Welcome to Box Office Breakdown, a brand new weekly segment where we analyze the top ten highest grossing films of the past weekend domestically and provide commentary on each film’s financial success or failure.
Last week, we mentioned the effects the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) was having on the state of the box office. Within a seven-day period, it has been officially labeled a pandemic, which is going to have a significant impact on how the industry will operate within the coming weeks. Many upcoming highly anticipated releases, such as Mulan, A Quiet Place Part 2, and New Mutants have been postponed indefinitely. Additionally, many theatre chains are in the process of closing in order to comply with local health authorities. Meanwhile, Universal Pictures announced today that they will be releasing their current theatrical releases (Emma, The Invisible Man, The Hunt) on VOD this Friday and the upcoming Trolls: World Tour on VOD the same day it hits theatres (April 10th). It’s wise to assume that many distribution companies are going to follow in their footsteps, especially those that have releases that wouldn’t have necessarily made bank at the box office.
While select theatres currently remain open, it is very possible that this could change within the next week. However, as long as they remain open, we will continue to analyze the state of the box office and the situation as a whole. While overall this was a rough weekend for the box office, there were a few titles that were surprisingly able to thrive.
As expected, Pixar’s Onward secured the top spot for the second week in a row. While it dropped an unprecedented 73% (typically Pixar’s films average around a 50% drop during their second weekend), it still managed to reach $100 Million worldwide, which is great considering the circumstances. Even if it isn’t able to make back its hefty budget during its theatrical run, it will definitely get its second wind once it is released on Disney+.
Three films opened during this cursed weekend and two of them were relatively successful. The first of which was Vin Diesel’s Bloodshot. The film finished in second place almost meeting studio expectations. The film also thrived internationally, debuting at #1 in over 25 countries. However, it received mainly negative reviews, so it may not have the longevity it needs to earn back its $45 Million budget.
Coming in third place is the Christian music drama I Still Believe. Reviews were mostly mixed to negative and it only managed to receive a “B” on Cinemascore, but it had a devoted religious fanbase that went to support it. It also stars Riverdale’s KJ Apa, who broadened the film’s appeal.
The Invisible Man landed in fourth place with a 61% drop (the lowest decrease of any of last week’s holdovers). It has officially surpassed $120 Million worldwide and will likely continue to thrive once it is released on VOD.
Rounding out the top 5 was Universal’s The Hunt, which had a fascinating release situation. Initially scheduled to hit theatres in September 2019, the El Paso mass shootings in August of the same year led Universal to decide it wasn’t an appropriate time to release the violent political satire. It was gearing up for big release with a clever marketing campaign, but unfortunately the film’s mixed reviews did not help as it failed to make a mark at the box office though it will likely fare much better when it is released on VOD this Friday.
The remainder of the top 10 consists of holdovers from last week that are beginning to free fall. Sonic the Hedgehog and Call of the Wild both dropped 67%, at the 6thand 8thspots respectively. The Way Back faced a massive 71% drop, after a relatively lackluster debut. The Ben Affleck vehicle also struggled to make a mark internationally, so it wouldn’t be a surprise if Warner Bros. decided to follow in Universal’s footsteps and release the film on VOD. Emma collapsed with a 73% drop, but it will likely find more success in its VOD release. Rounding out the top 10 was Bad Boys for Life, which is nearing the end of its legendary run. It is by far the highest grossing film of the year both domestically and worldwide, and it only faced a 63.5% drop.
Looking forward to next week, it’s uncertain whether the remaining theatre chains will be able to stay open. A Quiet Place Part 2 was eying a massive $60M+ debut, but with John Krasinski’s highly anticipated horror sequel getting postponed indefinitely, it is nearly impossible to predict next week’s box office results.
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