5th Weekend Writethru, Sunday AM: Studios don’t enjoy playing into a Disney/Marvel movie, nor do they enjoy playing in the wake of one, and with Captain Marvel staying strong with a $69.3M second weekend, -55%, per Disney, most of the wide entries —Wonder Park, Captive State, and Five Feet Apart –are essentially counterprogramming or intended for those who’ve already seen the Brie Larson tentpole (specifically older males, young kids and teenage women).
With that weekend result, Captain Marvel owns the second-best second frame in March after Beauty and the Beast’s run two years ago, which drew $90.4M, and ahead of 2010’s Alice in Wonderland ($62.7M). Friday’s results of $19M put Captain Marvel past $200M with a running total by EOD of $266.2M. That figures surpasses the lifetime U.S./Canada cumes of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 ($203M), Thor: Dark World ($206M), Venom ($214M), Ant-Man and The Wasp ($217M), Logan ($226M), Justice League ($229M), Doctor Strange ($233M), X-Men: Days of Future Past ($234M), X-Men: The Last Stand ($234M), Captain America: Winter Soldier ($260M) and The Amazing Spider-Man ($262M). As our film finance sources called it, Captain Marvel sits at $760M WW through 12 days, which propels the pic past profitability in the theatrical window off total production and P&A costs of $300M.
Saturday’s business for Carol Danvers was +55% over Friday with $29.4M. Imax currently reps $22.5M of Captain Marvel‘s running domestic total.
According to Screen Engine/ComScore’s PostTrak, more women came out this weekend for Captain Marvel than last weekend, with significant jumps in the female under-25 demo (27% vs. last Saturday’s 19%). Overall, females are at 47% versus last weekend’s 42%. A solid four stars and 68% definite recommend in weekend 2 exit polls.
Social Media entertainment data corp RelishMix says that Captain Marvel‘s social media universe has jumped over 113M followers in one week to 833.8M, with the bulk of that coming from 44M YouTube views “in which fans and critics alike are debating the merits of Marvel, where she fits in with the rest of the MCU, and what worked/didn’t work for them.”
“The movie has also benefited from 5.8M new Facebook views across 18 new clips (not including the smart inclusion of the new Endgame trailer). And that’s worth noting – it is nearly impossible to discuss Captain Marvel without also talking about how the character will fit in next month’s Avengers Endgame finale to this Phase of the MCU. Now that Marvel is out, theories and discussions abound even more than they were prior to open,” reports RelishMix.
“Conversation remains super-mixed as superfans of the movie are on a high – and they’re making plans to go see it again. However, there are Marvel Fans who chime in with, ‘I liked it, it was good, but not my favorite Marvel film…’ In other words, the brand is so strong that moviegoers who are even kind of on the fence likely turned out to see it because they’ve always had fun at Marvel movies. This result bodes very well for future Marvel films, which may show middle-of-the-road social activity, but are benefiting from the brand recognition alone,” added RelishMix.
Also a note here about box office projections: Last weekend, when early weekend estimates for Captain Marvel went from $160M to its final actual of $153.4M, that’s not a bad thing, and par for the course in the statistical realm of B.O. projections, especially when weekend results are that high. Had Captain Marvel dropped from a $100M-plus take down to $80M or $90M like a Justice League or Solo: A Star Wars Story, then that’s bad and indicates a severe case of front-loading. The fact that Captain Marvel landed in the high $60Ms this weekend is great. Seriously, no theater chain owner is complaining about the results from Captain Marvel. This weekend’s ticket sales are the second best for a No. 1 pic to date in 2019.
Paramount’s critically bashed animated feature Wonder Park opened to $16M and though better than the $10M-$14M it was expected to do, isn’t enough to consider this under-$100M production a success. A $20M-plus opening would have been a better optic (some rivals were estimating on Friday that Wonder Park might actually get there). The movie has been challenged to reach the big screen since its production start five years ago. It’s a younger-skewing pic, with kids under 9 repping 53% of the under-12 crowd. Kids give the pic 4 stars and the under 18 set an A, but it’s the parents that have to sit through this and they’re not impressed with a 3 1/2 stars on PostTrak. Famlies repped 62%. CinemaScore is B+. Ironically the title isn’t uttered in the movie; they call it ‘Wonderland’. Disney’s Dumbo will soon be here on March 28 to shut Wonder Park down.
Diversity breakdown for Wonder Park was 52% Caucasian, 20% Hispanic, 17% Asian/Other, and 11% African-American. Wonder Park played best in the Mid & South-West with Dallas, Houston, Phoenix, San Antonio, Toronto, Kansas City leading the way.
