Monday, November 11, 2019

Monday's Headlines | Weekend Box Office

The audiences spoke this weekend and opted to help get Roland Emmerich‘s larger-than-life Midway to number one at the box office. The $100 million epic recreating the 1942 Battle of Midway boasts a stacked cast only Emmerich could pull off, including Ed Skrein, Patrick Wilson, Luke Evans, Dennis Quaid, Woody Harrelson, and Nick Jonas. Midway fell short of predictions only slightly, missing the $20 to $25 million estimates from earlier in the week and actually pulling in $17.5 million domestically.

The Lionsgate release was timed to coincide with Veteran’s Day weekend, no doubt giving it a boost as it opened in 3,242 screens across the nation. Midway‘s audiences reportedly skewed mostly male and older, with 60% of the audience falling into the latter category. Midway also scooped up an A CinemaScore. Through Monday, it’s projected Midway will reached $20.5 million. So, even though it didn’t meet expectations over the traditional weekend, that smart release window will continue to boost its earnings to the end of the holiday weekend. Further signs of success: Midway averaged $5,398 per theater, a rare and auspicious average if ever there was one.

As far as Emmerich flicks go, though, Midway sits in an interesting spot. If you look at the last five movies the director has put out, Midway comes in around the middle. 2012 among his most successful recent films with a $65 million domestic opening and his infamous Stonewall at the low-end with its bomb-level $112,834 domestic opening. Since Stonewall, Emmerich has been working his way back to the top so it’s not too surprising his latest is going to land on a $20 million opening weekend. Then again, Midway‘s budget of $100 million sets a high bar for its theatrical run as it attempts to get out of the red.

As if Midway‘s win wasn’t surprise enough, it’s weekend box office opposer and fellow new release Doctor Sleep came in second with $14.1 million earned domestically. The Mike Flanagan-directed Stephen King adaptation starring Ewan McGregor opened up in 3,855 locations and averaged $3,658 per theater. Overseas, Doctor Sleep opened in 68 markets and brought in $13 million. It’s unclear where the stumbling for Doctor Sleep factors in considering the film is based on a book that serves as a sequel to King’s iconic tale The Shining and has garnered comparatively favorable reviews over Midway. It’s possible Warner Bros. decision to skip a Halloween weekend release was a factor; then again, hindsight, 20/20, etc.

Coming in third is Paramount’s family-friendly John Cena-starrer Playing With Fire. The mid-budget (read: $30 million) offering following of a group of manly firefighters softened up by three siblings they rescue during a particularly harrowing call has pocketed $12.8 million domestically. Opening in 3,125 locations, Playing with Fire averaged $4,096 per theater. Rounding out the “New Releases Are Dominating This Weekend” category is Last Christmas directed by Paul Feig and starring Emilia Clarke and Henry Golding as two Londoners who keep crossing paths and end up forming a relationship. Universal’s Christmas-infused romcom reeled in $11.6 million domestically — not too shabby considering this is another mid-budget offering from a major studio with an estimated $25 million budget.

We should pour one out for the number five movie of the weekend, Terminator: Dark Fate, which experienced one of the most severe weekend-to-weekend dips in recent memory. Following a rough domestic opening weekend where it pulled in $29 million, Dark Fate hit a 63% dip this weekend and only pulled in $10.8 million across 4,086 locations. Meanwhile, Joker may have been pushed out of the top five but it’s still going incredibly strong as it exits its sixth weekend in theaters with $9.2 million earned domestically.

Towards the end of the Veteran’s Day weekend top 10 are Maleficent: Mistress of Evil at number seven with $8 million, Harriet is at number eight with $7.23 million, Zombieland: Double Tap at number nine with $4.3 million, and Jojo Rabbit coming in at number 10 with $3.9 million; all totals reflect domestic weekend earnings.

As for next weekend’s new releases, we’ll see more action and adventure coming into theaters with some pulling double-duty as awards season contenders. Included in the new crop are Ford v. Ferrari, Charlie’s Angels, The Good Liar, and The Report.