Both of the weekend’s new wide releases, Fox’s “Dark Phoenix” and Universal’s animated sequel “The Secret Life of Pets 2,” failed to entice moviegoers, flailing at the box office after a few weeks of great business from “Avengers: Endgame,” “John Wick 3" and “Aladdin.”
Despite oversize marketing efforts, Illumination Entertainment’s “The Secret Life of Pets 2" disappointed with just $47.1 million earned in the U.S. and Canada this weekend, below analyst projections of $50 million to $60 million, according to estimates from measurement firm Comscore.
Combined with $925,000 grossed through Fandango previews, it earned a cumulative $48 million, still less than half the original film’s $104.3 million opening in 2016 (it went on to earn $875.4 million globally).
The $80-million film earned an A- CinemaScore, but a 54% “rotten” rating on review aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes. With Pixar’s “Toy Story 4" opening in two weeks, “Pets” has a limited window and its long-term franchise potential took a huge blow.
In second place, “Dark Phoenix,” the final entry in Fox’s X-Men Universe, opened with a dismal $33 million, becoming the first film in the franchise to open below $50 million.
The film was rejected by audiences and critics, registering a B- CinemaScore and a 22% “rotten” rating on Rotten Tomatoes, making it the worst reviewed film in the franchise as well as the lowest opening.
Though expected to earn between $40 million and $50 million, “Dark Phoenix” grossed about $30 million less than the disappointing $65.7 million opening of 2016’s “X-Men: Apocalypse.”
Internationally, “Dark Phoenix” earned $107 million for a global debut of $140 million, $14.1 million of which came from global IMAX ticket sales.
Despite the poor openings, the box office enjoyed another “up” weekend, grossing 37% more compared with this weekend last year.
At No. 3, Disney’s “Aladdin” added $24.5 million in its third weekend for a cumulative $232.4 million.
In fourth place, Warner Bros.’ “Godzilla: King of the Monsters” added $15.5 million in its second weekend (a sizable 67% drop) for a cumulative $78.6 million.
Rounding out the top five, Paramount’s “Rocketman” added $14 million in its second weekend (a 46% drop) for a cumulative $50.5 million.
In sixth place, Universal’s “Ma” added $7.8 million in its second weekend (a 57% drop), for a cumulative $32.8 million.
At No. 7, Lionsgate’s “John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum” added $7.4 million in its fourth weekend for a cumulative $138.7 million.
In eighth place, Disney’s “Avengers: Endgame” added $4.8 million in its seventh weekend for a cumulative $824.4 million.
At No. 9, Warner Bros.’ “Pokemon Detective Pikachu” added $3 million in its fifth weekend for a cumulative $137.4 million.
Rounding out the top 10, United Artist Releasing’s “Booksmart” added $1.6 million in its third weekend for a cumulative $17.8 million.
In limited release, Amazon Studio’s R-rated comedy “Late Night” opened in four locations to $249,654 for the year’s best specialty per-screen average of $62,414. The film stars Emma Thompson as a late night talk show host with Mindy Kaling playing her sole female staff writer. It earned an 81% “fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
A24’s critically acclaimed “The Last Black Man in San Francisco” opened in seven locations to $230,744 for a strong per-screen average of $32,963. The R-rated drama chronicles gentrification in the changing city and earned a 94% “fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
CBS Films’ documentary “Pavarotti” opened on 19 screens to $142,500 for a per-screen average of $7,500. The Ron Howard-directed film earned an 84% “fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
This week, the summer of sequels and re-imaginings continues with the opening of Sony and Columbia Pictures’ spinoff “Men in Black: International” and a Warner Bros. “Shaft” reboot.
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