Weekend Box Office

Weekend Box Office Results: Pets Bests Phoenix by $14 Million

Illumination's Secret Life of Pets 2 opens soft, but primed to succeed globally, while X-Men movie Dark Phoenix hits franchise lows on the weekend of June 7–9.

by | June 9, 2019 | Comments

Given this weekend’s overall box office bust, domestic audiences appear like they may be saving some of the money for the eventual spend in a couple weeks when Toy Story 4 opens. That film’s pre-sales are already expected to boost its opening weekend into the biggest animated opening of all-time. Because it sure did not happen this week.


KING OF THE CROP: Pets Sequel Starts Soft

Secret Life of Pets 2 (Universal Pictures)
(Photo by Universal Pictures)

Just a few weeks ago tracking services had The Secret Life of Pets 2 at $65 million. That was still low for an Illumination summer release, but notably much lower than the first film’s $104.3 million start in July 2016. As with Godzilla: King of the Monsters last week, that initial number proved to be way off: The film opened with just $47 million. That is less than Despicable Me started with nearly a full decade ago ($56.3 million). Call this more a disappointment than any kind of outright disaster for the animation studio. They keep their productions relatively cheap ($80 million in this case.) Critics have been disappointed by six of their 10 features , including this one, which currently stands at 53% on the Tomatometer, with only Despicable Me getting above 80%. By comparison, Pixar has only had a single film receive a Rotten score (Cars 2 with 38%) and had 14 of their 20 films score over 90% on the Tomatometer.

But Illumination’s films still make money. Seven of the studio’s films have made over a half-billion globally at the box office and two of them (Minions, Despicable Me 3) grossed over a billion. Illumination has not had a film gross less than $250 million domestically since 2012’s The Lorax, however.

Only three animated films have ever opened to less than $50 million and gone on to gross that much, and they were The Lion King, Shrek and, well, Illumination’s Sing. It grossed $33.5 million from Wednesday to Friday and $35.2 million over Friday to Monday during the 2016 holiday season and just grew and grew albeit with no direct animated competition until its eighth week when The Lego Batman Movie opened.

Pets 2 is not going to have that luxury. As mentioned, Toy Story 4 is opening in just two weeks and the first-day pre-sales on May 28 outsold Incredibles 2. The first Pets movie opened three weeks after Finding Dory had already grossed $400 million. Toy Story 4 could gross half of that in its first three days, and Pets 2 could end up looking at a relatively soft domestic number even if its international numbers ($49 million to date) will no doubt turn it into another solid success for Illumination.


Rotten Returns: Dark Phoenix Hits All New Lows for X-Men Franchise

Sophie Turner stars as Jean Grey in Dark Phoenix (20th Century Fox)
(Photo by 20th Century Fox)

The X-Men films have not exactly been financial juggernauts. Logan and X-Men; Days of Future Past did very well as did both of the Deadpool films. X-Men: Apocalypse did cross the half-billion mark but barely squeaked out a profit for the studio. The rest of the films failed to cross that line and X-Men Origins: Wolverine, X-Men: First Class, and X-Men: The Last Stand did not even get out of the red while still in theaters. Now, in what is hardly a surprise, Dark Phoenix is setting new lows all around in what appears to be one last gasp before the heroes are repackaged under Disney’s version of Marvel.

Starting with the critical response, Dark Phoenix now replaces X-Men Origins: Wolverine (37%) as the worst-scored of the franchise with a 22%. Six of the 11 films (not counting Once Upon a Deadpool) have scored 80% or higher. The Wolverine used to be the low-water mark for the franchise opening with $53.1 million, but Dark Phoenix scraped up just $33 million this weekend. It is also the only film in the series to have a per-theater-average less than $10,000 with an estimated $8,869. Phoenix may have started with a reasonable $5 million in Thursday previews, but among films to open on Thursdays between $4 million–$6 million, only Blade Runner 2049 had a lower opening with $32.7 million. When the final numbers come out Monday, Dark Phoenix may own that distinction.

Thanks to extensive reshoots the film’s budget ballooned to $200 million. Days of Future Past survived that number, when it became the highest-grossing non-Deadpool film in the group. Brett Ratner’s The Last Stand failed with a $210-million budget despite still being the highest-grossing domestic entry with X-Men in the title. The last five films (including Logan and the Deadpools) have grossed between $389 million–$513 million overseas. Dark Phoenix has made $107 million internationally so far. Seventeen of the 37 films to open between $32 million–$34 million failed to reach $100 million, and Dark Phoenix is likely to be joining that list possibly with $50 million less than what The Wolverine ($132.5 million) finished with.


Top Ten And Beyond: Aladdin, Godzilla, Rocketman, and Ma

Warner Bros. Pictures
(Photo by Warner Bros. Pictures)

Warner Bros.’ Godzilla: King of the Monsters could just as easily have been placed in the “Rotten Returns” section. After the diminishing returns last weekend that ended up with just a $47.7 million weekend (a little more than half of 2014’s Godzilla $93 million opening), the film dropped 67.5% in weekend two to $15.5 million. Let’s put that in perspective: First, a film with $75 million or more after 10 days has never failed to reach $100 million, though there are a couple (Fifty Shades Freed, The Cat in the Hat) which came within a couple million of doing so. There is only one film that grossed over $41 million in its opening weekend and then dropped under $15 million the next: The Fault in Our Stars, which opened to $48 million and fell to $14.7 million. That film still managed to gross $124.8 million, but Godzilla is already behind its pace by $2 million and that is likely to fall off further. The film is up to $292 million globally and $425 million looks to be the magic number it needs to get into the black.

