Shazam! goes bang!

    Author Tom Linay

The Weekend Round-up

  • DC Comics’ first film of 2019, Shazam! continued the recent success of their stand-alone movies, launching with £4.1m, which includes £120k from previews. The last DC film was December’s Aquaman, which kicked off its run with £5.2m, including £1.4m from previews, so when comparing their Friday to Sunday totals Shazam! comes out on top. Aquaman then made a good fist of the Christmas holiday period to finish on £22.5m and Shazam! will be hoping for good returns across the Easter holiday period, which starts today.
  • After opening in the top spot last weekend, Dumbo, came back down to earth falling 43% this weekend to £3.5m. That takes its total after 10 days in cinema to £12.1m and with the Easter school holidays kicking off today, it will be looking to at least have doubled that figure by the end of its run. Cinderella finished on £21.3m so Dumbo is well on track to top that.
  • Pet Sematary opened in third with £1.6m, which includes £303k from previews after opening on Thursday. There have been two high profile Stephen King adaptations in the last couple of years and they experienced wildly different fortunes. Opening less than a month apart in 2017, The Dark Tower opened with £911k on its way to £2.8m, and It opened with £10m on its way to £32.3m. Pet Sematary was in between the two but a bit closer to The Dark Tower, sadly. 
  • Captain Marvel came in fourth, adding £1.2m for a new total of £34.6m. It is currently the eighth highest grossing film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and with the help of the Easter holidays should be able to climb above the two films sixth and seventh in that list, Captain America: Civil War and Iron Man 3, which both finished on £37m.
  • Peppa Pig: Festival of Fun completed the top five, opening with £983k. This is the third film from the popular children’s character and it has opened at a very similar level to the best performing to date, 2017’s Peppa Pig: My First Cinema Experience, which opened with £1.1m on the same weekend in 2017. It finished its run with £3.7m, so that’s the aim forFestival Of Fun.
  • Outside of the top five, two new entries landed in the lower reaches of the top 10. Laika’s stop-motion comedy Missing Link opened in seventh with £645k (including £3k from previews), and John C. Reilly and Joaquin Phoenix western, The Sisters Brothers opened in ninth with £253k (including £26k from previews).

Overall the box office is up 18% from last weekend and down 3% from the same weekend last year when the top films were Peter RabbitA Quiet Place, Ready Player One and Love, Simon. The same weekend last year was boosted by preview figures for A Quiet Place to the tune of £704k, so that 3% drop can be attributed to that.

Next Weekend

  • Wonder Park is an animation that tells the story of an amusement park where the imagination of a wildly creative girl named June comes alive. Mila Kunis, Jennifer Garner and John Oliver are in the voice cast. It is in cinemas from today.
  • Hellboy is based on the graphic novels by Mike Mignola. Hellboy (Stranger Things’ David Harbour), caught between the worlds of the supernatural and human, battles an ancient sorceress bent on revenge. It’s in cinemas from Thursday.
  • Wild Rose stars the soon-to-be-huge Jessie Buckley as a musician from Glasgow who dreams of becoming a Nashville star.
  • Little is a comedy starring Regina Hall as a woman who is transformed into her younger self at a point in her life when the pressures of adulthood become too much to bear.
  • Mid90s is Jonah Hill’s directorial debut and follows Stevie, a thirteen-year-old in 1990s-era Los Angeles who spends his summer navigating between his troubled home life and a group of new friends that he meets at a Motor Avenue skate shop. 

The Buzz

Last week was CinemaCon in Las Vegas, which means that all the major distributors were presenting their wares to exhibitors from around the world. One of the most talked about films of the week was unsurprisingly The Lion King. With Dumbo in cinemas at the moment, the focus is on Disney’s re-imaginings of their classic animations and the audience at CinemaCon were the first people to see an entire scene from the film, complete with the animals talking. Variety were totally sold, commenting ‘director Jon Favreau has created a stunningly realistic African savannah, a sun-baked landscape that teems with herds of antelopes and elephants. A spider web is all dew-caked gossamer, the long grasses sway in the wind, and the lions’ fur is a thing of beauty, matted and moving along with the breeze. The footage, despite its familiarity, received strong applause from the crowd of theatre owners, who weren’t just blown away by the technical accomplishment — they no doubt recognize a box office smash when they see one.’ IndieWire were similarly effusive saying ‘the new footage Disney showed at CinemaCon dazzled press so much that it’s clear the film is a visual effects game-changer that demands to be seen on the biggest screen possible.’ It’s in UK cinemas on the biggest screens possible from 19 July.

Across The Pond

Shazam! opened at the top of the box office in the US too kicking off its run with an impressive $53.4m and in second place was horror-adaptation Pet Sematary, which opened with $25m. Last week’s top film, Dumbo, fell 60% in third to $18.2m, which takes its total to $76.3m. Us took a similar fall in fourth, dropping 58% to 13.8%, which takes its total to $152.4m. Captain Marvel completed the top five adding $12.7m for a new cume of $374.1m.