“Godzilla” Is “King” of the Box Office


May 31-June 2, 2019

(estimates from BoxOfficeMojo.com)


King of the Monsters 
$49.0 million
Aladdin $42.3 million
Rocketman $25.0 million
Ma $18.2 million
John Wick: Chapter 3  $11.1 million

Godzilla took out its kaiju enemies, as well as its competition at the box office. But with an estimated $49 million, that's about $40 million less than its predecessor opened with five years ago. It's another belated sequel that fell victim to its audience losing interest while it was away (see also: The LEGO Movie 2, Alice Through the Looking Glass). Even so, Godzilla vs. Kong is already slated for next summer. With terrible reviews, this one's likely to fade quickly, with Dark Phoenix and Men in Black International on the way.

Aladdin slipped to No. 2, and it's already out-grossed several other Disney live-action remakes, including Dumbo and the 1996 version of 101 Dalmatians. It should soon pass Cinderella and has an outside chance at $300 million, which would put it in fourth place, after Beauty and the Beast, the 2016 Jungle Book and Alice in Wonderland. What will be interesting to see is if this is a course correction after the disappointing Dumbo, or the new baseline for success for these films.

Rocketman opened in third place with $25 million. That's less than half of what Bohemian Rhapsody opened with in November, but this was rated R and had stiffer competition. It should have long legs throughout the summer, and has a good chance at being the biggest R-rated movie of the summer, especially given the rough go R-rated comedies are having lately. Its only real competition is Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. Ma delivered an excellent $18.2 million opening. In light of its $5 million budget, this is yet another big win for Blumhouse. John Wick: Chapter 3 slipped to fifth, and will soon have made more than the past two films combined.

Outside the top 5:

  • This Weekend's Indie Champ: Echo in the Canyon fell only 10 percent, adding 12 screens. That was good enough for a $7,548 average.
  • It's looking even bleaker for Booksmart than before. It dropped more than 52 percent in its second weekend, proving it won't have any legs or word-of-mouth success. It likely won't even make $20 million at this point.
  • In fact, every movie in the top 12 dropped significantly. June's only real hope at being successful lies in two animated films: The Secret Life of Pets 2 (which could also lose some momentum opening three years after the original was a massive hit) and Toy Story 4 (ditto).

Next week:

Three years ago, The Secret Life of Pets shocked everyone by overperforming significantly, opening with a massive $104 million. It ended 2016 as the year's fourth-biggest movie. That won't happen this time, but should be able to manage at least $65 million. That will be good enough for No. 1, while Dark Phoenix, the last iteration of these X-Men, will open in second place with $55 million. That would make it the first X-Men film to not open at the top.


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.