From a quick look at all the clunkers this summer movie season — Godzilla: King of the Monsters, Dark Phoenix, Men in Black: International, and The Secret Life of Pets 2 — one might think it’s been a terrible summer at the box office. That’s not true, exactly. In fact, through this weekend, this year’s summer box office is running dead even with last summer’s box office. The difference is, more of that money is tied up in fewer films. For instance, the $850 million pulled down by Avengers: Endgame represents one-third of the entire summer box office. With Aladdin, Toy Story 4 and Spider-Man: Far From Home, Disney itself owns about $1.6 billion of the $2.6 billion earned at the box office overall this summer. Outside of the four Disney films, John Wick 3, Pokemon Detective Pikachu and Rocketman, it has been a downright ugly summer, but those seven films have done enough to generate healthy profits. It’s just that those profits are limited to fewer studios.
Spider-Man: Far From Home certainly helped to contribute to Disney/Marvel’s good fortunes, breaking the record for most money earned on a Tuesday and a Wednesday earlier this week on its way to the best 6-day Independence holiday opening, surpassing the $153 million of Despicable Me 2. With its first six days in the books, it looks as though Far From Home is going to put up an impressive $185 million, including the $93 million it earned this weekend. It’s also netted $580 million worldwide in its first 10 days of release.
That’s a hugely impressive six-day run, although not quite record-breaking. In fact, it’ll come in around 25th or so all time for the first six days, a little better than the $180 million earned in the first six days by Spider-Man 2 and well short of the $450 million that Endgame earned in its first six days. It is nevertheless a huge victory for Marvel, which doesn’t come too far off its Endgame high while also proving that franchise fatigue hasn’t yet set in for the MCU. Great reviews probably helped (92 percent on Rotten Tomatoes), but this one is exploding based on the built-in fanbase and great word of mouth. Expect Far From Home to maintain the top spot at the box office for another 12 days, until Lion King opens on July 19th.
It wasn’t a bad 4th of July weekend for Toy Story 4, either, as it added another $34 million in its third weekend. It may have gotten off to a somewhat slow start, but it’s already crossed $300 million now and is poised to surpass Aladdin as the third highest grossing film of the year by next weekend (Aladdin added another $7 million to bring its total to $320 million in its seventh week. It sits at $920 million worldwide.). Last weekend’s Danny Boyle opener, Yesterday, suffered a relatively small drop (38 percent) and added another $10.7 million. It has earned $36 million after 10 days on a $26 million budget. After two weekends, Annabelle Comes Homes has now earned $50 million after a $9.8 million weekend. These movies are produced for a song, so it’s already well on its way into the black, thanks to a $134 million take worldwide, so far.
The week’s other opener, Midsommar, did fairly well for a art-house horror flick. It’s earned $10.5 million since its Wednesday opening (and $6.5 million over the weekend), although that is actually less than Ari Aster’s previous opening for Hereditary ($13 million). The C+ Cinemascore, however, is better than the D+ for Hereditary. Ari Aster’s films are decidedly not for everyone, although critics certainly like them (this one received an 82 percent on Rotten Tomatoes).
Holdovers occupy the last four spots. Secret Life of Pets 2 hit $140 million after five weeks, which is nearly twice as much as the $72 million earned by Men in Black: International after three weeks (both, nevertheless, have been disappointments for their respective studios). After its re-release, Avengers: Endgame is still trudging along, adding another $3.1 million to bring its total to $847 million. It’s still $15 million away from the worldwide box-office leader, Avatar. Disney will probably keep it in theaters as long as it takes. Finally, Rocketman hangs in for one more week, adding $2.6 million to bring its total a hair shy of $90 million.
Believe it or not, the summer movie season is starting to dry up. Next weekend, the horror movie Crawl and the comedy Stuber will battle it out probably for third place, behind Spider-Man and Toy Story 4. In fact, there are only two films left this summer with a real chance to open north of $100 million, Lion King on July 19th and Hobbes and Shaw on the first weekend of August. Aside from Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, that’s about it for summer tentpoles.