Weekend Box Office Report

Phil Crone

Birds of a Feather
"Birds of Prey" takes the top slot at the box office to the surprise of no one, but its total gross of just $33,010,017 marks a new low for the DC Extended Universe ("DCEU"). That opening is just two thirds that of the DCEU's lowest opening to date, last year's "Shazam!," which opened with $53M in early April. Of course, we have to ask… What happened here? There could be several factors explaining "Birds of Prey's" lackluster opening, but it strikes me as marketing mismanagement. Warner Bros. have certainly had their fair share of head-scratcher openings - who in FML could forget the disaster that was "Doctor Sleep" or last February's "yikes" opening of "The Lego Movie: The Second Part?" WB did not even have tickets on sale for "Birds of Prey" until about a week ago - you could buy tickets for "Fast & Furious 9" before "Birds of Prey!" Lastly, the stench of "Suicide Squad" seems to have not worn off Harley Quinn just yet. Still, with just an $85M budget (similar to "Shazam!"), there's still hope that international box office allows "Birds of Prey" breaks even, but it's not a foregone conclusion.

Not Alright Alright Alright
Even with lackluster prospects, "Birds of Prey" still anchored almost 80% of all FML Cineplexes, with "Birds of Prey"/"The Gentlemen" x6/"Parasite" as the most popular combination with 362 FMLers opting for it. "Birds of Prey" ended up crushing most that played it, as it ended up your Worst Performer of the weekend. "The Gentlemen" did fine but not much better to help the prospects of "Birds of Prey" players, as it finished midpack in value, never threatening to crack the Best Performer race.

Doctor Do-lots
Box office results have been lacking for "Dolittle" - case in point, it took 24 days on the market to finally surpass its fellow MLK weekend wide release "Bad Boys For Life's" $62.5M opening FSS. However, it's had a sneaky solid FML run thus far, with two top-3 $/Bux value finishes on its resume already. Now, it can add a Best Performer win to the trophy case. "Dolittle" held serve this weekend, falling just 14% to $6,534,580 and easily winning the BP over "Gretel & Hansel," which made another strong value showing this weekend.

"Dolittle" allowed for a handful of anchor options, but ultimately its fellow MLK release referenced above proved to just be the best of a lot of bad options. While "Bad Boys For Life" didn't even manage a top 10 value finish, it didn't matter as the other anchors did so poorly, yielding a Perfect Cineplex of "Bad Boys for Life" x4/"Dolittle" x4, which grossed $87,183,740 after including $13M in bonuses. Well done to the 60 FMLers who caught the PC this weekend!

Gotta Go Fast
We got a lot going on this weekend, with it being both a four-day holiday weekend for President's Day and Friday being a box office boon in Valentine's Day. And what better way to spend the most romantic day of the year than catching the Blue Blur's big screen debut! Yes, "Sonic the Hedgehog" makes his big-screen debut nearly 30 years after Blast Processing your face off on the Sega Genesis. Also debuting this weekend, we have Blumhouse back in the Valentine's Day slot with "Fantasy Island," a move that worked wonders for "Happy Death Day 2U." Then we have "The Photograph," an actual movie about love on Valentine's Day… Weird strategy that we'll see if it works. Lastly, Will Ferrell and Juila Louis-Dreyfuss team up for the domestic "Force Majeure" remake in "Downhill." Set your lineups by Friday Noon Eastern/9 AM Pacific and we'll see you here next week!