An abysmal opening weekend finds the X-Men facing box office obscurity while the Pets continue to flourish
Their worst fears have come to pass. This weekends Box Office was supposed to be won by the X-Men and their final Fox Studios bow. Poor reviews wouldn’t dent the superheroes pulling power, would they? The X-Men would surge to box office dominance without fail.
Running, bounding and flying into the top spot this past weekend came animated sequel ‘The Secret Life Of Pets 2‘ with a staggering $48million. The film opened a few weeks after its bow in other parts of the world to great buzz, good reviews from audiences and genuine excitement. The film didn’t get anywhere near the $104.3million opening the original movie made on its debut but it still managed to snag itself the top position. The film has taken an additional $48million worldwide for a take so far of $97million against its budget of $80million. The critics were unkind to the film, only gaining it a 54% average but audiences voted with their feet, making it the perfect selection of family entertainment.
‘X-Men: Dark Phoenix‘ had to settle for a second-place opening, gaining $33million, making it the lowest grossing X-Men film opening, beating out spin-off movie ‘The Wolverine‘ which took the previous lowest at $53.1million back in 2013. Even ‘X-Men: Apocolypse‘ opened with $65.7million in 2016. Critics completely hated on the film, giving it a lowly 22% average. The film did manage to take $107million worldwide, giving them film a $140million opening against its budget (reportedly) of $200million. The film was originally due to open back last year before being pushed back to February of this year before it finally opened this past weekend. Extensive reshoots took place on the film including a brand new ending. This was due to the original ending being too much like another comic book movie’s finale. The other film’s title hasn’t been revealed but after reading both the original comic book and the recent Titan Books tie-in, I can confidently tell you that the other film is ‘Avengers: Endgame‘.
‘X-Men: Dark Phoenix‘, while being marginally better than the last time they attempted the storyline (X-Men: The Last Stand), is ultimately a letdown and again fails to do the storyline justice. Twice it has been attempted to translate the classic comic book to the screen and both times they have failed, disregarding most of the material contained in the original story (though to be fair, Dark Phoenix does use some of it to good effect) and handing us a truncated version, both of which have done the proverbial bellyflop. Disney now has the rights and creative control over the characters. My advice to them? DON’T try it a third time!
Disney’s ‘Aladdin‘ flew down gently to the third place, taking another $24.5million and boosting it to $232.3million domestic and $604.8million worldwide against its $183million budget. I admit when I’m wrong and I was completely wrong about the movie’s pulling power.
Last weeks number one movie, ‘Godzilla: King Of The Monsters‘ was dethroned in spectacular style, falling three places to land at the fourth position, losing over 67% of its first week’s audience figure. The monster smackdown took a further $15.5million bringing its total to $78.5million domestic and $292.2million worldwide on a budget of $170million, not the smash-hit Warner Bros. was looking for and not a good precursor to next summer’s ‘Godzilla Vs Kong‘.
The Elton John biopic ‘Rocketman‘ fell to number five with a further $14million added to its coffers. The Taron Egerton starring film now sits on $50.4million domestic and $101.7million worldwide on a budget of $40million. The film, although still profitable, won’t gross anywhere near the figure posted by Freddie Mercury biopic ‘Bohemian Rhapsody‘ which finished on $900million worldwide.
‘Ma‘ managed to scare herself into a sixth-place finish with a further $7.8million hidden away in her purse. The Octavia Spencer starring homicidal maniac scarer now has $32.7million domestic and $40million around the globe against its minor $5million budget. No spoilers but, like the Dennis Quaid starring ‘The Intruder‘ earlier this year, the film is a one-off and no chance of the main character returning for a sequel.
Still blowing assassins and audiences away, ‘John Wick: Chapter 3: Parabellum‘ grabbed another $7.4million giving it $138.6million in the U.S and $252.2million around the world on a $55million budget. Keanu Reeves has again pulled off a successful box office return for the titular character and I personally can’t wait for the already announced fourth go around for our favourite dog loving killer.
The cinematic juggernaut that is ‘Avengers: Endgame‘ still thundered on in the eighth place, taking another $4.8million and bringing its domestic total to $824.3million and $2.73billion around the world. Its mammoth $350million budget looks small now compared with its box office take and, in my opinion, has won the box office crown of the years highest grosser and can now sit back and relax before the home entertainment release explodes into homes around the world and more records tumble before it.
‘Pokemon: Detective Pikachu‘ is still investigating the top ten chart as he moves down to the ninth position. The Ryan Reynolds voiced character has now taken $137.4million at the American box office and $409million worldwide after its $2.9million weekend.
Rounding out the top ten is actresses Olivia Wilde’s directorial debut ‘Booksmart‘ which gained an additional $1.7million, bringing its total to $17.8million on a $6million budget. The film still has to open in foreign markets and so can be considered a nice debut for the female director.
Waving us goodbye as they departed the top ten this past weekend were James Gunn-produced superhero horror film ‘Brightburn‘ and the con artist comedy ‘The Hustle‘.
Opening in limited release, the Emma Thompson/Mindy Kaling comedy ‘Late Night‘ had a pretty strong opening. The film grabbed an estimated $62,000 per screen before it expands next weekend. The R Rated film, about a talk show host, was a winner with the critics who granted it an 81% approval rating.
Next weekend sees the opening of spin-off film ‘Men In Black International‘ starring Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson. The pair, who have starred together before in the MCU as Thor and Valkyrie respectively are joined by Liam Neeson and a returning Emma Thompson in what promises to be a great comedic science fiction film set in the same universe as the Will Smith/ Tommy Lee Jones characters.
Also opening, if you live in the U.S only, is Samuel L Jackson’s return as ‘Shaft‘, this time gaining Jessie T Usher as J.J Shaft, his son alongside the returning legend that is Richard Rowntree. The film is only available to view at U.S theatres. The rest of the world will get to see the film one week later when it debuts across the globe on Netflix. I shall write up my feelings on this in another article but suffice to say, they ain’t good.
Opening in limited release comes Jim Jarmusch’s zombie comedy ‘The Dead Don’t Die‘ starring Bill Murray, Adam Driver and Chloe Sevigny in what looks to be completely nuts and hilarious judging by its trailers. I personally am looking forward to seeing what could become an instant classic when it opens across the pond here in the United Kingdom.
So, what do you think will be top next weekend? Will the Men In Black save us from the scum of the rest of the top ten? Will Shaft make good on his name and shaft the rest of the chart? Will the X-Men mount a sizable comeback and grab the top spot? Or will the Pets continue to enchant us and remain at number one? Feel free to give us your predictions as we welcome your feedback and interactions and don’t forget to stop by again next week for the top ten box office rundown. We look forward to seeing you all again.
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Carl Roberts is a Senior Entertainment/Books and Literature Correspondent for The Future of the Force. Aside from being our horror genre aficionado, he is also passionate about Star Wars, Marvel, DC, and the Indiana Jones movies. Follow him on Twitter where he uses the force frequently!