Godzilla: King of the Monsters will take the top position at the weekend box office, but the final gross is not quite as much as Warner Brothers had expected or hoped for. King of the Monsters will end the weekend with about $49 million, or $10-$15 million less than tracking. It’s also a precipitous drop from the $93 million opening of 2014’s Godzilla, although it’s not as steep a drop off from the $61 million opening for the second movie in the Monsterverse, Kong: Skull Island. Truth be told, the United States is not the main event for the Monsterverse films, which earn roughly 70 percent of their take overseas. In that regard, the film is doing OK, but not as well as the 2014 film. It’s on track to earn about $130 million overseas, compared to the $140 million Godzilla made in the same opening frame.
Reviews for the film may not be helping matters (it sits at 40 percent on Rotten Tomatoes), although the audiences who have shown up for King of the Monsters seems fairly satisfied, giving it a B+ Cinemascore (same as Godzilla and Skull Island). It may simply be that the franchise is already growing stale, although Warner Brothers is obviously hoping there’s enough left in the tank to propel 2020’s Godzilla vs. Kong to profitability.
King of the Monsters did earn enough to hold off Aladdin in its second weekend of business. The live-action Disney remake with Will Smith is on pace to earn around $42 million to bring its total to $185 million. It’s also doing very swift business overseas, so it looks like a nice rebound for the Mouse House after the soft performances of Dumbo and Mary Poppins Returns.
The Elton John biopic starring Elton John is putting up comfortable numbers in its opening weekend. Rocketman is on pace for about $25 million. It’s not as much as the $51 million that Bohemian Rhapsody earned in its opening weekend, but Rocketman is an R-rated film and it faces stiffer competition in the summer. It’s getting solid reviews (90 percent on Rotten Tomatoes) and a great A- Cinemascore. It’s also the kind of film that will likely have long legs at the box office, as most crowd-pleasing movies do (and this one is hella crowd-pleasing). It’s probably not going to do the $900 million that the Queen biopic earned worldwide, but Rocketman will sail toward profitability.
The bigger surprise, especially for a summer horror pic, is the Octavia Spencer film, Ma, which should earn around $18.2 million this weekend on only a $5 million budget. That, of course, is the Blumhouse way, but given the mixed reviews (60 percent on the Tomatometer) and the middling B- Cinemascore, it’s nevertheless a surprise to see a horror movie break out this way with such intense summer competition.
Holdovers occupied the rest of the top ten this weekend, with Keanu Reeves’ John Wick 3 taking the fifth position and earning another $11.1 million in its third weekend to bring its total to $125.7 million in addition to healthy overseas numbers, bringing its worldwide total to $221 million. With that, it’s already earned around $35 million more than the last entry, as the franchise continues to grow. Avengers: Endgame isn’t leaving the top ten anytime soon, either, racking up another $8.5 million to bring its domestic total to a whopping $815 million, still good for second place all time. It still has another $60 to $70 million to go, worldwide, before it takes down Avatar as the biggest movie of all time on a worldwide scale. My guess is that it will eventually surpass the James Cameron film.
With another $6.6 million, Pokemon: Detective Pikachu has marched its way to $130 million, although it is doing considerably better overseas as it closes in on $400 million worldwide. Olivia Wilde’s directorial debut Booksmart is doing OK having earned nearly $15 million after a $3.7 million second weekend, but it’s a film that deserves so much better. Meanwhile, Brightburn took a huge 69 percent fall, earning $2.4 million in its second weekend. It stands at $14.3 million after two weekends, although it is probably close to double that with overseas money, and it only cost $6 million to make. Finally, Anne Hathaway’s The Hustle closes out the top ten with $1.3 million and $33 million overall.
Next weekend should be another one with big box office grosses. Secret Life of Pets 2 is likely to take over the top spot, while it’ll be interesting to see how Dark Phoenix does as it closes out The X-Men franchise under Fox banner that Disney has taken over. Emma Thompson and Mindy Kaling will also open Late Night in limited release.