With Sonic the Hedgehog and The Call of the Wild now beginning to wind down at the domestic box office, the first weekend of March was ripe for the release of another family-oriented title – and audiences got one with Disney/Pixar’s Onward, which opened to an estimated $40 million from 4,310 locations (not including $650K from sneak previews held last Saturday). On the adult front, Warner Bros. opened basketball drama The Way Back to okay results, while last weekend’s No. 1 movie The Invisible Man enjoyed a strong hold in its sophomore frame.
Entering the box office on a wave of mainly positive reviews, Onward (which currently boasts a solid 86% “Fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes) finished more or less in line with expectations heading into the weekend, benefitting from the rock-solid Pixar brand name and popular voice talent including Tom Holland and Chris Pratt. This is actually the first original title from the sequel-happy animation studio since Coco, which opened to $50.8 million in November 2017 — though the release pattern for Onward is much more similar to that of the non-Pixar Disney animated hit Zootopia, which also debuted in theaters in early March four years ago to a far more impressive $75.1 million.
While Sonic the Hedgehog and The Call of the Wild are certainly less potent than they were earlier in their runs, their continued popularity likely cut into Onward’s grosses this weekend somewhat. It’s worth noting that Onward’s debut came in on the lower end for a Pixar title, falling between 2015’s The Good Dinosaur ($39.15 million) and 2007’s Ratatouille ($47.02 million). In fairness, the majority of the animation studio’s releases have debuted during the more lucrative summer and holiday moviegoing seasons, making direct comparisons a little dicey. If all goes well, positive word-of-mouth for Onward will keep it alive in the coming weeks — and that kind of buzz is certainly a possibility judging from the film’s A- Cinemascore and excellent 96% Audience Score on Rotten Tomatoes.
Holding rather well in second place was last weekend’s top finisher The Invisible Man, which dropped 46% to an estimated $15.2 million in its sophomore frame. That brings the total for the acclaimed genre reboot to $52.7 million after ten days, lifting it head and shoulders above the rest of this year’s horror releases.
The weekend’s other wide opener The Way Back debuted in third place with $8.5 million from 2,718 locations, a somewhat disappointing result for the Ben Affleck vehicle, which is about an alcoholic construction worker who reluctantly accepts a job as a high school basketball coach. The feel-good drama garnered mostly positive reviews (88% on Rotten Tomatoes), while moviegoers seem to be enjoying it too, with opening day audiences awarding it a B+ Cinemascore and Rotten Tomatoes users lifting it to a solid 90% Audience Score. If word of mouth continues strong, the film has a reasonable chance of holding well in the coming weeks.
Sonic the Hedgehog dropped 51% to an estimated $8 million in fourth place, bringing the total for the Paramount title to $140.81 million through the end of its fourth weekend. The family hit will soon surpass Pokémon Detective Pikachu ($144.1 million) to become the highest-grossing video game adaptation of all time.
In fifth place was 20th Century Studios’ The Call of the Wild, which grossed an estimated $7 million in its third weekend. The total for the Disney release now stands at $57.5 million.
Focus Features expanded Emma into 1,565 locations this weekend and brought in an estimated $5 million, bringing the total for the Jane Austen adaptation to $6.9 million to date. The critically-acclaimed title, which garnered a “B” Cinemascore from opening day audiences this weekend, previously racked up impressive per-screen averages over two weekends of limited release.
Bad Boys for Life came in seventh place with an estimated $3.05 million in its eighth weekend of release, bringing the total for the Sony blockbuster to $202.02 million. That makes the Will Smith-Martin Lawrence threequel the first film to top the $200 million mark this year.
Rounding out the Top 10, Warner Bros.’ Birds of Prey grossed an estimated $2.16 million in eighth place for a total of $82.56 million after five weeks of release; truTV’s Impractical Jokers: The Movie grossed $1.84 million in ninth place for a $9.48 million tally after three weeks; and Funimation’s My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising, which brought in an estimated $1.5 million in tenth place, bringing the total for the Japanese anime to $12 million through the end of its second weekend.
First Cow, the latest acclaimed release from director Kelly Reichardt, opened on 4 screens this weekend and brought in an estimated $96K. According to distributor A24, that’s a career-best opening for the director.
Onward was also the No. 1 movie overseas this weekend, racking up an estimated $28 million in 47 territories. Top performing markets include the U.K. ($4.4 million), France ($3.3 million) and Mexico ($3 million). The Disney title wasn’t released in a number of major markets in Asia including Korea, Japan and China as well as Italy, which has been hit hard by the coronavirus in Europe. The film is slated to debut in all of those territories except China in mid-April, and it will be interesting to see whether the disease impacts attendance in those places.
