Box Office Takes Massive Hit as Coronavirus Protocols Begin


March 13-15, 2020

(estimates from


Onward  $10.5 million
I Still Believe  $9.5 million
Bloodshot $9.3 million
The Invisible Man  $6 million
The Hunt $5.3 million

With many U.S. residents under quarantine or a recommended social distancing behaviors, few people ventured out to movie theaters. As a result, all the holdovers dropped at least 60 percent, and the three new films debuted lower than they might have if it were business as usual. Onward held onto the top spot, but it dropped 73 percent, unheard of for a Pixar film. At this point, it will be the first from that animation studio to finish under $100 million.

I Still Believe did the best of the new releases. The biopic of Christian musician Jeremy Camp did well with the church crowd, many of which had remote services on Sunday. Bloodshot finished just below it with $9.3 million. That's hardly the opening for a new comic book franchise, but it did slightly better in the few overseas markets not on complete lockdown for Coronavirus.

The Invisible Man dropped to fourth, and it's near $65 million. And it will probably serve as a demarcation line for movies before and after the pandemic. After many delays, The Hunt finally opened. Even as it leaned into the controversy around it, audiences stayed home. Would that have also been true if people weren't encouraged to do so by medical professionals? We'll never know.

Outside the top 5:

  • This Weekend's Indie Champ: Never Rarely Sometimes Always. The intense drama about a rural girl traveling to New York City to get an abortion has received rave reviews. It averaged $4,500 on its four screens.
  • The only movie to see a real bump this weekend was Hope Gap. The divorce drama starring Billy Nighy and Annette Bening saw an 80 percent increase as it added 114 screens.
  • Many movies experienced upward of an 88 percent drop this weekend. This will probably be the last Box Office Report for a while, as there are no new wide releases until April 10, and even those will likely be pushed.

About Kip Mooney

Kip Mooney
Like many film critics born during and after the 1980s, my hero is Roger Ebert. The man was already the best critic in the nation when he won the Pulitzer in 1975, but his indomitable spirit during and after his recent battle with cancer keeps me coming back to read not only his reviews but his insightful commentary on the everyday. But enough about a guy you know a lot about. I knew I was going to be a film critic—some would say a snob—in middle school, when I had to voraciously defend my position that The Royal Tenenbaums was only a million times better than Adam Sandler’s remake of Mr. Deeds. From then on, I would seek out Wes Anderson’s films and avoid Sandler’s like the plague. Still, I like to think of myself as a populist, and I’ll be just as likely to see the next superhero movie as the next Sundance sensation. The thing I most deplore in a movie is laziness. I’d much rather see movies with big ambitions try and fail than movies with no ambitions succeed at simply existing. I’m also a big advocate of fun-bad movies like The Room and most of Nicolas Cage’s work. In the past, I’ve written for The Dallas Morning News and the North Texas Daily, which I edited for a semester. I also contributed to Dallas-based Pegasus News, which in the circle of life, is now part of The Dallas Morning News, where I got my big break in 2007. Eventually, I’d love to write and talk about film full-time, but until that’s a viable career option, I work as an auditor for Wells Fargo. I hope to one day meet my hero, go to the Toronto International Film Festival, and compete on Jeopardy. Until then, I’m excited to share my love of film with you.