‘The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard’ Tops An Uneventful Father’s Day Weekend
The box office has been in a strange in-between zone, no longer in the doldrums of the pandemic but not quite back to normal either. After Memorial Day weekend seemed to bring back America’s movie mania -- thanks to the openings of A Quiet Place Part II and Cruella -- things have stalled a bit since then, especially with the twin disappointments last weekend (In The Heights and Peter Rabbit 2). This weekend feels like something of a placeholder while Hollywood eagerly awaits F9, which has already brought in $292.1 million internationally, to kick off a season of blockbusters. Despite being a relatively uneventful Father’s Day weekend at the box office, the one big newcomer, The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard, has held down the fort quite well.

The sequel to 2017’s The Hitman’s Bodyguard (both directed by Patrick Hughes) sees Samuel L. Jackson, Salma Hayek, and Ryan Reynolds return as the Hitman, the Wife, and the Bodyguard, respectively. If that wasn’t enough star power for you, Morgan Freeman and Antonio Banderas are also in the newest entry. The film grossed $11.7 million this weekend following its Wednesday opening and paid previews, and its cume is $17 million.

The Lionsgate film was originally slated for August 28, 2020, which would have given it a similar late August frame as the first film had when it opened to $21.4 million. Pitting the Fri-Sun grosses against each other gives you a nearly 50% drop for the sequel, but its Wed-Sun plus previews total puts it around 20% below the first film’s opening weekend. The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard’s ‘B’ CinemaScore is just a notch below the original’s ‘B+’, but regardless of its word of mouth, the release of F9 next week makes it is doubtful it will have legs like the first film, which topped the charts for three weeks and had a 3.5x multiplier.

Internationally, the film debuted in Mexico and the U.K. Its $2.2 million opening in the U.K. was only 12% below the first film. The Hitman’s Bodyguard grossed $101.1 million internationally for a $176.6 million worldwide total.

Breathing down The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard’s neck in second place is A Quiet Place Part II, down only 21.7% in its fourth weekend with another $9.4 million. Its domestic cume is $125 million, 16% lower than the first film in the same time frame. Internationally, the film has made $96.7 million, and it runs 15% ahead of the original film when compared territory by territory over the same time frame. It has yet to open in 20 countries, but it is already looking like one of the few unqualified successes we’ve seen since February 2020.

Third place went to Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway with $6.1 million, down 40% in its second weekend. While the drop isn’t bad, the $20.3 million total is 59% down from the first film after its second weekend. The film’s box office is also more than 50% behind the original in the U.K., the film’s second largest territory, but China tells a different story. The first film took home $26.3 million total in China, making it the third largest country for the film, while the sequel is at $17.2 million after two weekends. Peter Rabbit 2 has tallied up $90.8 million worldwide.

The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It came in fourth place with $5.2 million, down 50% from last weekend. With $53.6 after its third weekend, it is running only 12% behind Annabelle Comes Home, the previous film in the Conjuring universe. Considering the circumstances of the late-stage pandemic and the film’s availability on HBO Max, performing in line with franchise expectations is a positive sign. The film’s global total is $142.8 million.

Cruella takes fifth place with $5.1 million, a strong hold down only 24.3% in its fourth weekend. The Disney film now has a domestic total of $64.7 million, making it the third film since the pandemic began to cross $60 million. It could end up close to the $77 million domestic gross of Alice Through the Looking Glass. Its worldwide cume is $159.9 million.

If there's a bit of bad news at the box office this weekend, it comes from In The Heights. After a disappointing first weekend, many hoped it would at least hold strong in its second weekend as the positive word about the film spread. This was not to be. Dropping 63% to $4.2 million, it ended up in sixth place this weekend and has a total of $19.7 million.

Warner may be disappointed with how their much hyped musical performed, but they at least have the satisfaction of crossing a pandemic milestone. Godzilla vs. Kong is down in the charts at number 13 with only $250,000, but it is worth noting as it has finally crossed $100 million, the only film other than A Quiet Place Part II to do so since the pandemic began. The fact that the film was available on HBO Max since its opening day makes this all the more impressive. With $442.5 million worldwide, it is Hollywood’s biggest hit of the pandemic.

There are some more under the radar successes to take a look at. In eighth place was 12 Mighty Orphans from Sony Pictures Classics, which expanded to a semi-wide release this weekend. Starring Luke Wilson, the sports drama took in $870k from 1,047 screens for a total of $1.3 million. Another limited release that expanded was The House Next Door: Meet The Blacks 2, earning $604k from 539 screens for a cume of $2 million.

The widest and highest grossing of the new, limited releases was Focus Features’ Edgar Wright-directed documentary The Sparks Brothers. It came in 12th place this weekend, scoring $265k from 534 screens.