Last week’s other releases did not drop quite as bad. Ma did fall 56.8%, which puts it just above Blumhouse’s Truth or Dare ($32.7 vs. $30.2 million after 10 days) and ahead in its second weekend gross by $26,575 if the estimates hold. That film finished with just $41.4 million. Elton John musical biopic Rocketman fell 45.6% to $14 million, which puts its final estimate somewhere between $70 million–$80 million domestic. It has grossed $101 million worldwide to date.

Pokemon Detective Pikachu has passed $400 million globally, but still needs around another $40 million in order to claim success. John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum, at half the cost, has made over $252 million worldwide and is in the win column for Lionsgate. The Keanu Reeves action spectacular is actually right in line with what the first Mission: Impossible had made after 24 days ($138.7 million), and it is only $1.2 million behind what it made in weekend four ($8.6 million.) That is giving it a final estimate somewhere between $155 million–$175 million domestically; enough to pass La La Land for the sixth highest-grossing domestic film in Lionsgate history.

Amazon this weekend opened the first of their big Sundance acquisitions this weekend. Late Night (81%) opened in four theaters and grossed $249,654 for a $62,414 per-theater-average. That is the best four-theater opening of 2019 so far, besting Sundance surprise screening Fighting With My Family, which made $138,780 before it went wide, as Late Night will be doing next week. That number is better than similar Amazon openings such as Beautiful Boy ($218,888) and Don’t Worry He Won’t Get Far on Foot ($83,339). In 2018, the top four theater openings were The Favourite ($422,410), Free Solo ($298,288), Eighth Grade ($263,797), and Mid90s ($258,157). Along with Eighth Grade, some other top Sundance PTAs over the years include The Kids Are All Right ($70,282) and The Big Sick ($84,315).

Disney has the two biggest successes in the Top 10: Aladdin, which passed $600 million worldwide this weekend and now has a legitimate shot at reaching $300 million domestic, and Avengers: Endgame, which, at $2.730 billion, is roughly $57 million away from passing Avatar and breaking the all-time record. Next week will be its eighth and likely final week in the Top 10. Avatar spent 14 weeks in the Top 10; seven of those in the No. 1 slot back in 2009.


This Time Last Year: New Ocean Crew Stole Record Amount Opening Weekend

Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, and Co. took the top spot with Ocean’s 8 grossing $41.6 million, higher than any of Steven Soderbergh’s Ocean’s films and ultimately outgrossing both of the sequels. Ari Aster’s Sundance horror sensation, Hereditary, opened in fourth with $13.5 million behind Solo: A Star Wars Story and Deadpool 2. Global Road (formerly Open Road’s) Hotel Artemis proved to be a bust with just $3.2 million, while Avengers: Infinity War passed the $650 million line. The Top 10 films grossed $109.66 million and averaged 70.2% on the Tomatometer. This year’s Top 10 grossed an estimated $158.72 million and averaged 66.5% on the Tomatometer.


On the Vine: Reboots Hope To Grab Box Office Scraps

A pair of reboots hope to take a small piece of the box office next weekend led by Men In Black International. A new cast, led by MCU buddies Tessa Thompson and Chris Hemsworth and guided by F. Gary Gray, suit up to fight new aliens. There is also a sequel to the 2000 remake of the 1971 original Shaft with Samuel L. Jackson. It is also called Shaft. Son of Shaft may be more appropriate or maybe Shaft: First Blood Part II. But Jackson returns with director Tim Story taking over for the late John Singleton. Finally, Jim Jarmusch takes on the zombie genre with an all-star cast, including Bill Murray and Adam Driver, in The Dead Don’t Die. The film from the indie darling was met with some indifference from Cannes this year and currently sits at 50% on the Tomatometer.


The Full Top 10: June 7-9

  1. The Secret Life of Pets 2 (2019) 60% – $47.11 million ($48.03 million total)
  2. Dark Phoenix (2019) 23% – $33 million ($33.00 million total)
  3. Aladdin (2019) 57% – $24.50 million ($232.38 million total)
  4. Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) 42% – $15.54 million ($78.59 million total)
  5. Rocketman (2019) 89% – $14 million ($50.49 million total)
  6. Ma (2019) 55% – $7.82 million ($32.76 million total)
  7. John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum (2019) 90% – $7.40 million ($138.66 million total)
  8. Avengers: Endgame (2019) 94% – $4.80 million ($824.36 million total)
  9. Pokémon Detective Pikachu (2019) 68% – $2.98 million ($137.40 million total)
  10. Booksmart (2019) 97% – $1.57 million ($17.81 million total)

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]


Like this? Subscribe to our newsletter and get more features, news, and guides in your inbox every week.

Tag Cloud

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