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411 Box Office Report: Curse of La Llorona Races to #1 With $26.5 Million

April 21, 2019 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
The Curse of La Llorona

It was a weekend for ghosts at the box office, as The Curse of La Llorona claimed the top spot. The James Wan-produced horror film overindexed for $26.5 million and an easy win over Easter weekend, surpassing the high teens to $20 million expectation most had. Despite being the lowest opening for a film within the Conjuring universe to date, it’s still a good performance for a film with a low $9 million budget and virtually guarantees profit for the movie.

Part of the reason the film opened lower than the rest of the franchise was down to Warner Bros.’ marketing strategy. For whatever reason, the studio didn’t market this film a a spin-off of the popular horror universe, though its name was mentioned in taglines such as “From the producers of the Conjuring universe.” The film makes it pretty clear that it is set within the same universe, though there is not a direct connection to the Warrens as the other spin-offs did. It is conceivable that’s why the film’s ties were played down in marketing. Either way, the opening isn’t all that far off from the $35 million start of Annabelle: Creation in 2017 and that film had a slightly higher budget.

This is also yet another example of where horror tends to be critic-proof. Reviews didn’t warm to the film, with Rotten Tomatoes recording a a 32% consensus from critics. Audiences who saw the film liked it fairly well though, with a B- CinemaScore that is solid for horror. Like all films, it will get pounded next weekend but it should still be able to finish off with around $60 million domestically. It has added $30 million overseas for a $56.5 million first weekend, and it is likely to make a nice amount of money for Warner Bros.

Shazam! held on well in its third weekend, slipping to #2 with $17.3 million. That’s a slip of just 29%, which is impressive even with a light amount of competition. The DC Extended Universe film is now up to $121.3 million domestically and $322.8 million worldwide, both very good numbers against a $100 million budget. It is still on par for around $150 million domestically by the end of its run and is the latest hit for the comic book universe.

Easter Sunday is a popular choice for faith-based films, and Breakthough was this year’s effort. The Fox film was on the low but reasonable side of expectations with $11.1 million. Adding in its numbers from opening on Wednesday, it has $14.6 million in its first five days. That’s not too bad for a film that cost $14 million, though perhaps a bit below what the studio was hoping for.

Faith-based films tend to be polarizing, with a disconnect between critics and fans. Breakthough didn’t have as much of a problem with that, scoring a solid 65% RT consensus and a predictable A CinemaScore. It could have a niche as counter-programming next week and may not suffer quite as serious of falls as other films, though it won’t be immune to Thanos. A final domestic take of $40 million should be pretty feasible if it can hold on okay. Overseas it has $5.9 million for a worldwide start of $20.5 million. Its profit margin is in question, as it had a somewhat less targeted marketing campaign than your average faith-based movie.

Captain Marvel got a boost as audiences brace for Avengers: Endgame next week, rising a stellar 6% to bring in $9.1 million. That brings the Brie Larson-starring MCU film to $400 million domestically and $1.089 billion worldwide. The movie is the seventh film in the franchise to top the $400 million mark and has a very good shot at making it past Captain America: Civil War ($408.1 million) and Iron Man 3 ($409 million). Needless to say, this is a huge hit on a $153 million budget.

Little was down an expected 45% in its second weekend, bringing in $8.5 million. The Universal comedy has $29.4 million domestically and $34.2 million worldwide thus far. Those are decent numbers for this modest $20 million comedy, which is looking at a bit of profit for Universal with a probable $40 million to $45 million final gross.

Dumbo is doing its best trying to hang in there, down 28% in its fourth weekend with $6.8 million. The Easter weekend is usually solid for family films, and that likely aided this movie’s hold. It has $101.3 million tomestically and $304.9 million overseas, but it still doesn’t have much shot at profit against its $170 million production budget plus marketing. The US run will end at around $115 million.

Pet Sematary took a hit from Curse of La Llorona, dropping 50% in third weekend with $4.9 million. The Stephen King re-adaptation is now up to $49.6 million domestically and $95.7 million worldwide, profitable on a $21 million budget. The film should end its domestic run with around $60 million.

United Artists and LAIKA’s Missing Link benefited from the Easter weekend, down a mere 27% in its second weekend with $4.4 million. That would be an awesome hold if not for the fact that it opened very low in the first place. The stop-motion animated film now stands at $13 million domestically, with its legs probably taking it to around $25 million. No word on the budget, but the previous LAIKA films cost around $60 million each.

Us weathered the new horror arrival well, off 37% in its fifth weekend with $4.3 million. The Jordan Peele film has a total of $170.4 million domestically and $245.7 worldwide, huge against a budget of $20 million. It will finish with around $180 million in the US.

Hellboy’s bad start turned even uglier in weekend two. The comic book film reboot was down a terrible 68% from its poor opening weekend, bringing in $3.9 million. The film is in full-on box office bomb territory at this point with $19.7 million domestically (international numbers aren’t yet known). With a $25 million final domestic take likely, it has no chance of making back its $50 million budget.

Next weekend no film that is not Avengers: Endgame will mater. The sky’s the limit for the much-anticipated MCU film, with many predicting that it will bring in between $275 million and $300 million. The current opening weekend record is Infinity War with $257.7 million..

BOX OFFICE TOP TEN (Three-Day Domestic Numbers)
1. The Curse of La Llorona – $26.5 million ($26.5 million total)
2. Shazam! – $17.3 million ($121.3 million total)
3. Breakthrough – $11.1 million ($14.6 million total)
4. Captain Marvel – $9.1 million ($400 million total)
5. Little – $8.5 million ($29.4 million total)
6. Dumbo – $6.8 million ($101.3 million total)
7. Pet Sematary – $4.9 million ($49.6 million total)
8. Missing Link – $4.4 million ($13 million total)
9. Us – $4.3 million ($170.4 million total)
10. Hellboy – $3.9 million ($19.7 million total)