The Mississippi Grind fans kept coming out in droves to see the newest film from Anna Boden & Ryan Fleck as Captain Marvel grossed another $69.3 million this weekend. Down 54% from last weekend, that second-weekend drop is slightly better than usual in terms typical second-weekend declines for Marvel Cinematic Universe fare. Having now grossed $266 million after ten days of domestic release, Captain Marvel has surpassed the lifetime domestic grosses of Ant-Man and the Wasp, Doctor Strange and Captain America: The Winter Soldier and will likely cross $300 million domestically by Sunday. Barring unexpectedly large drops in the next two weeks, Captain Marvel should be able to clear $400 million domestically and $1 billion worldwide. The power of the Mississippi Grind fandom has once again been reinforced.
And now we move on to the new releases, starting with Wonder Park, A.K.A. the movie with no director. Given that pre-release projections were wondering if this Paramount Animation title could even clear $10 million, a $16 million bow would normally be good news for the title. However, Wonder Park cost $80-100 million to make, so that budget looms large over the project. Plus, $16 million is still a poor start for a major animated movie released in over 3,000 locations. For comparison’s sake, that opening weekend is only $200,000 above the opening weekend of Escape From Planet Earth while coming in behind the $17 million bow of The Book of Life and the $19.4 million debut of The Nut Job. All in all, this is another poor showing for Paramount Animation, which, between this, Sherlock Gnomes and Monster Trucks, just can’t seem to churn out box office successes as regularly as other animation houses.
Five Feet Apart actually beat out pre-release expectations with a solid $13.1 million bow, which is nearly twice as much as its $7 million budget. That’s ahead of the $11.7 million debut of Love, Simon as well as the $12.6 million bow of Paper Towns. To boot, it’s the fourth biggest opening weekend ever for a CBS Films title. There’s really no other romantic dramas in the marketplace nor films aimed exclusively at teen audiences so Five Feet Apart helped to placate an underserved audience in the marketplace. All in all, this is a fine way for CBS Films to kick off their final year as a studio releasing theatrical feature films.
Despite the arrival of Wonder Park, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World dipped just 36% this frame to gross another $9.3 million for a domestic gross of $135.6 million. Rounding out the top five this frame was A Madea Family Funeral, which had a strong 35% dip for a third-weekend gross of $8 million for a $59 million domestic gross. No Manches Frida 2 got off to a great $3.8 million start this weekend from just 472 locations for a per-theater average of $8,250. That’s ahead of its predecessors $3.6 million opening weekend and the eighth biggest domestic opening weekend ever for a foreign-language title. Sidenote: four of the ten biggest domestic opening weekends for foreign-language titles have occurred in the last three years. There’s clearly a domestic audience for fare from a number of different numbers of foreign countries, maybe major studios should look in to satisfying that demand more often?
After being delayed from its original August 2018 release date, Captive State finally debuted in theaters and grossed a meager $3.1 million, the seventh worst opening weekend in history for a movie opening in over 2,500 locations. That’s also the sixth worst wide release opening weekend for a film released by Focus Features. Captive State was basically buried by Focus Features, who gave the movie no noteworthy promotion and hid it away from critics while what marketing did emerge made it look derivative of other alien invasion films like Battle: Los Angeles. These elements essentially doomed it to such a dismal start.
The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part became the newest 2019 title to cross $100 million domestically with a sixth-weekend haul of $2.1 million, a 44% drop from last weekend. Its current domestic gross is just $101.1 million. Alita: Battle Angel is winding down its underwhelming domestic run as seen by it grossing just $1.9 million (a 41% drop from last weekend) for a domestic haul of only $81.8 million. Rounding out the top ten was Green Book, which dropped 49% from last frame to add $1.27 million to a domestic haul that now stands at $82.6 million. Right behind that Best Picture winner was Isn’t It Romantic, with another $1.26 million, a 44% drop from last weekend, which brings that romantic-comedy satire to a decent $46.3 million domestic total.
Apollo 11 is barely still in limited release as it expanded into 598 locations this frame to gross another $1.2 million (a 2% dip from last weekend) for a $5.5 million domestic gross. If this one can hold onto its theaters over the next two weekends, it looks like Apollo 11 will become the newest instance of a recent documentary to gross over $10 million domestically. Fighting With My Family fell another 49% this frame for another $1.1 million and a domestic gross of $20.9 million. In its third weekend of release, Greta dropped a whopping 69% to gross only $675,000 for a domestic gross of $10 million. Domirriquenos 2 debuted in 53 locations this weekend and grossed a fantastic $558,754 for a per-theater average of $10,543. Meanwhile, The Kid neither increased or decreased its 268 theater count from last weekend and proceeded to drop 47% to add $270,000 to a weak domestic gross of only $1 million.
Gloria Bell grossed $394,000 this weekend from 39 locations for a great per-theater average of $10,124. With a 10-day domestic total of $584,390, Gloria Bell is doing strong business before its nationwide expansion next weekend. Fellow A24 title Climax fared far worse in its theater expansion this weekend was it went into 217 locations but grossed only $197,000 for a per-theater average of $910. This new Gaspar Noe film has grossed $566,000 domestically and will likely finish its domestic run below $1 million. Stan & Ollie went back into 230 locations this weekend and grossed just $114,665 for a poor per-theater average of $499, bringing its domestic gross up to $5.2 million. Now we move on to a bevy of new limited release titles, starting with The Mustang, which debuted in four locations and grossed $76,000 for a per-theater average of $19,000. Next up is The Aftermath, which, despite having a trailer that played on every movie I saw for the last few months, grossed only $57,500 from 5 locations for a per-theater average of $11,500. Next up, Ash Is Purest White, which opened to $45,150 from 7 locations for a per-theater average of $6,450 while The Hummingbird Project opened to $36,027 from 4 locations for a per-theater average of $9,007. Interestingly, The Hummingbird Project had the tenth best opening weekend ever for a project released by The Orchard.
No word yet on how Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase fared in its limited release opening weekend. I shall update this piece when those numbers come in.
The top 12 movies this weekend grossed $130.7 million, the third-best eleventh weekend of any given year and up 7% from this same weekend last year when Black Panther ruled the box office for the fourth consecutive weekend. Halfway through March 2019, this month has already grossed about $562 million and with likely blockbuster Us and Dumbo still to open, this month will likely become only the second March in history (following March 2017) to gross over $1 billion.