Overall box office receipts this weekend are sluggish this weekend, which is shaping up to be the worst in nearly 15 years (since Miss Congeniality 2 took the top spot in 2005). There’s a fairly good reason for that: Easter weekends typically do not fall the weekend before the release of Avengers: Endgame. Most studios weren’t brave enough to sacrifice a film this weekend, knowing that it would get chewed up in the motor of the MCU next weekend. It made sense, then, for New Line to release The Curse of La Llorona since most horror movies tend to be front-loaded, anyway.
I’m not even sure how many moviegoers knew that Lo Llorona was part of James Wan’s The Conjuring universe (the sixth film to take place in that universe, tenuous though it may be), but that brand likely helped to propel it to an OK $26.5 million opening, the weakest opening by far in that universe (Annabelle 2 came in with $35 million in 2017, before The Nun opened with a stunning $53 million last year). Reviews weren’t particularly helpful (32 percent on Rotten Tomatoes), while the B- Cinemascore suggests New Line was right to release it this weekend, because word of mouth would not have propelled it very far even without Endgame coming up behind it. Still, $26.5 million is a solid opening for any film that only cost $9 million to produce.
The film that probably benefitted the most by the weak slate of releases this weekend was DC’s Shazam!, which dropped only 29 percent in its third weekend and earned $17 million. After three weeks, the film has earned $121 million, plus around another $200 million overseas. The $320 million worldwide gross has already tripled its production budget, so definitely expect to see a sequel (one with perhaps Black Adam).
Disney’s faith-based Breakthrough, starring Chrissy Metz and Topher Grace, took the three spot with around $11 million over the weekend and $14.5 million since Wednesday, which is slightly more than its $14 million production budget. Reviews were decent (64 percent on Rotten Tomatoes) and audiences in the South and Midwest helped boost those numbers.
Holdovers took the rest of the top ten, although it should be noted that Disney Nature’s Penguins documentary put up $2.3 million, outside of the top ten. Otherwise, Captain Marvel actually earned slightly more in its seventh weekend than it did in its sixth, adding $9 million to bring it to an even $400 million ahead of Endgame. Plenty of people are heading out to see it so they can catch up before the arrival of Endgame, though it may see a precipitous fall next weekend. It should, however, easily pass Iron Man 3 ($409 million) and become the fifth highest grossing film in the MCU.
In its second weekend, Little added another $8.2 million, and it has nearly hit the $30 million mark ($29.1 million). With $7.1 million, Tim Burton’s Dumbo ekes past the $100 million mark ($101 million), plus nearly $200 million overseas. Pet Sematary has now earned $49.1 million after a $4.8 million third weekend. The good news for Missing Link is that it fell only 22 percent in its second weekend. The bad news is, it didn’t start in a particularly good place. It earned $4.57 million and has now earned $13.1 million after ten days.
Jordan Peele’s Us sticks around for another week (its fifth), and after earning $4.1 million, it has made $170 million. The big loser this weekend was Hellboy, which dropped 68 percent off of its bad first weekend total to earn $3.88 million. After two weekends, it hasn’t even broken $20 million yet ($19.1 million).
Avengers: Endgame opens next weekend and will make a run at the biggest opening weekend ever, a record currently held by its predecessor, Avengers: Infinity War, which opened last year with $257 million. It probably goes without saying that nothing else will be opening against it.