Hobbs & Shaw spins its wheels, it’s a Limited Release bonanza, and Other Box Office News.
Note: this article originally ran on Set the Tape (link).
Oh, I see how it is, America. Universal goes to all the trouble of putting together the ideal final form of cinema as a medium – a Fast & Furious movie, starring The Rock and Jason Statham as mismatched homoerotic buddy-cop beefcakes, directed by one-half of the John Wick guys, all in the cheesy OTT campy dressing of a mid-80s Joel Silver production except with a $200 million price tag – a theoretically perfect movie with something for absolutely everyone without sacrificing a distinctive personality in doing so, and this is how you repay them? A mere $60 million opening weekend, the lowest in the franchise since Tokyo Drift back in 2006? (In fact, it’s lower than all but those inauspicious first three movies.) Yeah, that’s still more than good enough for the #1 slot on this week’s chart and dead-on with the studio’s expectations going into the weekend, but it’s not all the money like this thing deserves, is it? You people are why we don’t get nice things. Blink twice if you’re all in league with Tyrese and this was all part of his elaborate revenge plot.
Rather like with the similarly-undervalued – or, at least, as undervalued as heavily-pushed, exorbitantly-priced, four-quadrant-appealing blockbuster tentpoles can be – Godzilla: King of the Monsters, we have to take into account the collective global opening in order to minimise any potential damage to this franchise since, as we know, none of its stars are willing to appear to cleanly lose a fight. In that respect, things look rather healthier. Speaking of the king of the monsters, Hobbs & Shaw’s total global opening of $180 million tops the $177.8 million brought in by that movie a couple of months back to become Universal’s fifth biggest global opening ever. And Godzilla had an advantage that Hobbs & Shaw did not, opening day and date in China; the latter has to wait until the 23rd and, you may recall, China fucking loves them some Fast & Furious. So, not out for the count just yet, but also still not enough for my liking. You all already took The Wachowski Sisters from me, don’t also suddenly decide you’re sick of Fast & Furious-branded movies as well!
Next week sees no less than five new Wide Releases all jockeying for position as the release schedule finally decides to come out and party now that the Disney lion has devoured the wildebeest and left the runts to fight for scraps. This week, however, that same bloodthirsty feeding frenzy has overtaken the Limited Releases. So, hold on tight cos it’s time for a good old-fashioned surface-level blast-through! Highly-acclaimed hot-button race drama Luce outperformed its veritable competition with a $132,916 opening from 5 theatres (a strong PTA of $26,583), but perhaps only because IFC hedged its bets with The Nightingale, Jennifer Kent’s hyper-violent Australian Western follow-up to The Babadook, by locking it to just 2 theatres where it mercilessly cut down $40,082 worth of wallets no that metaphor doesn’t work just move on. Israeli satire Tel Aviv on Fire didn’t quite go down in flames but its $50,987 from 11 theatres still isn’t all that great (a PTA of $4,635 for those who don’t want to be forced into quick maths this Tuesday morn). It is, though, about on a par with religious snake-handling thriller Them That Follow starring Academy Award Winner Olivia Colman (a phrase I will never get tired of saying) which handled $15,000 from 3 theatres… snake-ly? Jesus, it’s difficult to make the funny for films that you haven’t heard of and don’t have UK release dates. Finally, the Anton Yelchin documentary Love, Antosha got its start on 1 screen with $7,150 as it slowly expands over the coming month.
This Full List is brought to you with invaluable assistance by Mike Oxmall.
US Box Office Results: Friday 2nd August 2019 – Sunday 4th August 2019
1] Hobbs & Shaw
$60,800,000 / NEW
You’d better believe that I hogged review duties for this one all to myself! Allowing anyone else to cover this would have been like letting a stupid baby review the Mona Lisa! Nobody else on this website rides and/or dies for this glorious series more than I do – with the exception of Eamon Hennedy who put together an excellent three-part retrospective on the series so far in the run up to Hobbs & Shaw. This is what we in the biz call a heel turn against the other site writers, by the way, and it is obviously deadly serious just like Hobbs & Shaw which is a deadly serious movie for deadly serious people. Only the most deadly serious of movies make “tree-fiddy” references.
2] The Lion King
$38,246,000 / $430,889,078
Prior to my viewing of The Lion King, I had the Cats trailer sprung on me without warning. If the film following it weren’t so utterly forking dull, I would have demanded to speak to somebody’s manager; such an action was an unjust assault and violation of my human rights!
3] Once Upon a Time in… Hollywood
$20,025,000 / $78,842,945
What’s also a violation of my human rights is my having to wait another week and a half before I can finally lay my eyes upon a new Quentin Tarantino film. Dude’s apparently going to force me to get into Star Trek so I can properly appreciate his final film, that’s the level of trust and commitment his art inspires within me.
4] Spider-Man: Far From Home
$7,755,000 / $360,328,925
Into the Spider-Verse is being added to Sky Movies from Friday, as a heads up to the 14 of you who frequent this site yet have somehow gone without watching that masterpiece just yet.
5] Toy Story 4
$7,150,000 / $410,050,743
Didn’t mention this last week cos I only get one slot in these to talk about animation stuff and I wanted to focus on something positive and good rather than this, but Netflix cancelled Tuca & Bertie. Yes, the most acclaimed new show of the year with a vocal cult following and also a refreshing female voice in an overwhelmingly male adult animation industry. Cancelled because it didn’t appease the algorithm gods and therefore didn’t get advertised for shit. Ugh, the fuck are Netflix even doing right now? Everybody please watch Twelve Forever before the same thing happens to that as well.
$2,440,000 / $67,902,655
For those of you who may not be aware, We’re #2! restarted from its inadvertent hiatus last month, at long last, and is currently running over on my own personal site. This week, we dredged up the immediately forgotten careers of throwback boyband Let Loose because 1994 was a weird year for pop music. New entries go live every Saturday, so bookmark accordingly!
7] The Farewell
$2,429,114 / $6,837,624
So, turns out that A24 don’t seem to have a plan to send this properly nationwide right now and are content to just keep slowly expanding until all of its momentum dries up, this week reaching 409 theatres. Eh, better than nothing, I guess, but there was also a giant gaping slot in the schedule this week for something to counter-programme Hobbs & Shaw, whilst the rest of the month has an average of four new Wide Releases a week. Just saying.
$2,150,000 / $36,090,773
Put GM Mode into WWE 2K20, you cowards!
$2,018,000 / $350,369,592
11 straight weeks in the Top 10. What a run, folks. The kind we haven’t seen since Black Panther and before that since I can’t be bothered to check cos it’s mid-afternoon Monday and this write-up is late enough as it is. Could’ve happened to a nicer film.
10] Annabelle Comes Home
$875,000 / $71,575,112
Jesus Christ, this box office is fucking brutal right now. Speaking of horror shows, Chris Haigh’s had a read of the intriguing new IDW horror-comedy graphic novel Penny Nichols and can’t stop singing its praises.
Dropped out: Stuber
Callum Petch walked for miles inside this pit of danger.