Is a $118 million domestic opening disappointing? God no. However, that’s the amount Toy Story 4 opened to this weekend and it did indeed come in notably below both Disney and industry expectations. $118 million is big but, admittedly, Toy Story 4 was supposed to be even bigger and its debut came in below the $135 million debut of Finding Dory and the massive $182.6 million bow of Incredibles 2 from last year. Still, that $124 million sum is the fourth-biggest animated movie opening weekend of all-time, the third-biggest opening weekend of 2019 and the fifth-biggest June opening weekend in history. Disney would have liked an extra $15-20 million, and Gods know anyone involved with the domestic box office would have loved Toy Story 4 to be as big as possible given the otherwise dismal June 2019 box office, but a $118 million debut is still a fine haul all in all, especially since its $120 million foreign box office bow gives it the biggest worldwide opening weekend ever ($238 million) for an animated movie.
Why didn’t Toy Story 4 quite hit the box office heights of Finding Dory and Incredibles 2? Well, a couple reasons. There was a whole lot less pent-up demand for this installment than those other two PIXAR sequels, for one thing. It’s only been nine years since the last (and pretty definitively final) Toy Story adventure compared to the 13 and nearly 15 year gaps in between Finding Nemo and Incredibles movies, respectively. It is still rare for a series to still be reaching new box office heights in its fourth entry, which Toy Story 4 certainly did by scoring the biggest opening ever for a Toy Story film. If Toy Story 4 plays like a typical June PIXAR movie, it’ll gross about $423 million, which would make it the biggest Toy Story movie ever at the domestic box office.
Also opening this weekend was Child’s Play, which grossed $14 million, the second-biggest opening weekend ever for an Orion Pictures release and the largest opening ever for a Child’s Play film. As far as horror remake openings go, this isn’t massive, for example, it came in $100,000 behind the opening of the 2009 remake of The Last House on the Left. It’s still a decent bow considering the Child’s Play movies were never huge box office moneymakers as well as the fact that audiences have frequently outright rejected remakes like this one in the age of legacyquels. With Annabelle returning this Wednesday, Child’s Play likely won’t be around long at the box office, but made for only $10 million, it should make a decent profit in the long run.
Though a new Disney film entered the marketplace, Aladdin continued to prosper as it dipped a tiny 29% this weekend for a fifth-weekend haul of $12.2 million for a massive domestic gross of $287.5 million. Holding far worse this frame was Men in Black: International, which fell 64% for a second-weekend gross of $10.7 million and a ten-day haul of only $52.6 million. Meanwhile, The Secret Life of Pets 2 certainly felt the brunt of Toy Story 4’s presence as it fell a sharp 57% for a third-weekend gross of $10.2 million and a domestic haul that now stands at $117.5 million. Pets 2 is looking like it’ll finish its domestic run in the neighborhood of $140-145 million. Right outside the top five was Rocketman, which actually fell 40% this weekend to add $5.6 million to a solid domestic box office haul that now stands at $77.3 million.
While most Summer 2019 tentpoles continued to fall, John Wick: Chapter 3- Parabellum just kept on going with a 36% dip and a sixth-weekend haul of $4 million for a great $156 million domestic total. That puts it ahead this frame of Godzilla: King of the Monsters which fell 58% to gross $3.7 million for a domestic total of $102.3 million. Dark Phoenix saw its second straight 60+% drop this weekend as it fell another 61% for a third-weekend gross of just $3.6 million and a domestic total of only $60.1 million. Looks like Dark Phoenix will be finishing its domestic run just under or over $70 million, only slightly better than the $65 million three-day opening weekend of X-Men: Apocalypse. Shaft couldn’t save any face from its disastrous opening weekend and fell 60% to gross $3.55 million for a domestic total of just $16 million.
For a while, it looked like Luc Besson’s newest directorial effort, Anna, wouldn’t get a domestic release after a large number of sexual assault and rape allegations cropped up against the filmmaker. But Lionsgate basically just dumped the title into theaters over the weekend into 2,114 theaters and it grossed just $3.53 million, narrowly falling outside the top ten movies at the domestic box office in the process. This is a dismal bow, with only three other movies opening in over 2,000 locations this year (Captive State, The Sun is Also a Star and Replicas) having worse opening weekends. Like I said, Lionsgate dumped this one into the marketplace with virtually no marketing, heck, I forgot it was even opening this weekend until a few days ago!
Also in its second weekend of wide release was Late Night, which fell 50% to take in another $2.5 million for a domestic total of only $10.4 million. One piece of good news for the feature, it’s only the second limited release of 2019 to crack $10 million domestically. Avengers: Endgame fell 49% this weekend to gross another $1.89 million for a domestic total of $834.5 million while Ma fell 67% this frame to gross another $1.2 million for a domestic total of $43.7 million. In its second weekend, The Dead Don’t Die fell 55% for a second-weekend gross of $1.1 million and a ten-day gross of $4.7 million. The Last Black Man in San Francisco expanded into 72 locations this weekend and grossed a solid $$413,589 for a per-theater average of $5,744 and a domestic total of $1.3 million.
Pavarotti expanded into 135 locations and increased 85% from last weekend to gross another $409,000 for a per-theater average of $3,030 and a domestic total of $992,088. Echo in the Canyon went up to 81 locations this frame and grossed another $252,072 for a per-theater average of $3,112 for a domestic total of $1.1 million. For our third documentary in a row, Biggest Little Farm fell 29% from last weekend and grossed $158,800 from 134 locations for a per-theater average of $1,185 and a domestic total of $3.27 million.
Wild Rose opened in domestic limited release this frame but grossed only $56,000 from 2 locations for a per-theater average of just $12,000. Among 2019 limited release opening weekend per-theater averages, that’s behind the $12,314 bow of Her Smell which topped out domestically at $255,599. Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am opened to $44,000 from 4 locations for a per-theater average of $11,000 while a 2019 re-release of A Bigger Splash grossed $18,000 from 2 locations for a per-theater average of $9,000.
The top 12 movies this weekend grossed a total of $191.4 million down 34% from this same weekend last year when Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom opened to $148 million and Incredibles 2 took in another $80 million. June 2019 has now grossed $850 million, and with only seven days to go in the month, there’s no chance this month catches up to the $1.276 billion total of June 2018. June 2019 should be able to clear $1 billion but this will probably end up as one of the weaker June’s in recent years. This is what happens when only the requisite Disney blockbuster of the month works, recent smaller-scale titles released in June like Ocean’s Eight, Central Intellegence and Spy really helped things out when June blockbusters didn’t work out. To be fair though, past June’s did get the benefit of usually having a big live-action blockbuster, like the two Jurassic World movies, scoring big bucks in addition to a new Disney/PIXAR title doing well, so it’s not like the entire June box office was previously dependent on smaller sleeper hits.
Nearly halfway into 2019, the 2019 domestic box office has taken in $5.225 billion, and though it’s narrowed the gap in the past two months, the 2019 domestic box office is still running behind the last four years of domestic box office at the same point, including a whopping 11% drop from 2018 at the same point. Titles like The Lion King, Spider-Man: Far From Home and Hobbs & Shaw will help to narrow that gap, but the fact that much of the rest of the Summer 2019 is predicated on just these three titles reinforces the needed for a greater array of films launched in the summertime. If even one of these even slightly underperforms, the 2019 domestic box office as a whole suffers big time.