Abominable Box Office: The Animated Yeti Movie Takes The Top Spot With A Modest Performance

Abominable Everest and friends ride in a train

It was almost exactly one year ago that Warner Bros. Animation released their feature Smallfoot, telling the story of a yeti that finds itself out of its element and needing human assistance to get back home. The movie made $23 million in its opening weekend, and was considered a mild success. Now in 2019 we are looking at an almost identical situation, with Dreamworks Animation's Abominable putting up a similar three-day domestic numbers. The big difference is that Smallfoot had to settle for second place, while Abominable is now king at the box office.

Check out the full Top 10 below, and join me after for analysis!

Abominable Box Office September 27-29, 2019 CinemaBlend

While Smallfoot had to compete with the star power of Kevin Hart and Tiffany Haddish in its opening weekend, Night School making $27.3 million in its opening weekend, Abominable didn't actually have any competition from other wide releases, which really kept the door open for it to be the biggest feature in North America over the last three days. Surely also helping it is the fact that it has been a minute since we've seen a feature targeted at kids, given that the huge distraction that is the new school year has been in effect over the last month or so.

Of course, if the new animated feature does wind up following the same path as its 2018 predecessor, it should wind up making a nice chunk of change by the time it's done with its theatrical run. Admittedly Smallfoot had way more star power in operation, featuring a voice cast including Channing Tatum, James Corden, Zendaya, Danny DeVito, Gina Rodriguez, Common, and even LeBron James, but it went on to make $214.1 million worldwide. It should be noted that does include a $130.9 million injection from foreign markets, and to date Abominable has only made an additional $10.2 million from the same sources - but that could change in a major way in the coming weeks (especially because of money from China, as the film is actually co-production with Dreamworks Animation's Chinese sister company Pearl Studio.

For now, Abominable seems to be on a good track, boosted by a mostly-positive reception from professional critics, and getting a very warm response from audiences in the form of an "A" grade on CinemaScore. It definitely won't be the number one movie in America for long, as there is some very hotly-anticipated movies coming out in early October, but it can enjoy this moment in the spotlight, and might stick around in the Top 10 for a minute.

Abominable Everest and friends ride in a train

The only other notable new release this past weekend was Rupert Goold's Judy - which played in less than 1000 theaters nationwide - but it actually did rather spectacularly for being a limited release. While $3.1 million over three days and seventh place might not seem like a big deal, the movie can proudly say that it had a higher per theater average than any other movie in the Top 20 this week, earning about $6,706 per location. That's not hugely surprising given that Renee Zellweger's performance in the lead role, portraying entertainment legend Judy Garland, has been earning wide acclaim and Oscar buzz. Right now it doesn't seem to be set up for an upcoming wide release, but don't be shocked if we wind up seeing a major expansion in the coming weeks.

As for the rest of the field,nothing performed extraordinarily well, though it is notable that all of the major releases from last weekend experienced minor drops - none over 55 percent compared to their last Friday-to-Sunday. In that respect, the best among them was James Gray's Ad Astra, which only went down 46.6 percent, and still managed an eight figure total. Michael Engler's Downton Abbey fell 53.3 percent. allowing it to hold on to second place, and Adrian Grunberg's Rambo: Last Blood had the most significant dip with 54.6 percent.

As for box office milestones, there really weren't any this weekend, though Andres Muschiett's IT Chapter Two is inching ever-closer to $200 million (thus far it has made $417.4 million globally). And while it's not quite there yet, Lorene Scafarias' Hustlers looks like it is definitely going to be a part of 2019's $100 million club by the time it concludes its big screen run. We're also now saying bon voyage to David Leitch's Hobbs & Shaw, which, after nine weeks, has exited the Top 10 with a domestic gross of $172,256,465.

I hinted at it earlier, but next week the majority of the conversation will almost certainly be around Todd Phillips' Joker, which has been winning awards and stirring up strange controversy for months now, and is finally going to be hitting theaters everywhere on Friday. Also in limited release will be Noah Hawley's Lucy In The Sky, Pedro Almodóvar's Pain And Glory, and Kevin McMullin's Low Tide, and we'll have to wait and see if any of them get a big enough audience to make the Top 10 chart. Tune in next Sunday to find out!

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

Eric Eisenberg is the Assistant Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. After graduating Boston University and earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism, he took a part-time job as a staff writer for CinemaBlend, and after six months was offered the opportunity to move to Los Angeles and take on a newly created West Coast Editor position. Over a decade later, he's continuing to advance his interests and expertise. In addition to conducting filmmaker interviews and contributing to the news and feature content of the site, Eric also oversees the Movie Reviews section, writes the the weekend box office report (published Sundays), and is the site's resident Stephen King expert. He has two King-related columns.