Weekend Box Office Report: Onward, The Way Back

On the Record

Disney and Pixar’s Onward opened with only $39.1M, on the lowest end of expectations and Pixar’s lowest inflation-adjusted wide opening ever.

The previous low for a Pixar wide opening was 2015’s The Good Dinosaur with $39.1M, or $42.2M adjusted for ticket price inflation.

For context, on one popular box office prediction website, the lowest that any user projected for Onward was $39.0M — just $100K below what it actually earned.

What went wrong? Several factors were at play — but the coronavirus, despite fears it would severely impact the box office, was largely not one of them.

  • An original. Pixar’s recent focus on sequels had been terrific for their box office. Their two prior releases Toy Story 4 and Incredibles 2 both debuted over $120M. Without relying on preexisting properties, originals are always a tougher sell.
  • Mixed word of mouth. Its Rotten Tomatoes score of 86%, while certainly still good, ranks among the bottom third of all Pixar movies.
  • Lower attention. Its official YouTube trailers only earned a cumulative 18.3M views prior to release, far lower than the 88.4M for Toy Story 4 or 159.7M for Incredibles 2.
  • A March release date. This was the first Pixar film ever released outside the summer or holiday movie seasons. This reason is a little more flimsy, though, considering this same weekend last year saw the $153.4M debut of Captain Marvel.

Onward‘s weekend estimate steadily decreased, from a studio estimate of $42.0M on Saturday, down to $40.0M on Sunday, and finally to $39.1M by Monday actuals.

The audience demographics were 52% female and 52% under age 25.

Read our cover story interview with Onward director Dan Scanlon here. 


Elsewhere at the box office…

  • Warner Bros.’ sports drama The Way Back opened with $8.1M in third place. That was in line with pre-release projections, although less than half of such other sports dramas as Cinderella ManMoneyball, and Coach Carter.
  • Focus Features’ period film Emma expanded wide to $4.8M and sixth place, also in line with projections. That was more than double the wide opening of Mary Queen of Scots,+15.1% above Victoria and Abdul, and +84.4% above the best weekend of The Favourite.
  • truTV’s Impractical Jokers: The Movie spent a second weekend in the top 10, declining -48.8%. That’s in line with the -48.3% drop for Borat and -44.0% for Jackass: The Movie.
  • FUNimation’s anime My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising also spent a second weekend in the top 10, declining -71.1%. That’s in line with the studio’s highest grossing film Dragon Ball Super: Broly with -69.3%.
  • Disney overtook Universal to become the second-highest grossing studio at the domestic box office this year. 

How’d This Weekend Compare?

Total box office this weekend was $100.3M. That’s +3.1% above last weekend, but -52.3% behind this same weekend last year, when Captain Marvel led with $153.4M.

The Year So Far

Year-to-date box office stands at $1.69B. That’s +1.8% above this same date last year, down from +6.4% after last weekend.

That sharp YTD dropoff is due to Captain Marvel opening on this same weekend last year.

While 2020 year-to-date is running ahead of 2019, it’s falling considerably below 2018, 2017, 2016, and 2015 through the same point. The 2020 box office is poised to fall below 2019’s YTD later this week.

Studios

Sony remains the top studio of the year so far, at $449.8M.

Disney (including 20th Century Studios films) rises from third to second place with $333.4M. It’s almost certain that Disney will end the year as the top studio, likely starting with the release of Mulan later this month.

Universal falls from third to second place with with $333.2M. 


Monday’s Weekend Actuals (Domestic)

FRI, MAR. 6 – SUN, MAR. 8

WIDE (1000+)

