In what would have been a big upset this weekend, Tyler Perry tried to pass Toothless for the top spot at the box office. The Madea brand did precisely what should have been expected of it, but it was still going to take quite the drop in family interest in How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World for it to pull out the victory. But thanks to those weekend matinees, Hiccup and Co. made a comeback and took out top place for the week.
When the name “Madea” features in a Tyler Perry movie title, those films average a $26.7 million opening and a final gross of $63.6 million. A Madea Family Funeral may be right in line with that first number when the final estimates come out on Monday, starting with $25.8 million and – if the average multiple of the Madea films is any indication – it should finish up between $57-$66 million. Only Boo 2! A Madea Halloween and A Madea Christmas opened to less than $25 million, and the former is the only Madea film to finish with less than $50 million. Perry’s latest film, if the Tomatometer score holds, will find itself amongst the top five rated films of his career.
Focus Features went wide with Neil Jordan’s Greta, the director’s first wide release since 2007’s The Brave One. It is the 19th film in Focus’s history to open on more than 2,000 screens and unfortunately its $4.58 million start ranks as the worst opening amongst them, lower than the animated Ratchet & Clank ($4.86 million) and the Ryan Reynolds-led sci-fi film, Self/Less ($5.4 million). Interview with the Vampire and The Brave One are the only previous films of Jordan’s career to launch in more than 2,000 theaters, so that alone is a bit of a compliment on behalf of Focus even if the result is not what they had hoped. Critics, though, are fairly evenly split on Greta, with the film currently just shy of Fresh on the Tomatometer at 57%.
Last week, How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World joined 21 other films to open between $54 million and $56 million. This week, the final chapter to the critically acclaimed trilogy (all three films are over 90% on the Tomatometer) only beat 14 of those films in their second weekend. However, after 10 days, its total gross is only ahead of five of those 21: Watchmen ($85.75 million), The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian ($90.83 million), Divergent ($94.37 million), The Spongebob Movie: Sponge Out of Water ($94.58 million), and The Incredible Hulk ($97.05 million). This 45% drop has taken away much of the hope that The Hidden World would surpass the $177 million of the second film and only adds to industry anxiety about the state of this year’s box office (down nearly 30% from 2018). But for Universal and DreamWorks Animation, the film is just about in profit thanks to a global total of over $375 million, which should continue to grow into a very healthy take.
Also banking on its international numbers is Fox’s Alita: Battle Angel, which is up to $350 million globally but just $72 million domestic and unlikely to break $100 million. The film still needs, conservatively, another $160 million to break even. But as box office watchers of The Meg can attest to – that film came so close last summer to recouping its costs – anything is possible. WB’s The Lego Movie 2 is coming up well shy of its predecessors, and with a drop to $6.6 million this week is looking like finishing somewhere between Interview with the Vampire and Trainwreck in the $105-$110 million region.
Green Book’s Best Picture bump helped it pass $75 million this weekend. Post-Valentine’s Day, What Men Want is about to cross $50 million, while Isn’t It Romantic may come up just short of that. Happy Death Day 2U and Fighting With My Family may not do $50 million combined. In limited release, Apollo 11, which is Certified Fresh at a perfect 100% on the Tomatometer, made $1.65 million in just 120 theaters for the third highest per-theater-average of the week of $13,750. Christian Petzold’s Transit (96% on the Tomatometer) was second with a $17,684 average in two theaters while Gaspar Noé’s Climax (77% on the Tomatometer) from A24 made $121,655 in 10 theaters for a top average of $24,331.
Black Panther led the pack for the third straight week with $66.3 million, the second biggest third weekend of all time. Revenge then followed in the form of Jennifer Lawrence and Bruce Willis with Red Sparrow ($16.8 million) and Eli Roth’s remake of Death Wish ($13 million). Neither film would go on to gross as much as Panther’s third weekend, which put it over the $500 million mark. The top 10 films grossed $134.2 million and averaged 57.4% on the Tomatometer. This year’s top 10 made an estimated $94.5 million and averaged 59.1% with critics.
The biggest movie of 2019 (to date) arrives as Marvel’s Captain Marvel enters theaters. The Anna Boden/Ryan Fleck-directed film with Brie Larson is poised to have the first $100 million opening of the year. And then some. Interest is very high in the film that could ultimately put up Hunger Games/Wonder Woman numbers here in the States. The last 10 live-action Marvel films have grossed at least $600 million worldwide. Only 11 films in 2018 reached that marker and five of them were based on Marvel properties.
[box office figures via Box Office Mojo]