Endgame is inevitable, everything else is fucking dead, and Other Box Office News.
Note: this article originally ran on Set the Tape (link).
Oh, boy, some bright sparks thought they could counter-programme against Avengers: Endgame in its sophomore weekend despite the fact that said movie was really obviously going to be the biggest thing in the history of ever, huh? Like, I know that the post-Marvel weekends are typically dumping grounds for movies the studios have no faith in, hoping to ride heavily-diminished expectations towards a not-disastrous box office, but this is just being wilfully ignorant. For the biggest example: STX put a whole heck of a lot of chips on their Uglydolls movie, they gave it a $45 million budget, they plastered advertising for it everywhere, they signed tie-ins with over 100 different commercial entities like McDonalds and Walmart, they got Hulu to greenlight a 26 episode TV series spin-off, they pushed it onto over 3,500 screens… the film opened this weekend in fourth with $8.5 million, less than even the My Little Pony Movie from two years back ($8.9 mil), and the Detective Pikachu movie is now less than seven days out. I would love to sit down with STX studio head Adam Fogelson to ask him what exactly he thought was going to happen here, cos I don’t think anyone outside of the STX bubble is in the least bit surprised by this.
So, Endgame is still #1. Duh. The domestic sophomore weekend estimate of $145 million is not quite enough to unseat The Force Awakens from the Biggest Second Weekend of All-Time record (that one did $149 million over the Christmas weekend which honestly feels like cheating), but you’re already looking at the biggest film of 2019 in America, having crossed Captain Marvel’s domestic total of $420 million in just five days of release, the ninth biggest film in the country of all-time (and Actuals may have pushed it past The Last Jedi into eighth), and it has already not only broken past the $2 billion mark globally but also past Titanic’s seemingly unmatchable $2.187 billion total by a full $.001 billion. This is within just 12 days of release, I want you all to remember. At this point, even with Detective Pikachu about to wreck everyone’s shit, I think we really do have a shot at seeing Avatar’s $2.788 billion record finally fall! Should that happen, I want a live feed of James Cameron’s house as he reacts to the news by impotently stomping up and down on a ten-gallon hat whilst trying to reassure himself that Avatars 2 through 5 will totally be this big swear it.
As for those being sent into the trenches to die ignoble deaths, ScreenGems’ campy psycho-stalker thriller The Intruder surprisingly managed to come out the closest thing to “only slightly mauled” in second place with an expectation-exceeding $11 million from 2,000-odd theatres. It’s not going to stick around for long in future weekends, these films never do, but that’s already $2 million more than its budget. And it managed to hold off wider-releasing Lionsgate’s high-concept rom-com Long Shot, which came in under-expectations at just $10 million despite almost outperforming every one of its Wide Release competitors combined critically (at time of writing). Completely missing out on the Top 10, meanwhile, was the gritty Latinx superhero vigilante cop thriller El Chicano which, despite sounding pretty damn great in all honesty, straight up bombed into eleventh with $700,432 from 605 screens. In Limited Release, things are a tad brighter albeit in the metaphorical sense as Zhang Yimou’s big return to wuxia, the monochromatic Shadow, sliced $30,100 from 4 theatres (an average of $7,525) whilst Olivier Assayas’ dreary-sounding Non-Fiction tweeted $29,056 from 2 theatres, although that PTA ($14,528) was still only the second-best of the weekend because Endgame (with $31,275 from 4,662 screens) consumes all.
Hey, Full List. You got something for me?
US Box Office Results: Friday 3rd May 2019 – Sunday 5th May 2019
$145,804,000 / $619,698,638
Right, look, I know that I personally wouldn’t have wanted a good number of the biggest pops from Endgame spoiled for me ahead of time – no matter what those studies about how people who’ve had movies spoiled for them beforehand actually enjoy those movies more might say – but I do think we have officially gone too far with Spoiler Culture if we’re having studios record spoiler warnings to play in front of trailers for other films, as Marvel is having Tom Holland do for the releasing-at-time-of-writing new trailer for Spider-Man: Far From Home. Now it’s gone from a fun little piece of social etiquette to a mercenary marketing ploy and, at least from the Endgame tales I’ve heard, it’s causing even the filming of these movies to be objectively nonsensical. How’s about we all chill the fuck out with this, huh? Cos this story about a man who befriended someone online that spoiled Infinity War for a year specifically so he could spoil Endgame for them in revenge? That is psychopathic behaviour if true. Talking about movies is supposed to be fun, remember?
2] The Intruder
$11,000,000 / NEW
It’s been a while since I watched Joel Edgerton’s The Gift. I should do something about that.
3] Long Shot
$10,025,000 / NEW
Dave Bond’s been to see this and he thought it was “just about funny enough to be worth a watch.” High praise indeed.
$8,510,000 / NEW
Sad news from the world of animation as Chris Reccardi tragically died of a heart attack whilst surfing last week at the age of 54. If you have watched damn-near any cartoon or animated feature in the past 25 years, chances are Reccardi was involved in some capacity. He did storyboard work for Tiny Toon Adventures, wrote for Dexter’s Laboratory and the original Powerpuff Girls series, was a character designer on Wander Over Yonder, designed concepts and visuals for The LEGO Movie and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, was a storyboard director on Spongebob Squarepants, amongst so many others. A true legend of the industry taken far too soon, this one hurts surprisingly deep for me.
$4,276,000 / $420,768,018
Addendum to my Spoiler Culture comments further up: with all those said, don’t be an asshole and go out of your way to spoil things for others like a smug prick. Fuck this preppy youth pastor, for example.
$3,948,000 / $33,224,512
Speaking of bad Christian media, We’re #2! rumbled back to life briefly last week to cover the 25th anniversary of Crash Test Dummies’ “Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm” making it to the UK #2 position. The series will be back full-time in June, it’s currently a super-busy time for me whilst April saw my brain farting itself to death and the site’s been in a period of transition so all conspired to put a pause on progress for now. But it will be back! Oh, will it ever be back!
7] The Curse of La Llorona
$3,500,000 / $48,100,003
It’s been a week (I think?) yet I am still in awe of just how abysmal the Sonic the Hedgehog trailer was. Official Set the Tape staff reactions have ranged from “wow” to “I’m never going to sleep again” to “*curls up in ball* *cries*” to the most pertinent of questions “why ‘Gangsta’s Paradise’ for the music?” All of which cover my various bases. It really is a magnificent work of anti-art, I for one feel it should be hung in the Smithsonian. Future generations are going to be regaled with tales of where their parents/grandparents were when they first saw that trailer, like when World War II broke out.
$2,450,000 / $135,193,790
Poor Shazam!. You deserved way better than this.
$1,474,000 / $38,584,325
I actually liked this for the most part, despite what my pithy dismissal from last week may have insinuated. I simply didn’t trust Little to hang around another week and didn’t want to miss the opportunity to make a Garfunkel & Oates reference. For once, my cynicism was only partly unfounded.
$1,433,000 / $109,709,592
And right on cue, here comes Aladdin. The Walt Disney Corporation: running an uninterrupted and faux-benevolent stranglehold on your childhood nostalgia since time immemorial. *casually tries to push his near-complete Disney Blu-Ray collection out of sight to avoid accusations of hypocrisy*
Dropped out: Pet Sematary, Us, Penguins