numbers show 2019 just barely behind the record holder, 2017. The Fall season YTD is similarly rosy, again pacing just behind the record holders. With one month to go, it will still take a bit of doing. 2018, the current leader, had Venom and A Star is Born powering it to a blockbuster October. Joker, The Addams Family, and Maleficent Mistress of Evil will need to have big openings to close the gap.
Top Film One Year Ago: Night School.
Top Film Ten Years Ago: Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.
Top Three Films.
Abominable notched another win for Universal Studios, delivering 20 million dollars domestically. It added another 10 million abroad, not surprisingly most of it coming from China. It was certainly less than anticipated for DreamWorks. You have to go back to 2006’s Flushed Away to find a lower premier for the animation studio. It has a ways to climb to recoup its 75 million dollar budget.
Downton Abbey, another film under the Universal umbrella, landed in second place. The British period drama has made just over 60 million dollars in the US, doubling up its production budget. It has also taken in 50 million dollars from other markets. Once again, it will shock no one to learn the lion share of that figure comes from the United Kingdom.
Hustlers continues to perform well, adding 11 million dollars to its pile. The crime drama based on real events has hauled in 80 million dollars domestically and nearly 100 million dollars in total. Not bad for a 20 million dollar budget.
The Judy Garland biopic, Judy, landed in 7th place. That is an extremely strong showing given the film was out in just under 500 theaters. Its per-theater average was the best of the top ten, with over six thousand dollars in sales per location.
The Fathom Event showing of the Friends 25 anniversary special landed just outside the top ten. It took in one million dollars in 1500 theaters. Of course, it was showing just one day, so that’s actually a pretty crazy number for a show that’s been off the air for 15 years.