Now that the Summer Box Office has come to a close, we can look back at the popcorn movies, thrillers, adaptations, and dramas that tried to capture our attention over the last few months. These are the films that released between May 1st and August 31st, and even though that leaves out “Avengers: Endgame’s” April 26th release, Disney still managed to dominate most of the weekends. You will probably remember most of them, but we expect a few of these movies didn’t make much of an impression.
With “Avengers: Endgame” entering into its second week in theaters, there wasn’t much hope for any of the early May releases to top the charts. “The Intruder” landed in second place on the domestic box office charts with a $10.8M debut and fought its way to a box office total of $36.5M worldwide. Deon Taylor directed the movie, which had an estimated budget of $8M, and the film starred Dennis Quaid, Meagan Good, and Michael Ealy. Jonathan Levine’s “Long Shot” was another tough sell during Avengers mania. The movie brought in $9.7M on its weekend debut against Marvel’s superheroes. Charlize Theron and Seth Rogen starred in the comedy, which ended its theatrical run with a $52.7M worldwide total.
“Uglydolls” had a rough opening that same weekend, starting with an $8.6M debut nationwide. The movie was hoping to launch a new franchise for STX Entertainment, but with a $27.5M return from a $45M budget, we probably won’t see another Uglydolls movie anytime soon. Kelly Asbury directed the animated-comedy, which featured the voice talents of Kelly Clarkson, Nick Jonas, Janelle Monae, Wanda Sykes, Emma Roberts, Jane Lynch, Ice T, Gabriel Iglesias, and Wang Leehom.
On May 10th, Warner Bros. Pictures released “Pokemon Detective Pikachu,” which was a giant hit. The film opened in second place on opening weekend because of the Avengers, but still made $54M domestically. The animated-comedy went on to make over $431M worldwide, working from a budget of $150M. Rob Letterman directed the movie, which featured the voice of Ryan Reynolds, and actors Justice Smith, Suki Waterhouse, Kathryn Newton, Ken Watanabe, and Bill Nighy. The other big release that weekend was Anne Hathaway and Rebel Wilson’s movie “The Hustle,” which was a gender-flipped “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” that landed flat at the box office at launch. The movie made $13M on its opening weekend but grossed $95M worldwide, which is a sizeable upgrade from the film’s estimated $21M budget.
At the specialty box office that same weekend, “Poms” and “Tolkien” hit the theaters. “Poms” made $13.6M and “Tolkien” made $7.7M.
On May 17th the box office picked up again, with “John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum” taking over the charts with a $56.8M opening weekend. Chad Stahelski directed the movie, which starred Keanu Reeves, Halle Berry, Ian McShane, Laurence Fishburne, and Anjelica Huston. The third installment made over $321.3M for Lionsgate this summer, a big score for a movie that had a budget of $75M. “A Dog’s Journey” also hit theaters this same weekend, and made $8M on its debut. With a budget of $22M, the film’s $67M worldwide gross makes it a success story for Universal Pictures.
Warner Bros. Pictures released “The Sun is Also a Star” at the specialty box office against all of these heavy hitters, and the film ended up making $6.6M globally. Ry Russo-Young directed the YA drama, which featured Yara Shahidi, Anais Lee, and Charles Melton. A24 also had a specialty release, Tilda Swinton’s “The Souvenir,” which made $1M domestically.
Disney premiered the live-action “Aladdin” on May 24th, and the movie made $91.5M over its opening weekend. Guy Ritchie directed the film, with stars Will Smith, Naomi Scott, and Mena Massoud. The live-action movie was an instant hit in theaters and made over $1.04B for the studio. Sony Pictures’ “Brightburn” was a financial success, though the movie might have done better on another weekend. The horror-thriller made $7.8M on its opening weekend and over $32M worldwide for the studio. James Gunn produced the movie, with a budget of $6M, and the film featured Elizabeth Banks.
