Weekend Box Office

Weekend Box Office Results: Civil War Earns Highest Opening Weekend for A24

Alex Garland's unsettling thriller dethrones Godzilla x Kong, but can it surpass Everything Everywhere All at Once as A24's highest-grossing film overall?

by | April 15, 2024 | Comments


Going to movie theaters bring people together. They can also polarize them after leaving, depending on what they saw. So what better movie to offer the best of both worlds than the new film from Alex Garland? Because no one has ever been polarized in their thinking after watching Annihilation or Men. By next weekend, his latest film will have outgrossed all of his previous films, but moviegoers may be more divided than ever.

King of the Crop: Civil War Earns Highest Opening Weekend for A24

We kid, of course, to play into the rhetoric around Garland’s Civil War. The film’s initial high Tomatometer score from SXSW has come back to Earth a little, but the majority of critics are still very much in favor of it, as evidenced by its Certified Fresh status. Audiences are a little less enthralled but still overall satisfied with 77% Audience Score, but a “B-“ from the Cinemascore crowd, the first grade of its kind for 2024 and the first since Ridley Scott’s film about a tyrannical leader named Napoleon. Still, folks spent $25.7 million to give A24 its highest opening weekend ever, a record previously held by Ari Aster’s Hereditary ($13.5 million). Already, Civil War is the ninth highest-grossing film in the company’s history, and by the end of next weekend, it should be at least sixth and on its way to becoming its second. Or could it be A24’s No. 1?

Gross is one thing, but with a $50 million budget (and possibly higher), it’s going to take some other countries delighting in America destroying itself for this film to prove profitable. It would also take some incredible word of mouth for Civil War to stretch towards overcoming the $77+ million of Oscar-winning Everything Everywhere All At Once. But it is not unheard of for an April film with an opening like this to achieve that goal.

Mel Gibson’s We Were Soldiers did it back in 2002 with just a $20 million opening. The Christian music film I Can Only Imagine did it with a $23 million start. If these two groups can just get together, there’s no telling what can be achieved. Then again, that “B-“ grade looms over it. But looking at last year’s grades of its ilk, horror films including The Boogeyman, Thanksgiving, Cocaine Bear, and Meg 2: The Trench all had multiples over 2.75 (while The Pope’s Exorcist, Renfield, and Last Voyage of the Demeter were all under 2.23), so maybe horror of all types sell, as someone once told me — even if that hasn’t been the case in 2024 so much with Night Swim, Imaginary, and The First Omen. Civil War has a little old-fashioned war to deal with next weekend, along with some fresh horror, but the calendar is also pretty light until we get into May and should allow the discourse to maybe drive a little curiosity until then.

The Top 10 and Beyond: Godzilla x Kong Slips, Monkey Man and The First Omen Drop

After two weeks at the top, Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire falls back to second place with $15.4 million. That brings its 17-day total to $157.9 million, which is not far away from displacing Kong: Skull Island to become the second highest-grossing film in the Warner Bros. MonsterVerse. Does it have a shot at 2014’s Godzilla? That would mean getting over $200 million, and that could be close. Its third weekend is in the vicinity of John Wick: Chapter 4 ($14.4 million) but is also $10 million ahead of its overall pace. That suggests a final gross possibly right below $200 million. It is going to want to stay above $8 million in its fourth weekend to keep that pace going. Warner Bros. would certainly love to achieve that, but with over $400 million worldwide, the film is already a success and should ensure another entry. Speaking of which, the studio’s Dune: Part Two added another $4.3 million and is now up to $272 million domestic and $673 million worldwide.

In third place with just $5.9 million is the Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire in its fourth weekend. The film is at $96.9 million and inching its way towards $100 million. That’s a better fourth frame than either 10,000 B.C. or A Wrinkle in Time ($4.8 million each), suggesting it could still have a chance at getting over $110 million. It would at least like to stretch over $112.4 million to pass Ghostbusters II to avoid having the lowest-grossing domestic haul of the franchise. (Of course, with inflation, that sequel would have made about $283 million.) But it is going to have the lowest worldwide haul by a lot. With still less than $150 million, it is almost certain to become the first to not gross over $200 million worldwide.

