Weekend Box Office Report: COVID-19 Hits the Domestic Box Office

Photo Credit: Disney, Sony Pictures, Universal, and Lionsgate

Monday Update: Overall box office this weekend totaled $53.6M, the lowest weekend since Sept. 1-3, 2000 with $49.0M.

2020 year-to-date box office, after besting 2019 the entire year so far, finally fell below last year’s levels. YTD box office now stands at -6.7%, after being ahead +1.8% after last weekend.

But while that’s certainly due in part due to coronavirus, 2020’s fall behind 2019 likely would have happened this week anyway, due to the massive opening of Captain Marvel this time last year.

Unfortunately, the box office situation looks even bleaker in the immediate future than it did this past weekend.

Virtually all films planned for release in the next month or two have been delayed off the release calendar, including Mulan, A Quiet Place Part II, the James Bond film No Time to Die, and the next Fast and the Furious film F9.

On top of that, the country’s second-largest cinema chain Regal announcing Monday it would close all its U.S. theaters. It’s possible (or even likely) that other major cinema chains will follow suit in the next few days, similar to how the NBA suspending its season followed a domino effect with the NCAA and NHL doing so within 48 hours.

As for this frame’s Monday’s actuals, last weekend’s leader Onward led again with $10.6M, though with a substantial -73% drop.

Sony’s Bloodshot came in second place by just edging out Lionsgate’s I Still Believe by a mere +0.8%. That’s a reversal from Sunday’s studio estimates, which originally had Believe in second place with a +1.8% edge.

An updated box office table of weekend actuals for films in 1,000+ theaters is below, followed by our Sunday update with fuller analysis. 


# TITLE WEEKEND   LOCATIONS   AVG. TOTAL WKS. DIST.
1 Onward $10,601,952 -73% 4,310 0 $2,459 $60,360,639 2 Disney
2 Bloodshot $9,176,695 2,861 $3,207 $9,176,695 1 Sony Pictures
3 I Still Believe $9,103,614 3,250 $2,801 $9,103,614 1 Lionsgate
4 The Invisible Man $5,890,805 -61% 3,636 26 $1,620 $64,310,490 3 Universal Pictures
5 The Hunt $5,304,455 3,028 $1,751 $5,304,455 1 Universal Pictures
6 Sonic The Hedgehog $2,522,584 -67% 3,041 -676 $829 $145,753,912 5 Paramount
7 The Way Back $2,356,115 -71% 2,718 0 $866 $13,376,988 2 Warner Bros.
8 The Call Of The Wild $2,226,720 -67% 3,201 -713 $695 $62,092,631 4 20th Century Studios
9 Emma. $1,295,215 -73% 1,732 167 $747 $9,931,190 4 Focus Features
10 Bad Boys For Life $1,102,208 -63% 1,451 -708 $759 $204,294,609 9 Sony / Columbia
11 Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey $571,487 -73% 1,014 -1159 $563 $84,080,044 6 Warner Bros.

Sunday Update: The global box office is feeling the impact of COVID-19 on moviegoing, with studios, cinemas, and audiences in most of the world’s key markets taking precautionary measures in order to curb the spread of the virus. 

As of Saturday afternoon, Boxoffice Pro confirmed 18 of the North American market’s 25 leading exhibition circuits were operating at reduced capacity to support social distancing measures. Internationally, cinemas in Spain, France, and Italy have suspended operations. Similar measures have been implemented in entire regions and metropolitan areas in other key markets.

Major studios have steered clear of release dates in the coming months, rescheduling titles or removing them from the schedule altogether until further notice. In the meantime, domestic and global numbers are reflecting steep declines across the board. 

Considering the widespread social and economic impact of this global health crisis, there is little relevance to providing comparisons to performance from  previous years. This weekend, and those that follow, will have a giant asterisk next to them in the record books. For context, this weekend’s box office in North America is expected to come in around $55 million, making it the first weekend since September 2001 that the domestic market has grossed under $60 million. Most notably, each holdover title among the top 25 films on the domestic market dropped between 60 and 80 percent over the previous weekend.

Disney Pixar’s Onward led the domestic box office with $10.5 million from 4,310 locations. The family-skewing title dropped 73 percent from its opening weekend, bringing its North American cume to $60.3 million. The film didn’t open in any new overseas markets this weekend, taking $6.8 million from 47 territories to reach a $101.7 million global cume. Onward is not scheduled for any further overseas openings next week. 