# TITLE WEEKEND   LOCATIONS   AVG. TOTAL WKS. DIST.
1 Onward $39,119,861 4,310 $9,077 $39,119,861 1 Disney
2 The Invisible Man $15,132,340 -46% 3,610 0 $4,192 $52,675,910 2 Universal Pictures
3 The Way Back $8,170,315 2,718 $3,006 $8,170,315 1 Warner Bros.
4 Sonic The Hedgehog $7,704,067 -53% 3,717 -460 $2,073 $140,522,219 4 Paramount
5 The Call Of The Wild $6,762,405 -49% 3,914 49 $1,728 $57,246,143 3 20th Century Studios
6 Emma. $4,805,785 314% 1,565 1468 $3,071 $6,697,850 3 Focus Features
7 Bad Boys For Life $3,022,087 -31% 2,159 -549 $1,400 $202,000,190 8 Sony / Columbia
8 Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) $2,137,794 -48% 2,173 -951 $984 $82,538,376 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 $1,704,205 -71% 1,198 -62 $1,423 $12,899,612 2 FUNimation Entertainment
11 1917 $1,336,835 -51% 1,535 -697 $871 $158,260,929 11 Universal Pictures
12 Jumanji: The Next Level $1,323,154 -39% 1,403 -408 $943 $315,854,748 13 Sony Pictures
13 Brahms: The Boy II $1,239,717 -53% 1,355 -796 $915 $11,771,571 3 STX Entertainment
14 Fantasy Island $870,700 -63% 1,362 -1362 $639 $25,801,597 4 Sony Pictures

LIMITED (100 — 999)

# TITLE WEEKEND   LOCATIONS   AVG. TOTAL WKS. DIST.
1 Parasite $611,453 -59% 625 -699 $978 $52,784,907 22 NEON
2 Portrait of a Lady on Fire $524,107 -30% 334 66 $1,569 $3,346,388 14 NEON
3 Baaghi 3 $509,616 265 $1,923 $509,616 1 FIP
4 The Gentlemen $373,633 -66% 492 -981 $759 $36,017,816 7 STX Entertainment
5 Dolittle $351,180 -66% 687 -790 $511 $76,826,710 8 Universal
6 The Photograph $343,005 -67% 382 -1067 $898 $20,357,055 4 Universal Pictures
7 Knives Out $294,558 -53% 401 -269 $735 $165,157,003 15 Lionsgate
8 Las Píldoras De Mi Novio $263,219 -57% 280 -70 $940 $2,811,624 3 Lionsgate / Pantelion Films
9 Greed $200,725 731% 596 592 $337 $231,800 2 Sony Pictures Classics
10 Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker $198,365 -45% 269 -124 $737 $515,028,178 12 Disney
11 Little Women $166,743 -59% 263 -169 $634 $107,973,828 11 Sony Pictures
12 Frozen II $144,228 -54% 229 -115 $630 $477,272,608 16 Disney
13 Spies in Disguise $133,935 -40% 187 -58 $716 $66,644,649 11 20th Century Fox
14 Just Mercy $94,061 -46% 211 -89 $446 $35,915,353 11 Warner Bros.
15 Jojo Rabbit $84,776 -67% 159 -148 $533 $33,310,164 21 Fox Searchlight
16 Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band $82,951 -51% 131 -18 $633 $388,581 3 Magnolia Pictures
17 Ordinary Love $57,983 -28% 125 55 $464 $274,149 4  
18 Seberg $25,836 -88% 213 -160 $121 $413,758 3 Amazon Studios

PLATFORM (1 — 99)

