Home Entertainment Weekend box office report – Covid-19 causes lowest box office total in 25 years

Weekend box office report – Covid-19 causes lowest box office total in 25 years

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It’s not just upcoming movie release schedules being hit hard by Covid-19. Not only are more and more people avoiding public places, but AMC and Regal, the two biggest cinemas chains in the US, have cut their ticket availability for shows by 50% to allow cinema goers to book tickets with empty seats next to them. With such shakeups, current US box office earnings fell sharply this weekend past. Pixar’s Onward held onto the top spot it had earned on debut last week, but the animated family film saw its earnings plummet a massive 73% as it pulled in just $10.5 million in its sophomore weekend on the US box office. On the international front, things weren’t looking much better as it earned just $6.8 million from 47 markets. That gives the film a global total just barely over $100 million after 10 days, which is definitely not normal for a Pixar film.

In second place, we find faith-based drama I Still Believe which was the only newcomer that actually debuted as predicted (if you want to see that as a commentary on the religious demographic turning up for a movie in spite of Covid-19, that’s up to you). The biopic film, which tells the story of Christian singer Jeremy Camp, debuted to the tune of $9.5 million, which was just enough to edge out fellow newcomer Bloodshot.

The Vin Diesel-led Valiant Comics adaptation has not been a hit with critics and many audience members who saw it. Couple that bad buzz with Covid-19 fears, and Bloodshot had to settle for third place with just $9.3 million. Internationally, the superhero action film opened to a mere $13 million from 50 markets. With a production budget of $45 million excluding advertising costs, and with the Chinese box office, arguably Diesel’s most lucrative market, shut down for weeks now as the country was the original epicenter of the Covid-19 outbreak, I think it’s safe to say that the Valiant Cinematic Universe that Bloodshot was supposed to launch is dead before it even began.

The battle for fourth and fifth place was also extremely close, and, awkwardly, it was a case of Blumhouse vs Blumhouse as two releases from the production company went head to head. The critically-acclaimed The Invisible Man ended up ahead in fourth though with $5.85 million, while newcomer The Hunt had to open in fifth with $5.3 million. The latter was delayed amidst controversy last year due to its plot of rich elitists hunting people for sport prompting comparisons with mass shootings in America at the time. The extra time has not helped at all.

This was the story of most of the top ten. In fact, if you add up all the domestic earnings of these films from this weekend past, you come to a paltry $50.3 million. That’s the lowest top ten cumulative total since the weekend of 17 March 1995 when the no. 1 movie at the box office was Outbreak. Yes, you read that correctly. The Universe is clearly just pranking us now.

There was one success story this weekend past though. After five weeks on the charts, Sonic the Hedgehog is now sitting on a domestic total of $145.8 million. That officially makes it the biggest video game adaptation ever in US box office history by beating out the $144. 1 million record set by Pokemon: Detective Pikachu last year.

Let’s see what the rest of the US box office chart looks like:

No.Movie Name Weekend gross Percentage change US Domestic gross Worldwide gross Last Week's Position
1Onward $10.5 million -73% $60.2 million $101.6 million 1st
2I Still Believe $9.5 million NE $9.5 million $9.5 million NE
3Bloodshot $9.3 million NE $10.5 million $25.6 million NE
4The Invisible Man $6 million -60% $64.4 million $122.7 million 2nd
5The Hunt $5.3 million NE $5.7 million $6.4 million NE
6Sonic the Hedgehog $2.5 million -66% $145.8 million $306.5 million 4th
7The Way Back $2.4 million -70% $13.4 million $14.3 million 3rd
8The Call of the Wild $2.2 million -67% $62.1 million $107.3 million 5th
9Emma $1.3 million -71% $10 million $25.1 million 6th
10Bad Boys for Life $7 million -63% $204.2 million $417.8 million 7th

NE = New Entry

Last Updated: March 16, 2020

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