Abominable Box Office

“Abominable” Works Its Magic on Way to No. 1


September 27-29, 2019

(estimates from BoxOfficeMojo.com)


Abominable  $20.8 million
Downton Abbey  $14.5 million
Hustlers  $11.4 million
It: Chapter Two  $10.4 million
Ad Astra  $10.1 million

It had been more than a month since audiences had an animated movie to take their kids to, and no one even went to see that one (The Angry Birds Movie 2). But it doesn't look like kids were too excited about this one either, and parents probably weren't thrilled about seeing yet another movie about a yeti. Still, Abominable made more than enough to take the top spot, with an estimated $20.8 million. That's lower than last year's Smallfoot yet it gives Universal its seventh No. 1 movie of the year, one of the few marks now lead by Disney.

Downton Abbey dropped to second place, surpassing Academy Award nominees Darkest Hour and ParaNorman on Focus' all-time list. That 53 percent drop is a little steeper than expected for a movie aimed at an older audience and should cross at least $80 million thanks to repeat business. It should also have pretty long legs.

Hustlers jumped back up to third, and it's also crossed $80 million. It: Chapter Two keeps crawling in the box office sewers. It's been a month and has yet to make $200 million. In comparison, the first film did that in nine days. And Ad Astra fell sharply to No. 5, making a disappointing $35 million to date. While that's far from Brad Pitt's best, it is easily the highest-grossing movie from director James Gray.

Outside the top 5:

  • This Weekend's Indie Champ: First Love, the 100th movie (give or take) by Takashi Miike. The comedic/romantic thriller averaged $12,075 on its pair of screens.
  • Judy made the most of its small-scale opening. The biopic of Judy Garland has gotten rave reviews for Renée Zellweger's lead performance, and it opened at No. 7 despite playing on only 461 screens. Look for it to expand as the Oscar campaign heats up.
  • Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark has conjured up an impressive gross. Despite opening at No. 2, it's become CBS Films' biggest movie by far, earning an impressive $66 million. To put it in perspective: That's more than Dark Phoenix.

Next week:

Everyone gets the hell out of the way for Joker. The discourse has been exhausting, but just how high will this crazy project open? $50 million is what I would have said a while ago, but now that the reviews that have been positive have been extremely positive — including a win for Best Film at the Venice Film Festival — I think $70 million is more likely. But of course, it could go even higher.


About Kip Mooney

Kip Mooney
Like many film critics born during and after the 1980s, my hero is Roger Ebert. The man was already the best critic in the nation when he won the Pulitzer in 1975, but his indomitable spirit during and after his recent battle with cancer keeps me coming back to read not only his reviews but his insightful commentary on the everyday. But enough about a guy you know a lot about. I knew I was going to be a film critic—some would say a snob—in middle school, when I had to voraciously defend my position that The Royal Tenenbaums was only a million times better than Adam Sandler’s remake of Mr. Deeds. From then on, I would seek out Wes Anderson’s films and avoid Sandler’s like the plague. Still, I like to think of myself as a populist, and I’ll be just as likely to see the next superhero movie as the next Sundance sensation. The thing I most deplore in a movie is laziness. I’d much rather see movies with big ambitions try and fail than movies with no ambitions succeed at simply existing. I’m also a big advocate of fun-bad movies like The Room and most of Nicolas Cage’s work. In the past, I’ve written for The Dallas Morning News and the North Texas Daily, which I edited for a semester. I also contributed to Dallas-based Pegasus News, which in the circle of life, is now part of The Dallas Morning News, where I got my big break in 2007. Eventually, I’d love to write and talk about film full-time, but until that’s a viable career option, I work as an auditor for Wells Fargo. I hope to one day meet my hero, go to the Toronto International Film Festival, and compete on Jeopardy. Until then, I’m excited to share my love of film with you.