Overall box office receipts this weekend are sluggish this weekend, which is shaping up to be the worst in nearly 15 years (since Miss Congeniality 2 took the top spot in 2005). There’s a fairly good reason for that: Easter weekends typically do not fall the weekend before the release of Avengers: Endgame. Most studios weren’t brave enough to sacrifice a film this weekend, knowing that it would get chewed up in the motor of the MCU next weekend. It made sense, then, for New Line to release The Curse of La Llorona since most horror movies tend to be front-loaded, anyway.
I’m not even sure how many moviegoers knew that Lo Llorona was part of James Wan’s The Conjuring universe (the sixth film to take place in that universe, tenuous though it may be), but that brand likely helped to propel it to an OK $26.5 million opening, the weakest opening by far in that universe (Annabelle 2 came in with $35 million in 2017, before The Nun opened with a stunning $53 million last year). Reviews weren’t particularly helpful (32 percent on Rotten Tomatoes), while the B- Cinemascore suggests New Line was right to release it this weekend, because word of mouth would not have propelled it very far even without Endgame coming up behind it. Still, $26.5 million is a solid opening for any film that only cost $9 million to produce.
The film that probably benefitted the most by the weak slate of releases this weekend was DC’s Shazam!, which dropped only 29 percent in its third weekend and earned $17 million. After three weeks, the film has earned $121 million, plus around another $200 million overseas. The $320 million worldwide gross has already tripled its production budget, so definitely expect to see a sequel (one with perhaps Black Adam).
Disney’s faith-based Breakthrough, starring Chrissy Metz and Topher Grace, took the three spot with around $11 million over the weekend and $14.5 million since Wednesday, which is slightly more than its $14 million production budget. Reviews were decent (64 percent on Rotten Tomatoes) and audiences in the South and Midwest helped boost those numbers.