Movies can often be a great form of escape during times of crisis. But unfortunately, the crisis we currently find ourselves in – dealing with the coronavirus – has made movie-going difficult. Theaters are cutting capacity, and in some cases, closing entirely. On top of all that, the message that’s being spread far and wide…
Movies can often be a great form of escape during times of crisis. But unfortunately, the crisis we currently find ourselves in – dealing with the coronavirus – has made movie-going difficult. Theaters are cutting capacity, and in some cases, closing entirely. On top of all that, the message that’s being spread far and wide is: social distancing, AKA “Stop going out in public, you dopes.” Which means the weekend box office was…not great. In fact, the weekend saw the box office at a 20-year low.
Normally, we here at /Film do a weekly post about the weekend box office. It’s mostly frothy and lighthearted, because really – box office shouldn’t matter to you unless you have a financial stake in a movie. But this week’s box office story is going to be a bit bleak, folks. I wish I had better news for you, but we’re in the midst of a virus outbreak that’s made our everyday lives feel like a scene from Contagion. And while there are plenty of reports of people being big, stupid idiots and ignoring warnings to go get drunk in bars, the same can’t be said for movie theaters. In fact, audiences pretty much-ignored theaters over the weekend. And since theaters in places like New York and LA are about to completely shut down, the news is bound to remain grim.
Bloodshot, starring Vin Diesel, was the weekend’s big movie – and it didn’t do well. At all. It took in around $9.3 million and landed in third place, which is bad news for a film that cost $45 million to make. The Hunt, a film that was supposed to open last year but was pushed due to controversy and backlash, finally had its day on the big screen, and only took in $5.3 million against a $14 million budget. Meanwhile, Disney and Pixar’s Onward saw a 45% drop from last weekend – a clear indication that audiences are staying away from theaters.
In fact, according to Variety, the box office was the worst its been in 20 years. Ticket sales in North America were around $55.3 million between Friday and Sunday, which recalls the weekend of September 15 to 17 in 2000, when the total was $54.5 million. The box office dropoff is particularly bad for smaller movies, which have a hard time to begin with. As IndieWire reports, the acclaimed indie First Cow opened well the previous weekend, but ended up having a steep drop-off last weekend in the wake of extended coronavirus news. It’s total: $20,000. And Never Rarely Sometimes Always, another highly-regarded film, took in $18,000.
Things aren’t bound to improve anytime soon. Big movies like Mulan and A Quiet Place Part II were supposed to open this month, but both have been pulled from release due to coronavirus concerns. As of the writing of this post, the next “big” movie won’t arrive in theaters until April 10, with Trolls World Tour. Good luck getting excited about that one.
Here are the current top 10 movies at the box office.
2. I Still Believe
4. The Invisible Man
5. The Hunt
6. Sonic the Hedgehog
7. The Way Back
8. The Call of the Wild
10. Bad Boys For Life
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