Henson has made $36 million in its first two weeks of release. Paramount's gender-bending remake, "What Men Want" came in fourth place, bringing in $10.8 million during its second outing. The comedy starring Taraji P.
The rest of February will make for tough comparisons since Marvel's more inclusive take on the superhero genre generated a massive $700 million in North America alone during its long run in multiplexes.” /> To nobody's surprise, ticket sales are down almost 60% from last year when "Black Panther" delivered a record-breaking $202 million debut.
"Alita: Battle Angel" just barely fended off Warner Bros.' "The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part." Last weekend's champ dropped to the No. All three titles are targeting younger audiences. The animated sequel based on the popular kids toys has hefty competition on the horizon. Next weekend sees the release of "How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World" and Disney's "Captain Marvel" not far behind. 2 spot, adding another $21.2 million for a domestic haul of $62.6 million.
Fox originally intended to drop the movie in December, where it would have competed with a lineup that included "Aquaman," "Mary Poppins Returns," and "Bumblebee." By doing so, "Alita" avoided getting steamrolled a la "Mortal Engines," Universal's sci-fi epic that flopped in spectacular fashion when it debuted right around that time. With that said, it looks like the studio made the right decision pushing back "Alita's" release date. In its first weekend, "Alita" has already passed the entire domestic haul of "Mortal Engines," the $100 million movie that stalled out with $15 million in North America.
Its $11.4 million bounty since opening on Wednesday is almost half of what tracking services estimated heading into the weekend. Universal and Blumhouse's slasher sequel launched in fifth place with $9.8 million over the weekend. Fellow new release "Happy Death Day 2U" didn't fare as well from the holiday. The good news, at least, is the movie only cost $9 million so it won't take much for "Happy Death Day 2U" to end up in the black. It's also a steep decline from the opening weekend of its predecessor, "Happy Death Day," which bowed with $26 million.
The Dwayne Johnson-produced WWE drama expands nationwide next weekend. It generated the best screen average of the weekend with $40,896 per location. On the indie front, MGM's "Fighting With My Family" brought in $131,625 over the three-day frame and is expected to make $163,584 through Monday.
Ticket sales are on pace to be the smallest bounty for the holiday frame in almost 20 years, since 2000's crop of movies brought back $133 million in receipts, according to Comscore. Tracking services estimate that this will be one of the lowest grossing President's Day weekends in years. Fox's sci-fi adventure "Alita: Battle Angel" dominated in North America, but its opening weekend win isn't leaving the box office with much to celebrate.
Unlike critics, audiences seem to be enjoying "Alita: Battle Angel." Moviegoers branded the blockbuster with a promising A- CinemaScore, suggesting that positive word of mouth could lead Rosa Salazar's cyborg heroine to a long life in theaters. Another promising sign?
The movie will now bank on international markets to get "Alita" out of the red. 22. "Alita" certainly didn't set any new President's Day weekend records, but it did benefit from its new release date that saw most kids out of school over the holiday. The movie is resonating overseas, where it pulled in $56 million this weekend when it opened in most major foreign markets. That takes its international bounty to $94 million. It opens in China and Japan on Feb.
Since opening on Thursday, the movie has generated $41 million at the domestic market. "Alita," the cyberpunk CGI spectacle, earned $27 million when it debuted in 3,790 locations and $33 million over the four-day frame. Directed by Robert Rodriguez and produced by James Cameron, the Japanese manga adaptation cost over $170 million to produce — and that's not including the tens of millions spent in marketing. It came in slightly ahead of expectations heading into the weekend, but "Alita: Battle Angel" still has a lengthy uphill battle to become profitable.
and New Line's "Isn't It Romantic." The satirical take on a romantic comedy benefited from opening ahead of Valentine's Day, with $14.2 million during its first four days of release. Rebel Wilson and Liam Hemsworth star in the flick about a woman whose life begins to play out like a PG-13 romantic comedy (the horror!) after getting hit on the head. In third place is Warner Bros.

