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411 Box Office Report: Civil War Edges Out Abigail To Retain Top Spot

April 21, 2024 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Civil War Kirsten Dunst Image Credit: A24

Civil War retained its spot atop the box office this weekend as it narrowly beat Abigail for the #1 spot. Alex Garland’s action thriller scored $11.1 million to claim the top position, down 56% from its opening weekend. That’s a solid hold for a film that, while hit a hit among critics, has proven somewhat polarizing among moviegoers.

Civil War has now tallied $44.9 million domestically and $48.2 million worldwide, decent if not great numbers thus far. It still has a ways to go to make back its production budget of $50 million and marketing, but it seems in a good position to do so. As it stands, the film is still looking likely to close out around $75 million, which will put it close to Everything Everywhere All All At Once’s $77.2 million as A24’s highest domestic grosser ever. It’s currently at #3 for the studio and will pass Lady Bird’s $49 million by next weekend.

Abigail opened soft compared to expectations, bringing in $10.2 million in its first weekend. The Radio Silence-directed vampire film was looking at a mid-teens gross coming into the frame. The opening is better than the $8.4 million start that The Final Omen had a couple weeks ago and about on par with the $10.1 million start for the action-thriller Monkey Man that same weekend. It’s also an improvement on the $8 million start that Radio Silence’s Ready Or Not began with in August of 2019.

Abigail has been a hit with critics, scoring an 83% aggregated score on Rotten Tomatoes. Audience also like it, with an 88% RT audience rating and a B CinemaScore (quite good for horror). The problem here was that it entered an oversaturated market for the genre. Horror fans have been eating well this spring with films like First Omen, Immaculate and Late Night With the Devil all still in theaters. That made this film – which originally began as a remake of Dracula’s Daughter before going its own direction – trying to appeal to a sated market.

Still, it’s far from the end of the world. Abigail’s favorable response should help its holds week to week and while it’s no Blumhouse production, it was still moderately budgeted at $28 million. The film should be able to top $30 million by the end of its domestic run and it is early in its overseas run, where it added $5 million for a $15.2 million worldwide start. The film is unlikely to be a money loser for Universal, even if it could have stood to get a release a bit later in the year when there was less bloody fare at the box office.

Godzilla X Kong: The New Empire is holding on well, down 39% in its fourth weekend to gross $9.5 million. The kaiju action film has now totaled $171.6 million domestically and $485.2 million worldwide, a hefty hit against a budget of $135 million. It has now passed Kong: Skull Island’s $168.1 million domestic gross and still has a not-terrible shot at surpassing Godzilla’s $200.7 million domestic total.

Guy Ritchie’s The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare beat out expectations, as it opened to $9 million. The action drama was expected to gross in the mid-single digits, so this is a success for Lionsgate. It’s the best opening for Ritchie since The Gentlemen opened to $10.7 million back in January of 2020, and easily tops both of his 2023 releases in The Covenant ($6.4 million) and Operation Fortune: Ruse de guerre ($3.1 million).

Ungentlemanly Warfare was flying under the radar heading into the weekend, but it managed to deliver thanks to decent critical reviews (a 78% on RT) and a savvy marketing campaign. The film also is benefitting from strong word of mouth, with an A- CinemaScore and a 94% RT audience rating. Those helped the film hold on well throughout the weekend and positions it better than expected for the studio.

While the film was expensive with a $60 million production budget, Lionsgate is not on the hook for all of that. Sources indicate that the studio paid a guarantee in the teens and committed to $20 million to market it, and is also getting a distribution fee. The studio is expecting this to be a profitable venture for themselves and their partners, especially when digital/VOD revenues come into play. It should close out with around $25 million domestically.

Crunchyroll’s latest anime release came in at #5, as Spy x Family Code: White brought in $4.9 million. That’s a perfectly fine start for the animated action comedy, which was never expected to do numbers in the range of the Demon Slayer or Dragon Ball films.

Spy x Family Code is huge with critics (96% on RT) and fans (99% audience RT rating, A CinemaScore), all of which may help its week to week holds although it will still follow the front-loaded nature of anime films – a situation pushed along by the fact that these films exit theaters fairly quickly. It should be able to top $10 million domestically, but that’s just icing on a cake that has already brought in $40 million overseas for a $44.9 million worldwide gross thus far.

Kung Fu Panda 4 again had the best hold in the top 10, down just 17% in its seventh frame to $4.6 million. The animated film stands at $180 million in the US and $480.3 million worldwide against an $85 million budget. That makes it a big money maker for Universal and DreamWorks Animation, and one that should end its run with around $193 million domestically.

Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire was off a very solid 24% in its fifth weekend with $4.4 million. The franchise sequel has now grossed $102.9 million domestically and $176.1 million worldwide, keeping it on course for some profit against a $100 million budget. It should be able to end its US run with about $115 million or so.

Dune: Part Two was off 33% in its eighth weekend with $4.3 million, a strong hold when you consider the movie is now available on digital. The sci-fi action epic now has $276.6 million domestically and $695.8 million worldwide against a $190 million budget. It’s huge hit, with a likely $290 million domestic endgame.

Monkey Man stabilized some in its third weekend, off 46% to $2.2 million. That puts the film at $21.7 million domestically and $26.8 million worldwide, making it profitable for Universal against a $10 million budget. It is still on course for around $25 million stateside.

The First Omen closed out the top 10 with $1.7 million, down another 55% in its third weekend. The prequel is not in the most wonderful shape, sitting at $17.8 million domestically, but the overseas numbers are much better and bring it to $45.1 million worldwide. It’s still on course for a small amount of profit against a $30 million budget and should end its domestic run at around $22 million.

Next weekend should see a new #1 as Amazon-MGM releases the new Luca Guadagnino drama Challengers, which should ride its critical hype and Zendaya’s star power to a mid-to-high teens opening. Meanwhile, Lionsgate’s faith-based drama Unsung Hero should open somewhere in the mid-single digits.

BOX OFFICE TOP TEN (Three-Day Domestic Numbers)
1. Civil War – $11.1 million ($44.8 million total, $48.2 million WW)
2. Abigail – $10.2 million ($10.2 million total, $15.2 million WW)
3. Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire – $9.5 million ($171.6 million total, $485.2 million WW)
4. The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare – $9 million ($9 million total, $9 million WW)
5. Spy x Family Code: White – $4.9 million ($4.9 million total, $44.9 million WW)
6. Kung Fu Panda 4 – $4.6 million ($180 million total, $480.3 million WW)
7. Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire – $4.4 million ($102.9 million total, $176.1 million WW)
8. Dune: Part Two – $2.9 million ($276.6 million total, $695.8 million WW)
9. Monkey Man – $2.2 million ($21.7 million total, $26.8 million WW)
10. The First Omen – $1.7 million ($17.8 million total, $45.1 million WW)