BOX OFFICE REPORT
November 8-10, 2019
(estimates from BoxOfficeMojo.com)
|Doctor Sleep||$14.1 million|
|Playing with Fire||$12.8 million|
|Last Christmas||$11.6 million|
|Terminator: Dark Fate||$10.8 million|
Though studios and prognosticators (including me) predicted Doctor Sleep would be a big horror hit, the film got a tired reception from audiences at the box office. Instead, Roland Emmerich's big CGI World War II epic Midway took the top spot with an estimated $17.5 million. That's another weak showing for a No. 1 movie, and yet another Roland Emmerich disaster movie that got savaged by critics, joining the ranks of an unnecessary Independence Day sequel and a dreadful dramatization of the Stonewall Riots. Doctor Sleep instead opened in second place, and that will be one of the more baffling things of the year for me. It's far better than It: Chapter Two, but will only make a fraction of what that Stephen King adaptation has. Maybe Warner Bros. really should have opened this on Halloween weekend. (But that studio has got bigger problems at the moment than scheduling.)
Playing with Fire took the No. 3 spot, and the family comedy isn't setting the box office on fire. But I'm sure it will play like gangbusters on home video and streaming, where eager kids can replay all of John Cena's pratfalls. But it still did better than the slightly chilly reception received by Last Christmas, which again, would have gotten a lot more views if the trailer was constantly auto-playing on Netflix, next to some much worse rom-coms. Still, neither film had a huge budget, so it should return a decent investment for Paramount and Universal, respectively.
Terminator: Dark Fate went from bad to worse, falling four spots with $10.8 million. That's an even bigger drop-off than Genisys suffered. The film likely won't even cross $200 million worldwide, putting this as one of the year's biggest flops. A dark fate indeed.
Outside the top 5:
- This Weekend's Indie Champ: Honey Boy, the semi-autobiographical drama starring Shia LaBeouf. The film averaged a truly impressive $72,206 on its four screens.
- Motherless Brooklyn and Arctic Dogs both dropped like stones, down to 14th and 16th place, respectively. They're making Terminator: Dark Fate look good.
- Jojo Rabbit and Parasite continue to benefit from good word-of-mouth. In a month of release, the former has earned $9 million, while the latter has earned $11 million. That makes it the highest-grossing foreign-language film of the year.
Ford v Ferrari is 2019’s last hope for an adult-targeted non-IP film to make some serious cash. Dads across America are hopefully lining up already, but I'm going to temper my expectations and say it will be No. 1, but only with $25 million. Charlie's Angels should be another case in reviving a project no one cares about, but it could still make $15 million. The Good Liar may have longer legs than both, but should only manage $10 million in its first weekend.