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411 Box Office Report: Good Boys Leads With $21 Million, Hobbs & Shaw Tops $400 Million Worldwide

August 18, 2019 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Good Boys

It was a surprise finish at the top of the box office this weekend, with R-rated comedy Good Boys leading the way. Universal Pictures’ teen comedy brought in $21 million, well above the expected low teens start, to give the studio its third #1 weekend in a row. The start is one of the top comedy openings this year, behind only the $27.1 million first weekend of Tyler Perry’s A Madea Family Funeral. And that film had Perry’s built-in fanbase to boost it.

Good Boys is going to be many people’s arguments that comedy can work at the box office despite many recent failures, and it’s hard not to disagree. The genre has had a lot of difficulty in the past couple of years, increasingly becoming less and less of the total yearly box office. With the exception of Madea and January’s The Upside, comedy has massively underperformed in 2019. And the two previous years were no different, yielding a couple of decent hits like Girl’s Trip and Night School but otherwise falling short. Good Boys is looking likely to become one of those breakouts, built on a Superbad-like vibe and a strong promotional campaign.

The film has scored well enough with critics, hitting a good 80% consensus on Rotten Tomatoes, and the B+ CinemaScore indicates solid word of mouth. These suggest a pretty decent upside for the film. The closest comparison would be last year’s Blockers, which started at $20.6 million and made it to $60.3 million in its domestic final. Good Boys should be able to reach those numbers, which would make it a success on its $20 million budget plus marketing once foreign grosses come in. The first smattering of international distribution has brought in $2.1 million for a $23.1 million total. Universal’s going to be happy here.

The studio is also quite happy with Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs and Shaw, which held onto the #2 spot with $14.1 million in its third weekend. That’s down a pretty solid 44% from last weekend, and puts the film at $133.7 million. As it stands, the movie is on course for around $160 million by the end of its run, and perhaps a little higher. More importantly, the movie is taking off well overseas and is up to $437.1 million, and that’s without China where it opens next weekend. The spinoff is on course for a likely profit margin against its $200 million budget.

The Lion King held steady in its fifth week with $11.9 million, down 41% from last weekend. The Disney live-action remake is is now up to $496.1 million domestically and $1.435 billion worldwide, and should beat Beauty and the Beast’s $504 million to become the top-grossing of the Disney remakes yet. It should finish off around $520 million in the US, a massive hit even against a $250 million budget.

Sony stumbled heavily with The Angry Birds Movie 2, which disappointed with a take of just $10.5 million to start its run (and $16.2 million in five days, having opened on Tuesday). That’s below the expected $20 million or so start that the studio was hoping for, and barely more than a quarter of the $38.2 million that the first film started off with. This one’s easy to explain: nobody wanted a sequel. The first film was a solid performer, but not that many people actually liked it and it didn’t have a story that screamed for a follow-up. Even though critics actually liked this one (76% RT vs. the first’s 44%), Sony didn’t pump enough marketing in to justify this doing well enough.

It must be said, though, that this film wasn’t necessarily made for American audiences. The first film earned two-thirds of its money overseas, and the overseas numbers could end up saving Angry Birds Movie 2. Thus far it’s off to an okay start with $30 million from 29 markets for a $46.2 million worldwide total. These movies are relatively inexpensive for animated films at a $65 million budget, so if the overseas numbers are strong enough Sony will still make a profit here. Don’t expect Angry Birds 3, though.

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark had an expected 52% drop in its second weekend to bring in 10.1 million. The PG-13 horror film has now totalled $40.2 million domestically and $54.3 million worldwide against a $28 million budget. Things are looking good for this one to be a minor profit for CBS Films, with a likely $60 million to $65 million final domestic take.

Entertainment Studios joined Sony in having an iffy opening this weekend; in its case, it was 47 Meters Down: Uncaged. The pseudosequel to the surprise 2017 success brought in $9 million, below the mid-teens number most predicted. This is again an example of a sequel no one was really asking for. The first 47 Meters Down did well, largely due to canny marketing that led it to start at $11 million on its way to $44.3 million against a budget of just $5.3 million. Uncaged isn’t spendy, but it did cost over double the first film at $12 million and opening below the original was not what Entertainment Studios wanted.

The big problem here is that Uncaged is likely to follow the path of its predecessor, which means no international grosses to lift it higher. The producers and studio won’t take a bath here as marketing was light, but a $30 million to $35 million final domestic gross won’t be enough for this to be considered a success.

Nickelodeon Films’ Dora and the Lost City of Goldfollowed its disappointing start last weekend with a lackluster follow-up. The live-action adventure film had $8.5 million, down 51% from last weekend. That’s a drop that is expected of blockbusters and genre-heavy films. Family films, not so much. The movie now has $33.9 million domestically and $44.6 million worldwide, not good numbers at this point to match up against a $49 million budget and marketing. It seems likely to end its US/Canada run arounbd $50 million and could still avoid a loss if those overseas numbers hold up, but this will be it for this version of Dora.

Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood, on the other hand, is sitting in good shape. The Quentin Tarantino film was off a good 35% in its fourth weekend to $7.6 million, continuing its stronger holds than Inglourious Basterds had. The movie now has $114.3 million domestically and $180.5 million worldwide, with more money still to come. Once Upon a Time should make it to around $140 million in the US, a nice hit against its $90 million budget.

The Bruce Springsteen-inspired dramedy Blinded By the Light fell a bit short in its first weekend with $4.5 million. The film, which is inspired by the life of journalist Sarfraz Manzoor, hit about where predictions lied for it going into the weekend. However, those predictions were based on Warner Bros. confounding strategy of throwing this one out to wide release when based on its strong critical buzz (90% on RT), a platforming strategy would seem to have made more sense. The studio may have felt emboldened by the success of the summer’s similarly music-themed Beatles flick Yesterday, but that one had a better marketing effort and the advantage of being first.

This isn’t a disaster for Blinded By the Light, to be fair. The film was inexpensive at $15 million, the P&A spending was fairly low and good word of mouth (an A- CinemaScore) could give it a longer run. But when you start out with a wide release, it’s hard to keep that momentum going. This one won’t have the overseas success of Yesterday, and will probably finish off domestically at around $15 million — not enough for a profit against its budget, obviously.

The Art of Racing in the Rain finished out the top ten, down 46% in its second weekend with $4.4 million. The dramedy has now reached $16.9 million domestically, with its trajectory comparable to May’s A Dog’s Journey. It should be able to hit around that film’s $22.5 million total, not good enough for profit against a $20 million budget.

The end of summer continues next weekend, as Angel Has Fallen turns the Gerard Butler action-thriller series into a trilogy and should bring in around $15 million to $17 million. Meanwhile, Fox Searchlight has critically-acclaimed comedy-thriller Ready or Not releasing on Wednesday. It is looking at a high single-digits three-day weekend take.

BOX OFFICE TOP TEN (Three-Day Domestic Numbers)
1. Good Boys – $21 million ($21 million total)
2. Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw – $14.1 million ($133.7 million total)
3. The Lion King – $11.9 million ($496.1 million total)
4. The Angry Birds Movie 2 – $10.5 million ($16.2 million total)
5. Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark – $10.1 million ($40.2 million total)
6. 47 Meters Down: Uncaged – $9 million ($9 million total)
7. Dora and the Lost City of Gold – $8.5 million ($33.9 million total)
8. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood – $7.6 million ($114.3 million total)
9. Blinded By the Light – $4.5 million ($4.5 million total)
10. The Art of Racing in the Rain – $4.4 million ($16.9 million total)