Records continued to be broken and challenged at the box office over the weekend, and not just by “Avengers: Endgame”. The superhero epic solidified itself in cinema history once again with big numbers over its third weekend, but it faced its first true challenger in “Pokémon Detective Pikachu” which saw a solid, record breaking weekend of its own. It was a battle to two massive franchises and fanbases as these two films dueled for weekend supremacy, but which one came out on top? Let’s find out in this week’s Box Office Breakdown.
Despite a worthy challenge by “Detective Pikachu”, “Endgame” took home the box office crown again, its third week at the top, with a $63 million weekend bringing its domestic numbers to $723.5 million making it the third highest grossing film of all time domestically. “Endgame” is only $37 million away from topping “Avatar” for second place but has a long way to go to reach number one, over $200 million to be exact, and surpass “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”. Internationally “Endgame” earned another $102.3 million bringing that total to $1.76 billion for a global total of $2.485 billion. “Endgame” is now solidly in second behind “Avatar” on the all-time international and worldwide release lists needing $265 million and $302 million to top both lists respectively. It’s surpassing “Titanic” earned it compliments from director James Cameron on social media and now has people debating whether it will have enough steam to challenge for the all-time crown. Even though “Endgame” had proven to have staying power those numbers will become harder and harder to reach with each passing week and considering that “Avatar” earned part of its total through re-release runs it may take a monster holdover effort, even for a Marvel film, to get to that milestone. A fun note here by the way. Five movies have topped $2 billion globally at the box office and Zoe Saldana has starred in three of them playing major roles in “Endgame”, “Avatar”, and “Avengers: Infinity War”. The other two films are “Titanic” and “The Force Awakens”.
In second was “Detective Pikachu” which set records of its own as not only the largest debut for a video game movie, but also as the highest rated movie based on a video game property on Rotten Tomatoes (that I could find at least) with a 63% approval rating on the aggregate site. With a domestic debut of $58 million, “Detective Pikachu” topped “Lara Croft Tomb Raider” for the largest opening by a video game adaptation on the big screen in the United States. Projections have the film bringing decent to excellent holdover success and likely becoming the highest grossing big screen video game adaptation in domestic cinema history. In the international market “Detective Pikachu” earned another $103 million a week after grabbing $13 million in its debut in Japan. You can read my review of “Detective Pikachu” here.
Following “Detective Pikachu” to round out the top three was “The Hustle”. The female-driven soft-remake of “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels”, “The Hustle” earned $13.5 million in its opening weekend, a tad higher than expected, despite poor reviews and a poor track record for comedies in the past few months. In fact, to date, “The Upside” is the only film designated as primarily a comedy to top the box office in 2019 although other comedy driven films, like “Shazam!”, have managed to succeed as well. I DID happen to see this movie over the weekend however I did not have the time to do a review as I wanted to make sure “Detective Pikachu” was covered first. I will be posting a review of “The Hustle” this week so keep an eye on the blog to see my thoughts. Another film I managed to see over the weekend and didn’t have time to review was “The Long Shot”. After debuting in third last weekend the Seth Rogan and Charlize Theron-led comedy held stronger than expected placing fifth with a drop of only 37% despite a less than stellar opening weekend. You can look for my review of “The Long Shot” this week as well. Sitting between “The Hustle” and “The Long Shot” in fourth was “The Intruder”. Outside the top five in sixth was another new entry, “Poms”, which earned $5.1 million despite trying to benefit from the Mother’s Day crowd. “Uglydolls” and “Breakthrough” placed seventh and eighth while the final new entry in the top ten, “Tolkien”, failed to gain as much interest as the titular author’s famous works earning only $2.15 million in its opening weekend. Marvel book-ended the top ten with “Captain Marvel” which should be in its final week in the top ten as it begins to leave theaters in favor of newer releases.
“Endgame” will face another strong competitor next week with “John Wick: Chapter 3”, the final film in the “John Wick” trilogy that has become more and more popular with each passing year and feature. There have already been jokes about the titular assassin taking out the Avengers on social media playing off of his relentlessness in his films. Joining “John Wick” as new wide releases will be “A Dog’s Journey” and “The Sun is Also a Star” which could serve as fun, sappy alternatives to the action and comedy filled box office lineup. We’ll see how everyone does this time next week.