Veteran’s Day weekend was loaded with newcomers that shook up the box office with brand new films scoring all four of the top spots on the weekend chart. After several weeks of back and forth between franchise movies we finally had a slew of more original products to tide us over as well as a long dormant sequel. From family fun to Christmas romance and horror thrills to history-based drama this past weekend offered an interesting mix of options to fit different markets and all four new films were from different studios include three of the big five. Overall while it wasn’t even close to one of the most profitable weekends of the year the four-way battle of legitimate contenders created one of the tightest races for weekend supremacy 2019 has offered to date. So lets take a look at the winners an losers in my Box Office Breakdown for Veteran’s Day weekend 2019.
At number one was a surprising victor that serves as a fitting top earner for a weekend geared towards honoring veterans. Lionsgate overpowered all three of the big five studios releasing new films over the weekend with “Midway”, which also serves as only the third original film to top the chart in 2019 although it was based on real life events so there’s an asterisk there. “Midway’s” win was considered an upset due in part to its own over performance as well as the under performance of the competition. With a $17.5 million weekend and strong reviews from viewers who ate up the World War II drama for the holiday “Midway” may be a perfect example of timing at its best as the film utilized its Veteran’s Day release in its advertising to perfectly pander to crowds and draw in viewers seeking a bit of American pride to honor those who served. If you want my opinion on the film you can read my review by clicking here.
Coming in second is the disappointment of the weekend, Warner Bros.’s “Doctor Sleep”. Based on the book of the same name by Stephen King and serving as the sequel to Stanley Kubrick’s legendary masterpiece “The Shining”, “Doctor Sleep” severely under performed earning around $14.1 million in a weekend where it was expected to earn around $25 million. The horror film earned $13 million overseas bringing its international total to date to $20 million and worldwide number to over $34 million. With that in mind “Doctor Sleep” still has some work to do to earn back its reported high-end $55 million production budget that doesn’t even count promotions and advertising costs. You can read my review of “Doctor Sleep” by clicking here. Paramount entered the chart in third with a new family film “Playing with Fire” which totaled over $12.7 million domestically in its debut while Universal Pictures scored an underwhelming but still solid debut for its holiday film “Last Christmas” which took in $11.4 million for a fourth place finish domestically. Last week’s number one “Terminator: Dark Fate” fell hard to fifth place with a drop of 62.8% to continue to build on its box office bomb status.
For the first time in its run Warner Bros. “Joker” fell out of the top five landing in sixth. The DC comics adaptation and potential Oscar favorite has now earned over $313.5 million domestically after six weekends and is nearing a billion dollars worldwide. It’s already the highest grossing R-rated film ever and the most profitable DC movie of all time in terms of gross versus expenses, but if it keeps its pace it could threaten “The Dark Knight” ($1.003 billion) and “Aquaman” ($1.148 billion) in terms of overall gross for DC’s filmography although “Joker” still has plenty of gap to make up to top “The Dark Knight Rises’s” $1.84 billion in global earnings. “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” fell from third to seventh while the biopic “Harriet” dropped to eighth in its second weekend. “Zombieland: Double Tap” and “The Addams Family” rounded out the top ten while “Countdown”, “Motherless Brooklyn”, “Black and Blue” and “Arctic Dogs” were all displaced by the slew of newcomers to the top of the chart.
With such a soft winner over the weekend that opens the door for another newcomer to earn the top spot and once again we have a busy slate on the way. Warner Bros. hopes to bounce back with another new offering, “The Good Liar”, while Disney and Fox are hoping for some late-year redemption from an underwhelming 2019 since their merger with “Ford v. Ferrari”. The likely winner in my eyes though is Sony Pictures update of “Charlie’s Angels”. We will see how they all fair this time next week.