Summer of 2019 has not been very good to sequels with numerous follow-ups falling below expectations in their opening weekends. Even films that can be considered successful have failed to shine as bright as their potential promised, but “Toy Story 4” helped breath some life into the sequel marked after breaking the seven-week streak of nonconsecutive chart toppers. Going into the 4th of July weekend Marvel Studios and Sony offered up what looked to be the perfect medicine for the sequel slump with “Spider-Man: Far from Home”, the 23rd film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But “Spider-Man” was far from the only story of the holiday weekend as a new horror feature looked to compete in the specialty market while “Avengers: Endgame” continued to seek the global box office record following an underwhelming rerelease with special features. It was a busy weekend, and busy week, for the box office so let’s see how everything shook out in this week’s Box Office Breakdown for 4th of July weekend 2019.
As expected, “Spider-Man: Far from Home” dominated the holiday weekend earning $91 million over its first few days having debuted on Tuesday, July 2 to kick off the holiday early. It earned another $93.6 million when the weekend finally came and went for a total opening of $185 million continuing Marvel Studio’s perfect record as the 23rd film in the franchise to top the box office on its opening. That domestic among the highest debuts for an Independence Day opening and the highest six-day total for a release from Sony Pictures who worked in tandem with Marvel to release the product. “Far from Home” also became the 22nd largest six-day performance overall and the largest Tuesday opening day in history. It also broke a record held by its MCU predecessor, “Avengers: Endgame” by collecting $27 million on Wednesday night, earning the biggest numbers for any Marvel film from a first Wednesday in theaters. It also sits at the second widest opening ever for a film with 4,634 locations in the United States and the second highest grossing film on the 4th of July sitting behind only 2007’s “Transformers”. “Far from Home” faired well internationally too, earning another $244 million from 66 markets bringing its total global haul to $580 million including early releases in countries like China. It’s safe to say that despite seeing three different “ Spider-Man” movies released over the last three years (and three other appearances in MCU properties since 2016) the webslinger has not lost his popularity by much and oversaturation doesn’t seem to be slowing him down. You can read my review of “Spider-Man: Far from Home” by clicking here.
Disney properties dominated the top two at the box office as the top five overall remained mostly unchanged save for some positioning. “Toy Story 4” held strong in its third weekend dropping from the top spot to second with $34.3 million. That brings Pixar’s latest sequel to its original masterpiece to $306.6 million domestically while the addition of $43 million internationally helped push its worldwide gross to $650 million. Last week’s newcomers held relatively strong with “Yesterday” staying put right where it started at number three. Universal’s exploration of a world where only one person remembers the music of the Beatles took in $10.75 million in its second weekend bringing its domestic total to $36.8 million. After opening in several more overseas markets the film now sits at $57 million globally. Last weekend’s runner-up “Annabelle Comes Home” dropped right about as expected but still held a top-five spot and brought in $9.75 million to land in fourth. It now approaches $135 million worldwide. Disney, again, appears in the top five with the live action version of “Aladdin” which seems to finally be losing steam as it topped $921 million in total global sales over the holiday weekend.
You have to go outside the top five to find the second new entry in the top ten from the holiday. Ari Aster’s latest horror feature “Midsommar” sought a more specialty crowd but wasn’t quite able to match the opening of its sister film “Hereditary” that was praised as one of 2018’s best pictures by many. “Midsommar” earned $6.5 million over the three-day weekend but almost $11 million total during the holiday after debuting on Wednesday, July 3. That’s compared to the $13 million earned by “Hereditary” in its opening weekend. Despite poor fan response, which was actually higher than “Hereditary”, mostly due to the film’s artistic style which never tends to sit well with horror lovers seeking more blood-soaked thrills, critics praised the picture as a continuation of Aster’s still young career as a horror filmmaker. You can read my review for “Midsommar” here. Following “Midsommar” in the top ten were “The Secret Life of Pets 2”, “Men in Black International”, “Avengers: Endgame”, and “Rocketman” with both “John Wick: Chapter 3” and “Child’s Play” falling out of the top ten. Keeping an eye on “Endgame’s” progress, the year’s biggest blockbuster is slowly inching towards “Avatar’s” global record and is now tantalizingly close to the mark. After 73 days in theaters “Endgame” reached $2.772 billion, only $15 million shy of “Avatar” which took 234 days and two different theatrical runs over two different years to earn its total. With “Endgame” slated for a hard copy release next month time is running out, but the numbers are certainly intriguing to keep an eye on.
Expect “Far from Home” to score a second-weekend victory with soft competition on the way. Paramount will challenge with its hurricane/alligator horror thriller “Crawl” while Fox (which don’t forget is owned by Disney now) will release “Stuber”, an R-rated action comedy staring Dave Bautista and Kumail Nanjiani. All this before the July 19 release of Disney’s third of four live-action remakes in 2019, “The Lion King”, which will most certainly rule the box office in its opening weekend. So the pressure is on for holdovers and the two new releases to get whatever they can from this coming weekend before the competition heats up.