Abominable’ freezes competition with $21m opening

Just the 1 wide release this weekend saw DreamWorks’ ‘Abominable’ open to $20.6m – the biggest start of any original animation this year so far. It was enough to see it top the charts, marking Universal’s 2nd in as many weeks, after ‘Downton Abbey’ posted $31m 7 days ago. ‘Downton’ was able to come away with $14m this time around for a $60m running total, while newcomer ‘Judy’ snuck into the top 10 with $2.9m, from under 500 cinemas.

 

How did the new releases get on?

As mentioned, ‘Abominable’, the joint Pearl/DreamWorks production, opened to an expected $21m, the biggest in 2019 for any original animation. While the stat becomes less impressive once you realise its competition came mainly from Paramount-flop ‘Wonder Park’ ($15.9m), it also becomes the 5th biggest animated opening of the year outright, behind only ‘The Lion King’, ‘How to Train Your Dragon 3’, ‘The Secret Life of Pets 2’, and ‘The LEGO Movie 2’.

It’s also an opening that harkens back to year’s ‘Smallfoot’. The film opened at the tail-end of September, which is one of many similarities between the pair, to a solid $23m on its way to a $83.2m domestic total. A similar performance for ‘Abominable’ will see it $76m, a disappointing gross considering its $75m budget, and one that’ll require a lot of help from overseas.

Luckily, that’s where Pearl Studios comes in. The Chinese production company hopes to hit big in the middle kingdom with their Shanghai-based story and lead characters. Currently, the film’s earned $10.2m internationally, including $8.8m this weekend, and has a few days to go before its Chinese release on 1st October further boosts its global numbers.

Elsewhere, LD Entertainment’s ‘Judy’, starring Renée Zellweger as Judy Garland, opened to an impressive $2.9m from just 461 cinemas. The biographical drama reached 7th spot, and benefited from the best per-cinema average of the top 10, with $6.3k.

 

How did the others do?

There was a bigger drop than expected for ‘Downton Abbey’ this weekend, as the TV-adaptation fell by 54% to post a $14.3m gross. It’s in-line with ‘Murder on the Orient Express52% fall, although that had the disadvantage of coming up against ‘Justice League’s $94m opening.

Downton’s excuse? A hungry audience who’d already come out in their droves to see it on the opening day. Luckily, its immense critical reception has lent itself well going forward, appealing to non-fans and casuals alike.

Fox-Disney effort ‘Ad Astra’ earned $10m – a 47% fall. Much like last year’s ‘First Man’ (which saw a 48% drop in its 2nd weekend), ‘Ad Astra’s on course for a $50m-ish domestic total – a far cry from the $100m+ needed to break-even.

 

Other notables from the weekend

  • Abominable’s weekend win marks Universal’s 12th of the year so far, more than any other studio. Disney are 2nd with 11, followed by Warner Bros with 8.
  • The Lion King’ has remained in the top 10 for 11 weeks, with only ‘Jumanji’ and ‘Silver Linings Playbook’ (with 12), ‘Black Panther’ and ‘La La Land’ (with 13), ‘Frozen’ (16), and ‘Zootopia’ (17) bettering it this decade.
  • Hobbs & Shaw’s $172.2m running domestic total now marks the biggest non-Disney summer release of the year, overtaking ‘John Wick 3 ($171m).
  • Spider-Man: Far From Home’ has earned $390.2m domestically, moving it past ‘Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2’ as the 9th highest-grossing MCU movie.
  • The Peanut Butter Falcon’, starring Shia LaBeouf and Dakota Johnson, became the highest platform (limited-to-wide) release of the year this weekend, out-grossing ‘The Farewell ($17.5m) and ‘Late Night’ ($15.5m).

 

 

Rank Last Week Rank Film STUDIO Total U.S. Gross Weekend Gross Weekend drop JUMPCUT’s prediction Week number
1 New! Abominable Universal $20.6m $20.6m $23m 1
2 1 Downton Abbey Focus Features $58.3m $14.3m -53.8% $15.9m 2
3 5 Hustlers STX Entertainment $80.6m $11.4m -32.2% $9.5m 3
4 4 It Chapter Two Warner Bros $193.8m $10.2m -39.8% $8.8m 4
5 2 Ad Astra Fox-Disney $35.4m $10m -47.3% $10.6m 2
6 3 Rambo: Last Blood Lionsgate $33.2m $8.6m -54.4% $8.3m 2
7 New! Judy LD Entertainment $2.9m $2.9m 1
8 7 Good Boys Universal $80.4m $2.1m -20.2% $1.7m 7
9 6 The Lion King Disney $540.1m $1.7m -38.1% $1.9m 11
10 8 Angel Has Fallen Lionsgate $67.2m $1.5m -37.1% $1.4m 6

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