Universal’s Kung Fu Panda 4 fell just 29% to $5.5 million. That brings its total to $173.6 million. The animated film is also over $425 million worldwide and could be the first in the franchise not to reach half-a-billion. But by carrying a lower price tag ($85 million) than the other three films, it is currently the most profitable film of 2024 so far. The studio’s pickup of Dev Patel’s Monkey Man isn’t doing as well, though, falling nearly 60% down to $4.1 million in its second weekend. That’s $17.7 million in the bank for that film. Universal also re-released Dreamworks’ Shrek 2 in 1,512 theaters this weekend and it grossed $1.35 million.

In horror news, 20th Century Studios’ prequel The First Omen made $3.7 million over the weekend, bringing its total to $14.6 million. The $30 million budgeted film continues a losing streak for the Disney-acquired company since the massive profits of Avatar: The Way of Water in 2022-23. Alien: Romulus is up next for them in August. The first of two giant spider films debuting this month, Sting, grossed $487,000 in 750 theaters. Arcadian, the Quiet Place-like apocalyptic monster film briefly featuring Nicolas Cage, was in 1,100 theaters and grossed $481,100.

The period high school golf film starring Dennis Quaid and Jay Hernandez, The Long Game, premiered at the 2023 SXSW Film Festival but opened in limited release this past weekend, earning $1.39 million. Trafalgar Releasing put out the concert film by Suga (aka Agust D) of BTS and it grossed $961,015 last Wednesday in 784 theaters. SUGA: Agust D TOUR D-DAY THE MOVIE played again on Sunday and made another estimated $990,881, which was enough in one day to sneak into the top 10 this week.

Last year’s top 10 romance, Someone Like You, fell off the list this week with $849,000. It has grossed $4.8 million. Also falling out just behind it is Mark Wahlberg and the dog, Arthur the King, grossing $840,000 for a total of $23.5 million. Focus’ Housekeeping for Beginners from director Goran Stolevski (You Won’t Be Alone, Of An Age) expanded into 75 theaters but grossed just $70,000. His previous films grossed $264,055 and $556,585, respectively. Bertrand Bonello’s The Beast with Lea Seydoux and George MacKay grossed $50,000 after expanding into 23 theaters. It will expand further next week. The best per-theater average of the week looks to go to the Zellner Bros.’ Sasquatch Sunset. The Bleecker Street released grossed an estimated $93,005 in 9 theaters for a $10,333 average. It will expand next weekend.

On the Vine: Abigail Fights The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare

Mentioned earlier its more horror and more war. The child vampire home invasion film Abigail from the duo known as Radio Silence (Ready or Not, Scream 5 and 6) is the one to likely bet on for next weekend. Horror fans have been stingy this year, but maybe this is the one they will sink their teeth into. Then, another year, another Guy Ritchie film. This time The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare with Henry Cavill and Alan Ritchson tells a real-life Inglourious Basterds-like tale of British soldiers recruited to kill Nazis during WWII. Hugo Stiglitz is even in it and is hoping it could supplant Civil War for a second place finish.

Full List of Box Office Results: April 12-14, 2024

  • $25.7 million ($25.7 million total)

  • $15.4 million ($157.9 million total)

  • $5.8 million ($96.9 million total)

  • $5.5 million ($173.6 million total)

  • $4.3 million ($272.1 million total)

  • $4.1 million ($17.7 million total)

  • $3.7 million ($14.6 million total)

  • $1.39 million ($1.39 million total)

  • $1.35 million ($1.35 million total)

  • $990,881 ($2.2 million total)

Erik Childress can be heard each week evaluating box office on Business First AM with Angela Miles and his Movie Madness Podcast.

[box office figures via Box Office Mojo]

Thumbnail image by ©A24

On an Apple device? Follow Rotten Tomatoes on Apple News.