Still, Netflix and, to a much lesser extent, Amazon have been able to carve a niche for themselves as havens of creativity, immune to the such crass concerns as commercial appeal. Cuaron’s “Roma,” a sprawling, black and white film about a family in Mexico City; Tamara Jenkins’ “Private Lives,” a comedy about a couple’s infertility struggles; and Scorsese’s upcoming “The Irishman,” a hugely expensive crime drama with Robert De Niro and Al Pacino, would have struggled to get the same budgets at a traditional studio. At this year’s Venice Film Festival, Spike Lee was asked about Netflix’s willingness to finance “The Irishman.”
He added, “Netflix is the future of cinema. That is what people need.” You can have access to it anytime and anywhere.
Many are now entering their second, third, or, in the case of “Star Wars,” their fourth decades. Given the vast sums of time and treasure needed to make a tentpole movie, there’s little margin for error. For example, Universal and its partners shelled out more than $100 million on “Mortal Engines,” a steampunk epic from “The Lord of the Rings” maestro Peter Jackson that stands to lose upwards of $125 million, and Lionsgate’s $100 million attempt to fashion a younger, hipper “Robin Hood” will result in a steep write-down. The problem is that some of these franchises are growing longer in the tooth. When studios have attempted to stray from branded IP, the results have been mixed. Even movies that gross hundreds of millions of dollars such as “Solo: A Star Wars Story” can result in red ink when they fail to approach the billion-dollar mark globally.
With more than $3 billion in stateside grosses, Disney racked up some $1.2 billion more in ticket sales than its closest rival, Universal. The studio will cast an even larger shadow across the theatrical business when it absorbs much of Fox’s film assets as part of a $71.3 billion mega-merger, a position that will give it even greater leverage when negotiating with theaters for revenue splits and access to screens. There are reasons to celebrate, but the film industry also can’t afford to become complacent. The business faces some significant structural challenges and hasn’t figured out a compelling way to replenish the franchise well. Disney, armed with Marvel, Pixar, and Lucasfilm, continues to dominate the movie industry, siphoning off more than a quarter of domestic revenues.
“So it’s a decision that if you’re an artist when you get to that level, do you want your film made?” “Netflix, they wrote a check, and it was a check that no other studio was willing to do,” Lee said.
We charged more than double what our competitors were charging.” By contrast, we were not shy. “We’ve struck a chord with millennials and found a vehicle they like to use,” said AMC CEO Adam Aron. “We believe we introduced it the right way. We think [other subscription-based services] made a lot of mistakes that made their viability doubtful.
February fielded the top-grossing domestic film of 2018 with “Black Panther,“ while “Venom,“ “A Star Is Born,“ and “Halloween“ powered October to a record month. Without the competition from summer behemoths or holidays season juggernauts, a number of titles were able to break out and earn a tidy sum.
The domestic box office hit a new high-water mark of $11.5 billion and global revenues also have a chance of reaching new heights if Christmas releases such as “Aquaman” and “Mary Poppins Returns” can ring in the new year in style. The exhibition business came roaring back in 2018, as blockbusters such as “Black Panther,” "Avengers: Infinity War," and “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” powered ticket sales to record levels.
Studios and theater owners are closing out the year in a much more optimistic frame of mind, after being written off in 2017 as creaky anachronisms that were being rapidly surpassed by more agile streaming players such as Netflix and Amazon. So why did moviegoers return to theaters in force over the last 12 months?
“There’s a lot of skepticism on Wall Street that these gains will continue into 2019,” said Eric Wold, an exhibition industry analyst with B. Riley & Co. “We haven’t had back-to-back attendance gains since 2002.”
However, the amount of money that these companies are shelling out to content creators is staggering and unlikely to be rivaled by major studios. Netflix is rumored to be spending $13 billion on content in 2018 and Amazon will shell out a reported $6 billion — that enables them to sign deals with the Alfonso Cuarons and Martin Scorseses of the world. And because they straddle different forms of media, they aren’t subjected to the same kind of scrutiny as a Disney or a Fox. Netflix, for instance, doesn’t report any box office or ratings information unless the statistics are wildly positive, a lack of transparency that frustrates movie studios who feel obligated to share more financial information.
