Just when you thought Disney’s live-action remake train was beginning to derail, they deliver the 2nd biggest opening for a musical of all time with ‘Aladdin’, which earned $91.5m over its 1st 3 days. It’s a fantastic achievement for the studio who, after years of poor Memorial Day openings (think ‘Solo’, ‘Pirates of the Caribbean 5’, ‘Alice Through the Looking Glass’, ‘Tomorrowland’), finally have stumbled onto a winner. It wasn’t the happiest weekend for others however, with ‘Brightburn’ and ‘Booksmart’ in particular failing to take advantage of the 4-day weekend.

How did the new releases get on?

We start with Disney’s ‘Aladdin’, starring Will Smith, Mena Massoud, and Naomi Scott. By earning $91.5m by Sunday night, and $116.8m by Monday, ‘Aladdin’ became the biggest Memorial Day opening since ‘Fast & Furious 6’ over half a decade ago, and currently stands as the 5th largest for the 4-day period in history.

It was, of course, fully aided by an audience unconcerned with middling critical reviews, as cinemagoers gave it a glowing A on Cinemascore, mirroring other musicals with similar critic feedback such as ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ and ‘The Greatest Showman’. This isn’t to say that ‘Aladdin’ will achieve the $903.2m global heights of ‘Rhapsody’, or the insane 20x opening weekend multiplier of ‘Showman’, but ‘Aladdin’ now has the platform to become a smash hit.

It enjoyed similar success internationally, earning around $121m by Sunday night for a near-$260m global total by the end of Monday. This already leaves the film just shy of ‘Alice Through the Looking Glass’ entire worldwide gross of $299.5m, and by next weekend will’ve passed this year’s ‘Dumbo’ to become the 7th biggest in the Disney re-imaginings franchise. Next is ‘Toy Story 4’ and ‘Lion King’, 2 absolute behemoths promising to continue the studio’s Box Office dominance into the summer.

This weekend also saw the releases of ‘Brightburn’, the superhero horror from Sony, and ‘Booksmart’, the critical-darling from Annapurna and UAR. While ‘Brightburn’s $9.5m 3-day start was solid (if not unremarkable) from its $6m budget, ‘Booksmart’ disappointed this weekend, pulling in just $6.9m by Sunday night, off of a $10m production cost.

The coming-of-age comedy, starring Kaitlyn Dever and Beanie Feldstein, sits on an incredible 97% on Rotten Tomatoes, yet found itself at the mercy of UAR’s poor streak at the Box Office after both ‘Missing Link’ and ‘The Hustle’ failed to kick on. All isn’t lost for the film, which marks Olivia Wilde’s full-length directorial debut, although its ordinary B+ on Cinemascore may hinder any chances of a leggy run.

 

How did the others do?

It was a bigger 3-day drop than expected for Keanu Reeves’ ‘John Wick 3’, which still ended Sunday night as the biggest domestic hit of the franchise so far with a $107.6m running total. The action-thriller earned $24.6m, dropping by 57% into 2nd place, ahead of ‘Endgame’, which became only the 2nd film ever to cross the $800m domestic mark. The film sits on a $803.4m total, after earning a $17.2m 3-day weekend, and $22.1m over the 4 days.