4th Update, Sunday AM: DreamWorks Animation/Universal’s How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World has won the weekend, as we wrote earlier, thanks to Saturday matinees, which took yesterday to $14.1M, a 119% gain over Friday. This now puts the threequel at a second weekend of $30M, -45%, which is a sign of relief to DWA, as a second weekend drop that’s more severe than -50% is never good for an animated pic. Hidden World will stand just under $98M and will become the third 2019 release to cross $100M after Uni/BVI/Blumhouse’s Glass and STX/Lantern’s The Upside.

Hidden World is also the No. 1 international, No. 1 worldwide, and No. 1 in China, with a total global weekend of $115.4M. Total running WW is $375.4M, which eclipses the original movie’s total global of $351.8M. My colleague, Nancy Tartaglione, will have more on this. Part 2 remains the highest-grossing installment with $621.5M WW.

Despite Hidden World‘s surge, Lionsgate’s A Madea Family Funeralthe final film in the series, continued to over-perform, with an $11.3M Saturday, +75% over Friday, for $27M. Tracking at its highest thought, Madea could only swing $21M. This is a fantastic result for the series to end on. That’s the third-best opening for a Madea movie after 2009’s Madea Goes to Jail ($41M) and Madea’s Family Reunion ($30M).

We can’t write this enough: Don’t underestimate Perry’s Madea. It’s been a little more than a year-and-half since the last Madea pic, Boo 2, with this pic being billed as the finale for this Perry character, which he’s played for 15 years on stage and screen. That’s what drove business here.

Lionsgate always seems to find themselves in a position where tracking pegs a Madea pic at a certain level, and then the movie over-performs. This time around, we hear that What Men Want‘s presence in the marketplace was initially pushing estimates down for Madea Family Funeral. Simply put: Perry’s Madea fanbase is that loyal. We hear that the marketing campaign implemented here for Madea Family Funeral was designed by former Lionsgate marketing boss Tim Palen, who left the studio last June and was behind other Perry hits, as well as the Hunger Games franchise, La La Land, and Wonder. Older women continued to fuel business yesterday between the matinee and prime time shows. The Boos did business late at night because of their younger-skewing demos (due to the social media stars in the film). African-Americans repped 65% of Madea Family Funeral‘s audience, higher than Boo 2‘s 60%.

While Perry has an exclusive first-look deal for films at Paramount, it doesn’t mean he still can’t make movies at Lionsgate. The Madea character is under the studio’s domain, and whenever a Perry pic like this gets released, there’s a halo effect in his related title ancillaries on the home market. The director counts close to $1 billion at the box office for his Lionsgate canon.

Some details on Madea‘s marketing push: Lionsgate drove engagement with custom online creative executions, influencer messaging and playable ad platforms, including a hilarious New York Fashion Week integration on E! News, with Madea modeling her favorite spring look: the MuuMuu. Custom content promotions and sponsorships ran across Bravo, Lifetime, and POP TV. There was also a radio blitz that drove urgency leading into the film’s opening, which included custom short one-liners from Madea. The pic is also being pushed as part of Atom and T-Mobile’s Tuesday program.

The marketplace will go absolutely nuts next weekend with Captain Marvel and, as is standard before a big nine-quad film hits the circuit, the box office calms down. ComScore reports that this weekend’s ticket sales totaled $115M, off 23% from the same frame a year ago and down 10% from last weekend, when Hidden World opened to $55M. Tickets sales for the year are at $1.5B, -26% from a year ago.

MGM’s Fighting With My Family eased 40% in its second wide weekend with a total running cume stateside close to $15M. Lionsgate opened the pic to No. 1 in the United Kingdom to $2.64 million USD at 568 screens.

Focus Features’ Greta is coming in at $4.58M, as forecast yesterday. Business was +13% over Friday, with $1.8M. Best performances for Greta was on the coasts.

