In somewhat of a surprise, the family animated feature THE BAD GUYS from Universal/Dreamworks won the weekend with a three-day gross of $24M. Ticket sales were lifted by generally positive reviews, carrying Rotten Tomatoes scores of 85% from critics and 94% from audiences. Based on this success, it seems likely that plans for a sequel will begin to take shape, especially if these box office results hold up well over the next few weeks. The movie THE BAD GUYS is based on a very successful SCHOLASTIC BOOKS series of the same name.
Unfortunately for Warner Bros., THE BAD GUYS’ success may have come at the expense of FANTASTIC BEASTS: THE SECRETS OF DUMBLEDORE. After last week’s disappointing opening for the Harry Potter spin-off sequel, week two was only able to muster $14M, representing a very steep drop of 67% and only good enough for a third-place finish on the weekend charts. These disappointing ticket sales may seal the fate of the series, which has been very expensive to produce.
THE NORTHMAN from Focus Features finished in fourth place with a gross of $12M. The R-rated Viking action-adventure is set in 10th-century Iceland, and couldn’t be more different than the two titles above. It is a healthy sign for the industry a variety of movies with an appeal to different audiences are being released, and that audiences are turning up to support them all. Kudos to Comcast’s studio tandem Universal and Focus for delivering two pictures that lived up to expectations on the same weekend.
The news was not as good for the third wide-opening film of the weekend – THE UNBEARABLE WEIGHT OF MASSIVE TALENT. It finished with a gross of $7.1M, only good enough for fifth place. The film tells the story of Nicholas Cage accepting an offer of $1M to attend the birthday party of a wealthy super-fan. Who could have guessed that a movie starring an actor who hasn’t had a commercial hit in over a decade about a movie star who hasn’t had a hit in over a decade wouldn’t result in box office gold? The critics and audiences who saw the film seemed to like it. The problem is that the topic is such a niche that the movie had a very limited chance for success.
This weekend will finish up at 89% of the results from the same weekend in 2019, continuing a three-week run with favorable comparisons to results from three years ago.