Box Office: ‘Avengers: Endgame’ stays No. 1, ‘Detective Pikachu’ debuts with solid US$58m

Avengers fans gather at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood to attend the opening screening of ‘Avengers: Endgame’ in Los Angeles, California, April 25, 2019. — Reuters pic
Avengers fans gather at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood to attend the opening screening of ‘Avengers: Endgame’ in Los Angeles, California, April 25, 2019. — Reuters pic

LOS ANGELES, May 12 — Disney and Marvel’s Avengers: Endgame remained victorious in North America, collecting US$65 million during its third weekend in theatres.

Avengers: Endgame officially passed Avengers: Infinity War (US$679 million) and Black Panther (US$700 million) to become the third-highest grossing movie of all time at the domestic box office with US$724 million in ticket sales. It’s still the second-biggest film ever globally with US$2.48 billion, pacing behind just Avatar with US$2.78 billion.

However, Endgame’s third straight box office success didn’t come without a little competition. Warner Bros. and Legendary’s Detective Pikachu certainly gave Earth’s Mightiest Heroes a run for their money. The studio’s live-action Pokemon adaptation pulled in a solid US$58 million when it launched in 4,202 venues.

The impressive start for Detective Pikachu signals a rare win for video-game to big-screen adaptations. But as competition from summer blockbuster season heats up, it’ll need to rely on solid word of mouth to stick around in North American theatres. The studio is also expecting Detective Pikachu to resonate overseas, where the electric yellow creature is a fan favourite.

Audiences seem high on Ryan Reynolds’ snarky take on the eponymous sleuthing Pokemon, awarding the film with an A- CinemaScore. Critical reviews were mixed, averaging a 64 per cent on Rotten Tomatoes. Directed by Rob Letterman, Detective Pikachu is based on the popular Pokemon series and the 2016 video game of the same name. Justice Smith stars alongside an adorable animated Pikachu (Reynolds) as the two team up to find out why the boy’s dad went missing.

Not all new releases were as fortunate. Poms, an uplifting comedy from STX and eOne, debuted with a paltry US$5.1 million from 2,750 theatres. Diane Keaton stars in the film about a group of seniors who form a cheerleading squad. To nobody’s surprise, Poms opening weekend crowd was 75 per cent female, while 85 per cent were over the age of 25. Reviews were not kind. It carries a 29 per cent on Rotten Tomatoes, as well as a B+ CinemaScore.

It’s been a rough month for STX as its animated adventure Uglydolls failed to pick up steam in its second weekend of release. The US$45 million movie generated US$4 million for a dreadful domestic haul of US$14.28 million.

Terrible reviews didn’t hold back all of this weekend’s newcomers. Rebel Wilson and Anne Hathaway’s The Hustle launched on the higher end of expectations with US$13.5 million from 3,007 screens. The comedy, a female-led remake of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and Bedtime Stories, has a 16 per cent on Rotten Tomatoes. Females accounted for 70 per cent of moviegoers, with 69 per cent under 35.

A number of holdovers rounded out box office charts. Sony and Screen Gems’ The Intruder secured the No. 4 spot with US$6.6 million, bringing its North American bounty to US$20.9 million. Lionsgate’s Long Shot, a romantic comedy with Seth Rogen and Charlize Theron, nabbed fifth place, adding US$6.1 million this weekend for a domestic tally of US$19.7 million. — Reuters

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