Box Office Wrap Up: The Summer of Sad Sequels.
Two more sequels crash and burn at the box office as June’s fortunes turn sour.
Something had to give. We’ve had three weeks of massively under-performing sequels limping into theaters, yet three straight weeks of robust ticket sales. As we posited last week, most of this paradox came from late May blockbusters continuing to generate solid revenue. Now that these films have mostly fallen out of the top ten, we’re left with a list filled with toxic sequels. Audiences looking for something fun in the summertime are giving the leftovers a solid pass.
This Week in Box Office History.
The box office woke up from its record-setting summer pace fantasy to hard reality. The box was down 22% from last week and 52% from last year. The bad news is that most of the recent top films have been flaming out rapidly. Godzilla 2 has fallen out of the top five after just 3 weeks, and Dark Phoenix suffered the second largest sales drop (for a movie of its size).
The good news? The holdovers such as Rocketman and Aladdin continue to bat clean-up with solid numbers. The summer is also still pacing 5.9% above last year, despite the fact that The Incredibles 2 handily gave this week’s offerings a historical shellacking.
If Toy Story 4 comes out with Incredibles 2 kind of numbers, the summer season is probably right back on track. If it does Finding Dory numbers, we’re in gravy town on biscuit wheels. But…we’re back to relying on a big-name sequel to save the box office in a summer where big-name sequels have been disasters.
Top Film Last Year: Incredibles 2.
Top Film Last Decade: The Hangover.
Top Three Films.
Men in Black International took the top spot in utterly unconvincing fashion. The long dormant franchise came back to 28 million dollars domestically, nearly half of what the other three films in the series made on launch. It just managed to crack a total of 100 million dollars worldwide, against a 110 million dollar budget.
Second place saw The Secret Life of Pets 2 add 23 million dollars to its total. That is welcome news to Illumination: that total of 92 million dollars domestically covers its budget with room to spare. It’s been a bit of a dog internationally, and Toy Story 4 arrives next weekend to steal its squeak toy, so making back the budget now was vitally important.
Aladdin continued its solid run in third place. The live-action adaptation has packed away 263 million dollars at home and 724 million dollars worldwide. Despite a tenuous start, the film is a certified hit, Disney’s 4th best live-action remake. Financially speaking, off course.
Shaft 2019 premiered in 6th place with 8 million dollars. That’s less than half of what the original Samuel L. Jackson revival of the franchise made in 2000. It’s hard to compare it to other Sam Jackson films; he makes so many films of different scope and levels of involvement that he’s basically got every denomination of opening figure covered at some point.
Jim Jarmusch‘s star-studded zombie comedy, The Dead Don’t Die, shambled out of its grave to 2.3 million dollars. While it was only good enough for 12th place, it is Jarmusch’s best opening to date.