‘Detective Pikachu’ had an extremely impressive domestic opening, earning $58 million, beating expectations that it would only take in $50-$55M. That’s great and on any other weekend, it could have easily taken the #1 spot, but ‘Avengers: Endgame’ is not going down without a fight. The Disney phenomenon topped ‘Pikachu’ with $63.1M in its third weekend. ‘Endgame’ has now amassed $2.486 billion worldwide. It still trails ‘Avatar’, the highest grossing movie of all time, by a margin of $302M. Domestically, it has earned $723.5M, making it the third highest-grossing movie of all time, trailing ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ ($936M), and ‘Avatar’ ($760M).
Even though ‘Endgame’ made more in the US and Canada, ‘Detective Pikachu’ was the #1 movie worldwide, earning a total of $170.4M. From US audiences, ‘Pikachu’ got a great A- CinemaScore, and 4 out of 5 stars via PostTrak from general audiences, while families with kids under 12 gave it 4½ stars. Early reviews were kinder to ‘Pikachu’, as it had over 70% on Rotten Tomatoes, but that has since dwindled to 64%, which is still “fresh” but not fantastic.
Ryan Reynolds is helping this movie a great deal. Not only does he have a legion of devoted fans, but he’s one of the celebrities that is the most active on social media. He supposedly posted the “full movie” on Youtube on Thursday night, only for it to turn out to be an hour-and-a-half of Pikachu dancing. Reynolds and Warner Brothers’ marketing team are credited with attracting not only diehard ‘Pokémon’ fans, but mainstream audiences.
As far as the fanbase goes, the success of ‘Pokemon Go’ in 2016 certainly helped rekindled interest among many who had not played the games or watched the cartoon in years, and drew many new players to the brand, as they enjoyed the social/exercise aspects of getting out and about to “catch ’em all.”
Coming in third, ‘The Hustle’ opened with $13.5M, a little under Rebel Wilson’s other recent releases like ‘Isn’t it Romantic?’. Audiences gave it a B- via CinemaScore.
Older-targeted female comedy ‘Poms’ was tracking to open between $7-10M, backed by Mother’s Day, but fell way short, with only $5.1M, for a sixth-place opening. It appears the competition for the female market was too stiff, with ‘Poms’ getting iced out by ‘The Hustle’ and holdover ‘Long Shot’. Both ‘The Hustle’ and ‘Poms’ did poorly with critics, with 17% and 29%, respectively. Audiences liked ‘Poms’ better than ‘The Hustle’ giving it a B+ CinemaScore.
Last week’s #2 and #3 movies, ‘Long Shot’ and ‘The Intruder’ slid to #4 and #5.
Fox Searchlight opened ‘Tolkien’ relatively widely, as its reviews are not great– 49% on RT– and it seems they were hoping to make back their money quickly. With $2.4M, it opened at #8. Audiences enjoyed it, giving it an A- CinemaScore.
- Avengers: Endgame (Disney) — $63.1M
- Detective Pikachu (Warner Brothers/Legendary) – $58M
- The Hustle (MGM) – $14.1
- Long Shot (Lionsgate) — $11M
- The Intruder (Sony) — $10M
Next week will be a showdown between movies about people that love dogs that couldn’t be more different. Keanu Reeves returns in his enduring action franchise for ‘John Wick 3’. On the flip side is the heartwarming ‘A Dog’s Journey’, which is Dennis Quaid’s second movie to open in three weeks, after ‘The Intruder’.
Also opening is the teen romance, ‘The Sun is Also a Star’, featuring popular TV stars Yara Shahidi (‘grown-ish’) and Charles Melton (‘Riverdale’).
‘Endgame’ is winding down at the box office, so it is very likely that ‘John Wick 3’ will take #1, but check back to see if that happens!