Weekend Box Office: ‘Scary Stories’ And ‘Dora’ Challenge ‘Hobbs & Shaw’

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CBS Films

Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham’s Hobbs & Shaw maintained the top spot for a second weekend in a row, but it was probably closer than most had anticipated. There’s a couple of reasons for that. First, Hobbs had a steeper fall than Universal had hoped, dropping 58 percent to $25.4 million. A 58 percent fall is not unusual for a tentpole, but Universal had probably hoped with no other tentpole competition that it would be able to skate through most of August. It’s earned $108 million after two weeks, but movies opening on comparable weekends in August had smaller second-weekend falls (The Bourne Ultimatum fell 52 percent; Signs fell 51 percent; and Rise of the Planet of the Apes fell only 49 percent). It’ll be fine, however, because it’s already added over $200 million overseas, and it still hasn’t opened in China, where Fast & Furious movies are huge.

The other reason it was closer than many had thought is because Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark from producer Guillermo del Toro performed better than expected. The film, directed by André Øvredal, generated very good reviews (80 percent on Rotten Tomatoes) and earned an impressive $20.8 million, the second best opening ever for a film under the CBS Films banner behind only Daniel Radcliffe’s The Woman in Black ($20.87 million). Ironically, CBS Films is shutting down with CBS’s merger with Viacom, and the success of Scary Stories is not likely to change that. With only a $28 million budget, Scary Stories is sitting pretty and could continue to perform well throughout the month despite a C Cinemascore (lower Cinemascores are not unusual for horror films).

Lion King took the third spot in its fourth weekend, as it continues to put up impressive numbers. With an additional $20 million, it’s now earned $473 million stateside as it closes in on the $504 million earned by Beauty and the Beast to take the top spot among live-action remakes.

Dora and the Lost City of Gold earned $17 million in its opening weekend. It also got help from solid reviews (81 percent on Rotten Tomatoes) and an A Cinemascore. It cost Nickelodeon Movies $49 million to produce, however, so it’s going to need to perform well overseas for a chance to continue the franchise, which is a tough sell demographically speaking (it’s aimed at tween girls who grew up watching Dora the Explorer but who haven’t yet grown out of Dora the Explorer). Great reviews and solid word of mouth, however, could help keep it alive and hopefully families will opt to see it over Angry Birds 2 next weekend.

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