Some industry insiders support the idea of decreasing ticket prices on lower- and mid-budgeted films. How can you justify paying the same price for something like ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’, and counterprogramming like ‘Crawl’ or ‘Stuber’? That seems to be the sentiment of moviegoers as the event films, ‘Far From Home’ and ‘Toy Story 4’ took the top spots at the box office this weekend. Meanwhile, ‘Crawl’ and ‘Stuber’ “crawled” in at #3 and #4, respectively.
It does not appear that Tropical Storm Barry made much of an impact in the South, nor did the wide blackout that knocked out Manhattan on Saturday night.
‘Far From Home’ earned an additional $45.3 million. Overseas, it took in $100 million more, bringing its grand global total to $847M. As we learned last week, if this picture doesn’t make $1 billion, then Marvel Studios is out, and Sony will have full control of ‘Spider-Man’ in the movies. But at this point, it’s just shy and should cross that line, possibly as soon as next weekend, but the competition is about to get really ferocious. More on that later.
Meanwhile, ‘Toy Story 4’ earned an additional $20.7M, domestically.
‘Crawl’, produced by Sam Raimi, is similar to last year’s surprise hit ‘The Meg’, but it isn’t doing nearly as well, earning just $12M, and that is believed to be due to poor marketing. Only one trailer was released online. (The much smaller ‘Midsommar’ had a stronger web presence.) ‘Crawl’ was not screened for the press, which is usually the case with bad movies, but this isn’t one of those. Critics that saw it upon its release love it. It holds a great 88% Rotten Tomatoes ranking. Audiences liked it alright, with it earning a B CinemaScore (‘The Meg’ got a B+.) Via PostTrak, they gave it a ho-hum 2½ stars out of 5.
Disney inherited ‘Stuber’ from 20th Century Fox, making this the first rated-R Disney movie in many years, but seeing as they have little experience marketing these types of movies, they had what is left of the Fox marketing team try to sell it, which they failed to do. (See also: ‘Dark Phoenix’)
‘Stuber’ was marketed on the popularity of stars Dave Bautista and Kumail Nanjiani, but neither is a proven leading man. (Nanjiani’s breakout film, ‘The Big Sick’ was a drama.) It looks as though audiences prefer them in supporting roles.
This action-comedy made $8M. Critics are harsh, with its Rotten Tomatoes score being a poor 46%. Audiences are more generous, with it getting a B CinemaScore, and 3½ stars via PostTrak.
The #5 movie is the musical fantasy ‘Yesterday’. Going back to the idea of lowering ticket prices, though it doesn’t count toward its weekend performance, ‘Yesterday’ saw a major bump on Tuesday, when movie tickets are half-price/$5 in most theaters, and saw a 55% boost from Monday. ‘Rocketman’ jumped up 40%, and ‘Annabelle Comes Home’ jumped up 41%. So audiences want to see these smaller films, they just don’t want to pay $15-$20 to do so.
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (Sony) – $45.3M
- Toy Story 4 (Disney) – $20.7M
- Crawl (Paramount) – $12M
- Stuber (20th Century Fox/Disney) – $8M
- Yesterday (Universal/Working Title) – $10.8M
As was rumored previously, China lifted its embargo on foreign movies for ‘The Lion King’, which opened there in advance of its international release.. (Two highly-anticipated domestic films were removed from the release schedule, so the nation needed the influx of cash from a major U.S. movie.) This picture roared to $54.7M –That’s more than ‘Aladdin’ has made in its entire run there.
Here in the U.S., if ‘The Lion King’ opens higher than $169.1M– what ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2’ made in its opening weekend in July 2011– it will set a new July opening record. While that is a real possibility, Disney movies have been tracking much higher than what they actually make. ‘Toy Story 4’ was expected to have a $140M opening but came up short at $120M. Still a great opening, but not the lofty projection.
The reviews are in and ‘The Lion King’ is divisive, to put it mildly. Its RT score is a pretty lousy 59% based on 123 reviews. For the most part, it appears that it doesn’t measure up to the original, but then again, they say that about every Disney live-action remake and many of them– most recently ‘Aladdin’– prove to be huge hits.
As part of promoting the film, Beyoncé, who voices adult Nala in the film, has released a new single and music video, “Spirit.” Elton John’s “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” from the original won an Academy Award for Best Original Song, so it’s possible that Beyoncé could follow in his paw prints next year.
Check back to see if ‘The Lion King’ sets a new record when it opens next weekend.