Long Range Tracking: Godzilla: King of the Monsters, Ma, & Rocketman

This week’s update welcomes the addition of three new releases slated to hit theaters the weekend after Memorial Day, closing out the month of May with what could be a strong entry into the official start of summer weekdays.

Godzilla: King of the Monsters
Opening Weekend Range: $40 – 60 million

PROS:

  • The previous film bowed to an excellent $93.2 million in May 2014, reviving the franchise among domestic fans.
  • Big-budget monster flicks have enjoyed a mini-resurgence in popularity in recent years thanks additionally this film’s in-universe predecessor, Kong: Skull Island ($61 million opening), Rampage ($35.8 million), and the Pacific Rim films ($37.3 million and $28.1 million, respectively).
  • The promise of a connection to Kong — leading up to next year’s anticipated Godzilla vs. Kong — should serve to entice fans.

CONS:

  • On a crowded weekend with a variety of films opening, it could be difficult for this sequel to attract the kind of widespread appeal enjoyed by Godzilla (2014) and Skull Island, which had notably less competition to face.
  • Although Skull Island reception proved more positive, the 2014 Godzilla divided audiences and managed an underwhelming 2.15x multiple from its opening to finish at $200.7 million domestically
  • As the Godzilla/Kong shared universe goes, we expect diminished returns with this sequel based on current buzz.

Ma
Opening Weekend Range: $15 – 30 million

PROS:

  • The horror/thriller genre remains on fire, and Blumhouse is at the front of that box office charge with brand name appeal to teens and young adults. Original films in particular have developed a trend of over-performing.
  • With Godzilla aiming for a predominately male/action fan audience, this could counter-program well given that similar films have leaned toward a majority of young female viewers.
  • Oscar-winning star Octavia Spencer may increase appeal to adult audiences.

CONS:

  • The film will have to contend with some competition from the weekend’s other releases, while legs will be dependent upon overall reception and word of mouth — especially with the busy slate of horror/thriller titles opening this summer.

Rocketman
Opening Weekend Range: $25 – 45 million

PROS:

  • Elton John remains one of the most iconic artists in global pop culture, recently coming back to the forefront of music news when he announced his retirement and proceeded to generate rapid sellouts of his farewell tour.
  • The revival of musically-driven blockbusters could easily create a halo effect leading into this film’s release. 2018 alone saw three hugely successful films (Bohemian Rhapsody, A Star Is Born, and Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again) prove the demand exists.
  • Early buzz surrounding trailers and footage screenings, plus for Taron Egerton’s performance (and Elton John’s own blessing), provide significant encouragement.
  • Serving as one of the few summer options for adult audiences that doesn’t rely on big budgets and special effects makes this a strong candidate for counter-programming success. Staying power through the season expected as long as word of mouth is positive.
  • Pending Aladdin and Godzilla‘s word of mouth, this could be a dark horse candidate to win its first weekend at the box office.

CONS:

  • Opening one week after Aladdin puts the film in the position of competing with another musically-driven movie.
  • While comparisons to Bohemian Rhapsody ($51.1 million debut) and A Star Is Born ($42.9 million) seem obvious, the former of the two titles was largely aided by Freddie Mercury’s legend having grown in the decades since his untimely passing. Similarly, A Star Is Born had the aid of a powerhouse star duo in Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga to bolster upfront demand.

8-Week Tracking

Release Date Title 3-Day Wide Release Tracking % Chg from Last Week Domestic Total Forecast % Chg from Last Week Estimated Location Count Distributor
4/12/2019 After (2019) $3,900,000 15% $7,900,000 15% 2,000 Aviron
4/12/2019 Hellboy (2019) $17,000,000   $36,000,000   3,200 Lionsgate / Summit
4/12/2019 Little $15,000,000   $43,000,000   2,600 Universal
4/12/2019 Missing Link $11,000,000   $42,000,000   3,500 Annapurna Pictures
4/17/2019 Breakthrough $13,500,000   $52,000,000   3,000 Fox
4/17/2019 Penguins $4,500,000   $17,500,000   1,700 Disney / Disneynature
4/19/2019 The Curse of La Llorona $20,000,000   $45,000,000   3,500 Warner Bros. (New Line)
4/26/2019 Avengers: Endgame $265,000,000   $645,000,000   Disney / Marvel
5/3/2019 The Intruder $14,500,000   $40,000,000   Sony / Columbia
5/3/2019 Long Shot $16,000,000   $60,000,000   Lionsgate / Summit
5/3/2019 Uglydolls $8,000,000   $27,000,000   STX
5/10/2019 All Is True n/a   n/a     Sony Classics
5/10/2019 Detective Pikachu $90,000,000   $250,000,000   Warner Bros.
5/10/2019 The Hustle $12,500,000   $35,000,000   Mirror Films / MGM
5/10/2019 Poms $12,500,000   $45,000,000   STX
5/10/2019 The Rosie Project n/a   n/a   TriStar
5/17/2019 A Dog’s Journey $11,000,000   $39,500,000   Sony / Columbia
5/17/2019 John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum $35,000,000   $100,000,000   Lionsgate / Summit
5/17/2019 The Sun Is Also a Star $12,000,000   $36,000,000   Warner Bros.
5/24/2019 Ad Astra n/a   n/a   Fox
5/24/2019 Aladdin $85,000,000   $235,000,000   Disney
5/24/2019 Booksmart n/a   n/a   Annapurna Pictures
5/24/2019 BrightBurn n/a   n/a   Sony / Columbia
5/31/2019 Godzilla: King of the Monsters $46,000,000 NEW $110,000,000 NEW Warner Bros.
5/31/2019 Ma $24,000,000 NEW $63,000,000 NEW Universal
5/31/2019 Rocketman $37,000,000 NEW $165,000,000 NEW Paramount

Forecasts subject to change as location counts are finalized before Friday.

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