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Moviegoers Believe in "Yesterday," "Annabelle Comes Home" Disappointments

At mid-summer, 2019 grosses are down percent. Franchise milking a what it used to be

Tuesday noon marks the exact halfway point of 2019. No one was predicting that grosses would be down $ 600 million – nearly 10% –from the 2018 mid-market. Still to be a trio of strong performers that should reduce that gap, as this week's "Spider-Man: Far from Home" (Sony) is followed by Disney's "The Lion King" and Universal's "Fast and Furious" offshoot "Hobbs & Shaw. ”But this weekend gave further evidence of some issues that won't go away.

The positive news: an unexpectedly strong launch for Danny Boyle's“ Yesterday ”(Universal), the Beatles fantasy that qualifies as one of the most original releases of the year. Written by Richard Curtis ("Love Actually"), the movie grossed $ 1

7 million, far exceeding pre-opening estimates as low as $ 10 million. With the boost of a Wednesday opening, "Annabelle Comes Home" (Warner Bros.) came out ahead of "Yesterday" for the weekend, but looks like another case of sequel fatigue.

"Toy Story 4" (Disney) reclaimed the top spot in the last 17 weeks. The Pixar sequel dropped a reasonable 52%, more than the 46% drop for “Toy Story 3” but less than last summer's bigger opening or “Incredibles 2.”

The weekend total, however, is $ 30 million below the same weekend last year. But that should change next weekend with "Spider-Man," with the Marvel title that surfs off "Avengers: Endgame" expected to die. "Spider-Man" opened early in China, Japan, and Hong Kong to $ 111 million, which places it among the elite or past Marvel debuts.

"Annabelle Comes Home"

Lower-budget horror movies, including franchises, have been a continuous draw during the recent box office downturn. “Annabelle Comes Home” is the sixth entry in New Line's “Annabelle / Conjuring” series. It delivered $ 31 million for five days, lower than the opening weekend for the previous entries. "The Nun" post-Labor Day last year came in at $ 58 million. That was quite recent, as was the somewhat overlapping “The Curse of La Llorona” in April (its first three days did $ 26 million).

Franchise fatigue? Or horror overload? This was a week after the spotty opening of another scary doll movie, the reboot or "Child's Play" (United Artists). The more offbeat "Midsummer" (A24) opens Wednesday. But horror titles coexist regularly. “Annabelle” does feel like a case of franchise fatigue. The previous entries (except one) have (adjusted) passed the $ 100 million domestic market, with the lowest hitting $ 91 million. This will be lucky to reach $ 60 million – more grist for the sequel overkill mill.


“Yesterday” marks a rare Danny Boyle title not to land and platform release. In fact, the mainstream romantic comedy with fantastic elements delivered Boyle's second-best opening weekend ("The Beach" grossed $ 25 million adjusted). At $ 17 million, "Yesterday" is within $ 4 million of Boyle's best total domestic gross ("127 Hours" scored $ 21 million adjusted) since his massive Oscar winner "Slumdog Millionaire."

So that's a return to form. What also makes "Yesterday" a standout these days – apart from Curtis' original story about an aspiring singer who wakes up from an accident to the sole human of the Beatles and their output – is it a romantic comedy.

The Collapse of comedies has been noted every year. There is clearly a hunger for them. Whatever its quality, the Netflix Adam Sandler / Jennifer Aniston "The Murder Mystery" was a huge initial draw. 2019 comedy successes include Marvel and animated films with comedic elements, along with “Us,” “The Upside” and “A Madea Family Funeral.”

But comedies aimed at women, particularly “Late Night” (Amazon) and “Booksmart (United Artists) in recent weeks, have not drawn big audiences. That's what repressed estimates for "Yesterday," which launched at Tribeca to poor reviews; it now boasts a mediocre 55 Meta score

"Yesterday" "strong performance suggests that the problems with the two more specialized titles had less to do with how they were released than the audience disinterest. These days, audiences remember that a low-budget non-event movie will soon show up online

"Yesterday" offered an accessible, charming story that had not been seen before – along with a soundtrack packed with beloved Beatles songs. The movie still has more than three days than "Late Night" is likely to be full, and not much less than "Booksmart." Universal smartly attached is trailer to "Rocketman" targeting the right audience. "Yesterday" was only slightly down on Saturday, but with a cinema score and greater interest building off its decent start, could see a nice multiple to head between $ 50-60 million.

