Upside Box Office

Kevin Hart Scores No. 1 Movie Amidst Oscar Host Controversy


January 11-13, 2018

(estimates from


The Upside $19.5 million
Aquaman $17.2 million
A Dog's Way Home  $11.3 million
Into the Spider-Verse 
$9.0 million
Escape Room $8.9 million

He may have lost his gig hosting the Oscars, but Kevin Hart is laughing all the way to the bank. The Upside, the American remake of French sensation The Intouchables, scored the top spot at the box office, unseating Aquaman from its throne. The film, which had been delayed while the Weinstein Company went through bankruptcy, scored an estimated $19.5 million. That's sadly more than the original – one of my favorite films of the decade – made here, but it never played on even 200 screens. But The Upside won't match that film's massive global haul. Its $416 million take makes it one of the most successful non-English language films ever made.

Aquaman slipped to No. 2, as it became the first DC Extended Universe movie to cross $1 billion internationally, and only the 37th movie ever to reach that milestone. It will cross $300 million here, but won't be able to top Suicide Squad or Batman v Superman, especially with another superhero movie coming next weekend.

A Dog's Way Home opened in third place. Audiences didn't feel the puppy love as much as they did with A Dog's Purpose two years ago. But don't worry, animal lovers. There's yet another doggo movie opening in June: a sequel to A Dog's Purpose called A Dog's Journey, that somehow isn't the same movie as A Dog's Way Home. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse dropped to fourth, but only at a 30 percent slip. It's almost to $150 million, and I'm frankly surprised at how long it took to get there. Escape Room moved down to fifth, giving Sony three of the top five films.

Outside the top 5:

  • This Weekend's Indie Champ: Cold War was an appropriately chilly winner. The bleak Polish romance averaged $8,755 on its 10 screens. Expect that to expand once it's inevitably nominated for Best Foreign Language Film (and possibly more awards) at the Oscars.
  • The Golden Globes feel like they were months ago, but they were only last Sunday. Best Picture winners Green Book and Bohemian Rhapsody both got a bump, with the former nearly $40 million and the latter surging up close to $200 million. But the biggest beneficiary was Glenn Close's film The Wife. In its 22nd weekend in theaters, Sony added 146 new screens, leading to a whopping 1,677.5 percent increase in ticket sales.
  • Keanu Reeves couldn't copy his success into the cloning sci-fi thriller Replicas. The film opened way back in 12th place, with a dreadful $2.5 million. That's much worse than 1995's so-bad-its-good cyberpunk disaster Johnny Mnemonic.

Next week:

Everyone's moving out of the way of M. Night Shyamalan, which is not a phrase I thought I would ever write. But Glass is expected to shatter (pun intended) January opening records. Technically, American Sniper expanded into wide release with $89 million back in January 2015. I don't think this will go quite that high, but will blow previous record holder Ride Along out of the water. I think $70 to $75 million is most likely, even with the bad reviews, giving Shyamalan and Willis the biggest opening of their careers.


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.