Thu. Sep 24th, 2020

Box Office Actuals: ‘Maleficent’ a mistress of disappointment; ‘Jojo Rabbit’ hops to impressive platform start

Something meager this way comes… (Courtesy of Walt Disney Company)

Opening at #1 was Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, opening with $36.9 million. The film continues Disney’s perfect streak this year of #1 openings (not counting the Disneynature release Penguins), but it falls below Dumbo as their lowest opener of the year. While the opening is well ahead of the opening for Alice Through the Looking Glass, both films would seem to show that further attempts to bank on these live-action remakes are gonna be difficult, even for a studio as dominant as Disney. In terms of legs, Maleficent should be helped by a lack of competition until Disney’s own Frozen II next month, so after a traditional second week drop expect decent legs to carry the film to a $110 million total, with hopes riding on another overseas over-performance to push the film into the black.

Moving down to second place was Joker, dropping -47.6% to $29.2 million. That’s a heavier drop than the film’s second weekend, indicating the film might be eating through its hype a little more quickly than the likes of Wonder Woman and Black Panther that it had out-dropped last weekend. However, next weekend is bare enough that it should get in another strong hold, and if the tentpole releases of early November disappoint (Terminator: Dark FateDoctor SleepCharlie’s Angels), it might be able to hang out in the top 10 for longer than expected. The film is still on track for a final total somewhere north of $300 million, with a worldwide gross of $1 billion becoming more and more within reach.

Opening in third place was Zombieland: Double Tap with $26.8 million. That number falls almost right in between the unadjusted and adjusted opening weekend for the first film ($24.9 million in 2009 dollars, $29.3 million in 2019 dollars). One must imagine that Sony was hoping for an opening above that adjusted number, but with a $42 million budget the film should manage to make a profit. Legs are unlikely to be strong, with sequel frontloading and only a couple weeks left of the Halloween season, not to mention a Cinemascore (B+) slightly weaker than the first film (A-). Expect a final total around $68 million, a number below the original’s (unadjusted) final total.

Rounding out the top 5 are last weekend’s two new openers taking a tumble in their sophomore weekends, with The Addams Family in 4th with $16.3 million (down -46.1%) and Gemini Man in 5th with $8.3 million (-59.5%). Addams should recover next weekend without any new direct competition and with being closer to Halloween, but the film will probably fall short of a $100 million total, finishing with $95 millionGemini seems like much more of a lost cause, as the film will start shedding theaters over the next couple weekends, finishing around $50 million total.

Jojo Rabbit (Fox Searchlight) Photo: Kimberley French

The art house circuit was arguably the source of most of the box office excitement this weekend. The weekend’s largest per-theater-average belonged to Jojo Rabbit, opening to $349,555 in five theaters, for a $69,911 per-theater-average, the 4th largest of the year behind only ParasiteThe Farewell, and Avengers: Endgame. The opening PTA is below most of Searchlight’s recent major Oscar plays like The FavouriteThe Shape of Water, and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, but Jojo was in one more theater than all of those, and had much weaker reviews to work off of, so the film could go a number of ways as it expands. The weekend’s second biggest per-theater-average belonged to The Lighthouse, which pulled in $427,797 from eight locations for a PTA of $53,475. It’s a strong start for the film right before it goes into semi-wide release next weekend in over 500 theaters.

Finally, Parasite continues its precedent-breaking run, landing just outside the top 10 with a $1.24 million gross from 33 theaters, for a $37,616 per-theater-average. That is a second weekend expansion above the likes of Lady BirdMoonlight and The Farewell in a similar amount of theaters, another example of how this film is performing less like a traditional foreign language release and more like a top-tier American art house sensation. Neon will continue to go slow and steady with its expansion, going into 80-100 theaters next weekend.

1. Maleficent: Mistress of Evil $36,948,713 (NEW)
2. Joker (2019) $29,251,840 ($247,275,844)
3. Zombieland 2: Double Tap $26,803,104 (NEW)
4. The Addams Family (2019) $16,320,980 ($57,080,007)
5. Gemini Man $8,310,078 ($36,326,621)
6. Abominable $3,510,360 ($53,925,430)
7. Downton Abbey $3,105,720 ($88,638,180)
8. Judy $2,093,144 ($19,055,282)
9. Hustlers $2,025,541 ($101,847,453)
10. IT: Chapter Two $1,453,742 ($209,608,260)

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