The Dark Universe may be over, but there was a lot of light on Leigh Whannell and Elisabeth Moss this weekend. The Invisible Man achieved two things this weekend. For one it has already outgrossed every horror film so far in 2020, six wide releases in all, that have failed to draw interest in even their devoted base. Secondly and maybe even more impressive, it’s 90% on the Tomatometer makes it the best-reviewed wide release of 2020 to date by more than ten points.
Whannell’s interpretation of the H.G. Wells novel and classic Lon Chaney film was right in line with expectations this weekend, if just a tad higher. The Invisible Man is far from one of Blumhouse’s bigger openings — 13th place overall in fact. But a $29 million opening on a $7 million budget is easily another win for the production company and Universal. Add in another $20 million overseas and it has already made seven times its production budget alone. Paul Verhoeven’s Hollow Man opened to $26.41 million in the late summer of 2000 and went on to gross $73.2 million even with an awful 27% rating from critics. Can word-of-mouth catch on to put The Invisible Man into that territory?
Interesting factoid that among the Blumhouse productions to open to $20 million or more (16 in all that include four Paranormal Activity films, three Insidious, three Purges and three Shyamalans) only four of them (Get Out, Paranormal Activity, Split and Glass) managed a 2.6 multiple or higher over their opening weekend. Whannell’s film is also only the second film on that list to score over 90% with critics. With an average multiple on that list of 2.67, we’ll set the first estimate on Invisible at $77 million.
Funimation released the anime feature My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising on Wednesday where it opened to $2.52 million. Through its first five days in 1,275 theaters it is up to $8.5 million. This may not be quite as big as their release of last year’s Dragon Ball Super: Broly which started with a $20.23 million in its first five days (including a $9.81 million weekend), but that also was over the MLK holiday which boosted just a tad. When the anime studio released My Hero Academia: Two Heroes in September 2018, it opened on a Tuesday to $947,636 and had grossed $3.96 million through the weekend in six days, so this is certainly a step up and a growing trend that fans are here for it.
Benh Zeitlin’s Peter Pan interpretation, Wendy, did not do much for Searchlight Pictures this weekend. Only grossing $30,000, that is one of the worst showings in the studio’s history for a film released in four theaters, ahead of only Dom Hemingway ($29,276) and I, Origins ($27,652). Its 40% rating with critics is also less than half of Zeitlin’s Oscar-nominated Beasts of the Southern Wild (87%).
Paramount’s Sonic the Hedgehog took second place this weekend with $16 million. Its total of $128.3 million after 17 days is the 9th best ever for a February opener. Sonic is up to $265 million worldwide putting the film into profit this weekend and putting it on a path to join some of the successes the studio had last year such as Rocketman, Crawl and Pet Sematary.
Disney’s 20th Century Studios’ The Call of the Wild was actually besting Sonic from Monday-to-Thursday but it drifted behind again. That is hardly the best news for this expensive project. $45 million domestic plus another $34 million internationally = a pretty gigantic bomb. It may ultimately pass Dolittle on the red chart in the books, but not by a whole lot. This latest adaptation of Jack London’s story currently sits around Bridge to Terabithia and Eight Below for February-based family films after ten days, but had a weaker second weekend than either of them which suggests a final gross in the $75 million range. That would normally be pretty solid. Except this is a $135 million production that may not even gross much more than half of what the Robert Downey Jr. animal film has done worldwide ($205 million). That will make it unavoidable when people look back on 2020 making the list of the biggest losers of the year.
In better news, Sony’s Bad Boys for Life is poised to pass the $200 million mark by next weekend. It has reached $400 million worldwide. Universal’s 1917 is over $352 million worldwide, $155 million of that in the U.S. Then as we have reported for weeks the news for Birds of Prey is just not good, on pace as we suggested last week between $86-92 million final.
Finally we have the last stands for two of this year’s horror entries. Fantasy Island is on its way out of the top ten and is going to settle for somewhere in the Happy Death Day 2U range of $28 million. Brahms: The Boy II looks unlikely to reach $15 million as it made as much as Impractical Jokers: The Movie did in their second week expansion to 1,705 theaters. $3.5 million for the practical joke TV series gone feature brings its total up to $6.6 million. Not exactly Jackass money, but still not too shabby.
Neon can take pride in not only having a Best Picture winner under their belt in Parasite, but it is now just the fifth film not in the English language to gross over $50 million in the U.S.
How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World led the way for a second straight week with $30 million, surpassing the total gross of fourth place finisher The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part which had been in release for two weeks more. Tyler Perry’s A Madea Family Funeral came close to an upset with $27 million for second place. Alita: Battle Angel made $7.22 million in its third week and Fighting with My Family rounded out the top five with $4.66 milion. Neil Jordan’s Greta opened in 8th place with $4.48 million for a paltry $1,858 per-theater-average. Neon’s NASA documentary, Apollo 11, meanwhile, had a $13,392 PTA in 120 theaters grossed $1.60 million. In milestone news, Ralph Breaks the Internet finally passed $200 million in its 15th week and The Upside passed $100 million on Tuesday, its 47th day of release. The top ten films grossed $94.36 million and averaged 66.3% on the Tomatometer. This year’s Top Ten grossed an estimated $82 million and averaged 60.2% with critics.
Pixar makes a rare appearance in the Spring season as Onward opens up March. The family elf road trip movie looks to grab the top spot for the next two weeks at the box office. It stands at 82% so far on the Tomatometer. Also opening is the Ben Affleck basketball drama, The Way Back, from the director of The Accountant, Miracle, and Warrior. It is hoping to overcome some meager tracking assessments and get itself into double-digits. For more films opening, check out what critics are saying about them HERE.
Thumbnail image by Universal
[box office figures via Box Office Mojo]