Moreover, studios were able to spread the wealth throughout the year. Instead of banking on reliable release dates during the likes of summer or holiday stretches to fuel blockbusters, some of this year’s biggest moneymakers came from frames that were once seen as dumping grounds in between tentpoles.
There are also reasons to worry that the film business remains overly reliant on a handful of genres and franchises. Six of the top 10 highest-grossing domestic releases in 2018 were superhero pics and nine of the 10 most successful North American movies were sequels or spinoffs, hardly a triumph for originality. The only movie in the top 10 that wasn’t part of a pre-existing series was “The Grinch,” a venerable piece of intellectual property that has already inspired a Jim Carrey movie and a beloved television film with the voice of Boris Karloff.
Add to that fears of trade wars with China and recession worries, and it’s unlikely that any of these companies will be able to fully regain investors’ confidence in the near term. Studies, such as a recent report by the National Association of Theatre Owners, an exhibition industry trade group, suggest that lower-cost entertainment options such as Netflix and Amazon aren’t killing theaters. People who stream more movies and shows in the home also tend to be more frequent cinemagoers. They also have to contend with the fact that the heat right now is on the television and streaming businesses. Respondents who visited a movie theater nine times or more in the last 12 months consumed more streaming content than consumers who visited a movie theater only once or twice over the past year, the study found.
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Privately, many directors gripe that their movies open on Netflix and promptly fade from the conversation. That money comes with a catch, however. They miss the immediate feedback they receive from a theatrical release and they long for being a part of a wider cultural dialogue. If Netflix is indeed the future, progress may come at a cost. Cuaron and other filmmakers have pushed Netflix to provide some kind of theatrical release for their movies only to be met with opposition from exhibitors unwilling to show movies that will debut on the service within weeks of their premieres.
“That's why you have a record year.” “We had movies in every month that shattered expectations,” said Phil Contrino, director of media and research at the National Association of Theatre Owners.
“There were movies audiences wanted to see.” “It’s all about content,” said Jeff Goldstein, head of domestic distribution at Warner Bros.
At a time when the need for inclusion is being fiercely debated across the entertainment industry, the movies that tapped into the zeitgeist most strongly seemed to be the ones that eschewed straight white male protagonists. When they did hit the multiplexes, audiences around the world were able to see a more diverse range of heroes. Films such as “Crazy Rich Asians,” “Black Panther,” and “Oceans 8” allowed Asians, black people, and women to take center stage.
The challenge now will be finding a responsibly priced service that will appeal to younger customers while enabling theaters to make a profit. They want value. AMC and Cinemark have already launched alternative subscription services at different price points, and Cineworld, the owner of Regal, is rumored to be mulling a similar offering. Yet there are suggestions that audiences don’t want a premium offering. Recliner seats, reserved ticketing, and alcoholic beverages have become more ubiquitous as theaters have scrambled to find ways to differentiate cinemas from home entertainment platforms. As the cost of making movies rises, the major chains have continued to invest in improving their amenities. MoviePass may have sputtered out in spectacular fashion, brought low by a cash crunch, shoddy customer service, and the New York attorney’s investigation into fraud allegations, but before it collapses in a tsunami of bad publicity, it should get credit for popularizing a subscription model for moviegoing.
Imax and Cinemark have also failed to fully reverse the damage from an industry-wide selloff. For instance, AMC, the world’s largest chain, is trading at just over $12 a share. In 2016, its stock was worth more than $35 a share. Ticket sales and attendance may have increased in 2018, but AMC, Cinemark, Imax, and other publicly traded exhibitors have yet to see that reflected in their share prices.
Reports of the death of movies are greatly exaggerated.
