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411 Box Office Report: Civil War Wins Weekend With A24’s Best-Ever Start

April 14, 2024 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Civil War Image Credit: A24

It was a Civil War atop the box office this weekend, as Alex Garland’s film scored A24’s best opening ever. The politically charged action thriller won the weekend with a $25.7 million opening weekend, scoring above the expected $20 million start heading into the weekend. That reps the best start for an A24 film of all-time, topping Hereditary’s $13.6 million opening back in June of 2018, and the best opening weekend for a Garland-directed film ahead of Annihilation’s $11.1 million launch in February of 2018.

Civil War had a lot of buzz for it going into the weekend, but a lot of question marks as well. While critics loved the film with an 83% aggregated score on Rotten Tomatoes, the political nature of the premise had many wondering if it would end up being a hyped-up flop. That turned out to very much not be the case, as the movie started off strong and held on well throughout the weekend.

There are still a lot of questions about the film going forward, to be fair. For one, the movie is proving divisive with audiences, though not as much as one might expect given its nature. The CinemaScore is a B-, which is lukewarm but not the kind of score (a C or worse) we often see for truly polarizing movies, and the 77% RT audience score is much of the same.

It also must be said that the film was costly for its current position at a $50 million budget plus a reported $20 million for marketing. And its international prospects are not clear; films that tackle hot-button America-specific topics don’t often perform well internationally, though the more action-oriented premise may help here. Domestically it seems likely to gross around $75 million or so if it can hold on well its first weekend, and international grosses should position it to ultimately be in good shape once streaming revenues are added in.

Godzilla X Kong: The New Empire was down 50% in its third weekend to gross $15.5 million. The kaiju action film is already a hit at this point, with $157.9 million domestically and $436.5 million worldwide against a budget of $135 million. It is coming up on Kong: Skull Island’s $168.1 million domestic gross and should easily pass it, with the 2014 Godzilla’s $200.7 million domestic total within reach.

Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire continues to fight its way toward profit as it brought in $5.8 million in its fourth weekend. That’s down 36% from last weekend’s numbers. The franchise sequel has tallied $97 million domestically and $160 million worldwide, putting it on a path to a little bit of profit against a $100 million budget. It should be able to close out in the US with about $115 million or so.

Kung Fu Panda 4 continues to hold well week to week as it nosed down just 29% in its sixth frame to $5.5 million. The animated film stands at $173.7 million in the US and $423.7 million worldwide against an $85 million budget. It’s a hit for Universal and DreamWorks animation and should end its run with around $190 million domestically.

Dune: Part Two was off 42% in its seventh weekend with $4.3 million. The Warner Bros. blockbuster now has $272.1 million domestically and $683.9 million worldwide against a $190 million budget. It’s a megahit with a likely $290 million domestic endgame.

Dev Patel’s action film Monkey Man took a hit in its second weekend, dropping 59% to bring in $4.1 million. That’s high in general, but rather expected considering the early hype around the film and its genre (action tends to fall harder). The film now stands at $17.8 million domestically and $22.8 million worldwide, solid numbers for a $10 million-budgeted movie. It is still on course for around $25 million stateside and will be profitable for Universal

The First Omen had a perfectly fine hold for a horror film, down 55% in its second weekend to $3.8 million. That puts the prequel at $14.6 million domestically – not great for a film that cost $30 million to produce, but that is offset by strong numbers overseas where it has $20.8 million for $35.4 million worldwide. The movie is looking to cross the finish line in the US at around $25 million, which will be enough to make the studio content.

The final three films of the weekend were lower-profile new releases and a re-release. First up is the Hispanic golf drama The Long Game, which took in $1.4 million for the #8 spot. The Julio Quintana-directed film, which is based on the true story of Mexican-American caddies who won the 1957 Texas State Championship, scored thanks to solid critical buzz (a 78% RT score) and targeted marketing.

The film is distributed by Mucho Más Media and was never going to have box office-topping potential as a result, but it’s a solid start for a movie that will make most of its money on home video. It should be able to make it around $3 to $4 million in the US, perhaps more depending on any possible expansion plans.

Shrek 2 saw a re-release in theaters and claimed the #9 spot with $1.4 million. The 2004 animated blockbuster was put into 1,512 theaters to celebrate its 20th anniversary. Since its initial release opening it has grossed $442.8 million domestically and $936.8 million worldwide.

Finally, the spider-themed horror film Sting opened at the #10 spot with $1.2 million. Well Go USA’s creature feature is moderately liked by critics (70% on RT) though audiences are a bit mild on it with a 71% RT score there (remember, audience scores are generally kinder to films than critic ones). There’s no word on this movie’s budget but it’s performing right in Well Go’s wheelhouse and should make its money on digital.

Next weekend should see a new #1 as Radio Silence returns with Abigail. The bloody vampire flick is looking at a mid-teens start and will battle it out with Civil War for the top spot. Also opening is the period action film The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare, which is taking aim at a mid-to-high single digits opening.

BOX OFFICE TOP TEN (Three-Day Domestic Numbers)
1. Civil War – $25.7 million ($25.7 million total, $25.7 million WW)
2. Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire – $15.5 million ($157.9 million total, $436.5 million WW)
3. Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire – $5.8 million ($97 million total, $160 million WW)
4. Kung Fu Panda 4 – $5.5 million ($173.7 million total, $423.7 million WW)
5. Dune: Part Two – $4.3 million ($272.1 million total, $683.9 million WW)
6. Monkey Man – $4.1 million ($17.8 million total, $22.8 million WW)
7. The First Omen – $3.8 million ($14.6 million total, $35.4 million WW)
8. The Long Game – $1.4 million ($1.4 million total, $1.4 million WW)
9. Shrek 2 – $1.4 million ($442.8 million total, $936.8 million WW)
10. Sting – $1.2 million ($1.2 million total, $1.2 million WW)

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Box Office, Civil War, Jeremy Thomas