Annabelle Comes Home to find its ex having already moved out, Yesterday won’t even let me make a goddamn Fab Four-th joke, and Other Box Office News.
Note: this article originally ran on Set the Tape (link).
Greetings, all. I’m coming to you in the midst of that bastard of a heat wave which has sapped away at many a creative brain cell because thinking up witty wordplay is an exhausting endeavour no-one got time for when it’s the kind of weather that actively punishes you for wearing any amount of clothing. Plus, on this exact bastard of a day, the pub covers band who resides two doors down from my house has decided this is the perfect time to spend all-day caterwauling their way through all three discs of Rock Anthems: 60 of the Finest ROCK Hits, the Perfect Gift for Father’s Day to an, effectively, captive residential audience since who’s going to be dumb enough to close their windows on this kind of day (and this is after they spent last night doing an actual gig), so I’m a teensy bit on my last nerve right now. Their male singer was REALLY GOING for the bridge of Radiohead’s “Creep” earlier and it genuinely sounded like a man being skinned alive.
Also, more pertinently to your interests, sod all came out or happened this weekend. So, apologies for the scattershot nature of this week’s dispatch. Solely blame this band who have been a thorn in my side for four years yet have somehow never once changed their setlist HOW IS YOUR DRUMMER STILL CONSISTENTLY DROPPING THE TEMPO ON GODDAMN “SEVEN NATION ARMY,” COME ON! …ahem.
Movies! Not a lot came out this week so, unsurprisingly, Toy Story 4 is still your box office champ with just under $58 million and a 52% drop from its opening weekend which is slap-bang in the middle of the sophomore drops seen by the higher-opening Incredibles II (56%) and Finding Dory (46%) because, say it with me now, THE AMERICAN MOVIE INDUSTRY IS DOOMED! DOOOOOOOOOMED! On a related note, perhaps even recognisable horror movie franchises are no longer safe from the *ominous staccato piano chords* FRANCHISE FATIGUE which is sweeping through the Summer’s slate. Annabelle Comes Home, the third entry in the Annabelle side-series to the Conjuring franchise yet currently has more entries than the mainline series for some reason, opened in second to a franchise-low of $20.3 million. Although, to be fair, this one opened on a Wednesday rather than the traditional Friday seen by the rest of the franchise; with those two other days added on, AnnaxBelle: My Booksmart Disney Princess Slash Fiction opened to $31.2 million… still the lowest in the franchise to date. Unless you count La Llorona but Box Office Mojo apparently doesn’t so I guess neither will I! DOOM!
But perhaps it’s not all terrible news. That much ballyhooed fear from film critics to Reddit users to even JJ Abrams that original/Indie films are being squeezed out of the theatrical space by the grand Disney monolith may have found its saviour! *checks notes* Danny Boyle and Richard Curtis’ abominable Beatles jukebox musical alt-history rom-com Yesterday. Continuing the current trend of Boomer Rock jukebox musicals making a relative killing at the box office because of the power of pleasurable dopamine responses to recognisable things, Yesterday may have only landed in third but it did so with $17 million on a thousand less screens than Annabelle and could very well have leapfrogged the latter film had Universal a touch more faith in it. Finally, a correction from last week since I pen these articles when the Estimates come out but they don’t always run before the Actuals do: Luc Besson’s Anna ended up making the Top 10 after all, leapfrogging Shaft and Dark Phoenix for the #9 slot and OH CHRIST, NOT “DAKOTA” AGAIN! PLEASE STOP MAKING ME HATE STEREOPHONICS, I LEGIT NEVER WANT TO HEAR THIS SONG AGAIN NOW!
Sorry, long hot weekend. Let’s get this Full List out of the way so I can get on with the public service of shoving the drummer’s sticks down the singer’s throat.
US Box Office Results: Friday 28th June 2019 – Sunday 30th June 2019
1] Toy Story 4
$57,932,000 / $236,921,809
Let’s all sing the Doom Song! Doom-de-doom doom do-do-doom doom doom doom doom do-doom doom do-do-do doom doomy doomy doom…
2] Annabelle Comes Home
$20,370,000 / $31,204,459 / NEW
We here at Set the Tape were going to have a review ready to run today, except that Warner Bros. pushed the release to a week and a half from now instead for reasons officially unclear but unofficially almost definitely to avoid this exact scenario going down. I must admit that it’s kinda funny watching the horror movie industry, in an effort to avoid suffocating each other around the Halloween season, end up accidentally suffocating themselves around the Summer season instead. It’s like when so-called AAA videogames decided to start migrating to the first three months of a new year in order to avoid crowding each other out around Christmas only to now be crowding each other out in late-February/March.
