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Mon. Feb 17th, 2020

Box Office Analysis (Jan. 24-26): [Gentle]Men no match for [Bad] Boys

PGA and DGA winner ‘1917’ breaks $100M; ‘Parasite’ crosses $30M; the ‘Knives’ are still out

Bad Boys for Life followed up its incredible record-breaking opening weekend with a stronger-than-expected sophomore weekend, dropping only -46% to a $34 million weekend gross. Typically, the weekend after a holiday weekend at the box office is filled with above-average drops due to the holiday inflating the previous weekend’s grosses, but since the new offerings this weekend proved to be less-than-stellar (more on them in a bit), that allowed Bad Boys for Life to have one of the better second weekend drops for a $60+ million opener in recent memory. The action flick’s 10-day total currently stands at $120.6 million, and with only Birds of Prey as serious blockbuster competition in the next month, the film now stands a half-decent chance at becoming the first true January release to make over $200 million domestic.

In second place for the weekend, 1917 continued to build on its Oscar frontrunner status with a mere -28% decline to a $15.8 million weekend gross, pushing the film to a $103.9 million domestic total, making it the 4th Best Picture nominee to cross the mark. If it wins Best Picture in two weeks, it will be the first $100+ million grosser to win Best Picture since Argo seven years ago. In third place was Dolittle, dropping -43% to a $12.5 million weekend gross with a $44.7 million 10-day total. Considering the family film’s poor reviews and ‘B’ Cinemascore, the drop could have certainly been worse, and with no family competition over the next two weekends it might have a couple more solid holds left, but the film is still looking to be a money loser for Universal.

The weekend’s two new openers landed outside the top 3, with The Gentleman opening in fourth with $11 million. Marketed as a return to form for Guy Ritchie to his early career gangster films, the opening was in a similar range to Snatch 19 years ago, which opened to $8 million, or $12.9 million in 2020 dollars. Granted, nearly two decades of cult appeal (that film resides in the IMDb’s top 100) should have given The Gentleman more of a boost, but a decade of for-hire work in hits like Sherlock Holmes and Aladdin and disappointments like The Man from U.N.C.L.E. and King Arthur: Legend of the Sword have probably helped diminish that cult appeal. The film scored a solid ‘B+’ from Cinemascore (a bit better actually than Snatch‘s ‘B’), but a final total around $30 million seems like the best case scenario.

The weekend’s other wide release, The Turning, disappointed with an opening in sixth place of $7.3 million. The modern update of The Turn of the Screw didn’t have a particularly strong hook, with no major box office draws in the film and a very general “creepy kids in a creepy house” marketing, and poor reviews didn’t help matters. The second horror release of 2020, the film also ended up being the second horror release of 2020 to score an ‘F’ from Cinemascore, which means the film will probably have a steep dropoff in the next couple weeks before finishing with a final total around $14 million.

With both of the new openers making minimal impact, most of the holdovers flourished. Jumanji: The Next Level stayed in the top 5 for a seventh weekend, dropping only -19% to $7.9 million for a $283.4 million total, keeping the film on track for a final domestic total over $300 million. The best drop in the top 10 was had by Knives Out, which in its ninth weekend of release dropped only -15% to $3.65 million for a $151.7 million total, officially making the whodunnit comic thriller the second biggest non-sequel in Lionsgate’s history, behind only the first Hunger Games. The best hold for any wide release this weekend was by Parasite, which in its 16th (!) weekend of release increased 17% from last weekend to a $2 million weekend gross from 1,060 theaters. That theater count is the film’s widest release yet, and makes Parasite only the 12th foreign language film to play in over 1,000 theaters, and the first since Pan’s Labyrinth 13 years ago. The film’s $30.9 million total makes it the highest grossing release ever by Neon (passing I, Tonya), and only the seventh foreign language film to ever gross over $30 million in America.

1. Bad Boys for Life – $34 million (-46%)
2. 1917 – $15.8 million (-28%)
3. Dolittle – $12.5 million (-43%)
4. The Gentlemen – $11 million (NEW)
5. Jumanji: The Next Level – $7.9 million (-19%)
6. The Turning – $7.3 million (NEW)
7. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker – $5.2 million (-38%)
8. Little Women – $4.7 million (-26%)
9. Just Mercy – $4.1 million (-30%)
10. Knives Out – $3.65 million (-15%)

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