Sundance

After its doc hit last year, Three Identical Strangers, NEON has another one on its hands with Apollo 11, which earned $1.65M opening at 120 Imax theaters for a $13,7K per screen. Saturday’s $670K was +68% over Friday’s $400K. The pic will be in regular theatrical release next weekend, as Disney’s Captain Marvel takes all those premium venues. Buzz Aldrin came out to a screening on Thursday night at the Mann Chinese.

A24’s Gaspar Noe horror bacchanal Climax at five sites was No. 1 in each of its NY, LA, San Francisco, and Austin locations, with a total three-day of $121K and the weekend’s best per-screen of $24K. The pic expands into top markets next weekend before busting wide on March 15.

Post Oscar halo: Universal/DreamWorks/Participant Media’s Green Book saw a 121% gain from Oscar night weekend, with $4.7M in weekend 16 for a running total of $75.9M.

Sony’s Best Animated Feature winner Spider-Man: Into the Spider Verse jumped from 743 theaters to 2,404 locations. The webslinger won’t stop in weekend 12 with $2.1M, a +138% surge and a running total of $187.3M. Given the older-skewing fandom surrounding the movie, Sony should keep it alive theatrically with midnight shows.

Warner Bros. A Star Is Born is in its six month and following its Best Song Oscar win for “Shallow,” the studio re-released the Bradley Cooper-Lady Gaga pic with 12 minutes of extra footage and made $1.9M, raising the pic’s domestic total to $213M. That’s something to be commended, considering the film has been in the home market since Jan. 15.

WEEKEND B.O. FOR MARCH 1-3

thumb rank pic dis scrs(cg) fri sat sun 3-day total wk
1 …Dragon 3 DWA/Uni 4,286 (+27) $6.5M $14.1M $9.4M $30M (-45%) $97.7M 2
2 Madea Family Funeral LG 2,442 $9.2M $11.3M $6.5M $27M $27M 1
3 Alita Fox 3,096 (-706) $1.7M $3.2M $2.1M $7M (-43%) $72.2M 3
4 Lego Movie 2  WB 3,458 (-375) $1.2M $3.2M  $2.1M $6.6M (-32%) $91.6M 4
5 Green Book Uni/Part/DW 2,641 (+1,388) $1.2M $2.1M $1.3M $4.7M (+121%) $75.9M 16
6 Fighting With My Family MGM 2,855 (+144) $1.1M $2.1M  $1.3M $4.69M (-40%) $14.9M 3
7 Isn’t It romantic NL/WB 3,325 (-119) $1.2M $2M  $1.2M $4.64M (-35%) $40.2M 3
8 Greta Focus 2,411 $1.6M $1.8M $1.1M $4.58M $4.58M 1
9 What Men Want Par 2,018 (-371) $760K $1.2M $690K $2.7M (-49%) $49.6M 4
10 happy Death day 2U Uni/Blum 2,331 (-881) $703K $1.1M $643K $2.5M (-49%) $25.2M 3

 

3rd Update, Saturday AM: Per our industry estimates, DreamWorks Animation/Universal’s How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World is now looking to have the upper hand over Lionsgate’s Tyler Perry character finale, A Madea Family Funeral. The weekend take estimates at $26M to $25.8M.

Some are considering this to be a photo-finish weekend, but matinees are on Hidden World‘s side. What is clear is that it’s a great result for Madea, outshining the highest point of tracking, which was $20M, the fourth-highest opening for a Perry-directed movie, and a B.O. bump for Perry following the $13.7M opening (one of his three lowest) of Nobody’s Fool, which was the first movie under his exclusive first-look deal with Paramount.  Madea also won Friday night with an estimated $9.2M.

“For Perry Fans who have enjoyed his movies and this particular character over the years, Funeral looks and feels like an ideal send off. This contingent is certainly excited to see the movie in theaters, as they consistently have with Perry films over the years. But, plenty of naysayers claim they thought Madea was dead already. They’re shocked these movies keep getting made. Regardless, the convo certainly leans positive thanks to Perry’s loyal target audience,” says RelishMix, which finds most of the buzz emanating for the pic on Perry’s social media handles, which count close to 23M followers.

