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411 Box Office Report: Avengers: Endgame Tops Detective Pikachu, Closes In on $2.5 Billion Worldwide

May 12, 2019 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Avengers: Endgame Detective Pikachu

Avengers: Endgame held off a strong start by Pokemon Detective Pikachu to claim the top spot at the box office and close in on more records. Endgame scored #1 spot for a third week in a row with $63.1 million, down 57% from its $147.4 million second weekend. That is a heftier drop-off than the third weekends of Avengers: Infinity War (46%), Black Panther (41%) and a touch higher than that of Captain America: Civil War (54%). However, it is by no means hurting as it brought its totals to $723.5 million domestically and $2.486 billion worldwide, the latter thanks to $102.3 million in overseas grosses.

As always, the question is how far Endgame will ultimately go. It’s already reached the top of the MCU in terms of domestic and worldwide grosses, and sits at #3 on the all-time domestic charts and #2 in worldwide gross. It’s certain to hit #2 domestically, with Avatar only a little ahead at $760.5 million. Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ $936.6 million, which had the benefit of the holiday weekend, seems pretty well unattainable at this point. Can the MCU film top Avatar’s $2.788 billion worldwide tally? It’s still definitely possible, though that will depend on how much strength Endgame can wring out of its remaining weeks. A final domestic gross of over $800 million seems quite likely, and this is of course a massive hit against its $350 million budget.

While the Avengers still ruled the box office, Detective Pikachu did just fine on its own. The Ryan Reynolds-starring adaptation of the popular franchise brought in $58 million, which was around where industry estimates had it going into the weekend. That’s the best start for a video game adaptation to date, besting Lara Croft: Tomb Raider’s $47.7 opening in 2001. Detective Pikachu is also the best opening for the Pokemon franchise with ease, topping the $31 million start of Pokemon: The First Movie way back in 1999.

There was plenty of reason to be bullish about Pikachu. While he is only heard in the film, Reynolds was a big part of marketing the film and he did a lot to promote the movie to his legion of fans. Warner Bros. smartly marketed this film as a mystery-comedy with plenty of elements from the Pokemon franchise, drawing in fans of the games as well as family audiences. Critic reviews were decent, with a 63% consensus on Rotten Tomatoes, and the A- CinemaScore means good word of mouth from filmgoers. Saturday saw a stellar hold, down just 0.7%, and Sunday’s estimated number was down only 18%. Most tentpole films will be frontloaded with drops throughout the opening weekend, but that wasn’t the case here.

Detective Pikachu is positioned fairly well for the next couple of weeks before Aladdin comes in to sweep up the family crowd. The film is likely to top $150 million domestically, and overseas grosses are strong with a $112.4 million overseas start for $170.4 million worldwide in its first few days. The budget was big at $150 million, but this should end up bringing in a bit profit for its studio. Whether it becomes a bigger franchise on its own is hard to say at this point.

The Hustle did solidly in trying to bring in audiences for Mother’s Day weekend. The Anne Hathaway/Rebel Wilson remake of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels nailed down $13.5 million, an okay start for a film with that was tracking at around $12 million heading into the weekend. Despite being hated by critics (12% on RT), the film consistently gained strength throughout the weekend and could end up higher once the final numbers come in on Monday.

The Hustle had success in selling a difficult concept. Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is an odd choice of a film to remake, being well-liked at the time of its release but not a huge hit. Gender-swapped films have an uneven record at the box office to boot; while Ocean’s 8 was quite the hit, the failure of Ghostbusters to catch on is legendary at this point. The Hustle pulled off its success by nature of being a more modest effort; $13.5 million is fine for this film, and the $13.7 million start overseas was solid as well for a $27.2 million worldwide start. At this point The Hustle seems likely to top $40 million domestically, with overseas numbers helping to pull it into a likely profit. No word on its budget.

Screen Gem’s The Intruder had a good hold, down 39% in its second weekend with $6.6 million. The Dennis Quaid/Meagan Good home invasion thriller held on way better than last year’s similar film Breaking In, which dropped 62% in weekend two, though Breaking In had further to fall with a stronger opening weekend. The Intruder is in very good shape right now with $21 million domestically and $21.3 million worldwide. The film looks likely to close off with around $32 million to $35 million, a good number on a low $8 million budget and moderate marketing costs.