“Booksmart” was another hit buried at the summer box office. Olivia Wilde directed the movie, which made $6.9M on its opening weekend and over $22.6M worldwide. Kaitlyn Dever and Beanie Feldstein starred in the film, with Will Forte, Lisa Kudrow, and Jason Sudeikis. The movie had an estimated budget of $6M, so even during the crowded box office, Olivia Wilde’s directing debut should be labeled an enormous success.
The last weekend in May went to “Godzilla: King of the Monsters,” which made $47.7M on its opening weekend before grossing over $385.8M worldwide. Michael Dougherty directed the film with an estimated budget of $170M, and the movie featured Kyle Chandler, Vera Farmiga, Ken Watanabe, Zhang Ziyi, Sally Hawkins, Bradley Whitford, Charles Dance, and O’Shea Jackson. Paramount Pictures’ “Rocketman” took off that same weekend, making $25.7M and ending its theatrical run with $187.7M globally. Dexter Fletcher directed the movie, with Taron Egerton, Jamie Bell, Richard Madden, and Bryce Dallas Howard. The crew worked with an estimated budget of $40M to make the musical biopic, and the movie was a hit for the studio. The horror-thriller “Ma” was another low-budget success story for the summer. Directed by Tate Taylor, the movie made $18M on its debut and over $60M worldwide. That is a pretty big return for a film that was put together on a budget of $5M. The cast included Octavia Spencer, Juliette Lewis, and Luke Evans.
The first weekend in June launched “The Secret Life of Pets 2” and “Dark Phoenix,” and the films had very different results. Universal Pictures’ “The Secret Life of Pets 2” won the weekend with a $46.6M opening, and the animated-comedy made over $401.2M worldwide. The sequel had an estimated budget of $80M, and Chris Renaud directed the movie with the voice talents of Patton Oswalt, Kevin Hart, Harrison Ford, Erix Stonestreet, Jenny Slate, Tiffany Haddish, Lake Bell, and Dana Carvey. “Dark Phoenix” was another story. After receiving lukewarm reviews and following the buyout of Disney that ended the franchise, “Dark Phoenix” made $32M on its opening weekend before closing up shop with $252.4M globally. The film had the lowest gross in the franchise, and with a $200M budget, ended the series on a sour note.
At the specialty box office that same weekend, “Late Night” was an unexpected miss with audiences. Amazon picked up the distribution rights to the film for $13M after rave reviews at the Sundance Film Festival, but the movie only ended up making $19M worldwide. Mindy Kaling wrote and starred in the film, which also featured Emma Thompson, John Lithgow, Hugh Dancy, Ike Barinholtz, and Amy Ryan.
The box office remained tepid on June 14th when “Men in Black International” hit the scene. The movie had a $30M opening against “Shaft,” and went on to make $253M worldwide. F. Gary Gray directed the MIB installment, which featured Chris Hemsworth, Tessa Thompson, Liam Neeson, Emma Thompson, Rebecca Ferguson, and Kumail Nanjiani. The film had an estimated budget of $110M, so it was a financial success, just not on the same blockbuster-level as the first installment. “Shaft” had a much smaller opening, making $8.9M on its opening weekend. The movie was only released domestically and grossed $21.3M.
At the specialty box office, Jim Jarmusch’s “The Dead Don’t Die” made $2.5M over the film’s opening weekend, and starred Bill Murray, Adam Driver, Tilda Swinton, Chloe Sevigny, Steve Buscemi, and Danny Glover. The zombie movie ended up making $13.9M for the studio.
Disney returned to the box office on June 21st to release “Toy Story 4,” which dominated the charts with a $120M debut. Josh Cooley directed the new installment, which featured the voice talents of Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Annie Potts, Keegan-Michael Key, Christina Hendricks, Jordan Peele, and Keanu Reeves. The fourth installment made over $1B for Disney while it remained in theaters, proving that fans can’t get enough of the franchise.