“Audiences connect more deeply when they see people like themselves on screen,” said Cathleen Taff, Disney’s distribution chief.

"The Mule," Eastwood's first acting gig since 2012's "Trouble With the Curve," brought out a much older crowd. In addition to Eastwood, “The Mule” cast includes Bradley Cooper, Laurence Fishburne, Michael Pena, and Dianne Wiest. Another weekend release, Warner Bros.' "The Mule," snagged the No. 2 spot with $17 million. Clint Eastwood directed and stars in the R-rated crime drama about a nonagenarian who gets caught smuggling drugs for the cartel. Moviegoers over the age of 35 accounted for 78% of audiences.
Based on James Baldwin's novel, the awards hopeful has already received a number of superlatives since its Toronto debut, especially for the performances of Regina King and Brian Tyree Henry. That comes out to $54,793 per location, easily marking the best screen average of the weekend. At the specialty box office, Barry Jenkins' "If Beale Street Could Talk" debuted in four theaters and generated $219,173.
Illumination's "Sing" previously held that title, debuting with $35 million in 2016. That's hardly the biggest opening for an animated film this year, but it does rank as the best start for a cartoon in the month of December.
Meanwhile, Sony Pictures Classics' "Capernaum" made $27,588 from three screens, averaging $9,196 per location. It follows a young boy who sues his impoverished and indifferent parents for giving birth to him. Nadine Labaki directed the drama that won the Jury Prize at Cannes and has been selected as Lebanon's entry for foreign language film at the Oscars.
"Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse" is the new box office king, collecting a solid $35.4 million during its first three days of release.
The middling reviews haven't helped build momentum, and it carries a paltry 28% on Rotten Tomatoes. Universal's "Mortal Engines" launched in fifth place with a disastrous $7.5 million when it debuted in 3,103 venues. Peter Jackson produced the CGI spectacle, adapted from Philip Reeve's YA novel. It'll be an uphill battle for "Mortal Engines" to break through a crowded holiday frame and attract the kind of audience it needs to justify its expensive price tag. That could be catastrophic for the sci-fi saga that cost over $100 million to make. Not all newcomers were able to stick the landing. The post-apocalyptic steampunk adventure has fared slightly better overseas, picking up $34.8 million from 54 international territories, but "Mortal Engines" looks like it could still lose a sizable chunk of change.
Weeks before “Spider-Verse” opens in theaters, Sony announced the development of a sequel and spinoffs set in the shared multiverse. “Spider-Verse” has already racked up plaudits, including a Golden Globe nod for best animated feature, and boasts an impressive 97% on Rotten Tomatoes.
It doesn't seem like audiences were much more receptive to the gory psychological horror film that prompted more than 100 people to walk out of its Cannes premiere. IFC's "The House That Jack Built" faltered with $40,000 from 33 theaters, for a disappointing screen average of $1,225. Lars von Trier's latest undertaking didn't fare quite as well.
Universal's "The Grinch" continues to bring back solid returns, pocketing another $11.5 million this weekend for a domestic total of $239 million. "Ralph Breaks the Internet" earned $9.3 million in its fourth weekend of release, bringing its North American tally to $154 million. A pair of animated flicks secured third and fourth place.
That sum will get added to the initial run of Ryan Reynolds' R-rated superhero comedy, which now sits at $322 million in North America and $736 million globally. The original version wasn’t released in China, but the new clean(er) cut means the Middle Kingdom could finally give the raunchy mercenary a chance. Elsewhere, Fox's "Once Upon a Deadpool," a PG-13 re-release of "Deadpool 2" picked up $2.6 million on 1,566 screens.
