Those who regularly follow box office news know that with the most recent flip of the calendar we have entered one of the most depressing months of the cinematic year. As much as things have changed in the modern era when it comes to movie scheduling, August has long remained an annual bummer, with studios often using the weeks to release titles without a great deal of promise. That on the table, the next few installments of this column may have a bit of a pessimistic attitude, but at the very least David Leitch's Hobbs & Shaw has done a nice job injecting some blockbuster action into start of the August doldrums.
Check out its opening weekend numbers, as well as the rest of the Top 10, below, and join me after for analysis!
With a take of $60.8 million, the opening weekend numbers for Hobbs & Shaw are the weakest for a blockbuster with "Fast & Furious" in the title since 2009's fourth chapter in the main series, but it can still be called a solid start for the spin-off. It's true that the film had a fairly ridiculous budget of $200 million (before marketing), and that means it's going to have to do quite well to before being considered truly profitable, but the release is in a relatively good position.
For starters, one has to take into consideration the money coming in from foreign markets, which has always been one of the Fast & Furious franchise's strengths. The ratio of domestic vs. non-domestic money has been significantly shifting in recent years, with more than 81 percent of The Fate of the Furious' $1.2 billion take coming from countries outside of North America. Already it looks like this new release is going to fit in with that trend as well. Abroad, Hobbs & Shaw has already made near double the $60.8 million its made here with a take of $120 million in its first few days.
We always knew that the domestic figures for the movie were going to be significantly padded, but there is also a very good chance that the release is going to have some significant legs. While August isn't totally without notable releases, Hobbs and Shaw is the last real "blockbuster" of summer 2019, and people are legitimately digging it. Not only has it gotten a modest thumbs up from critics, but audiences surveyed by CinemaScore delivered the film an "A-" rating, which is tied for the second highest in the franchise (only Fast Five and 6 got "A" grades).
Competition-wise, the biggest obstacle for Hobbs & Shaw going forward is kid-friendly material, and after the disappointment of The Secret Life Of Pets 2 earlier this season it's clear that nothing is guaranteed to hit big. Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark, Dora And The Lost City Of Gold, and The Angry Birds Movie 2 could all make some nice cash in their opening weekends, but it's also not impossible that the Fast & Furious spin-off will be the number one movie in America for most of the weeks between now and the arrival of IT: Chapter 2.
With other studios steering clear of Hobbs & Shaw, it was the only new wide release in theaters this weekend, which left the rest of the field to perform... adequately. Following its strong opening weekend, Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon A Time In Hollywood dipped behind Jon Favreau's The Lion King, but the numbers are still impressive for an original release in the modern era. Compared to its first Friday-to-Sunday, it only dropped 51.3 percent, and already it ranks as the writer/director's fourth biggest film domestically, having surpassed the $70.1 million made by Kill Bill Vol. 1 in 2003. The release should wind up being Tarantino's fourth to make nine figures, joining Pulp Fiction ($107.9 million), Inglourious Basterds ($120.5 million), and Django Unchained ($162.8 million).
Thanks to the numbers from this weekend, Guy Ritchie's Aladdin is also now the fifth movie released so far in 2019 that has made more than a billion dollars at the global box office. Of those releases, four are currently playing in theaters - with Avengers: Endgame. The Lion King and Spider-Man: Far From Home also reaching that benchmark - though the web-slinger blockbuster is notably the only one of the bunch not released by Disney (despite being a part of a Disney-owned franchise). Now only being about $40 million away, Toy Story 4 will likely be the next title to join the club. As you can probably guess, the jury is still out on whether Hobbs & Shaw will wind up getting there.
Just like last week, I again conclude by highlighting the performance of Lulu Wang's The Farewell, which managed to show up on the Top 10 last week despite only showing in 135 theaters nationwide. This past weekend A24 more than doubled the size of its release, with the theater count rising to 409, and the push absolutely worked. The movie now the seventh biggest movie in America, and could continue to quietly do significant business in the next few weeks.
Earlier I highlighted the forthcoming arrival of Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark and Dora and the Lost City of Gold, but they are actually just two of five new wide releases getting set to arrive in a cinema near you this Friday. Audiences will also get the chance to enjoy the dog-centric drama The Art Of Racing In The Rain, the true story-inspired Brian Banks, and the period gangster movie The Kitchen. How exactly all of these movies will wind up doing is an interesting question mark right now, but what will certainly be true is that the Top 10 is going to look entirely different by next Sunday, with many titles mentioned above no longer on the chart. Be sure to come back then to find out how everything shakes out, and keep coming back to CinemaBlend through the week for all the latest box office updates and more.
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NJ native who calls LA home and lives in a Dreamatorium. A decade-plus CinemaBlend veteran who is endlessly enthusiastic about the career he’s dreamt of since seventh grade.