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"Toy Story Pixar / Disney


The latest Pixar movie, "Toy Story 4," is up to $ 237 million in ten days, adding another $ 58 million this weekend. That's excellent: the sequel is already the # 4 movie for the year, behind three other Disney releases. Disney / Fox now account for 36% of the gross so far (Fox had 4% before the takeover)

Pixar tends to lag behind most big animated movies overseas. So far, the foreign total for "Toy Story 4" is a bit ahead, with several countries including Japan and Germany still to open. It may fall short of $ 1 trillion worldwide, but clearly is adding some to the heart of the summer.

Disney's bounty continues with another strong "Aladdin" weekend, still # 4, down only 29%. The weekend saw a number of good holds – "John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum" (Lionsgate) only fell 22%, "The Secret Life of Pets 2" (Universal) and "Rocketman" (Paramount) 31%, even the troubled "One in Black: International" (Sony) only 38%.

The exception was the second weekend of "Child's Play" (United Artists), down 70% from an uninspired start. Franchise rebooting to what it used to be.

"Avengers: Endgame"

Marvel / Disney

"Endgame" vs. "Avatar"

Disney is pushing "Endgame" to reach the global gross reached by James Cameron's "Avatar" nearly a decade ago, which unadjusted is the highest ever. In reality it will never reach the success "Avatar" or even the bigger "Gone With the Wind" and "Titanic." No matter for Disney, which inventively added to Stan Lee tribute and a amount of new material as a reason to bring the movie back for one more go. The distributor ejected another $ 7.5 million worldwide, but "Endgame" is still $ 28 million short of its goal. Disney will have other tricks up its sleeve.

Watch Disney when the time finally comes to release "Avatar 2." Will they bring back the original (now that they own it) to return it to the top spot? It 's good to king

The Top Ten

1. Toy Story 4 (Disney) Week 2; Last weekend # 1

$ 57,932,000 (-52%) in 4,575 theaters (no change); PTA: $ 12,663; Cumulative: $ 236,922,000

2. Annabelle Comes Home (Warner Bros.) NEW – Cinemascore: B-; Metacritic: 53; Est. budget: $ 30 million

$ 20,370,000 in 3,613 theaters; PTA: $ 5,638; Cumulative: $ 31,204,000

3. Yesterday (Universal) NEW – Cinemascore: A-; Metacritic: 55; Est. budget: $ 26 million

$ 17 million in 2,603 ​​theaters; PTA: $ 6,531; Cumulative: $ 17,000,000

4. Aladdin (Disney) Week 6; Last weekend # 3

$ 9,344,000 (-29%) in 3,235 theaters (-600); PTA: $ 2,888; Cumulative: $ 305,862,000

5. The Secret Life of Pets 2 (Universal) Week 4; Last weekend # 5

$ 7,090,000 (-31%) in 3,353 theaters (-451); PTA: $ 2.117; Cumulative: $ 131.202,000

6. Men in Black: International (Sony) Week 3; Last weekend # 4

$ 6,550,000 (-39%) in 3,663 theaters (-561); PTA: $ 1,788; Cumulative: $ 65,031,000

7. Avengers: Endgame (Disney) Week 10; Last weekend # 13

$ 5,537,000 (+ 179%) in 2,025 theaters (+1,040); PTA: $ 1,788; Cumulative: $ 841,318,000

8. Child’s Play (United Artists) Week 2; Last weekend # 2

$ 4,277,000 (-70%) in 3,007 theaters (no change); PTA: $ 2,734; Cumulative: $ 23,405,000

9. Rocketman (Paramount) Week 5; Last weekend # 6

$ 3,870,000 (-31%) in 2,003 theaters (-411); PTA: $ 1,932 Cumulative: $ 84,174,000

10. John Wick 3: Parabellum (Lionsgate) Week 7; Last weekend # 7

$ 3,175,000 (-22%) in 1,550 theaters (-57); PTA: $ 2,048; Cumulative: $ 161,315,000

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