As far as quantity goes, the horror genre has been well represented thus far in 2020, but the same cannot be said in regards to quality. From Nicolas Pesce's The Grudge to Jeff Wadlow's Fantasy Island, to William Brent Bell's Brahms: The Boy II, recent weeks at the box office have been filled with (not) scary movies that have failed to drum up any significant ticket sales. Now, however, Leigh Whannell’s The Invisible Man has broken that slump by arriving in theaters on a wave of excellent buzz, and exceeding expectations.
Take a look at the film’s numbers, as well as the rest of the Top 10, in the chart below, and join me after for analysis!
Going into the weekend, prognosticators estimated that The Invisible Man would make around $20 million in its first three days, but that number kept growing and growing as updates came in throughout the weekend, finally settling just over $29 million. The final figure is just a bit short of the $33.4 million that Jordan Peele’s Get Out made when it was released almost exactly three years ago, but still the champagne is probably flowing at the Blumhouse Productions office.
Though it sports some impressive visual effects, the horror film only cost a reported $7 million to make before publicity and marketing, which means that it has managed to already quadruple that budget with just its domestic opening numbers alone. As noted, The Invisible Man is working with a lot of positive word of mouth – including a 90 percent Rotten Tomatoes score and a “B+” CinemaScore grade – so it’s highly likely that it will continue to make a whole lot of money in the coming weeks.
From a broader perspective, Universal Pictures has to be over the moon with what these results potentially mean for the future of their Universal Classic Monsters brand. Many will remember that their last attempt at a big franchise launch with the great characters was Alex Kurtzman's The Mummy in 2017, and that definitely didn't go as planned. The blockbuster was technically a financial success, making north of $400 million globally on a reported $125 million budget, but it was trashed by critics, and less than 20 percent of the grosses came from domestic ticket sales.
Now the big studio is working with Blumhouse Productions to think smaller, crafting projects based on specific takes by talented filmmakers using the Universal Classic Monsters characters, and the launch has been extremely successful. We can’t say right now where things go from here, as it’s not quite clear how the idea of sequels fits into the grand scheme of what’s happening with the franchise, but given the impact of the performance given by Elisabeth Moss, it would be unsurprising for a groundswell to form in support of a follow-up just to see where the story could potentially go following The Invisible Man’s excellent ending.
The Invisible Man was the only new film from a major studio that hit theaters this past weekend, but it technically wasn't the only wide release, as Kenji Nagasaki's My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising was also played on more than 1,000 screens – and as you can see from the chart, it wound up doing pretty well. The Manga movie was already released in Japan back in late December 2019, and there weren't exactly a ton of expectations for its U.S. debut, but that just makes a number four ranking and its $5.1 million haul that much more impressive. Its predecessor, Nagasaki's My Hero Academia: Two Heroes, only made $5.8 million during its entire domestic run back in the summer of 2018, so the animated film is definitely off to a great start. It's legs probably won't be all that long, but it can be called a success.
The only other the new title to find its way on to the Top 10 this week is Chris Henchy's Impractical Jokers: The Movie, which is a feature-length extension of the truTV prank show. It was initially given a limited release last weekend, resulting in an 11th place finish, but this week it expanded into 1,500-plus additional theaters, allowing it to jump up to seventh place. Again, this isn't a film that is going to be lingering around for a long time at the box office, but it certainly couldn't have cost a lot of money to make, and it will probably end up being called profitable by the time its finished playing on the big screen.
On the milestone front, we only have one movie to highlight this week, with Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah's Bad Boys For Life crossing $400 million worldwide. The blockbuster is far and away the most successful release in the Bad Boys franchise, and while things are still coming together on the sequel front, it likely won't be long until we see Will Smith and Martin Lawrence back in theaters everywhere for a fourth adventure as Miami detectives Mike Lowrey and Marcus Burnett.
Finally, it would appear that this is the weekend that we finally say goodbye to Jake Kasdan's Jumanji: The Next Level, which has been a part of the Top 10 since it first came out in early December 2019. Much like its predecessor, the feature managed to outlast a Star Wars film as far as legs go, with J.J. Abrams' Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker fading away a few weeks ago, and it's still possible that the movie could make $800 million globally before it's done playing on the big screen (at this time it has made $790.9 million).
Coming up this weekend we have an interesting quartet of features ready to hit theaters in wide release, including Dan Scanlon's animated fantasy adventure Onward, Autumn de Wilde's Jane Austen adaptation Emma, Gavin O'Conner's basketball drama The Way Back, and Kelly Reichardt's western First Cow. We'll be back next Sunday to see how these films wind up impacting the Top 10, so be sure to come back then!
NJ native who calls LA home; lives in a Dreamatorium. A decade-plus CinemaBlend veteran; endlessly enthusiastic about the career he’s dreamt of since seventh grade.
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