The last big blockbuster of Summer 2019 arrived this weekend in the form of Hobbs & Shaw, which opened to $60.8 million. This is an alright opening weekend, but it’s far from an ideal bow for the $200 million budgeted title. It’s down 38% from the opening weekend from the last Fast & Furious movie, The Fate of the Furious, and the lowest-grossing opening weekend for a Fast & Furious movie since 2006s The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift.
To boot, its $120 million international opening was way down from the foreign box office debut of prior Fast & Furious movies. On a positive note, it was the sixth-biggest opening weekend ever for a movie released in August and the second-biggest 2019 opening weekend for a movie not affiliated with Disney (only fellow Universal title Us did better).
Why didn’t Hobbs & Shaw do better? Well, it was a movie entirely predicated on its two lead stars, Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham, but neither have ever been massive box office mega-stars. Jason Statham, for instance, has only one non-Fast & Furious movie (The Meg) that opened to over $40 million while Dwayne Johnson has only had one non-Fast & Furious movie (San Andreas) open to over $50 million. To be fair to both of them, it’s not at all unusual for one big franchise to be where a movie star gets the majority of their biggest opening weekends (Tom Cruise only has had one non-Mission: Impossible movie open to over $40 million) but it does mean a movie like Hobbs & Shaw, whose marketing was entirely focused on its two leads, did have a ceiling in terms of how high it could go.
The good news for Hobbs & Shaw is that August blockbusters tend to hold very well. Statham’s own The Meg ended up with a domestic gross that was 3.2 times its opening weekend last year while the last two Mission: Impossible movies (which made the majority of their money in August) each did more than 3.5 times their opening weekend in their overall domestic hauls. Given that Hobbs & Shaw actually held quite well on a day-to-day basis over the weekend, it wouldn’t be shocking to see it get to at least $175-180 million domestically.
The Lion King had another 50% weekend-to-weekend drop this frame, cementing this one as a more frontloaded production than fellow Disney remakes. No matter, it still grossed another $38.4 million for a $430.8 million domestic haul and a worldwide box office gross just under $1.2 billion. In third place was Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, which dropped 50% (on par with the 49% second-weekend decline of Inglorious Basterds) to gross another $20 million for a ten-day domestic haul of $78.8 million.
Despite the presence of a new PG-13 blockbuster, Spider-Man: Far From Home kept on chugging with a 37% fifth-weekend dip, giving it another $7.7 million for a domestic gross of $360.3 million. Also holding well this weekend was Toy Story 4, which grossed $7.1 million, a 31% dip from last weekend, for a domestic haul of $410 million while Yesterday eased a mere 20% for a sixth-weekend gross of $2.44 million and a domestic gross of $67.9 million.
And now we come to The Farewell, which managed to become the seventh-biggest movie domestically this weekend despite playing in just 409 locations. Grossing a fantastic $2.42 million, The Farewell had a per-theater average of $5,939 and has now grossed $6.8 million. This means The Farewell is now the third-biggest movie of 2019 never to go into wide release after No Maches Frida 2 and Apollo 11. Needless to say, this is a phenomenal result that bodes quite well for how this title will hold in the weeks to come.
Crawl eased another 47% this weekend, allowing it to chomp off another $2.1 million for a $36 million domestic gross while Aladdin dipped just 33% to give it an eleventh-weekend gross of $2 million, bringing it to a massive $350.3 million domestic gross. Rounding out the top ten was Annabelle Comes Home, which dropped another 43% for another $875,000 and a domestic gross of $71.5 million. The Secret Life of Pets 2 dipped another 20% this frame for a ninth-weekend gross of $730,000 and a domestic gross of $155.4 million.
Losing 1,070 of its theaters this weekend, Stuber plummeted a hefty 71% for a fourth-weekend haul of $506,000 and a domestic gross of $21.7 million. Meanwhile, Midsommar actually fell out of wide release but still held alright with a 43% fifth-weekend drop. Grossing another $407,775, this Ari Aster horror film has now grossed $25.5 million. Maiden expanded into 131 locations and grossed $229,436 for a per-theater average of $1,751 for a domestic gross of $1.5 million.
Over in the world of limited releases, Luce kicked off its domestic run with $132,916 from 5 locations for a $26,583 per-theater average, the seventh-best opening weekend per-theater average for a 2019 limited release. Luce distributor NEON has struggled in releasing non-documentary that isn’t entitled I, Tonya, but maybe Luce will end up being an exception for the studio. Tel Aviv on Fire debuted to $50,987 from 11 locations for a per-theater average of $4,635 while The Nightingale opened to $40,082 from 2 locations for a per-theater average of $20,041.
Honeyland’s second weekend saw it gross $37,671 from 5 locations for a per-theater average of $7,534. Jay Myself opened to $19,088 from a single location while Them That Follow (only the second title from 1091, the new version of indie studio The Orchard) opened to $15,000 from 3 locations for an underwhelming per-theater average of $5,000. Finally, Love, Antosha opened to $7,150 from a single location.
The top 12 movies this weekend grossed a total of $145.1 million, one of the stronger hauls for a weekend at this time of the year and 15% ahead of this same weekend last year when Mission: Impossible- Fallout topped the box office for a second time. Hobbs & Shaw was the only really big tentpole of August 2019, so it’s basically impossible for the month to come anywhere near the biggest August of all-time at the domestic box office, August 2016.
2019’s domestic box office has been getting better in recent weeks (2019 is only behind 2018 at the same point by 6%, a considerable improvement from even two months ago), but if it’s gonna keep up that pace, it’s gonna need some more hits in August 2019, a month populated with titles like The Kitchen, Blinded by the Light and Dora and the Lost City of Gold that could really go either way financially.
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