Disney/Pixar’s latest offering Onward opened to a relatively soft $40.4 million. Given Pixar’s stellar track record, stars Chris Pratt & Tom Holland and industry projections aiming the animated flick to open near the $50 million mark, the question on everyone’s mind is whether the Coronavirus fears were to blame for the low opening. While many will likely point to that being the case, there are many factors to suggest otherwise.
For starters, no theaters were closed anywhere in the U.S. and attendance for recent holdovers such as The Invisible Man and Sonic the Hedgehog both dipped in expected fashion. An original animated film is a harder sell these days as marketing materials emphasized the films unique setting instead of what the actual plot was. And opening so soon after the breakout successes of both Sonic the Hedgehog and The Call of the Wild undoubtedly put a dent in Onward‘s opening potential. Still, with strong word-of-mouth and no new competition until Disney’s next film, Mulan, opens on the 27th, expect Onward to remain a presence at the box office for weeks to come.
In second place, we find Universal’s The Invisible Man in its second weekend dipping just 46% to a weekend estimate of $15.1 million. Great reviews and a lack of competition helped the horror/thriller maintain a strong hold that will only continue from here. The films domestic total currently sits at a solid $52.6 million.
In third place is this weekend’s other new opener with WB’s The Way Back. The sports drama opened to an estimated $8.5 million, falling in line with its modest industry projections. The film marked the first theatrical release for star Ben Affleck in over two years, since 2017’s disappointing Justice League ($229 million). The film garnered very strong reviews and Affleck did plenty of promotion for the personal drama, but wouldn’t this have performed better in its original release slot of last October? The studio pushed it back after Joker seemed to be their most viable Oscar contender, but did WB really expect a film like this, who’s most marketable asset is the return-to-form performance from Affleck, to perform well in the springtime? A “B+” cinemascore from audiences and a strong 88% on Rotten Tomatoes will hope to push the film past the $30 million mark domestically, but there’s no denying WB left a lot of money on the table here.
The nationwide expansion of Focus Features Emma proved a success with an estimated $5 million from 1,565 locations, good for sixth place. The Jane Austen adaptation has brought in a domestic total of $6.9 million thus far. On the limited front, A24’s First Cow from director Kelly Reichardt brought in $96K from just 4 screens.
Next weekend sees the release of 3 new films. Sony’s Bloodshot, starring Vin Diesel, which is currently tracking for a dismal opening of just $10 million. Universal’s controversial horror satire, The Hunt, hopes to make an impression after its release delay last year, with an opening around $13 million. Finally, Lionsgate’s release of the Christian drama, I Still Believe, is looking like a strong contender to become a sleeper hit with an opening currently tracking around $15 million and potentially much higher. Similar to previous films of the genre including I Can Only Imagine and Heaven Is For Real, look for “Believe” to upset most estimates.
- Onward $40.4M (New)
- The Invisible Man $15.1M – $52.7M (Total)
- The Way Back $8.5M (New)
- Sonic the Hedgehog $8M – $140.8M (Total)
- The Call of the Wild $7M – $57.4M (Total)
- Emma $5M – $6.9M (Total)
- Bad Boys For Life $3M – $202M (Total)
- Birds of Prey $2.1M – $82.5M (Total)
- Impractical Jokers: The Movie $1.8M – $8.5M (Total)
- My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising $1.5M – $12M (Total)
- 1917 $1.37M – $158.2M (Total)
- Jumanji: The Next Level $1.34M – $315.8M (Total)