While Wonder Park has been without a director since Jan. 2018, when Dylan Brown was fired for inappropriate and unwanted conduct, the pic’s problems were apparent well before Paramount animation changed its leadership ranks (Bob Bacon exited in August 2015; DreamWorks Animation’s Mireille Soria arrived in July 2017), and there’s only so many fixes that can be done on an animation film in its latter phases of production. Word is that the mother originally died in the film, and that was considered too severe. If the story is complete, the animation and character design are already on a runway, and to go back in and fix would have cost the studio millions. In such cases, there’s some tweaks that can be done with dialogue or small animation sequences to make up for missing logic. One rival animation insider told us “The campaign isn’t horrible. It just seems that all the good parts of the movie are in the trailer.”
CBS Films/Lionsgate’s teenage romance Five Feet Apart over-indexed with a 3-day start of $13.1M in 3rd place. That’s higher than the $10M top-end of tracking. Among the recent swath of micro-budget teen romances and femme pics, Five Feet Apart bests the debuts of Everything, Everything ($11.7), Love, Simon ($11.8), The Edge of Seventeen ($4.8) and CBS’ sleeper hit The DUFF ($10.8). At $7M production cost and $12M P&A largely aimed at females 13-34, this is a nice single hit (in baseball verbiage) for CBS. The 18M-$20M end game domestic is good for this pic, but $25M-$30M is even better in regards to profitability. Seventy-one percent of the crowd were women. Broken out, that’s 49% under 25 for the demo, 22% over 25. Solid A CinemaScore here and A+ for those under 18, but 3 1/2 stars on PostTrak.
The teaser for Five Feet Apart was launched on Nov. 2 with a blitz across YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Snap. The cast and filmmakers were also supporting on their own socials and the combined effort gave the teaser a first weekend view count of approximately 22MM. Key social media footprint here includes the teaser’s presence on Douyin’s TikTok with the #FiveFeetApart hashtag drawing north of 87M views to date.
Launched in mid-January with an all screen domination of the Riverdale premiere, there was a never-before-seen minute trailer cut down both on-air and online across streaming, custom Instagram stories featuring film talent on CW’s Riverdale and Jane the Virgin show handles. There was also a cross screen partnership with Freeform with Five Feet Apart the premier sponsor of the network’s highly anticipated Pretty Little Liars: the Perfectionists. In a series custom vignettes, show talent Sofia Carson sat down with the pic’s stars, Cole Sprouse and Haley Lu Richardson to discuss pertinent themes in the film including love, friendship, and fighting for your life.
The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation was a key promo partner with early screenings raising money and awareness for the non-profit. Lionsgate Distribution worked to organize a group sales program so that any 501c3 that raises money for Cystic Fibrosis can utilize the film to help their organization. The team worked with Lollipop Theater, an organization dedicated to bringing entertainment to those hospitalized children unable to go to the theater.
In 4th place, DreamWorks Animation’s How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World is eyeing a nice -36% hold in weekend 4 with $9.3M and a running total by Sunday of $135.6M, 3% behind the previous sequel, which ended its run at $177M domestic.
Lionsgate’s Tyler Perry’s A Madea Funeral in weekend 3 will own 5th place with $8.1M, -35%, and a $59M running cume. The distributor’s sister Hispanic label Pantelion has No Manches Frida 2, which drew $3.9M at 472 screens in 6th for a great $8.2K per screen; that’s better than the first chapter’s $3.6M. Pic, which is a sequel to 2016’s No Manches Frida ($11.5M), follows reformed ex-con Zequi, who loses the love of his life, Lucy, and must compete for her affections with her old hunky high school sweetheart. No Manches Frida 2 played the best in the West and Southwest, which is standard for Hispanic lingo films. The West Coast, we hear, delivered 46% of the business, versus a norm of 21%.
That’s far better business than Focus Features/Participant Media/DreamWork’s Captive State. At 2,548 theaters, the film is seeing $1.2M Friday and a $3.1M weekend 7th place take, a dead result for a sci-fi feature that cost around $25M. The latter pic is so bad, it wasn’t screen for critics (just those doing select press interviews). A ‘C-‘ CinemaScore and 2 stars on PostTrak says it all. As far as hipster, guerrilla indie sci-fi pics go, Captive State is no Ex Machina. At 55% Rotten, reviewers such as the LA Times’ Gary Goldstein slam this Rupert Wyatt-directed movie: “In Captive State, aliens have taken over the world (as they will). But it’s the viewers stuck watching this messy, lugubrious sci-fi thriller who may feel like the ones being held captive.” Men at 59% showed up, over 25 crowd was 62% on PostTrak.