As typical the weekend before a Marvel movie opens in the marketplace, business simmers down. Captain Marvel, which begins press previews on Monday, is expected to thaw the winter box office with a $100M-$120M opening.

Madea is Teflon-proof against critics, who continue to stick their tongue out at the character with a 33% Rotten Tomatoes on this finale. Audiences gave A Madea Family Funeral an A- CinemaScore and 4 stars on ComScore/Screen Engine’s PostTrak, with a solid 67% recommend. African-American audiences led the way at 59%, followed by 16% Hispanic and 15% Caucasian. Females over 25 repped close to half of the audience, followed by men over 25 at 29%. Madea played best where she always does, in the East and South, and particularly in the Southeast.

DWA

Speaking of Hidden World, right now its weekend drop of -53% is the steepest in the franchise, lower than the -50% of Part 2 and the sweet -34% second weekend hold of the original 2010 movie. That latter pic played the spring break portion of March/April, while Part 2 was propelled by summer business. Let’s see where the day takes us. There was only 2% K-12 schools and colleges each on break yesterday, a number that improves next Friday to, respectively, 6%/13%, and ramps up on March 15 to 24%/34%.

Greta
Focus Features

The weekend’s other wide entry, Focus Features’ Neil Jordan thriller Greta, isn’t stirring up any excitement, with $4.55M in 5th place (horrible, considering that it reportedly cost the studio $4M to acquire the film; some say $6M), shackled by a 58% Rotten Tomatoes score and awful audience exits, which include 2 stars on PostTrak and a 34% definite recommend. This isn’t the type of specialty release you can platform off those types of numbers, so Focus had to go wide with the pic in 2,411 and fast, so they could at least make their acquisition cash back. The Isabelle Huppert and Chloe Grace Moretz movie drew mostly women at 57% on PostTrak, with an overall audience that was 57% over 25. Low social media universe here, around 40M across Facebook, Twitter, YouTube views and Instagram, which is under the 47M average for specialty release.

The studio attempted to draw in the ‘guilty pleasure’ Bravo New Jersey Housewives crowd, given how both the series and Greta is about overturning tables. In the clip below from Feb. 22, which earned about 35K views daily, two of the Housewives have dinner at Katsuya in Hollywood and, unknown to fellow patrons, do their table-turning thing in honor of Isabelle Hubert’s character in Greta.

But overall, the buzz on social for Greta is “’will wait for Netflix’, as dubious comments chime in,” says RelishMix.

NEON/CNN Films Apollo 11 doc played in 120 sites, earning an estimated $1.3M for a $10.8K screen average. The film has a 100% certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.

A24’s Gaspar Noe punch bowl horror film Climax is booked at five locations and earning around $17K per screen, for a weekend of $172K. The pic has a 78% certified fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Industry estimates:

BOX OFFICE FOR MARCH 1-3

thumb rank film dis. screens (chg) friday 3-day total wk
1 how To Train Your Dragon 3 DWA/Uni 4,286 (+27) $6.5M (-63%) $26M
(-53%) 
$93.7M 2
2 Madea Family Funeral LG 2,442 $9.2M $25.8M $25.8M 1
3 Alita Fox 3,096 (-706) $1.7M (-45%) $6.7M
(-46%)
$72M 3
4 Lego Movie 2 WB 3,458 (-375) $1.3M (-41%) $5.8M
(-40%)
$90.8M 4
5 Greta Focus 2,411 $1.6M $4.55M $4.55M 1
6 Green Book Uni/Part/DW 2,641 (+1,388) $1.2M (+110%) $4.5M
(+114%)
$75.7M 16
7 isn’t It Romantic NL/WB 3,325 (-119) $1.3M (-40%) $4.3M
(-39%)
$40M 3
8 Fighting With My Family MGM 2,855 (+144) $1.1M (-54%) $4.1M (-46%)  $14.4M 3
9 What Men Want Par 2,018 (-371) $758K (-49%) $2.6M (-49%) $49.6M 4
10 Happy Death Day 2U Uni/Blum 2,331 (-881) $700K (-52%) $2.4M (-50%) $25.2M 3

