'Secret Life of Pets 2' and 'Dark Phoenix' Both Struggle at the Box Office
by Brad Brevet
June 6, 2019
SATURDAY AM UPDATE: Universal and Illumination's The Secret Life of Pets 2 led the way on Friday with an estimated $16.5 million for a current domestic total of $17.4 million, which includes Thursday night's preview grosses as well as $925k from the May 25 Fandango event. At this time the film is looking at a weekend gross around $46.2 million, missing expectations. The film received an "A-" CinemaScore from opening day audiences.
Disney's release of Fox's Dark Phoenix is also missing expectations, delivering an estimated $14 million on Friday, heading toward a three-day gross around $35 million. The film, which was the worst reviewed of the X-Men franchise, received a "B-" CinemaScore from opening day audiences.
You can check out all of the Friday estimates right here and we'll be back tomorrow morning with a complete look at the weekend.
FRIDAY AM UPDATE: Fox's Dark Phoenix took in $5 million from Thursday evening previews, which began last night at 7PM along with select Fan Events starting at 6pm in IMAX. The performance matches the $5 million in previews for War for the Planet of the Apes, which went on to debut with $56 million, but is well behind the $8.2 million in previews for X-Men: Apocalypse, which debuted with $65.7 million three years ago.
Universal and Illumination's The Secret Life of Pets 2 brought in $2.3 million from Thursday night previews beginning at 6PM in 3,250 locations. The performance is $3 million behind the performance for the first film and just $100K ahead of the preview gross for The LEGO Batman Movie, which opened with $53 million back in February 2017 and $200k ahead of previews for The LEGO Movie 2, which debuted with $34 million this past February. It should be noted this figure does not include grosses from the special Fandgo event back on May 25, which took place on 1,200 screens across the country. Those grosses will be rolled into Friday's number.
We'll take a closer look at things tomorrow morning once Friday estimates come in. For now you can check out our weekend preview below.
WEEKEND PREVIEW: The 2019 yearly box office continues to improve, currently closing the year-to-year gap to a -7.5% difference after a strong week that began with Godzilla: King of the Monsters topping the weekend box office, but it has been Disney's Aladdin that is making the most waves lately, surpassing $500 million globally today while moving ahead of Godzilla as the week's top performing title. This weekend will continue the trend with a top twelve that should threaten a combined $175 million, well ahead of the same weekend last year, led by new releases in Universal's The Secret Life of Pets 2 and Fox's final chapter in their X-Men franchise, Dark Phoenix.
At the top of this weekend's box office look for Universal's latest animated collaboration with Illumination, The Secret Life of Pets 2, to deliver a $50+ million performance, which is well behind the $104 million debut for the original. As we've been seeing these past couple of weekends it's a very crowded marketplace and with Disney's Aladdin still playing well, it creates some real competition when it comes to family features.
A look at IMDb page view data shows Pets 2 pacing severely behind the original over the two weeks leading up to release as well as pacing behind the likes of Monsters University, How To Train Your Dragon 2, Cars 3 and Despicable Me 3. The best comp when it comes to IMDb page view performance is currently The LEGO Movie 2, which opened with $34 million this past February. Also not helping matters are reviews, which have been mixed-to-negative coming in with a score of 53 on Metacritic and 57% on RottenTomatoes. Overall, we're going with a $51 million forecast from 4,561 locations, but that's mostly based on the massive success of the first film or we might otherwise be looking at a sub-$50 million start.
Internationally, Pets 2 has already delivered over $34 million from 12 markets so far and it will open in an additional 17 this weekend.
Disney's release of Fox's final X-Men film, Dark Phoenix is finally hitting theaters after originally being slated for a November 2018 release. The film will debut in over 3,700 locations and while the studio is anticipating a debut in the $40-50 million range that is looking like it could be a tough range to hit. Reviews for the film are terrible, coming in at 23% on RottenTomatoes, ranking as the worst in the X-Men franchise on the aggregation site.
A look at IMDb page view performance is equally depressing, showing the film pacing well behind the likes of X-Men: Apocalypse and even 2017's The Mummy, which itself disappointed with a $31.6 million opening after dreadful reviews. The best comparison when looking at IMDb's page view data is actually 2016's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows, which Dark Phoenix is out-pacing over the two weeks leading up to release, but that film's $35 million debut is hardly impressive.
Internationally, Dark Phoenix debuts day and date in all major territories except for Indonesia (Jun 14) and Japan (Jun 21).
As mentioned in our lede, Disney's Aladdin will top $500 million globally today, surpassing the lifetime global cume of Oz: The Great and Powerful ($493m) as well as the lifetime domestic cume of Cinderella ($201m) after surpassing the $200 million mark yesterday. This weekend we're looking for a dip around -43% or so for a three-day in the vicinity of $24.5 million. Should our forecast hold, the domestic cume should be around $233 million by the end of the weekend.
Fourth and fifth could be a fight between Godzilla: King of the Monsters and Paramount's Rocketman. On the one hand we're anticipating a steep drop for the Godzilla sequel, somewhere around -65% or so, for a three-day around $16.7 million. At the same time, we're expecting Rocketman to only dip around -38%, which would put it right around $16 million if it can meet that number.
In limited release, A24 will debut The Last Black Man in San Francisco in seven locations and Super LTD will release This One's for the Ladies in one theater.
This weekend's forecast is directly below. This post will be updated on Friday morning with Thursday night preview results followed by Friday estimates on Saturday morning, and a complete weekend recap on Sunday morning.
- The Secret Life of Pets 2 (4,561 theaters) - $51.0 M
- Dark Phoenix (3,721 theaters) - $39.2 M
- Aladdin (3,805 theaters) - $24.8 M
- Godzilla: King of the Monsters (4,108 theaters) - $16.7 M
- Rocketman (3,610 theaters) - $16.0 M
- Ma (2,816 theaters) - $8.3 M
- John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum (2,776 theaters) - $6.3 M
- Avengers: Endgame (2,121 theaters) - $4.9 M
- Pokemon Detective Pikachu (2,161 theaters) - $3.7 M
- Booksmart (1,134 theaters) - $1.4 M
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