Although Disney’s last two attempts to bring back classic movies, Mary Poppins Returns and Dumbo, were not the overwhelming hits the studio was looking for, it appears that the Mouse House has righted the ship with Will Smith’s Aladdin. While it was a mixed bag with critics (56 percent on Rotten Tomatoes), audiences turned out in huge numbers and delivered the film $112 million over the Memorial Day weekend, good for the fifth best Memorial Day weekend opener of all time, and second for Disney, behind Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End. In its first four days, it has already surpassed the overall domestic total for Dumbo.
The $112 million also bests Disney’s Memorial Day opener last year, Solo ($103 million), and is the second biggest opener ever for Will Smith, bested only by Suicide Squad ($133 million). It’s also the best opening ever for director Guy Ritchie, beating Sherlock Holmes at $62.3 million. It could not have come at a better time for Ritchie after two flops, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword and the excellent Man from UNCLE. While critics mostly shrugged their shoulders at Aladdin, audiences were ecstatic with the result, giving the film an A Cinemascore.
Despite it being a big holiday weekend at the box office, holdovers nevertheless occupied the next four slots. John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum had a 57 percent fall, but still earned a tidy $30.5 million over four days, and ends the holiday weekend over $100 million ($107 million), which is $15 million more than John Wick 2 earned over its entire run (and around $65 million more than John Wick). It’s also grossed $181.5 million globally, so far. In its fifth week, Avengers: Endgame continues to impress, earning another $20 million to bring its domestic total to $802 million. After the holiday weekend, it’s going to be less than $100 million away from besting Avatar as the biggest worldwide hit of all time. Pokemon Detective Pikachu is also hanging in, despite new competition from Aladdin, earning $17 million to bring its three-week total to $120 million.