The Invisible Man grossed an estimated $17.3 million in 65 markets, lifting the international total for the Universal release to $45.6 million and the global tally to $98.3 million.
Sonic the Hedgehog took in an estimated $12 million in 62 markets, boosting the overseas total for the Paramount release to $154.8 million and its worldwide sum to $ million. Top territories include the U.K. ($23.9 million), Mexico ($17.4 million), France ($14.7 million) and Russia ($10.1 million).
Sunday’s Studio Weekend Estimates (Domestic)
FRI, MAR. 6 – SUN, MAR. 8
|2||The Invisible Man||$15,150,000||-46%||3,610||0||$4,197||$52,693,570||2||Universal Pictures|
|3||The Way Back||$8,500,000||—||2,718||—||$3,127||$8,500,000||1||Warner Bros.|
|4||Sonic The Hedgehog||$8,000,000||-51%||3,717||-460||$2,152||$140,818,152||4||Paramount|
|5||The Call Of The Wild||$7,000,000||-48%||3,914||49||$1,788||$57,483,738||3||20th Century Studios|
|7||Bad Boys For Life||$3,050,000||-30%||2,159||-549||$1,413||$202,028,103||8||Sony / Columbia|
|8||Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)||$2,160,000||-47%||2,173||-951||$994||$82,560,582||5||Warner Bros.|
|9||Impractical Jokers: The Movie||$1,845,000||-48%||1,775||-125||$1,039||$10,197,091||3||truTV|
|10||My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising||$1,528,753||-74%||1,195||-65||$1,279||$12,691,676||2||FUNimation Entertainment|
|12||Jumanji: The Next Level||$1,340,000||-39%||1,403||-408||$955||$315,871,594||13||Sony Pictures|
|13||Brahms: The Boy II||$1,230,000||-53%||1,355||-796||$908||$11,761,854||3||STX Entertainment|
|14||Fantasy Island||$885,000||-62%||1,362||-1362||$650||$25,815,897||4||Sony Pictures|
|2||Portrait of a Lady on Fire||$540,000||-28%||334||66||$1,617||$3,362,281||14||NEON|
|4||The Gentlemen||$370,000||-66%||492||-981||$752||$36,014,183||7||STX Entertainment|
|6||The Photograph||$350,000||-67%||382||-1067||$916||$20,364,050||4||Universal Pictures|
|8||Las Píldoras De Mi Novio||$260,000||-58%||280||-70||$929||$2,808,405||3||Lionsgate / Pantelion Films|
|9||Greed||$213,799||785%||596||592||$359||$244,874||2||Sony Pictures Classics|
|10||Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker||$200,000||-44%||269||-124||$743||$515,029,813||12||Disney|
|11||Little Women||$160,000||-61%||263||-169||$608||$107,967,085||11||Sony Pictures|
|13||Spies in Disguise||$135,000||-39%||187||-58||$722||$66,645,714||11||20th Century Fox|
|14||Jojo Rabbit||$97,000||-63%||159||-148||$610||$33,322,388||21||Fox Searchlight|
|2||Extra Ordinary||$83,954||—||32||—||$2,624||$83,954||1||Cranked Up Films|
|4||Ford v. Ferrari||$49,000||-48%||95||-58||$516||$117,599,351||17||20th Century Fox|
|6||CatVideoFest 2020||$41,150||-77%||27||-47||$1,524||$478,775||3||Oscilloscope Laboratories|
|8||Hope Gap||$32,655||—||18||—||$1,814||$32,655||1||Roadside Attractions|
|9||The Assistant||$27,886||-74%||55||-100||$507||$1,078,264||6||Bleecker Street|
|10||And Then We Danced||$21,424||-22%||23||3||$931||$162,266||5||Muisc Box Films|
|12||Underwater||$20,000||-55%||50||-28||$400||$17,279,884||9||20th Century Fox|
|13||The Burnt Orange Heresy||$18,296||—||4||—||$4,574||$18,296||1||Sony Pictures Classics|
|14||The Booksellers||$17,000||—||1||—||$17,000||$17,000||1||Greenwich Entertainment|
|15||Bacurau||$15,210||—||2||—||$7,605||$15,210||1||Kino Lorber Films|
|16||Saint Frances||$14,220||-1%||4||3||$3,555||$31,640||2||Oscilloscope Laboratories|
|18||Made in Hong Kong (2020 re-release)||$12,000||—||1||—||$12,000||$12,000||1||Metrograph Pictures|