“Dumbo” Soars, But Not to Biggest Disney Heights


March 29-31, 2019

(estimates from BoxOfficeMojo.com)



Dumbo $45.0 million
Us $33.6 million
Captain Marvel  $20.5 million
Five Feet Apart $6.2 million
Unplanned $6.1 million


Dumbo took flight, but it might be an early sign of Disney fatigue. While its estimated $45 million is certainly higher than Pete's Dragon or Christopher Robin – neither of which cracked $100 million domestically – it didn't come close to the massive openings these live-action remakes have had in recent years. Still, it did quite well internationally, meaning the studio has continued to succeed in the laziest way possible. It remains to be seen if 2019 will be overkill for these films, since there are three more planned in the next six months, including Aladdin, The Lion King and a Maleficent sequel.

Us held extremely well for a horror movie, dipping just 52 percent, taking in more in its second weekend than Get Out did in its first. In just two weekends, it's become the third-biggest movie of 2019. Holding like this is pretty rare, meaning Us is likely to join A Quiet Place as one of the biggest horror films of recent years. (Though it won't come close to It's record-breaking $327 million.)

Captain Marvel moved into eighth in the MCU, and will soon be one of only seven films in the series so far to top $400 million. Five Feet Apart dropped to fourth place, barely out-earning PureFlix's grisly anti-abortion flick Unplanned. The first R-rated effort from the faith-based studio brought out bigger crowds than recent Christian films, though don't expect the success to last long.

Outside the top 5:

  • This Weekend's Indie Champ: Kent Jones' Diane. The drama about a mom (Mary Kay Place) trying to reach out to her drug-addicted son was the winner of a quiet weekend, averaging $9,014 on its three screens.
  • Matthew McConaughey will just have to follow his company's motto and Just Keep Livin'. The Beach Bum didn't bring out any Parrotheads or Spring Breakers fans, earning just $1.8 million.
  • Hotel Mumbai had a terrific expansion, jumping up nearly 3500 percent into the top 10. It earned $3.1 million in its first wide weekend.

Next week:

Shazam! will try to prove that DC heroes can have fun too. It should earn $85 million at a bare minimum. The Pet Sematary remake should make decent money, too, even with the competition. I think $20 million sounds about right, even if that's only good for fourth place.


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.