Last summer, Avengers: Infinity War managed to hold the top spot at the box office for three weekends before Ryan Reynolds and Deadpool finally bested it. This summer, it looks like Ryan Reynolds and Detective Pikachu are going to fall just short of taking down Endgame in its third weekend, as it puts up another impressive $63.1 million, or about what Infinity War earned in its third weekend. Endgame rises to $723 million, and while it can still make a run at Avatar for the biggest film of all time worldwide (it’s $300 million behind), it is now falling behind Star Wars: The Force Awakens for the title of top film in America, all time, even as it rises to number three domestic, surpassing Infinity War and Black Panther. However, Force Awakens mustered $90 million in its third weekend and was at $742 million at this point in its run, on its way to $936 million, a number that is likely out of reach in the North America for Endgame given the heavy summer competition (The Force Awakens took advantage of relatively weaker January competition).
To its credit, Detective Pikachu at least made it a close race for the top spot, earning a tidy $58 million in its opening weekend, while also adding another $90-$100 million worldwide. The film is succeeding based on the popularity of the brand, a great marketing campaign with Ryan Reynolds playing pitchman, and decent enough reviews (64 percent). It’s sneaky popular among all demographics, too, playing well to both the under and over 25 year olds, but also the under 12-year-old market, as well. It’s not often a live-action film can appeal to both young kids and adults, although anecdotally I have heard from some parents who had no idea what was going on but enjoyed their kids’ enthusiasm for it, all the same. All audiences certainly do seem to love it, giving it an A- Cinemascore. With worldwide grosses, the film will earn its $150 million budget back in its first weekend, and should do enough business to set up a sequel.
Things worked out OK for Anne Hathaway and Rebel Wilson’s Dirty Rotten Scoundrels remake, The Hustle despite abysmal reviews (16 percent on Rotten Tomatoes). Budget numbers are not available, but I suspect it cost in the $30 to $40 million range, so a $13.5 million opening over Mother’s Day weekend is decent, or at least enough so that United Artist can escape the “box-office bomb” label. It might also play well over the next couple of weeks with little new competition.
It does still have to compete demographically with Seth Rogen and Charlize Theron’s romantic comedy Long Shot, which fell only 37 percent in its second weekend. Unfortunately, it didn’t have that far to fall, earning only $6.16 million in its second weekend to bring its overall numbers to about $20 million, or about half its budget. It’s not likely to make up too much overseas, though it is the kind of film likely to do very well in digital release and on streaming platforms in its second life. Long Shot narrowly fell behind last weekend’s number two film The Intruder, which earned $6.6 million and now stands at $21 million overall.
Diane Keaton’s cheerleading film Poms (think Calendar Girls with with pompoms instead of calendars) got left behind as it endeavored to grab some of the Mother’s Day box office, although audiences did like it more than The Hustle (it received a B+ Cinemascore to the B- of The Hustle, although Poms didn’t exactly win over critics, either, with a 29 percent on Rotten Tomatoes). Poms did fare better than Fox Searchlight’s Tolkien, an arthouse film that opened semi-wide (1500 screens) but only managed to earn $2.1 million in its first weekend. The $20 million film is going to need some help overseas to bail it out.
Holdovers occupied the other three spots. UglyDolls continued to put up ugly numbers in its second weekend, earning $4 million to bring its two week total up to a lousy $14.28 million. The faith-based Breakthrough continues to hang in there, earning $2.1 million to bring its total to a solid $36.7 million. Lastly, Captain Marvel is finally fading after ten weeks, earning $1.8 million to wrap up its run in the top ten with $423 million.
Next weekend is an interesting one with John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum leading the way. The John Wick films do very well for themselves, although it probably won’t best Detective Pikachu in its second weekend or even Endgame in its fourth. Meanwhile, The Sun Is Also a Star and A Dog’s Journey will also make a play for some counter-programming cash.