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‘Hobbs & Shaw’ Dwarfs Quentin Tarantino With a $60 Million Opening

The "Fast and Furious" spinoff opened 50% higher than "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood," reinforcing the idea that franchises beat originals.

"Hobbs & Shaw"

“Hobbs & Shaw”

Here’s 2019 movie reality: “Fast & Furious” offshoot “Hobbs & Shaw” — starring Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, and Idris Elba — opened over 50% bigger than than “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” easily besting Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, and Margot Robbie.

That’s not to say “Once Upon a Time” isn’t doing well enough; it’s already made $78 million. However, it illustrates why studios are reluctant to take risks on originals. Even with Quentin Tarantino directing A-list stars, the film comes in behind a franchise spinoff.

With “The Lion King” placing between the two more recent releases, total business edged up a few million over last year. Year to date remains close to a half million down, over 6%, with “Hobbs” looking like the final summer release expected to open this well.

“Hobbs & Shaw”

Irrespective of high-end media coverage and awards potential, “Hobbs” hits core moviegoers’ sweet spot much more than “Once Upon a Time.”

That said, “Hobbs” debuted eighth best among the series’ openings (in adjusted numbers) and a bit over 60% of “The Fate of the Furious” in 2017, so there is some sign of franchise fatigue. The “Hobbs” budget is every bit as big as the previous entries at $200 million, but it should turn a profit: Initial foreign take was $120 million (and China still to come) and, like previous entries, foreign is expected to account for 75%-80% of the total.

“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”

Sony Pictures

The initial estimate for the second weekend of Tarantino’s film is $20 million, down 51% from its opening. Sony is pushing that this is a smaller second-weekend drop than films like “Oceans 8” and “Jason Bourne,” but a more apt comparison is other recent non-franchise hits like “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “A Star Is Born,” “Crazy Rich Asians,” “Rocket Man,” and “A Quiet Place.” Several of these opened better and all dropped less in their second weekends — a couple by a vast margin.

The 51% drop for “Once Upon a Time” is close to the 49% second weekend drop for “Inglourious Basterds.” Whatever happens next, expect it to easily cross $100 million — second only to “Us” among original titles this year. Still, it will likely fall short of the (adjusted) $145 million that “Basterds” made in 2009.

The Lion King

“The Lion King”

Disney

This is the third straight week with only one new release; this time last year, there were six, with a total of 15 films grossing over $1 million. This year, the top 10 included one film (“Annabelle Comes Home”) that grossed $875,000. Only the top three titles this week made over $8 million; last year had six, with the 10th-place title grossing just a little under $5 million. That’s a seismic shift.

Without “The Lion King,” the situation would be far worse. At $38 million, its third weekend represented a 50% drop, an improvement over its bigger-than-expected initial drop. These things are relative; with $1.2 billion so far worldwide, it will make a hefty profit even at its estimated $250 million cost and encourage similar efforts with known-quantity IP.

The expanding “The Farewell” showed an increase, placing #7 in only 409 theaters. Word-of-mouth success “Yesterday,” down only 21%, is headed for an unexpected $75 million-$80 million domestic success.

Five titles open wide next week, all more or less original. How they do will be a test for the public’s taste for fresh titles. But don’t be shocked if none places higher than third.

The Top Ten

1. Hobbs & Shaw (Universal) NEW – Cinemascore: A-; Metacritic: 60; Est. budget: $200 million

$60,800,000 in 4,253 theaters; PTA (per theater average): $14,296; Cumulative: $60,800,000

2. The Lion King (Disney) Week 1; Last weekend #1

$38,246,000 (-50%) in 4,802 theaters (+77); PTA: $7,965; Cumulative: $430,889,000

3. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (Sony) Week 3; Last weekend #2

$20,025,000 in (-51%) 3,659 theaters (no change); PTA: $5,473; Cumulative: $78,842,000

4. Spider-Man: Far from Home (Sony) Week 5; Last weekend #3

$7,775,000 (-38%) in 3,446 theaters (-405); PTA: $2,250; Cumulative: $360,329,000

5. Toy Story 4 (Disney) Week 2; Last weekend #4

$7,150,000 (-32%) in 3,225 theaters (-85); PTA: $2,217; Cumulative: $410,050,000

6. Yesterday (Universal) Week 7; Last weekend #7

$2,440,000 (-21%) in 1,837 theaters (-713); PTA: $1,328; Cumulative: $67,903,000

7. The Farewell (A24) Week 4; Last weekend #10

$2,429,000 (+60%) in 409 theaters (+274); PTA: $5,939; Cumulative: $6,838,000

8. Crawl (Paramount) Week 4; Last weekend #5

$2,150,000 (-47%) in 2,085 theaters (-635); PTA: $1,031; Cumulative: $36,091,000

9. Aladdin (Disney) Week 11; Last weekend #7

$2,018,000 in (-34%) in 1,370 theaters (-428); PTA: $1,473; Cumulative: $350,370,000

10. Annabelle Calls Home (Warner Bros.) Week 6; Last weekend #9

$875,000 (-44%) in 919 theaters (-368); PTA: $952; Cumulative: $71,575,000

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