Long Shot followed up its disappointing first weekend with a solid second frame, down just 37% with $6.1 million. The romantic comedy needed a good hold after its mediocre start, and this has to take a little of the heat off the film. Long Shot now stands at $19.7 million domestically and $22.9 million worldwide. It still needs a lot of strength, particularly overseas, to make anything clsoe to a dent in its $40 million budget plus marketing. But it’s not quite as dire as it looked last weekend.

Meanwile, STX is just not having a good month. After Uglydolls fell flat last weekend, this weekend saw the release of Poms which also fell short. The Diane Keaton-starring comedy hoped to bring in the Mother’s Day crowd, but The Hustle took all of that audience away and it finished with a low $5.1 million. That’s Keaton’s lowest start since And So It Goes in 2014 and reps the second-lowest opening for an STX film to date, ahead of only last year’s bomb Gringo.

Poms never should have picked this weekend to open, as its audience was already sewn up in the several other options available. But even opening in another weekend probably wouldn’t have been great. Critics hated Poms at 29% on RT, and the target demo of older women puts more weight in reviews than younger crowds. Filmgoers liked it fine at a B+ CinemaScore, but that’s not the truly great word of mouth it needs to have much of a chance. Even with a $10 million budget, there’s little chance of this making any real money. The film will probably close off at $12 million to $15 million or so.

Speaking of STX’s failures, Uglydolls got crushed by Detective Pokemon and dropped 54% to $3.9 million in its second weekend. There’s no good news here; the animated film has $14.3 million domestically and $15.9 million worldwide on a $45 million budget. It won’t even come close to that count, with a $20 million ceiling. There’s a reason that STX COO Thomas McGrath stepped down this past week, and it’s not just because he wants to get back to focusing on Broadway.

Breakthrough continues to do decent business, down 37% in its fourth weekend with $2.5 million. The faith-based film is now up to $37.1 million domestically and $45.9 million worldwide, solid numbers against its $14 million budget. The film is will end its domestic run at around $42 million in the US.

Fox Searchlight’s Tolkien opened quietly with $2.2 million, below the $3 million or so that most were expecting. Again, chalk this one up to poor reviews. The Nicholas Hoult-starring biopic on the Lord of the Rings author aimed at older audiences and while it wasn’t truly hated, the 49% RT consensus wasn’t too enticing for movie-goers. Fox Searchlight usually platforms up its releases to build momentum, but that requires critical buzz that wasn’t present here. Tolkien will likely end its run below $10 million domestically and will need overseas numbers to have any chance at making back a $20 million budget.

Captain Marvel finally ran out of steam, down 57% in its tenth weekend with $1.8 million. The MCU film isn’t shedding any tears though, with $423.8 million domestically and $1.123 billion worldwide. It’s a huge success for Marvel, with $428 million looking like the final domestic total. The budget was $153 million.

Avengers: Endgame will have some tough competition next week, as it goes up against John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum. The third film in the Keanu Reeves franchise is looking at $35 million to $40 million, which may be enough for it to top Endgame. A Dog’s Journey, the sequel to 2017’s A Dog’s Purpose, is targeting a low to mid-teens start while teen romance The Sun Is Also a Star should come in at around $8 million to $10 million.

BOX OFFICE TOP TEN (Three-Day Domestic Numbers)
1. Avengers: Endgame – $63.1 million ($723.5 million total)
2. Pokemon Detective Pikachu – $58 million ($58 million total)
3. The Hustle – $13.5 million ($13.5 million total)
4. The Intruder – $6.6 million ($21 million total)
5. Long Shot – $6.1 million ($19.7 million total)
6. Poms – $5.1 million ($5.1 million total)
7. Uglydolls – $3.9 million ($14.3 million total)
8. Breakthrough – $2.5 million ($37.1 million total)
9. Tolkien – $2.2 million ($2.2 million total)
10. Captain Marvel – $1.8 million ($423.8 million total)