It was a relatively quiet weekend at the box office that (for now) can’t be blamed on the coronavirus (at least not in the U.S.). Disney/Pixar’s ‘Onward’ took the #1 spot with $40 million. ‘Onward’ has a strong 85% Rotten Tomatoes ranking, and audiences gave it an A- CinemaScore and 4½ stars out of 5 via PostTrak. Interestingly, kids under 12 gave it a slightly lower 4 stars.
These all look rock-solid. So why isn’t this picture a bigger deal? These positive rankings are a little deceptive because while they are great for any other movie, for a Pixar movie, an A- audience score is low. The last Pixar film to get an A- was the lackluster ‘Cars 2’. Everything since then has either been a firm A or stellar A+. Pixar knows how to please crowds and from the looks of things, while ‘Onward’ is good, it isn’t as excellent as people have come to expect from the animation studio. And the fact that kids don’t love it isn’t a great sign.
Perhaps Disney knew what it had on its hands which is why ‘Onward’ opened in March instead of summer. Perhaps, this was a little too esoteric for the masses. (Think ‘Ratatouille’.)
The coronavirus hasn’t made that much of an impact in the U.S., but it is taking its toll abroad. ‘Onward’ only took in $28M outside of America, far below the $44-$50M it was expected to make. Not only is Asia being hit hard, especially in the valuable China market, but some theaters in France and half of the theaters in Italy are also shut down.
- Onward (Disney) – $40
- The Invisible Man (Universal/Blumhouse) – $15.1M
- The Way Back (Warner Brothers) – $8.5M
- Sonic the Hedgehog (Paramount) – $8M
- Call of the Wild (Disney/20th Century Studios) – $7M
The Dave Bautista family comedy ‘My Spy’ was supposed to open next week, but it has been pushed back to April, due to MGM shifting ‘No Time To Die’ to fall due to the coronavirus.
Instead, next weekend audiences can choose from the Vin Diesel comic book adaptation ‘Bloodshot’ which is getting very little publicity; the controversial Universal/Blumhouse thriller ‘The Hunt’, which was bumped from release last year following mass shootings in Dayton and El Paso; and low-budget teen romantic drama and future Teen Choice Award nominee ‘I Still Believe’ starring ‘Riverdale’s K.J. Apa.
Check back to see how they do!