Other shoutouts: Warner Bros.’ The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part, though an under-performer in the studio’s animated series, is the fifth title at the 2019 box office to cross $100M after Captain Marvel, How to Train Your Dragon 3, Glass and The Upside.
Specialty highlights: Focus Features’ The Mustang in 4 theaters made $76K for a $18,9K per screen. The Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre-directed drama about a violent convict who is given the chance to participate in a rehabilitation therapy program involving the training of wild mustangs has a 95% fresh on RT. The LA runs at ArcLight Hollywood and Landmark were decent, but New York’s run at the Landmark 57th St and 19th St were bad.
Said Focus Features distribution boss Lisa Bunnell, “With over 90% in the top two boxes, audiences and critics alike are discovering the beauty Laure captured on screen and the powerful performances from the Matthias and the entire cast. The Mustang can’t be boxed in –part drama, part western, part self-discovery and redemption, and the bond between human and animal.” Sixty-six percent of the audience was female with 96% over 35.
Fox Searchlight’s Keira Knightley WWII romance drama The Aftermath received a 27% Rotten on RT, which means art house crowds know to stay away, and they only spent $57,5K over three days for an awful $11,5K per-theater at Lincoln Square and the Angelika, & Cinema 1 in New York and the ArcLight Hollywood and Landmark in LA.
NEON’s Apollo 11 in weekend 3 still robust with $1.22M at 588 locations for a running total of $5.5M.
Studio-reported estimates as of Sunday morning:
WEEKEND B.O. FOR MARCH 15-17
****previous Saturday AM estimates****
BOX OFFICE FOR MARCH 15-17
1st Update, Friday 8:15AM: Despite three wide entries kicking off Thursday night, yesterday and the rest of this weekend will be about Disney’s Captain Marvel. Yesterday, the superhero movie directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck made an estimated $9.2 million, leading all movies and putting its running total near $197M. Last night repped an 8% hike over Wednesday’s domestic box office total, also commendable.
Today in its eighth day of play, Captain Marvel is expected to cross the $200M mark, a day ahead of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, which reached the milestone in nine days. Industry estimates believe Captain Marvel should do about $70M in Weekend 2.
In regards to spring break, out of all the Fridays in March, today will have the most K-12 schools and colleges off, per comScore, at 24% and 34%, respectively.
While everything seems like counter-programming, Paramount Animation and Nickelodeon’s Wonder Park is the most prolific as it cost an estimated $100M net and has been in the works since 2014, when the late Brad Grey was in charge of the lot. Previews kicked off yesterday at 4 PM, earning $700,000 at 2,620 theaters. The pic is expected to do between $10M-$14M at 3,838 venues this weekend; the pic seriously needs to do way more at that cost. We’ll see what happens off a Rotten Tomatoes score of 22% Rotten. In January 2018, it was reported that director Dylan Brown was fired from the production by Paramount following an investigation into complaints of “inappropriate and unwanted conduct” by multiple women. The film was virtually done at the time, so the production did not replace him.
Wonder Park follows a wildly creative girl June who dreams up her ideal theme park. She discovers an old roller coaster car and climbs inside and finds herself in Wonderland, an amusement park she had created in her mind and put aside. All of her rides and characters are brought to life but are falling into disarray without her, and it’s up to her to keep the place alive. Josh Appelbaum & André Nemec wrote the screenplay. Voice cast includes Jennifer Garner, Matthew Broderick, John Oliver, Mila Kunis, Kenan Thompson, Ken Jeong, Norbert Leo Butz, Brianna Denski and Ken Hudson Campbell.
Focus Features has the Participant/DreamWorks/Amblin sci-fi pic Captive State at 2,500 locations. Previews began at 7 PM last night with $300K, with earlier-week projections at $4M over three days for this $25M feature production from director Rupert Wyatt. Set in a Chicago neighborhood nearly a decade after an occupation by an extra-terrestrial force, Captive State explores the lives on both sides of the conflict – the collaborators and dissidents. John Goodman, Ashton Sanders, Jonathan Majors, Machine Gun Kelly and Vera Farmiga star.
CBS Films/Lionsgate has the romance movie Five Feet Apart, about a pair of teenagers with life-threatening illnesses who meet in a hospital and fall in love. Last night brought in $715K. The pic cost $7M before P&A and tracking has the movie between $8M-$10M, but Captain Marvel could steal cash away for a result that’s more in line of $6M-$9M at 2,803 theaters. CBS hopes that females ages 13-34 find the pic in droves. Justin Baldoni directs, and Haley Lu Richardson and Cole Sprouse star. Rotten Tomatoes is at 45% Rotten.