Weekend Box Office (February 15 - 17, 2019)
THIS WEEKEND The 2019 box office slump continued as the Presidents Day holiday frame plunged to its worst gross in 15 years. Moviegoers only had so much excitement for the menu of titles that studios have offered with many consumers holding onto their dollars waiting for bigger event movies to arrive.
Opening at number one was the big-budget sci-fi vehicle Alita: Battle Angel which grossed an estimated $27.8M over the Friday-to-Sunday portion of the long holiday frame. Fox's PG-13 entry averaged a good $7,335 from 3,790 locations and has collected $36.5M since its debut on Thursday, Valentine's Day.
Audiences and critics have had differing opinions on Alita. Film reviews were mixed and did not provide too much support, however paying crowds have been reacting very well and the A- CinemaScore shows consumer satisfaction. The solid 55% Friday-to-Saturday jump indicates good word-of-mouth and strong business from older kids on a long weekend off from school.
With Robert Rodriguez directing and James Cameron writing and producing, Alita tapped into the sci-fi and manga crowds and is positioned for a stellar global run. This weekend saw openings in dozens of countries with a hefty $56.2M from 86 markets pushing the overseas cume to $94.4M and the early global take to $130.9M. With muscular launches expected in China and Japan this Friday, the final worldwide haul for Alita should be able to top $500M, and may exceed $600M too.
The LEGO Movie 2 dropped from first to second and grossed an estimated $21.2M from family audiences in its second weekend, down 38%. After ten days, the Warners toon stands at $62.7M which is less than half of what the first LEGO Movie made during this same period five years ago.
Warner Bros. released a new romantic comedy for Valentine's Day with Isn't It Romantic but only saw moderate results with an estimated weekend of $14.2M from 3,444 sites for a $4,126 average. Starting its run on Wednesday ahead of the holiday, the PG-13 film anchored by Rebel Wilson collected $20.5M over five days. Reviews were generally positive and the A- CinemaScore grade meant that moviegoers were satisfied with it. Numerous studio rom-coms launched for this holiday have done better, though.
Another female-driven film followed with the comedy What Men Want dropping a reasonable 40% to an estimated $10.9M in its second weekend. The Paramount release has banked $36.2M to date.
The horror sequel Happy Death Day 2U only attracted a few takers opening in fifth with an estimated $9.8M from 3,207 locations for a mild $3,062 average. That debut was down a disturbing 62% from the $26M launch of Happy Death Day which launched on the Friday the 13th right before Halloween in 2017. Universal has collected $13.5M since the Wednesday start on this PG-13 fright fest.
The rest of the top ten was filled with leftover scraps, each averaging about $2,000 or less. The Liam Neeson actioner Cold Pursuit dropped 46% in its second weekend to an estimated $6M for Lionsgate putting the cume at only $21.1M. The Upside dipped only 22% to an estimated $5.6M raising its impressive total to $94.2M for STX which will soon enter the century club.
Down 39% was Glass with an estimated $3.9M putting Universal at $104.5M. Horror pic The Prodigy fell 46% to an estimated $3.2M with Orion at $11M overall.
Rounding out the top ten was the Oscar contender Green Book with an estimated $2.8M, off just 20%, for $65.8M to date for Universal. Academy Award nominee Mahershala Ali has bookended the top ten this weekend with this one plus Alita.
The top ten films grossed an estimated $105.3M over the Friday-to-Sunday portion of the Presidents Day holiday weekend which was down a steep 61% from last year when Black Panther opened in the number one spot with a record $202M; and off 18% from 2017 when The LEGO Batman Movie stayed on top with $32.7M.
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Watch the trailer for Hobbs & Shaw.
This column is updated three times each week: Thursday (upcoming weekend's summary), Sunday (post-weekend analysis with estimates), and Monday night (actuals). Opinions expressed in this column are those solely of the author.
Last Updated: February 17, 2019 at 12:15PM ET
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