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“Madea” and “Greta” Challenge “Dragons” as Spring 2019 Kicks Off

The spring movie season of 2019 got off to somewhat of a slow start this weekend with two relatively minor releases challenging last week’s frontrunner “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World”. With several big releases on the way including “Captain Marvel”, “Us”, “Dumbo”, and “Shazam!” studios were looking to grab whatever dollars they could, making this past weekend a big one for holdovers while several Oscar winners enjoyed the benefits of their award wins. So who managed to take the weekend? Let’s take a look with this week’s Box Office Breakdown.

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At the top for a second weekend was “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World” which earned $30 million, a little less than expected from early projections in its sophomore weekend. Still the final installment in the trilogy is pacing ahead of its predecessors and has earned $97.6 million domestically while earning another $52 million internationally bringing its worldwide total to $375 million. Not bad for the lowest costing movie in the franchise and with eight markets left to see the film “The Hidden World” looks like it will maintain some decent momentum even with competition on the way.

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In second was the first new film of the weekend, and a rare major release I chose to skip, “A Madea Family Funeral”. The ninth and reportedly final installment in Tyler Perry’s “Madea” franchise brought in $27 million making it the fourth largest debut in the series. Reviews for the film were about in line with much of the other entries with the movie being borderline crucified while viewers were much more supportive of its odd brand of comedy. “Alita: Battle Angel” continued to show unexpected staying power in third with another $7 million domestically and $40.4 million internationally for a global total of over $350 million to date. “The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part” held in fourth with $6.6 million and another $6.1 million in the international market. Stirred by its controversial win for Best Picture, “Green Book” entered the top five for the first time with $4.7 million bringing its domestic total to $75 million and its worldwide gross to $188 million.

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Outside the top ten, the Paige biopic “Fighting with My Family” dropped two spots from last week to sixth while the comedy “Isn’t It Romantic” slid out of the top five to seventh. You have to drop back to eighth to find the other brand new film in the top ten with “Greta”. The stalker thriller from Focus Features received mixed reviews from critics and wasn’t heavily embraced by moviegoers who turned out to the tune of $4.5 million domestically. This was the film I DID see this past weekend and you can read my take on the picture here. Rounding out the top five were “What Men Want” and “Happy Death Day 2U”. Elsewhere on the chart “Green Book” wasn’t the only Oscar winner to benefit from its win last weekend. Best Animated Feature winner “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” shot from sixteenth to eleventh over the weekend while Best Original Song winner “A Star is Born” rose from twentieth to thirteenth. “Bohemian Rhapsody”, which earned the most Oscars including the Best Actor award, jumped from nineteenth to seventeenth while “The Favourite”, which earned Olivia Coleman the Best Actress Oscar, reentered the top twenty in nineteenth.

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Next week is a no-brainer for the box office crown. Marvel Studios’ first female-led MCU movie “Captain Marvel” will debut in theaters and is estimated to earn as much as $140 million in its opening weekend. However the film has been the target of internet trolls who have taken to posting negative reviews before even seeing the movie to sabotage its success due to star Brie Larson’s recent comments about demanding diversity among journalists on the press tour. With 2019 starting off slow and Marvel having a near flawless track record at the box office since the MCU was launched in 2008 there’s a lot on “Captain Marvel’s” shoulders. We’ll see if the film performs as expected this time next week.

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