$17,000,000 / NEW
The worst thing to happen to the music of the Beatles that I experienced this week and I am including the pub band’s awful macho distortion-laden cover of “Come Together” that they are currently slogging through. I hated this movie. Well and truly hated it on a deeply personal level. So, look forward to the 19-minute 8,000-word rant from yours truly about it come year’s end. In the meanwhile, if you want an opinion from somebody who didn’t reflexively yell out “FUCK OFF” at the movie in a crowded theatre, Dave Bond’s got you covered.
$9,344,000 / $305,861,946
For an indicator of how small-picture and out-of-step with general audiences online film and Box Office reporters such as myself can be, Disney’s remake of Aladdin is currently at $874 million worldwide. We may not have been talking much about it after opening weekend, but “normies” certainly are. Detective Pikachu, meanwhile, is already at the point in a film’s lifecycle where the studio doesn’t report weekend estimates. Hey, we get it wrong sometimes, that’s the biz. Look forward to The Lion King repeating these respective feats a fortnight from now.
5] The Secret Life of Pets 2
$7,090,000 / $131,202,000
Here is your friendly reminder that The Queen’s Corgi is a real movie which exists and somebody spent $30 million on to be released in cinemas this Friday that I will have to see at some point. These are trying times for your friendly neighbourhood box office reporter.
6] Men in Black: International
$6,550,000 / $65,030,511
Yeah, we’re probably not going to see the further adventures of… err, I want to say “Beef McWellington” and “A Movie Studio CEO’s Daughter Just Took an Interest in STEM?” Technically, the film has made its production budget back and will definitely close having doubled that (which typically is what it takes for a film to start turning a profit) largely thanks to a #1 opening in China, but last weekend it was instantly trounced by the for-them newly-released Spirited Away so that’s that. Relatedly, I will also take back any and all instances of my cynicism towards Hollywood’s pandering to and patronisingly dumbing down for Chinese audiences if this is what it takes to get Studio Ghibli reliable funding in order for them to start up properly again once Hayao Miyazaki finally for-reals hangs it up.
$5,537,000 / $841,318,161
In a blatantly-cynical effort to have the film limp across the finish line to best Avatar’s seemingly un-topple-able all-time record, Disney re-released Endgame back into theatres this weekend with mystery-stoking NEW STUFF – reportedly just an unfinished deleted scene of the Hulk saving some kids earlier in the film stuck into the post-credits slot – benevolently marketed as a “thank you” to fans before that last accolade slips out of their reach for all-eternity. Did it work? No idea, cos the Mojo have accidentally cocked up and deleted Endgame’s Foreign Gross at time of writing, but most likely not which really grinds my gears. Not as a Marvel fanboy, but because the hack writer in me adored the idea of a decade bookended by two new Biggest Movies of All-Time and now we’re probably not going to get it.
8] Child’s Play
$4,276,607 / $23,405,006
A truly lethal 70% drop between weekends means that this one is being yeeted right out of cinemas in record time. Who would have thought that releasing multiple killer doll movies in consecutive weeks would have had grave consequences for the one nobody gave a shit about?
$3,870,000 / $84,173,960
Come to think of it, has the pub band next door played any Elton John before? I think that might be the one rock touchstone they haven’t bastardised yet. Perhaps those songs are too complex for the band who can only barely get through The Undertones’ “Teenage Kicks” on any given night.
10] John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum
$3,175,000 / $161,315,088
Without wishing to spoil, I was very surprised by the results of Set the Tape’s Top 10 Films of 2019 So Far poll that will be running later this week. Very surprised, indeed. You guessed it: Spy Cat topped every list. All of them. And was also everyone’s second and third favourite choices, too. Our staff just couldn’t get enough of Spy Cat.
Dropped out: Godzilla: King of the Monsters, Shaft, Dark Phoenix