2nd Update, Friday Midday: Midday figures show Tyler Perry’s A Madea Family Funeral having the weekend’s edge over DreamWorks Animation’s How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, $25.4M to $23.3MMadea will lead Friday with $9M-$10M while Hidden World will do around $6M in its second Friday.

Weekend matinees could swing this race in Hidden World‘s favor, but Madea is blessed by post-church crowds on Sunday. If this pace continues, Hidden World will stand at $90.9M by Sunday and a second weekend that’s -58%.

20th Century Fox/Lightstorm’s Alita: Battle Angel is seeing a third Friday of $1.6M and a third weekend of $6.4M, -48%; her running cume at $55M by Sunday.

Warner Bros. The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part in weekend 4 is projected to make $5.8M, -40% for a running total of $90.8M.

Focus Features’ Greta is seeing $2.5M today and $5.3M over three days. Not spectacular. Universal/Participant Media/DreamWorks’ Green Book we hear is doing around $5M at 2,641 locations (up from 1,253) for the weekend post its Oscar Best Picture win, +138% in weekend 16. That number will put the Peter Farrelly-directed drama at $76.2M.

1st Update, Friday 7:41AM: Lionsgate’s final installment of the Madea series, Tyler Perry’s A Madea Family Funeral earned a series record of $1.1M last night from previews. The comedy’s pre-weekend projections are between $17M-$21M. There’s some anticipation by some that Madea could easily beat that, and that’s because this is the character’s swan song.

That preview night cash from 2,100 venues is higher than $855K earned by Boo! A Madea Halloween and a notch higher than Perry’s Lionsgate title Acrimony which made $1M. The best opening for a Madea movie is 2009’s Madea Goes to Jail with $41M, followed by 2006’s A Madea Family Reunion ($30M) and 2016’s Boo! A Madea Halloween ($28.5M).

The Madea pics’ demo sweet spot is older women, however the filmmaker was able to engage a millennial crowd with the Boo films by casting a number of YouTube personalities in them. The comedy expands to 2,442 theaters today.

In the film, a joyous family reunion turns into a hilarious nightmare as Madea and the crew travel to backwoods Georgia and unexpectedly have to plan a funeral, which threatens to reveal sordid family secrets.
DreamWorks Animation

However, DreamWorks Animation’s How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World per industry estimates is expected to ring up around $35M or more in its second weekend, -36% for the No. 1 win. The threequel led all films yesterday with $2M ending its first week at $65.1M with a running total that includes previews of $67.6M. Though Hidden World repped the best opening for the DWA Dragon franchise, its total cume is behind the first week of How to Train Your Dragon 2‘s first week by 3% ($69.8M), and that’s because the latter was a summer film when more kids were off from school. By the end of this weekend, Hidden World‘s total should revolve around $102M. Fandango reports that Hidden World tickets sales are, natch, still leading all titles for the weekend.

Greta
TIFF

Focus Features has their $4M TIFF acquisition Gretaa thriller from Neil Jordan that stars Isabelle Huppert and Chloe Grace Moretz. In the film, a young woman befriends a lonely widow, named Greta, who’s harboring a dark and deadly agenda towards her. The film is playing in around 2,400 theaters and is only expected to do between $4M-$6M. It has a 60% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes which isn’t strong enough for an adult-skewing title for sophisticated audiences. We hear from industry sources that the pic did around $350K in previews.

Also in play at 120 Imax theaters is NEON/CNN Film’s Apollo 11 documentary from Todd Douglas Miller. The doc which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival follows Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin’s lunar mission with never-before-seen audio and 70MM footage.