We may be approaching springtime, but that doesn’t mean moviegoers aren’t still primed for a few shivers. Leigh Whannell’s ‘The Invisible Man’ stalked its way to the top of the charts this weekend, with $29 million. This is lower than the $32.2M that ‘The Mummy’ scared up in 2017, but the big difference is that ‘The Invisible Man’ cost $7M to make and ‘The Mummy’s budget was over $150M. Universal had its eye on turning its classic monsters into a Marvel-style string of big-budget action movies that shared a common universe and would eventually combine à la ‘The Avengers’, but that Tom Cruise vehicle torpedoed that plan.
With ‘The Invisible Man’, the studio went in the exact opposite direction, entrusting this picture to the hands of low-budget hit-makers Blumhouse and the result is a smashing success. Critics love it, with it landing at a 90% Certified Fresh ranking on Rotten Tomatoes. Audiences were also positive, giving it a B+ CinemaScore, and 4 out of 5 stars via PostTrak. The strong reaction should provide ‘The Invisible Man’ with a boost to carry it well over the next few weeks.
In terms of marketing, Universal employed a great, innovative campaign using traditional billboards and such, with “optical illusion”-type print that appears and disappears depending on how you look at it, or how light hits it. This plays perfectly with story elements from the movie.
‘The Invisible Man’ is the #1 movie in the world, with its global total clocking in at $49.2M.
‘Sonic the Hedgehog’ dropped to #2, and ‘Call of the Wild’ slipped to #3. At #4 is ‘My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising’, which earned $5.1M for the weekend, however, it actually opened early, on Wednesday, when it was the #1 movie. Altogether, it has earned $8.5M.
The previous ‘My Hero Academia’ movie, ‘Two Heroes’ took in a total of $27.5M total, and ‘Heroes Rising’ is expected to perform roughly the same.
This is the first time that I recall an anime import opening in the Top Five. Last January, ‘Dragon Ball Super: Broly’ made more money on its opening weekend– $17.8M– but it wasn’t enough to crack the Top Five due to stiffer competition.
Audiences gave this movie 5 stars, but that literally means nothing. The ONLY people going to see it are already fans of the property. It’s not going to draw anyone else, no matter how good it is.
- The Invisible Man (Universal Pictures/Blumhouse) – $29M
- Sonic the Hedgehog (Paramount) – $16M
- Call of the Wild (Disney/20th Century Studios) – $13.2M
- My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising (Funimation) – $5.1M
- Bad Boys For Life (Sony) – $4.3M
Disney offered a sneak preview of ‘Onward’ on Saturday afternoon at 3:00 pm at 470 theaters. It earned $650,000 from these screenings, but the money isn’t important. Despite being a Disney/Pixar product, ‘Onward’ has very little buzz going into its opening next weekend. A lot of that has to do with the fact that this is an original movie and not a sequel to an established brand. It’s also male-centric, so it may not have a strong appeal for girls, who traditionally make up a larger audience for Disney than boys.
There is a little bit of controversy, as One Million Moms is calling for a boycott because ‘Onward’ includes a lesbian cartoon character (Officer Spector voiced by Lena Waithe).
The hope is that those that attended this advance screening will spread the word in favor of ‘Onward’. (It currently has a strong 84% on RT based on 81 reviews.
Also opening next week is the drama ‘The Way Back’ starring Ben Affleck. While ‘Onward’ is likely to debut at #1, strong word of mouth may help ‘The Invisible Man’ put up a good fight.