“Child’s Play” opened in second place that same weekend with a $14M opening weekend. The thriller went on to make over $29.2M worldwide. Aubrey Plaza starred in the movie with Brian Tyree Henry, and Mark Hamill voiced the doll. With a budget of $30M, Luc Besson’s “Anna” missed the mark in theaters. The film had a $3.6M opening and only made $26.4M in theaters. Helen Mirren, Luke Evans, and Cillian Murphy starred in the film.
The last weekend in June went to “Toy Story 4,” but “Annabelle Comes Home” landed in second place with a $20M opening weekend. Gary Dauberman directed the movie, and it went on to make over $222M worldwide. Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Mckenna Grace, Madison Iseman, and Katie Sarife starred in the horror-thriller for Warner Bros. Pictures. The comedy “Yesterday” was a surprise hit for Universal Pictures this summer. The movie opened in third place overall with a $17M weekend but grossed over $128M off a budget of $26M. Danny Boyle directed the film, which featured Lily James, Himesh Patel, and Kate McKinnon.
Daisy Ridley and Tom Felton’s “Ophelia” hit the specialty box office this weekend, and went on to make $50K domestically.
July 4th always starts the month off with a bang, and this year fans got to see “Spider-Man: Far From Home,” which had a $92.5M opening. Jon Watts directed the movie for Sony Pictures with a budget of $160M, and the film went on to make over $1.1B for the studio. Tom Holland, Jake Gyllenhaal, Marisa Tomei, Zendaya, Jon Favreau, and Samuel L. Jackson starred in the movie. Spidey drowned out the horror-thriller “Midsommar” from A24, which had a $6.5M opening and a $34.5M worldwide gross. Ari Aster wrote and directed the movie, which featured Florence Pugh, Jack Reynor, and Will Poulter. The film had an estimated budget of $9M, so A24 is probably still happy with the results.
With “Toy Story 4” and “Spider-Man: Far From Home” topping the charts, there wasn’t much room for “Crawl” and “Stuber” on July 12th. “Crawl” opened in third place overall with a $12M opening, but the film still went on to make over $65M for Paramount Pictures. Alexandre Aja directed the movie, with a budget of $13.5M, and it featured Kaya Scodelario and Barry Pepper. “Stuber” was a mediocre success, but a success none the less. Michael Dowse directed the comedy with an estimated budget of $16M and the movie grossed over $31.3M. Dave Bautista, Kumail Nanjiani, Iko Uwais, Natalie Morales, Mira Sorvino, and Karen Gillan starred in the action-comedy.
A24’s “The Farewell” hit the specialty box office this same weekend, and ended up making $13.3M for the studio overall. Written and directed by Lulu Wang and starring Awkwafina, Tzi Ma, Diana Lin, and Aoi Mizuhara, the film is primed for some award nominations later this year.
You can’t go too many weeks without a Disney release, and July 19th brought us “The Lion King” adaptation. The movie topped the charts with a $191M debut and went on to make over $1.46B for Disney. Jon Favreau directed the live-action remake, which featured the voice talents of Donald Glover, James Earl Jones, Beyonce Knowles, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Alfre Woodard, John Oliver, Seth Rogen, Keegan-Michael Key, and John Oliver.
Sony Pictures wrapped up the month of July with Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” and the movie made $182.7M worldwide after a $41M opening weekend. With an estimated budget of $81M, the film was another huge win for Sony Pictures, and the movie featured Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, Dakota Fanning, Al Pacino, Harley Quinn Smith, Kurt Russell, Luke Perry, Emile Hirsch, Michael Madsen, and Rumer Willis.
The first weekend in August brought us another blockbuster as “Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw” opened with a $60M debut. The opening weekend didn’t break any records for the franchise, but the movie went on to make over $588.9M worldwide from a $200M budget. David Leitch directed the movie, which starred Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Idris Elba, Eddie Marsan, Vanessa Kirby, and Helen Mirren.
