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411 Box Office Report: Hobbs & Shaw Holds Off Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark For Second #1 Finish

August 11, 2019 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Fast and Furious Presents Hobbs & Shaw

The Rock and Jason Statham were able to fend off Guillermo Del Toro, as Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs and Shaw stayed atop the box office this weekend. The Fast & Furious spinoff film brought in $25.4 million in its second frame, down 58% from its opening weekend take. That’s a better hold than all of the past four main franchise entries; Fast Five dropped 62% in 2011, Fast & Furious 6 fell 64% in its second weekend in 2013, while Furious 7 dropped 60% in 2015 and Fate of the Furious fell 61%.

It must be said, as a caveat, that all of those films had stronger opening weekends than Hobbs & Shaw. Still, it is a nice hold for the film considering the rest of the franchise and has to have Universal pretty pleased. Hobbs & Shaw has now grossed $108.5 million domestically and $332.6 million worldwide so far, with China among the international territories yet to open. With its current trajectory, Hobbs & Shaw seems likely to top $150 to $160 million with overseas grosses ensuring this will be a hit for the studio even on a $200 million budget.

Coming in at #2 was the best performer of a spate of new releases in Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. The Del Toro-produced PG-13 horror flick brought in a solid $20.8 million, beating the pre-weekend expectations in the mid-teens. That’s a very good result for the film, which is now the best horror opening of the summer just ahead of Annabelle Comes Home’s $20.3 million start and the second best start for a CBS Films movie, behind only The Woman in Black at $20.9 million. Of course, when the final numbers come in, it could easily edge up to #1 in that ranking.

PG-13 horror can have a rough time at the box office, but Scary Stories has quite the pedigree that made it a solid choice for fans. Del Toro has obvious name value in genre filmmaking, and CBS Films made sure to feature his name prominently in marketing. And the source material is a nostalgic favorite for readers who enjoyed being scared as a kid. Add in the fact that it was an empty horror field and you had solid hit potential here. Critics dug it with an 80% Rotten Tomatoes consensus.

So how far will Scary Stories go? Audiences gave the film a C CinemaScore, which is would be disastrous for most genres but is somewhat more palatable in horror where the average is lower. The film’s biggest advantage is that it has a week until the next horror film — Ready or Not — and then nothing else as direct competition until IT: Chapter 2 opens in the beginning of September. The film seems likely to at least cross $50 million and could get as high as $70 million if the holds are better than expected. It’s opened in 30 markets overseas with a $4 million total for $24.8 million worldwide. If international numbers come in well as the film expands, it should be fine against its $28 million budget and a fairly light marketing spend.

The Lion King was down a spot to #3 in its fourth week with a very good $20 million, down 48% from last weekend. The Disney live-action remake is well on its way to becoming the best of Disney’s remakes of their animated classics from a financial standpoint, with $473.1 million domestically and $1.334 billion worldwide. The worldwide number is already the best performance for the Disney remakes, and it is easily going to pass Beauty & the Beast’s $504 million domestic total. It should finish off around $515 million or more in the US. The budget was $250 million.

Nickelodeon Films had a disappointing start with Dora and the Lost City of Gold. The live-action take on the Dora the Explorer franchise brought in $17 million, below the $20 million start that most expected. Chalk this up to the film being forced to compete with Scary Stories — an odd decision, considering both CBS Films and Nickelodeon are owned by Paramount. It stunted what could have been a solid performer for Nick, as critics liked Dora (81%) and audiences dug it (A CinemaScore).

That said, Dora isn’t in the worst shape. Those scores suggest that there will be good word of mouth and, like Scary Stories, has no direct competition on the way. It could conceivably make its way to $60 million or more, but with a $49 million budget and marketing, it will need some strong overseas numbers to still hit a profit margin.

Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood continues its good run, down 42% to $11.6 million in its third weekend. The dramedy is now sitting at $100.3 million domestically, the fourth Tarantino film to cross that mark, and began its international rollout with $7.7 million for $108 million worldwide. The film is looking likely now to hit around $140 million in the US and with international money will bring in a profit against its $90 million budget.

A couple of bad starts for new entries filled in the #6 and 7 spots. First comes The Art of Racing in the Rain. The dramedy based on the 2008 novel brought in $8.1 million, which is not terrible but a bit below the $10 million that Disney (aka Fox) was hoping for. There have been a lot of dog films this year between this, A Dog’s Journey and A Dog’s Way Home, and all of them ultimately underperformed. In The Art of Racing in the Rain’s case, it’s largely a matter of being a quieter film released on a busy weekend, and Fox not doing a great job getting the word out. The one good news is that Racing was quite liked by those who saw it (A- CinemaScore) so word of mouth should be fine. Still, a $25 million total seems like the upper limit, and with a $20 million budget, it will need some overseas numbers (not always a strength of these kinds of films) to hit profit.

While The Art of Racing in the Rain was mild, it wasn’t expected to do much bigger numbers. The same can’t be said of The Kitchen. The Melissa McCarthy, Elisabeth Moss, and Tiffany Haddish-led crime drama was DOA with $5.5 million, barely half its expected $10 million start. The Kitchen is based on a graphic novel by Ollie Masters and Ming Doyle, which had a modest fan base. That led the film to be marketed on the name of its stars, which was something New Line was unable to capitalize on. The didn’t help that no one liked the film, either; with a 20% RT score and a B- CinemaScore, this will vanish soon. $20 million seems out of reach, which is obviously not good for a $37 million budgeted-film. Warner Bros. is taking a loss on this.

Spider-Man: Far From Home was down just 33% in its sixth weekend, scoring $5.3 million. The Sony-produced MCU film now has $371 million domestically and $1.096 billion worldwide. At this point the movie looks likely to hit $385 million to $390 million and is of course a big hit against its $160 million budget.

Toy Story 4 slipped 40% in its eighth weekend with $4.4 million, bringing it to $419.6 million domestically and $990 million worldwide. The movie is now looking like it will top $430 million and will easily bring in $1 billion worldwide. The production budget was $200 million.

The final film this weekend was a new wide release expansion, as K-pop invaded the charts. Bring the Soul: The Movie started at #10 with $2.3 million, a good start for the film. The documentary chronicling BTS’ Love Yourself World Tour represents the continued penetration of K-pop music into American consciousness. The film, like most concert/tour documentaries, should drop out of the top 10 by next weekend, but it’s a good start for the film. The budget isn’t known.

The crowding of the marketplace continues next weekend, as studios throw five new films into theaters. The Angry Birds Movie 2 has the best chance to dethrone Hobbs & Shaw as it targets a high teens start, while shark thriller 47 Meters Down: Uncaged and comedy Good Boys are looking at a low teens number. The Bruce Springsteen-inspired dramedy Blinded By the Light and comedy mystery Where’d You Go, Bernadette are looking at a mid single-digits score.

BOX OFFICE TOP TEN (Three-Day Domestic Numbers)
1. Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw – $25.4 million ($108.5 million total)
2. Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark – $20.8 million ($20.8 million total)
2. The Lion King – $20 million ($473.1 million total)
4. Dora and the Lost City of Gold – $17 million ($17 million total)
5. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood – $11.6 million ($100.3 million total)
6. The Art of Racing in the Rain – $8.1 million ($8.1 million total)
7. The Kitchen – $5.5 million ($5.5 million total)
8. Spider-Man: Far from Home – $5.3 million ($371 million total)
9. Toy Story 4 – $4.4 million ($419.6 million total)
10. Bring the Soul: The Movie – $2.3 million ($4.4 million total)