This weekend's total haul came in 61% below the same frame in 2017, according to Comscore. As the busiest time for moviegoing approaches, the year-to-date box office is still a healthy 8.5% ahead. It's a tough comparison since "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" launched last year with a massive $220 million. Christmastime debuts of "Aquaman" and "Mary Poppins Returns" should keep momentum going for a record 2018.” />
Mahershala Ali, Hailee Steinfeld, Jake Johnson, Brian Tyree Henry, Lily Tomlin, and John Mulaney round out the voice cast. Miles Morales (voiced by Shameik Moore), a Brooklynite with a Puerto Rican mom and an African American dad, puts on the Lycra-tights for this rendition. Philip Lord and Christopher Miller produced "Spider-Verse," which cost $90 million and takes place in a universe where more than one Spider-Man exists.
"It pushes the boundaries of animation," said Adrian Smith, Sony's president of domestic distribution. "It plays to all audiences, and it's really exciting because we're positioned to play into the biggest week of the year — and there are eight days until we get to Christmas."
"It was a crowded marketplace," said Jim Orr, Universal's head of domestic distribution. "We're very proud of the film, no doubt. It might take audiences a little time to find it."
It uses a mix of CGI and hand-drawn animation to bring the web-slinger to life. Despite an influx of superhero titles that hit multiplexes this year, not to mention 2016's Peter Parker feature "Spider-Man: Homecoming" and its sequel that bows next year, "Spider-Verse" was lauded for bringing a fresh take to the genre.
It also has plenty of time to make up ground during a holiday frame, though Warner Bros.' "Aquaman" might cannibalize a bit of the superhero crowd. "Spider-Verse," based on Sony's catalog of Marvel heroes, is resonating with a slightly older audience than most animated adventures.

"Everybody is having a tough go trying to appeal to that YA marketplace," Bock said. TV is getting it right, and movies aren't." "It's a generation gap between studios and what they think young audiences like.
"They took a big swing, and they struck out." "This is a true Christmas disaster and a lump of coal for Universal," said Jeff Bock, an analyst with Exhibitor Relations.
It also lacks any major movie stars and has a plot that's difficult to convey in a television spot or a poster. "Mortal Engines" focuses on "predator cities," mobile urban centers on wheels. Although the CGI spectacle was produced and co-written by "Lord of the Rings" filmmaker Peter Jackson, it's based on Philip Reeve's book series that's not that widely known in the U.S. "Mortal Engines" has been a marketing challenge for Universal, its distributor. These roam around the planet preying on smaller cities, robbing them of resources in order to sustain themselves. It's a mystifying bit of world building that was frostily received by critics.
Some even project that number could float to more than $125 million. "Mortal Engines," on the other hand, launched below estimates, generating just $7.5 million when it debuted in North America. "Mortal Engines" has so far made a paltry $42 million globally. With a budget of just over $100 million and tens of millions in global marketing costs, executives at rival studios estimate that the movie will lose upwards of $100 million. The sci-fi epic came into a crowded marketplace at a competitive time of year, opening against the well-reviewed "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse" and "The Mule," a Clint Eastwood thriller that had a better start than expected.
Given the anemic box office results, those dreams aren't likely to become a reality. Instead, "Mortal Engines" joins the likes of "Robin Hood," "The Nutcracker and the Four Realms," and "Sisters Brothers" in the ignoble ranks of the year's biggest misses. At one point, Jackson had hoped to turn "Mortal Engines" into a new fantasy franchise.
"Mortal Engines," a steampunk fantasy adventure, is also an epic flop.
Spokespeople for Universal and Media Rights Capital declined to comment.” />
and Fox, passed on the project. "Mortal Engines" was co-financed by Media Rights Capital, which put up half of the money for the film. Its failure ends 2018 on a sour note for Universal, which has had a respectable year, fielding hits such as "Halloween," "Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom," and "The Grinch." The hard-to-comprehend plot was one reason several studios, including Warner Bros. Universal contributed roughly 30% of the costs, according to insiders, with other studio slate partners such as Legendary and Perfect World, contributing the remaining cash.
The film still has a few international markets left to open, including China, where it is waiting for a release date. However, it is playing in most major territories, including Russia, the U.K., Australia, and Korea, and has failed to find much traction in any of those locations, a fact that does not bode well for its expansion.