Lionsgate’s faith-based title I Still Believe was the top opener of the weekend, bringing in $9.5 million from 3,250 screens. It was trailed closely by another new release, Sony’s Bloodshot, which was on track to hit $10 million after Thursday night previews before slowing down through the weekend. Bloodshot is expected to finish its opening frame with $9.3 million from 2,861 screens. Despite coming in third on the overall chart, Bloodshot posted the highest per-screen average from all wide release films on the market. Internationally, Bloodshot earned $13 million from 50 territories this weekend, taking its overseas cume to $15.1 million. 

After a release delay prompted by political fallout, The Hunt finally made it to screens on Friday. The new date, however, was hardly an improvement. The title struggled out of the gate with a  $5.32 million debut from 3,028 screens. Daily box office on the title went from a $2.22 million Friday to a $1.88 million Saturday. The studio is estimating Sunday to bring in $1.22 million. Exit poll data from CinemaScore reveals a C+ score from audiences. 

The film’s opening came in softer than expected according to Jim Orr, Universal’s president of domestic distribution, who doesn’t see the reduced admissions measures taken by cinemas as a determining factor in this weekend’s figures. “I’m not so sure that the capacity measures are necessarily limiting the box office, I think generally people are staying home,” he said. “We will definitely get to the other side of this, there’s no doubt the domestic box office will rebound. We are simply living in unprecedented times at the moment.”

Studio Weekend Estimates (Domestic)
FRI, MAR. 13 – SUN, MAR. 15

#TITLEWEEKEND LOCATIONS AVG.TOTALWKS.DIST.
1Onward$10,532,000-73%4,3100$2,444$60,290,6872Disney
2I Still Believe$9,500,0003,250$2,923$9,500,0001Lionsgate
3Bloodshot$9,325,0002,861$3,251$9,325,0001Sony Pictures
4The Invisible Man$6,000,000-58%3,63626$1,650$64,419,6853Universal Pictures
5The Hunt$5,320,0003,028$1,757$5,320,0001Universal Pictures
6Sonic The Hedgehog$2,575,000-66%3,041-676$847$145,806,3285Paramount
7The Call Of The Wild$2,241,000-67%3,201-713$700$62,106,911420th Century Studios
8The Way Back$2,415,000-70%2,7180$889$13,435,8732Warner Bros.
9Emma.$1,370,000-71%1,732167$791$10,005,9754Focus Features
10Bad Boys For Life$1,100,000-64%1,451-708$758$204,292,4019Sony / Columbia
11Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)$555,000-74%1,014-1159$547$84,063,5576Warner Bros.
#TITLEWEEKEND LOCATIONS AVG.TOTALWKS.DIST.
1Impractical Jokers: The Movie$415,000-77%900-875$459$9,650,2904truTV
2Jumanji: The Next Level$420,000-68%862-541$487$316,782,40414Sony Pictures
3Brahms: The Boy II$340,000-72%607-748$560$12,568,8034STX Entertainment
41917$336,000-75%766-769$439$159,183,02912Universal Pictures
5Fantasy Island$200,000-77%515-847$388$26,381,1795Sony Pictures
6Knives Out$90,000-70%221-180$407$165,359,75116Lionsgate
7The Photograph$84,000-76%198-184$424$20,568,3205Universal Pictures
8Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker$76,000-62%189-80$402$515,191,77413Disney
9Dolittle$75,000-79%256-431$293$77,035,9759Universal
10Baaghi 3$65,000-89%257-8$252$718,6612FIP
11Spies in Disguise$55,000-59%136-51$404$66,751,7471220th Century Fox
12Frozen II$46,000-68%165-64$279$477,372,13417Disney
13Wendy$44,000-2%16596$267$142,3673Fox Searchlight
14Las Píldoras De Mi Novio$55,000-81%133-147$413$2,966,7194Lionsgate / Pantelion Films
#TITLEWEEKEND LOCATIONS AVG.TOTALWKS.DIST.
1Never Rarely Sometimes Always$18,0004$4,500$18,0001Focus Features
2Jojo Rabbit$27,000-68%74-85$365$27,00022Fox Searchlight
3Ford v. Ferrari$12,000-75%55-40$218$117,624,0281820th Century Fox
4Downhill$3,000-86%24-45$125$8,286,9385Fox Searchlight

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