'Godzilla' Sequel is Box Office King; 'Rocketman' and 'Ma' Top Expectations
by Brad Brevet
June 2, 2019
WB's Godzilla: King of the Monsters is the king of the weekend box office, though doing so at the lower end of studio expectations. Meanwhile, both Paramount's Rocketman and Universal and Blumhouse's Ma topped studio expectations, the latter of which doing so on a small, $5 million budget. Overall, the weekend saw the top twelve deliver nearly $170 million, helping push the summer box office over $1.137 billion (+9% compared to 2018) and the yearly box office is now just -8.5% behind last year as that gap continues to close.
With an estimated $49 million, WB's Godzilla: King of the Monsters fell short of the studio's $50-55 million expectations as it showed day-to-day declines after delivering a $19.6 million opening day (including $6.3 million from Thursday night previews). The film's opening is well short of the $93.2 million opening for the 2014 reboot as well as the $61 million opening for Kong: Skull Island back in March 2017. Comparatively, Skull Island had a much smaller preview gross ($3.7 million) and still managed a larger opening day ($20.1 million) while holding on much better throughout the weekend. Godzilla received a "B+" CinemaScore from opening day audiences while playing to a crowd that was 67% male and 59% were aged 25 or older.
Now we'll look to see how well King of the Monsters can hold on from week-to-week. After all, Godzilla could only muster a 2.15x multiplier while Skull Island finished with a 2.75x. Using those two performances we'd be talking about a total domestic gross performance anywhere from $105-135 million for the reportedly $170 million production, which means the studio will be putting a much larger emphasis on the film's international performance.
That said, internationally, Godzilla debuted in 75 markets with an estimated $130 million for a worldwide opening totaling $179 million. Leading the way was a $70 million opening in China, which is relatively on par with the debut for Kong: Skull Island while playing well ahead of the likes of Rampage (+39%), The Meg (+40%) and 2014's Godzilla (+116%). Other openings include Japan ($8.4m), Mexico ($4.6m), UK's Wednesday opening with ($4.4m), Taiwan ($4.1m), Indonesia ($3.5m), France ($2.6m), Russia ($2.5m), India ($2.5m), Thailand ($2.3m), South Korea ($2.2m) and Malaysia ($2.2m). A few smaller markets remain with Spain serving as the last key market to release on June 21.
Disney's Aladdin had a solid hold in its sophomore frame, dipping -53% after its holiday weekend debut for an estimated $42.3 million three-day performance, pushing the film's domestic gross to $185 million after ten days in release. Internationally, Aladdin addled another $78.3 million this weekend for an international cume totaling $261 million for a global cume just shy of $446 million.
Paramount's Rocketman debuted in third place with an estimated $25 million. The performance is well ahead of the $18-20 million the studio was anticipating, though well short of Mojo's pre-weekend forecast, anticipating a debut over $30 million. The film was a hit with audiences, however, just as it was with critics, receiving an "A-" CinemaScore, playing to a crowd that was 51% female with 55% of the overall crowd coming in aged 30 years or older. Overall, the performance is the fourth largest opening for a music biopic, just behind the $26.4 million debut for All Eyez on Me, though Paramount will be hoping for a much better run than that movie had as it only managed $44.9 million domestically.
Internationally, Rocketman is in its second weekend after debuting in the UK last week. The film added 39 new openings this weekend and grossed $19.2 million for an international cume that now stands at $31.2 million. Leading the way is the UK with a total of $15.3 million so far followed by Australia ($3.9m), France ($1.8m), Germany ($1.5m) and Brazil ($1.1m). Upcoming releases include Korea and Russia next weekend followed by Japan in late August.
In fourth is Universal and Blumhouse's Ma, which launched with an estimated $18.2 million domestically on a $5 million budget. The film received a "B-" CinemaScore from opening day audiences while playing to a crowd that was 53% female and 53% were aged 25 or older with strong support from African Americans, which made up a majority of the audience at 36%.
Ma also added $2.8 million internationally from 31 markets for a $21.1 million global bow. Leading the way was a $585k debut in the UK followed by Germany ($512k) and Mexico ($501k). Looking ahead, the film will open in France and Spain next week followed by openings in Russia (Jun 13), Korea (Aug 1), Italy (Aug 22), Australia (Aug 22) and Japan (Nov 8).
Rounding out the top five is Lionsgate's John Wick: Chapter 3, which took in an estimated $11.1 million domestically for a cume that now tops $125 million. Additionally, the film grossed an estimated $12.7 million internationally from 77 markets, pushing the international cume to $95.9 million for a global tally topping $221 million.
Next weekend sees the release of Fox's Dark Phoenix in 3,500 locations along with Universal's The Secret Life of Pets 2 in over 4,400 theaters.
You can check out all of this weekend's estimated results right here and we'll be updating our charts with weekend actuals on Monday afternoon.
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