Weekend Box Office

Weekend Box Office Results: Onward Conjures Up $40 Million to Top the Weekend

Plus, The Invisible Man is right behind and Bad Boys For Life crosses $200 million on the weekend of March 6-8.

by | March 8, 2020 | Comments

Pixar may be rethinking its strategy after releasing its first film ever in the month of March. The numbers for Pixar’s latest work, Onward, were expected to be on the lower end of the scale for the company, but the $40 million opening turned out to even be low for the month in comparison to other animated efforts. The figures come at a time when the industry is potentially facing a new phase where the international dollar cannot be counted on as a safety net if American audiences don’t show up.


King of the Crop: Onward Takes the Win, But Numbers Aren’t So Magical 

When Pixar burst onto the scene with Toy Story in 1995, the Thanksgiving release opened with $29.14 million. Three years later, the studio’s follow-up, A Bug’s Life, opened to $33.52 million. The only other release Pixar has had to start with less than $40 million was their troubled production, The Good Dinosaur ($39.15 million) – more on that in a bit. All three of those were November releases, a strategy that generally paid off over the years with Toy Story 2, Monsters Inc., and The Incredibles – each one with a higher opening than the previous film. It was 11 years before they came back to November with The Good Dinosaur and then two years until they did it again with Coco, which opened to $50.8 million. Only five of Pixar’s films have failed to reach $200 million. Two of them were their first two films, another two were sequels to Cars, and the other was The Good Dinosaur. Onward is looking like the sixth.

It’s not for lack of quality. Of the 21 previously released Pixar films, 15 have retained Tomatometer scores of 90 or above. Onward is close, Certified Fresh at 86%, and is actually the third-best–reviewed wide release of 2020 to date behind The Invisible Man and the other new opener this week. The movie’s $40 million opening weekend haul means it stacks up against other March animated releases like so:

  • Zootopia ($71.11 million)
  • Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax ($70.21 million)
  • Ice Age: The Meltdown ($68.03 million)
  • Monsters vs. Aliens ($59.32 million)
  • How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World ($55.02 million)
  • Home ($52.1 million)
  • The Boss Baby ($50.19 million)
  • Ice Age ($46.31 million)
  • Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who ($45.01 million)
  • How to Train Your Dragon ($43.73)
  • The Croods ($43.63 million)
  • Onward ($40 million)
  • Rango ($38.07 million)
  • Robots ($36.04 million)
  • Mr. Peabody & Sherman ($32.2 million)
  • Meet the Robinsons ($25.12 million)
  • TMNT ($24.25 million)

Onward not even cracking that top 10 March animated openings has to be even more disappointing than being on the lower rung of the pretty elevated Pixar ladder. Every film from Peabody above passed $100 million eventually, and the average multiple from Robinsons up is a decent 3.61. That would give Onward a first estimate of $142 million, which would at least be higher than The Good Dinosaur’s $123 million but could end up on the rare red side of the Pixar ledger depending on the final budget, which no one is reporting right now. Onward’s tracking was in the mid-40s range, so we’re showing some skepticism regarding the argument that panic over public health worries stopped people from hitting the cinemas. Whether that is the case overseas remains to be seen.


The Top 10 And Beyond: Bad Boys Passed $200 Million, Emma Goes Wide

There have been eight films – by our count – centered around basketball that have opened to $10 million or more: Space Jam, Coach Carter, Uncle Drew, Semi-Pro, White Men Can’t Jump, Glory Road, Like Mike, Blue Chips. The Way Back does not join that list. The Ben Affleck basketball drama, which sees him reteaming with his The Accountant director Gavin O’Connor (who also did sports dramas, Miracle and Warrior), opened to $8.5 million, which is more in line with romantic hoops films like Just Wright ($8.28 million) and Love & Basketball ($8.13 million). Those films ended up with $21.56 million and $27.45 million, respectively. (William Friedkin’s Blue Chips opened to $10.12 million and finished with just $23.07 million.) That is not great for a film budgeted somewhere between $21 million and $25 million, but not a disaster either. The film’s Certified Fresh 87% Tomatometer score is the second-best among 2020’s wide releases and is up there with Affleck’s best-reviewed starring efforts, such as Argo (96%), The Town (93%), Gone Girl (88%), and Chasing Amy (87%).

Last week’s number 1 film, The Invisible Man, fell a decent 49% this weekend to $14.5 million. With $52 million in the bank domestically, that puts it just ahead of The Purge and The Purge: Anarchy with a better second weekend than either Insidious: Chapter 2 or The Purge: Election Year. Last week we placed the film’s first estimate at $77 million. We’re upping that to between $79 million and $83 million. It has grossed $98.2 million worldwide to date and it cost just $7 million to make.