# TITLE WEEKEND   LOCATIONS   AVG. TOTAL WKS. DIST.
1 Extra Ordinary $82,543 32 $2,579 $82,543 1 Cranked Up Films
2 First Cow $81,323 4 $20,331 $81,323 1 A24
3 Wendy $46,957 79% 69 65 $681 $76,936 2 Fox Searchlight
4 The Lodge $46,164 -83% 96 -299 $481 $1,648,051 5 Neon
5 CatVideoFest 2020 $41,150 -77% 27 -47 $1,524 $478,775 3 Oscilloscope Laboratories
6 Burden $40,205 99% 31 26 $1,297 $68,243 2 101 Studios
7 Ford v. Ferrari $39,202 -59% 95 -58 $413 $117,589,553 17 20th Century Fox
8 Gretel & Hansel $31,632 -58% 77 -130 $411 $15,315,577 6 United Artists Releasing
9 Hope Gap $30,978 18 $1,721 $30,978 1 Roadside Attractions
10 The Assistant $28,036 -74% 55 -100 $510 $1,078,414 6 Bleecker Street
11 Corpus Christi $23,836 14% 19 6 $1,255 $105,517 4 Film Movement
12 Underwater $21,879 -51% 50 -28 $438 $17,281,763 9 20th Century Fox
13 And Then We Danced $21,441 -22% 23 3 $932 $162,283 5 Muisc Box Films
14 Downhill $19,251 -90% 69 -608 $279 $8,274,557 4 Fox Searchlight
15 The Whistlers $17,885 -13% 7 4 $2,555 $46,495 2 Magnolia Pictures
16 The Last Full Measure $16,621 -41% 48 -13 $346 $2,933,946 7 Roadside Attractions
17 The Burnt Orange Heresy $16,163 4 $4,041 $16,163 1 Sony Pictures Classics
18 The Booksellers $15,794 1 $15,794 $15,794 1 Greenwich Entertainment
19 Bacurau $14,691 2 $7,346 $45,172 1 Kino Lorber Films
20 Saint Frances $14,220 -1% 4 3 $3,555 $31,640 2 Oscilloscope Laboratories
21 Uncut Gems $13,678 -53% 33 -28 $414 $50,018,557 13 A24
22 A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood $13,193 -55% 41 -33 $322 $61,696,436 16 Sony Pictures
23 The Times of Bill Cunningham $13,024 -8% 17 7 $766 $123,727 4 Greenwich Entertainment
24 Swallow $12,850 3 $4,283 $12,850 1 IFC Films
25 Beanpole $12,642 -54% 22 -12 $575 $187,024 6 Kino Lorber Films
26 Made in Hong Kong (2020 re-release) $12,000 1 $12,000 $12,000 1 Metrograph Pictures
27 2020 Oscar-Nominated Short Films $10,581 -5% 7 -6 $1,512 $3,304,748 6 Magnolia Pictures ShortsTV w/ Magnolia Pictures
28 Sorry We Missed You $9,436 3 $3,145 $19,873 2 Zeitgeist Films
29 The Traitor $9,005 -52% 17 -14 $530 $279,825 6 Sony Pictures Classics
30 Powerbomb $8,712 3 $2,904 $8,712 1 Indican Pictures
31 Come and See $8,157 -37% 3 2 $2,719 $61,979 3 Janus Films
32 The Woman Who Loves Giraffes $7,152 26% 15 5 $477 $106,234 23 Zeitgeist Films
33 Straight Up $6,541 61% 5 4 $1,308 $11,966 2  
34 The Song Of Names $6,538 -52% 11 -13 $594 $1,070,821 11 Sony Pictures Classics
35 Incitement $5,216 -58% 9 -7 $580 $136,035 6 Greenwich Entertainment
36 The Wild Goose Lake $4,573 1 $4,573 $6,079 1 Film Movement
37 Balloon $2,886 5 $577 $31,957 27 Distrib Films
38 Just One More Kiss $2,550 52% 2 0 $1,275 $8,445 3 Indican Pictures
39 Cunningham $2,002 -43% 5 1 $400 $265,014 13 Magnolia Pictures
40 Play the Flute $1,970 1 $1,970 $239,411 58  
41 King’s Gambit $1,936 2 $968 $1,936 1 Indican Pictures
42 Young Ahmed $1,787 -4% 3 1 $596 $19,535 3 Kino Lorber Films
43 Judy $1,594 -78% 10 -9 $159 $24,313,888 24 Roadside Attractions / LD Entertainment
44 Varda by Agnes $1,002 19% 1 -1 $1,002 $158,651 16 Janus Films
45 I Was at Home, But… $799 -55% 4 -1 $200 $13,828 4 Cinema Guild
46 Pain and Glory $668 -60% 4 -5 $167 $4,566,056 23 Sony Pictures Classics
47 Recorder: The Marion Stokes Project $576 1 $576 $55,142 17 Zeitgeist Films
48 Premature $543 -91% 10 -19 $54 $22,648 3 IFC Films / Sundance Selects
49 Zombi Child $437 -81% 3 -36 $146 $25,454 7 Film Movement
50 Lost in America $350 -95% 1 -1 $350 $8,760 2 Indican Pictures
51 Edie $139 -55% 1 0 $139 $71,611 27 Music Box Films
52 Mr. Klein $123 -55% 1 0 $123 $192,076 27 Rialto Pictures
53 By the Grace of God $83 28% 1 0 $83 $66,260 21 Music Box Films
54 Advocate $72 1 $72 $16,634 10 Film Movement
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