This is probably the last week Avengers: Infinity War is going to be at number one, but that won’t stop it from remaining a box office record breaker at every turn. Three weeks into its domestic release and it’s become the 5th largest global release ever, the 8th biggest domestic release, and, thanks to its release in the much-coveted market of China, the second largest debut in that country (based on local currency). Even with a 46% tumble in gross from the previous week in America, it still brought in over $61m. That’s over 3 1/2 times the opening weekend gross of the second place film, Melissa McCarthy’s Life of the Party.
I have previously argued that McCarthy may be one of the last remaining A-Listers in Hollywood, in that she can headline properties with no recognisable brand or hook beyond her own name and make massive amounts of money. Life of the Party made $18.5m, which is actually on the lower end of her usual grosses, but for a comedy that received middling reviews and opened in the shadow of Thanos’s genocide, that’s nothing to sneeze at. This only cost about $30m to make and will easily gross back its budget by next week, and according to CinemaScore, her audiences were 70% female.
One of the bigger surprises of the weekend was Breaking In, the drama starring Gabrielle Union, which took in $16.5m from a $6m budget. That’s way beyond what the studio predicted and especially impressive given how little it was promoted, according to some I’ve talked with. Union produced this one too.
Oddly, Overboard did pretty well this week. Yeah, it dropped two places but its gross only fell by 31% from its opening weekend, and it grossed an extra $10m. That’s despite terrible reviews and, you know, having THE CREEPIEST PREMISE EVER! It continues to play well with Latino audiences thanks to star Eugenio Derbez, and its opening weekend in Mexico was the highest ever for him.
A Quiet Place passed $169m domestically and $269m worldwide, from a $17m budget, which I think means that John Krasinski gets carte blanche to do whatever the fuck he wants in Hollywood now. Meanwhile, Black Panther is still in the top 10 after 13 weeks. Give it another $4m and it becomes the third domestic release to ever surpass $700m. Can it pull that feat off?
This was a very big weekend for limited releases: The Seagull, Lu Over the Wall, Beast, Revenge, Goodland, and Boom for Real: The Late Teenage Years of Jean-Michel Basquiat to name but a handful of them. They’re all playing in very small markets - the usual NY/LA model - but at least that area is thriving on some level.
Mother’s Day saw the re-release of Disney’s A Wrinkle in Time into over 1690 extra theatres, but alas, they didn’t seem to give it much of a promotional push to match those numbers since it only grossed an extra $800k. The film is so close to passing $100m domestically, so if you want to support it, do it now! Sadly, it looks like Disney will be doing a big financial write-off with this one, but at least Ava DuVernay won’t get shoved into director jail for it.
Next week sees the release of a documentary on Pope Francis, Show Dogs a wacky canine comedy with Will Arnett that looks like a gag from BoJack Horseman, Book Club, wherein Jane Fonda and friends read Fifty Shades of Grey and rock their socks off, and, of course, Deadpool 2.
You can check out the rest of the weekend box office here.
What films did you watch this week? Has superhero fatigue hit you yet? Do you too think it’s sweet that Melissa McCarthy has a great working relationship with her husband but believe he’s categorically not a good director? Does Gabrielle Union’s refusal to age inspire you as well? Can we talk about the absolutely amazing outfit she’s working in the header pic? Can someone please explain the Overboard appeal to me because I’m still lost and scared? Answers in the comments.
(Header photograph of Gabrielle Union in the greatest outfit ever courtesy of Getty Images)