Neon released “Luce” at the specialty box office that weekend and the drama-thriller made $132K across five locations. Julius Onah directed the movie, which starred Naomi Watts, Octavia Spencer, and Tim Roth. “Them That Follow” was another specialty release with a lot of star-power. Olivia Colman, Walton Goggins, Jim Gaffigan, and Thomas Mann starred in the dark thriller, and the movie made over $158.6K across 195 locations.
On August 9th, studios scrambled to release the summer films that were on-hold for the “Hobbs & Shaw” debut. “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark” was the top new movie of the weekend, but it didn’t beat “Hobbs & Shaw.” Despite the overstuffed box office, “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark” made over $20.9M on its debut and over $72M worldwide from a budget of $25M. “Dora and the Lost City of Gold” had a $17.4M opening before grossing $60.4M globally. James Bobin directed the Dora movie adaptation for Paramount Pictures from a $49M budget. Mark Bomback’s “The Art of Racing in the Rain” was another dud that Disney picked up from the FOX merger. The movie only brought in $23M worldwide. The film featured Kevin Costner, Milo Ventimiglia, Amanda Seyfried, Gary Cole, and Kathy Baker. Another misfire was Warner Bros. Pictures’ “The Kitchen” with Melissa McCarthy, Elisabeth Moss, and Tiffany Haddish. Made with a budget of $38M the film opened with a $5.5M debut nationwide and only brought in $13.4M globally.
Tom Shadyac’s “Brian Banks” hit the specialty box office at this time and brought in $4.1M, while Shia LaBeouf and Dakota Johnson’s “The Peanut Butter Falcon” made $3.72M across 991 theaters.
The comedy “Good Boys” opened at the top of the box office on August 16th, bringing in $21M on its opening weekend. Jacob Tremblay starred in the adult-comedy, which was put together on a budget of $20M. Sony Pictures’ “The Angry Birds Movie 2” was another mild success for the studio, bringing in $10.3M. Jason Sudeikis, Josh Gad, Bill Hader, Danny McBride, Peter Dinklage, Leslie Jones, Sterling K. Brown, Eugenio Derbez, and Awkwafina all provided voices for the characters. “47 Meters Down: Uncaged” was another mediocre success story, earning $8.4M on its opening debut.
“Blinded By the Light” made $8.2M at the limited box office from 2,307 locations, and the long-delayed “Where’d You Go, Bernadette” with Cate Blanchett, Kristen Wiig, Judy Greer, Billy Crudup, and Laurence Fishburne made $6.5M across 2,404 theaters.
As the summer box office started to wind down, “Angel has Fallen” won the weekend on August 23rd. Gerard Butler starred in the film, and the movie brought in $21.2M on its opening weekend. Alex Kendrick’s $5M film “Overcomer” made $8.2M on its opening weekend, already posting a positive response in its first week. Samara Weaving’s “Ready or Not” thriller made $10.5M on its debut.
Amazon Studios released “Brittany Runs a Marathon” that same weekend, and it had the highest theater average after making $175.9K across five locations.
With “IT: Chapter 2” just one week away, studios decided not to release a movie over Labor Day weekend. The box office slumped with the leftover hits and “Angel has Fallen” repeated a win with just $11.5M.
You don’t have to crunch the numbers to see that Disney remained at the top of the summer box office. The other studios will start to catch up over the next few months, now that Disney is taking a break from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Warner Bros. Pictures is releasing “IT: Chapter 2” and “The Goldfinch” in September, and both films should do very well at the box office. STX has the comedy “Hustlers” in September, and Lionsgate has “Rambo: Last Blood,” which could go either way. Another win in the maybe-column is Universal Pictures animated-comedy “Abominable” at the end of the month. Warner Bros. Pictures returns in October with “Joker,” and Paramount Pictures has the Will Smith actioner “Gemini Man.” The other big releases are the animated adaptation of “The Addams Family,” Sony Pictures’ “Zombieland 2: Double Tap,” and Disney’s “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil.”
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