Gerard Butler’s Has Fallen series is still bringing the action crowds: Angel Has Fallen‘s $21.25 million debut is a virtual dead match for previous entry London‘s $21.6 million opening. But with Angel the most expensive film in the franchise yet, financiers are also going to be hoping for some hefty international bucks.
Angel Has Fallen has gotten into the positive side of Butler’s box office history with a $21.25 million start, but will it have enough in the tank to recoup its $80 million budget? Olympus Has Fallen was the highest-grossing domestically of the series with $98.92 million. But it only grossed $71.34 million overseas resulting in the $70 million production coming up in the red. London Has Fallen dipped at home with just $62.5 million, but more than doubled the international haul of the first film with $143.23 million. Hence, the green light for Angel.
With 39% on the Tomatometer, the movie ranks somewhere in the middle critically for Butler. Compare it to previous entries: 49% and 26%, respectively. This for an actor who has never top-lined a film registering higher than 60%, achieved by RocknRolla and 300 both. With March openings, the Fallen films grossed multiples of 3.25 and 2.88 over their opening weekends. August box office history suggests that should decrease even more, marking Angel for somewhere around a $57 million domestic total, leaving international the duty of making up the rest…to the tune of $182 million to match London.
Last week’s top film, Good Boys, which many were expecting to repeat, dropped 45% to $11.7 million. That puts it at $42.05 million after 10 days, which puts it about right in line with a more kid-appropriate August release in David Lowery’s remake of Disney’s Pete’s Dragon, which finished with over $76 million. Universal’s primary cash cow, the Fast & Furious series, may be showing signs of wear and tear in the U.S., but Hobbs & Shaw just opened in China to the tune of $110 million this weekend. That brings its global total to over $588 million – the 8th highest of 2019. Its $147 million at home is still one of the lower bars of the series.
Fox Searchlight’s Ready or Not had a lot of support from critics this week (Certified Fresh at 87% on Tomatometer) and many were hoping it would have opened stronger than it did: $7.55 million over the weekend and $10.57 million since its debut on Wednesday. That gives Ready a first final estimate between $26 million and $29 million. Not terrible for the $6 million-budgeted film, but additional advertising costs may keep it in the red if word-of-mouth cannot boost its total further.
Sony is not just feeling the brunt of anger from Marvel fans this week, but the belated realization that animated films and August do not mix. The latest example is The Angry Birds Movie 2, which is now up to just $27.09 million after 13 days. The film is currently $277 million behind the global gross of the first film, which in scale is on par with The Secret Life of Pets 2 doing $460 million less than its predecessor. Disney’s The Lion King, on the other hand, is now the 14th film ever to cross the half-billion line domestically and the 9th film to pass $1.508 billion globally. It needs just over $2 million dollars outside the U.S. to become just the 9th film in history to surpass the $1 billion mark exclusively with international dollars.
Rounding out the top 10, Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time…In Hollywood is now over $122 million and has surpassed Inglourious Basterds to become his second highest-grossing film, behind Django Unchained. Along with Jordan Peele’s Us, it is one of only two 2019 original projects to break $100 million. Scary Stories To Tell in the Dark joined the $50 million club this weekend. Dora and the Lost City of Gold is headed to join that club too, but not much beyond that.
We continue to monitor films from the festival circuit as this week Roadside’s The Peanut Butter Falcon, which debuted at SXSW this year, expanded in its third weekend from 49 to 991 theaters and grossed $3 million for a total of $3.7 million. Last week’s 90%-Tomatometer opener from Sundance, Blinded by the Light, dropped 52% for a $2.1 million second week haul, bringing its total to $8.2 million. Neon continued to expand its 93%-approved drama, Luce, into another 102 theaters (for a total of 160), bringing its total to $864,182. Finally there is A24’s The Farewell, which lost a small handful of screens this weekend and grossed another $944,000, bringing its total to $14.47 million.
Crazy Rich Asians won handily for a second straight week, dropping just 6.4% from the previous weekend and earning another $24.8 million. The Meg maintained its second place status with $12.8 million. The best of the new challengers was Melissa McCarthy and the puppets in The Happytime Murders, which opened to $9.5 million, which is $4 million more than McCarthy’s ensemble film The Kitchen grossed this month. The mechanical dog film, A.X.L., opened to just $2.79 million. And among limited releases, the remake of Papillon made $1.09 million in 544 theaters, but Sundance success Searching (Certified Fresh at 92%) would turn out to be the one to keep an eye on after $388,769 in just 9 theaters. The top ten films grossed $84.55 million and averaged 56.3% on the Tomatometer. This year’s top 10 grossed an estimated $87.60 Million and averaged 68.5%.
We hit the calm before the storm that will be It: Chapter Two on September 6. But for Labor Day weekend, Hollywood is going old-school in releasing, well, not much. Don’t Let Go, which premiered under the title Relive at Sundance in January, follows David Oyelowo’s character on a Frequency-like murder mystery that did not impress the press at the festival this year. It currently stands at 47% on the Tomatometer. The lackluster numbers could then indeed open the door for Bollywood action thriller, Saaho, to find a spot in the top 10 as no film is likely to dominate over the holiday weekend.
[box office figures via Box Office Mojo]