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411 Box Office Report: Godzilla: King of the Monsters Claims Top Spot

June 2, 2019 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
GODZILLA: KING OF THE MONSTERS Image Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

Godzilla: King of the Monsters proved to be the box office champion this week in a close bout with Aladdin. Warner Bros.’ kaiju smackdown film rose to #1 in its first weekend, bringing in $49 million. That’s an okay start for the film, but on the low end of expectations. It ranks well below the $98.2 million start for the first film in the rebooted franchise, and below the $61 million start of 2017’s Kong: Skull Island. Internationally, it also opened below expectations with $130 million (expectations were as high as $170 million – $200 million) for a $179 million start.

So what happened here? Blame a movie season filled with blockbusters so far, for one. Godzilla found itself amidst a very crowded marketplace. Reviews weren’t stellar, with a 39% consensus on Rotten Tomatoes, and that did appear to have an impact. The B+ CinemaScore is good, being equal to the 2014 Godzilla and Skull Island, but unlike those films the word of mouth didn’t help the grosses from day to day. King of the Monsters proved to be front-loaded through the weekend, and that’s not a good sign going forward. The budget was a hefty $170 plus marketing, and this one looks to leg out like the first film which only did about a 2.0 miltiple. $100 million domestically means that those overseas grosses have to pick up for this to become a hit.

Meanwhile, Aladdin came up just short for a second weekend at #1 with $42.3 million. That’s a 54% drop from the very good opening weekend, which was largely expected. The Guy Ritchie film overperformed in its first frame, which almost always leads to larger second weekend slips. That’s better than Dumbo’s 60% drop earlier this year. Aladdin now stands at $185 million domestically and $445.9 million worldwide, with a likely $270 million to $275 million final domestic take. It’s a hit, even on its $183 million budget.

While Godzilla didn’t get off to a great start, its counter-programming did. First up is Rocketman, which brought in $25 million in its opening weekend. That’s about where estimates had it going into the weekend. The Elton John biopic didn’t have a Bohemian Rhapsody-level start; that film scored $51.1 million in November. But it was never expected to. Rocketman earned its money on the back of strong critical buzz (90% on RT) and a very good word of mouth; the CinemaScore was an A-. Rocketman also scored well overseas, where it brought in $31.2 million for a $56.2 million worldwide start.

From where we stand right now, the musical biopic looks to be a sizable hit for Paramount. The audience for this film skewed older, and those audiences tend to result in stronger week-to-week holds. A $115 million domestic take seems likely, with overseas numbers pushing it well into profit against its $40 million budget.

Meanwhile, the horror-thriller Ma is looking fine after an $18.2 million start, right around where it was expected to do. The Octavia Spencer-starring flick is resonating fine with audiences; the critical regard is a decent 62%, while the CinemaScore is a B- which is pretty solid for horror and thrillers. Ma is only in a smattering of markets overseas, where it gathered up $2.8 million for a $21 million total worldwide start. It should finish its domestic run around $45 million, more than enough for profit on a $5 million budget and moderate marketing.

John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum was down 55% in its third weekend to $11.1 million. That brings the third film in the franchise to $125.8 million domestically and $221.7 million worldwide, a big profit against its $55 million budget. It seems likely for a final domestic gross of $155 million or so.

Avengers: Endgame brought in $7.8 million, off 55% in its fifth weekend. The MCU blockbuster is now up to $815.5 million domestically and $2.713 billion worldwide. ALl eyes continue to see if it can top Avatar’s $2.788 billion worldwide, and it’s still very possible. Of course, it’s a huge hit against its $350 million budget. The domestic gross stays on par for $840 million.

Pokemon Detective Pikachu was down 50% in its fourth weekend with $6.7 million. The live-action/CGW hybrid adaptation now has a decent $130.6 million domestically and $392.1 million worldwide, sitting pretty against its $150 million budget. Pikachu should close out with about $150 million domestically, a hit for Warner Bros.

Olivia Wilde’s Booksmart dropped 52% in its second weekend, not the hold United Artists wanted. The teen comedy brought in $3.3 million to bring its total to $14.4 million thus far. The film had a small budget so it shouldn’t end up a money loser, but $22 million is less than the studio hoped for.

BrightBurn sunk like a stone, down a vicious 70% in its second weekend to $2.3 million. That’s obviously not good news for the superhero horror film, which is currently at $14.2 million domestically and $24.7 million worldwide after two weekends. While the film cost only $6 million, it will still be a disappointment for Screen Gems. It should end its domestic run at around $18 million to $20 million, which is not what the studio wanted from it.

The Hustle closed out the top ten with $1.3 million in its fourth weekend, down 63% after a series of strong holds. The comedy now stands at $33.2 million domestically and $74 million worldwide, likely to close out at $38 million in the US. It’s a very minor hit for the studio.

The X-Men take their final bow as a Fox property next weekend as Dark Phoenix opens. The superhero film is looking at a $45 million to $50 million start, though it will hope for more. The weekend will be won by The Secret Life of Pets 2, which should open in the $65 million to $70 million range.

BOX OFFICE TOP TEN (Three-Day Domestic Numbers)
1. Godzilla: King of the Monsters – $49 million ($49 million total)
2. Aladdin – $42.3 million ($185 million total)
3. Rocketman – $25 million ($25 million total)
4. Ma – $18.2 million ($18.2 million total)
5. John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum – $11.1 million ($125.8 million total)
6. Avengers: Endgame – $7.8 million ($815.5 million total)
7. Pokemon Detective Pikachu – $6.7 million ($130.6 million total)
8. Booksmart – $3.3 million ($14.4 million total)
8. BrightBurn – $2.3 million ($14.2 million total)
10. The Hustle – $1.3 million ($33.2 million total)