In May, Warner Bros. is kickstarting a new fan-favorite series with Detective Pikachu, but can it catch the top spot in its opening weekend, or will Avengers: Endgame keep its golden box office crown for another week? Make no mistake, Avengers: Endgame has been breaking records left and right and we still need to talk about it.
SELECT NORTH AMERICAN OPENING WEEKEND PREDICTIONS – May 2019:
- Detective Pikachu – Warner Bros. – May 10th – $54 million
- John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum – Lionsgate/Summit – May 17th – $34 million
- Aladdin – Disney – May 24th – $65 million
- Godzilla: King of the Monsters – Warner Bros. – May 31st – $54 million
Someone once said, “don’t underestimate the power of PlayStation.” I’d agree, and I’d also apply that sentiment to the power of Pokémon. That said, even though I am a big fan of the brand (and have been for all of my life), I don’t think it’s going to beat Avengers: Endgame in Pikachu‘s opening weekend. Endgame should be on its way to a 45-55% drop in its third weekend, which would put it right around a $66m third weekend, and I just don’t think lukewarm-to-decent reviews for Detective Pikachu is going to be enough for it to go above that number. I think Detective Pikachu is going to perform similarly to how Shazam! did in its North American opening weekend, though it will likely perform better globally.
After the disastrous release of Hellboy, Lionsgate/Summit need John Wick: Chapter 3 to be a hit, and I’m pretty sure it’ll do about as well as expected. Though I really liked the first film, I’m not exactly a big fan of the series. I think it’ll perform slightly better than the first sequel.
Aladdin has already been a bit of a disaster, hasn’t it? First people wanted Will Smith to be blue, then they thought that was scary and now, I guess, we’re waiting for a film nobody asked for. The film’s opening figure will probably be closer to Dumbo than Beauty and the Beast — that is unless critics save it. As for Godzilla 2? Well, I’m predicting its opening figure to be closer to Skull Island than 2014’s Godzilla. I’m not sensing an appetite for it, but maybe I’m wrong.
This month’s version of the Box Office Report is going to be a special edition. Because we have to talk about Avengers: Endgame. At the time of writing Avengers: Endgame is at $2.27 billion. After two weekends Endgame is already the second biggest film worldwide (not adjusted for inflation). It destroyed the domestic opening weekend record as well as my extremely conservative — but still record-breaking — prediction. It destroyed global opening weekend record — it doubled it. It’ll take all day to list all of the records it has already broken. Instead, let’s talk about the two big records that it has yet to break, and whether it will actually break them or not.
The two records in question are the all-time biggest domestic lifetime gross and the all-time biggest worldwide lifetime gross. The Force Awakens owns the domestic record with $936m, and Endgame is currently at #7 with $644m. It’s important to remember that Endgame is a summer film that is going to have to compete with a Pokémon and an Aladdin film this month. The Force Awakens was released in December, and it really only had January releases to compete with.
So, while Endgame is technically about $40m ahead of The Force Awakens based only on the first twelve days, Endgame will slow down quicker than The Force Awakens did. I don’t think Endgame will take down Star Wars, but I do think it’ll take down Avatar. Though it must be said nothing is certain yet.
Avatar holds the worldwide lifetime gross record with $2.78bn, while Endgame is currently at #2 with $2.27bn. Again, that’s after two weeks, and, after the upcoming weekend, there is a good chance it’ll get to somewhere around $2.4bn. Can it catch up to Avatar? It’ll be tough but the Avengers are Earth’s Mightiest Heroes after all. If we’ve learned anything by now it’s that it is unwise to doubt Marvel.
- Avengers: Endgame – $2.27bn
- Captain Marvel – $1.12bn
It was inevitable, as the Mad Titan Thanos might say, that Disney would take multiple spots in the 2019 Billion Dollar Club. It’s just absolutely astounding how quickly Marvel Studios has made global movie theaters its playground. So, what’s next? Aladdin? Somehow I doubt it. The Lion King is definitely going to join the club. What is more interesting to me is if Sony’s Spider-Man: Far From Home can join the club based solely on its status as the MCU’s epilogue to Phase Three. Right now, I think it will.
– Jeffrey Rex Bertelsen.