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“Good Boys” Surprises As Universal Reaches $1 Billion Domestically

For the second weekend in a row, the box office saw a changing of the guard as recent holdover blockbusters faced competition from FIVE new wide releases in what has been an eventful August. Last week “Hobbs & Shaw” managed to become the fourth consecutive new release to earn a two-week reign at the top of the chart and going into this weekend it was anyone’s guess if one of the new offerings could defeat the “Fast & Furious” spinoff. Sony, Entertainment Studios, Warner Bros., United Artists and “Hobbs & Shaw’s” own distributer Universal were all shelling out new options for moviegoers to embrace and the results brought one of the biggest surprise upsets of the year so far. Let’s see how everything sorted out in this week’s Box Office Breakdown.

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After ruling the roost for the last two weeks “Hobbs & Shaw” found itself knocked back to second place after a $14.1 million weekend. But that wasn’t the end of Universals hold on the box office crown. To the surprise of many “Good Boys”, a raunchy comedy produced by Seth Rogan and focused on a trio of sixth-graders, became only the second comedy to top the chart in 2019 after “The Upside”, which itself was a surprise success. “Good Boys” is also only the second truly original picture to debut at the top of the box office in 2019 after “Us”, unless you could “The Curse of La Llorona” as an original film but I don’t because it was based on a tale of Mexican folklore. With a $21 million weekend “Good Boys” surpassed almost every expectation as industry predictions saw “Hobbs & Shaw” earning a third weekend at the top. Even I had it wrong as I felt “The Angry Birds Movie 2” had more potential than it really did. “Good Boys” also brought Universal to the $1 billion mark domestically making it the second studio to reach that milestone this year. You can read my review of “Good Boys” from over the weekend by clicking here.

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Speaking of Disney, their live-action remake of “The Lion King” continued to be a popular draw earning another $11.9 million domestically in its fifth weekend. This was enough to push the remake to the fourteenth position on the all-time domestic box office chart with the live-action “Beauty and the Beast” next in line and pretty much guaranteed to fall. That would make “The Lion King” the highest-grossing Disney remake both domestically and internationally by this time next week. Looking at fourth we have Sony Pictures Animation and “The Angry Birds Movie 2” which actually debuted on Tuesday. While the original movie was a certified hit, the sequel struggled mightily in its opening earning a measly $10.5 million from Thursday to Sunday. Even with the extra days the opening only reached $16 million which is a definite disappointment compared to the $38 million opening of the original movie. Despite slightly better reviews than its predecessor, “The Angry Birds Movie 2” still failed to find an audience leaving the future of the franchise in limbo. You can read my review of the “Angry Birds 2” by clicking here. Rounding out the top five was last week’s top newcomer “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark”.

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Another pair of newcomers worked their way into the top ten over the weekend. “47 Meters Down: Uncaged”, the sequel to Entertainment Studios surprise success from 2017, earned $9 million in its opening, lower than the $11.25 million the first film earned two summers ago, to finish sixth. “Dora and the Lost City of Gold” and “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” held on to spots in the top ten placing seventh and eighth respectively but in ninth we find the final new entry in the top ten for the weekend, “Blinded by the Light”. This Warner Bros. biographical comedy-drama competed directly with United Artists’ adaptation of the novel “Where’d You Go, Bernadette” for a spot in the top ten and won out with a $4.45 million opening and superior critical acclaim. You can read my review of the movie and see if I agree with said critics by clicking here. “Where’d You Go, Bernadette” failed to crack the top ten with a $3.4 million opening, settling instead for eleventh, while “The Art of Racing in the Rain” rounded out the ten highest-grossing films of the weekend. Notable exits from the top ten were previous two-week chart-toppers “Spider-Man: Far from Home” and “Toy Story 4”.

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The box office finally slows down this weekend with only three major releases on the way. “Good Boys” could be poised to earn its own second weekend at the top of the chart, which would be the longest streak of consecutive two-week winners since 2002, but it’s unlikely seeing as at least two of the three newcomers have potential to earn more than $20 million in their openings. Fox Searchlight will release the horror thriller “Ready or Not” on Wednesday with preview showing Tuesday night while Lionsgate will continue the “Fallen” franchise with the third entry “Angel Has Fallen” adding a bit of action flair to the weekend. Sony will release the religious-themed “Overcomer” as well. We’ll see who wins out this time next week.

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