“Detective Pikachu” Electrifies Box Office, But Can’t Defeat “Endgame”


May 10-12, 2019

(estimates from BoxOfficeMojo.com)


Avengers: Endgame  $63.0 million
Detective Pikachu $58.0 million
The Hustle  $13.5 million
The Intruder $6.6 million
Long Shot $6.1 million

For the third straight weekend, Avengers: Endgame dominated the box office. Taking in another massive $63 million, that puts it over the $700 million mark, becoming just the fourth film to do so. It's now the biggest comic book movie of all time. It's less than $40 million from passing Avatar in North America, which it can easily do by this time next week, and could probably keep the top spot for one more go.

Detective Pikachu wasn't quite the worldwide sensation the original trading card and Game Boy game and animated series were, nor was it as popular as the Pokémon GO app. With $58 million, that's the biggest opening for any video game adaptation. It was also the only one to score with critics, with 63 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. The film did a bit better overseas, taking in $112 million so far.

The Hustle was a modest comedy debut for Rebel Wilson and Anne Hathaway. Certainly not as popular as other female-led comedies like Ocean's 8 or even Snatched, but it's about in line with Rebel Wilson's Isn't It Romantic and Anne Hathaway's The Intern. The Intruder and Long Shot each fell two spots, but had shockingly good holds, each dropping less than 40 percent.

Outside the top 5:

  • This Weekend's Indie Champ: Biggest Little Farm, a documentary about a couple's efforts to move to sustainable living. Neon's Sundance acquisition averaged $20,202 on five screens.
  • Give me a B! Give me an O! Give me an M! Give me a B! B-O-M-B! That's what senior citizen cheerleading comedy Poms was this weekend. While Teen Spirit and El Chicano did terribly, those were on fewer than 1,000 screens. Poms opened on 2,750 and only managed $5.1 million.
  • Tolkien was not the one biopic to rule them all. The loose adaptation of the life of the author of The Lord of the Rings was Disney's first Fox Searchlight release, and they opted to go wide instead of a typical small rollout. They probably won't try that again, since it only managed $2.1 million.

Next week:

The John Wick franchise has had a huge return on investment. The first film opened with just $14 million and topped out at $43 million.  Its sequel more than doubled both figures. I'm not sure if the third film will get there, but I'm predicting a $50 million opening at least. I think that will be enough to unseat Endgame, but it will be a close one again. A Dog's Journey and The Sun Is Also a Star will be in the low double figures, if that.


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.