Columbia Pictures
(Photo by © Columbia Pictures)

There are two other solid successes still in the top 10, with Sony’s Bad Boys for Life and Paramount’s Sonic the Hedgehog. Bad Boys finally passed $200 million domestic, which is added into its $415 million haul worldwide. Sonic’s success is more…fine…as it approaches $300 million worldwide. It’s in profit, if a small one. But a profit is a profit, especially one delayed for touch-up work.

Not doing so well but still hanging in there is DC’s Birds of Prey, which is up to $82 million domestic and close to $200 million worldwide. That is going to amount to around a $25 million loss for those invested. That is a drop in the bucket compared to The Call of the Wild. The film is still on the path for around $75 million, but is only at $99.5 million worldwide right now and it is chasing down a production budget of $135 million. This film could lose anywhere between $125 million and $150 million when the final numbers are in.

Finally, Focus expanded the new adaptation of Jane Austen’s Emma into 1,565 theaters in its third week and it grossed $5 million. How does that compare with Focus’s release of 2005’s Pride and Prejudice?

  • 2005: Pride and Prejudice – Week 1 ($2.8 million / 215 theaters), Week 2 ($2.11 million / 221), Week 3 ($7.02 million / 1,299)
  • 2020: Emma – Week 1 ($234,482 / 9), Week 2 ($1.15 million / 97), Week 3 ($5 million / 1,565)

Pride had already grossed $15.9 million through its third weekend and finished with $38.4 million. Emma is up to $6.8 million. Impractical Jokers: The Movie is now up to $8.6 million after three weekends. Its launch was earlier and wider than Emma, which will eventually pass it. The 1996 version of Emma with Gwyneth Paltrow, released a year after Clueless, never made it into more than 848 theaters and grossed $22.23 million.


This Time Last Year: Captain Marvel Arrives With a Bang

Captain Marvel opened to the third-best March weekend ever with $153.43 million. That made up 77.47% of the top 10 revenue for the weekend, with only How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World and A Madea Family Funeral making more than $5 million among the rest of the movies in theaters. They did do a bit better than that, with $14.68 million and $12.46 million, but it trailed off from there with The LEGO Movie 2 and Alita: Battle Angel doing just $3.86 million and $3.21 million in their respective fifth and fourth weekends of release. The documentary, Apollo 11, did break onto the list with $1.25 million in just 405 theaters. The top 10 films grossed a total of $198.06 million and averaged 72.7% on the Tomatometer. This year’s top 10 grossed $92.23 million and averaged 74.1% on the Tomatometer. This is just the ninth time since 2010 that the top 10 films on a March weekend came in with under $100 million.


On the Vine: A Controversial Hunt Finally Lands in Theaters

Next week audiences will finally have an opportunity to see Craig Zobel’s The Hunt, which was delayed last September in the aftermath of a mass shooting. Vin Diesel takes a stroll into comic-book land with Bloodshot and we have another film about a Christian rock star, I Still Believe, which is hoping to break out for Lionsgate the way Roadside’s I Can Only Imagine did back in 2018. Onward is likely to hold onto the number 1 spot for a second week, but this is the one film that could spring an upset. Look out in your area too for Eliza Hittman’s Never Rarely Sometimes Always. The drama, which premiered at Sundance, has maintained a perfect 100% with critics and is being called one of the year’s best films. For more films opening in limited release, check out what critics are saying about them HERE.


The Full Top 10: March 6-8

  1. Onward (2020) 88% – $40 million ($40 million total)
  2. The Invisible Man (2020) 91% – $15.15 million ($52.69 million total)
  3. The Way Back (2020) 84% – $8.5 million ($8.5 million total)
  4. Sonic the Hedgehog (2020) 63% – $8 million ($140.82 million total)
  5. The Call of the Wild (2020) 61% $7 million ($57.48 million total)
  6. Emma. (2020) 87% – $5 million ($6.89 million total)
  7. Bad Boys for Life (2020) 77% – $3.05 million ($202.03 million total)
  8. Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) (2020) 78% – $2.16 million ($82.56 million total)
  9. Impractical Jokers: The Movie (2020) 35% – $1.85 million ($9.7 million total)
  10. My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising (2020) 91% – $1.53 million ($12.72 million total)

Thumbnail image: © Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, © Pixar


Erik Childress can be heard each week evaluating box office on WGN Radio with Nick Digilio as well as on Business First AM with Angela Miles and his Movie Madness Podcast.

[box office figures via Box Office Mojo]

Tag Cloud

NYCC Adult Swim spanish blockbuster The Walking Dead true crime cops BAFTA VICE Hallmark 2020 golden globes Trivia travel Fantasy BBC America nature Spike die hard nbcuniversal Shudder USA nfl Quiz Musical stand-up comedy Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt cults ITV cancelled television criterion RT21 thriller halloween tv doctor who game show Rocketman sequel 20th Century Fox scary movies Elton John Grammys GIFs rotten Black History Month DC Universe The Purge San Diego Comic-Con CNN Marvel Television latino Heroines Trailer Hear Us Out TruTV Animation HBO Max casting serial killer Lifetime Christmas movies Best and Worst Fall TV Pop OWN DC Comics El Rey Nat Geo Superheroe Spring TV cars comics composers Infographic crime independent sports VOD streaming crossover what to watch YouTube Red Warner Bros. IFC Films psycho Captain marvel Ghostbusters BBC One kids Opinion Shondaland finale series child's play boxoffice Sci-Fi BET Awards dc Video Games anime Logo hollywood TV Land Anna Paquin batman Apple TV+ cartoon Star Trek Marvel Dark Horse Comics comic Mystery Stephen King rotten movies we love Endgame Ellie Kemper festivals Epix aliens tv talk Comics on TV name the review Britbox comiccon RT History Tarantino justice league archives Horror Winners asian-american Sneak Peek Travel Channel green book crime thriller TV The Arrangement MSNBC Fox News TBS See It Skip It sitcom discovery Black Mirror indiana jones stop motion Rock reboot The CW 2019 ratings dceu free movies Song of Ice and Fire breaking bad directors singing competition harry potter Funimation Hulu jamie lee curtis football Disney+ Disney Plus scorecard political drama Awards Tour documentary LGBT fast and furious Marvel Studios Netflix Christmas movies christmas movies Western venice Arrowverse Acorn TV Peacock Spectrum Originals PaleyFest 72 Emmy Awards Apple TV Plus Reality Competition NBC Teen Fox Searchlight 21st Century Fox Kids & Family toy story Syfy Podcast Film Festival vampires dark Netflix spain zero dark thirty natural history television Amazon Prime Video Vudu Pixar LGBTQ Amazon Studios Christmas Interview concert toronto TNT CMT Awards satire Tumblr 2018 SundanceTV japanese unscripted worst movies worst ABC historical drama disaster Discovery Channel crime drama revenge animated New York Comic Con Valentine's Day PlayStation Crackle TIFF cinemax Mindy Kaling Set visit Hallmark Christmas movies Ovation Cannes romantic comedy Calendar Mudbound screenings best Photos OneApp Mary Tyler Moore documentaries reviews politics Paramount GoT universal monsters TCM The Academy Musicals Certified Fresh YouTube Premium medical drama critics Lucasfilm technology miniseries 007 Rocky hist USA Network romance Tomatazos Disney witnail Toys TV renewals Superheroes Action Television Academy Pop TV dogs Masterpiece National Geographic Extras cats Trophy Talk slashers space FX on Hulu Binge Guide Comedy Central dramedy The Witch Super Bowl DC streaming service Baby Yoda Tubi WarnerMedia YA 2016 Schedule binge Bravo Sony Pictures docudrama adventure remakes renewed TV shows spinoff Lionsgate Rom-Com GLAAD Walt Disney Pictures Disney streaming service comedies facebook parents Sundance obituary Chernobyl war a nightmare on elm street ESPN movies twilight Thanksgiving Starz Nominations Pirates quibi Family X-Men E3 WGN zombies DGA diversity video on demand halloween Academy Awards indie Comedy Avengers SXSW Turner versus Music 4/20 TCA 2017 social media Amazon American Society of Cinematographers video all-time canceled TV shows award winner Cartoon Network Paramount Network children's TV period drama foreign zombie richard e. Grant 71st Emmy Awards anthology based on movie Election Star Wars Reality supernatural spy thriller First Reviews Lifetime Pet Sematary Turner Classic Movies Summer Apple talk show Nickelodeon IFC Mary Poppins Returns Mary poppins ABC Family Oscars CW Seed cooking mockumentary mutant Brie Larson BBC Polls and Games TCA Awards Martial Arts Character Guide Crunchyroll festival PBS Cosplay Biopics classics Freeform Emmys stoner werewolf ghosts 45 teaser SDCC Creative Arts Emmys adaptation Sundance Now sequels Drama Film dragons Holiday DirecTV strong female leads cancelled Box Office AMC Women's History Month YouTube biography First Look Watching Series mission: impossible robots TCA Winter 2020 spider-man franchise game of thrones 2015 Country FXX Countdown A&E MTV Writers Guild of America Pride Month spanish language Premiere Dates cancelled TV series Disney Plus Columbia Pictures Food Network south america elevated horror transformers book Esquire Universal 2017 HBO A24 science fiction blaxploitation TLC BET History FOX President CBS All Access Amazon Prime screen actors guild chucky news superhero cancelled TV shows police drama Holidays HBO Go emmy awards 24 frames films Emmy Nominations Red Carpet FX hispanic laika Year in Review Sundance TV french CBS E! Chilling Adventures of Sabrina joker theme song canceled psychological thriller Comic Book Marathons Classic Film Winter TV Television Critics Association Disney Channel VH1 APB MCU movie TCA Showtime sag awards italian