BO Report: ‘Robin Hood’ barely quivers while ‘Widows’ skews upscale

26 November, 2018 by Don Groves

‘Robin Hood.’

Lionsgate’s $100 million Robin Hood reboot is shaping as one of the biggest busts of 2018 while See-Saw Films/Regency Enterprises’ female-led heist movie Widows had a respectable debut on the back of rave reviews.


Among the other openers last weekend, Disney’s The Nutcracker and the Four Realms mirrored its weak US bow while the ethical and legal dilemma at the heart of Roadshow’s The Children Act proved too challenging for mainstream audiences.

Given the lacklustre new entries, takings for the top 20 titles unsurprisingly slumped by 16 per cent to $14.7 million, according to Numero.

Warner Bros’ Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald easily retained the top spot, commanding $4.2 million in its second weekend, elevating its total to $15.8 million.

The David Yates-directed adventure fantasy scripted by J.K. Rowling has hauled in $117 million in the US and $322.6 million in the rest of the world, for a global total of $439.7 million. So the sequel has already raked in more than half the $814 million which Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them grossed two years ago.

Fox’s Bohemian Rhapsody continues its meteoric run, scoring $3.3 million in its fourth stanza – easing by a mere 20 per cent – and $28.5 million thus far. The biopic starring Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury has chalked up $472.1 million worldwide: $152 million in the US and $320.1 million internationally.

Directed by Otto Bathurst and starring Taron Egerton, Jamie Foxx, Jamie Dornan, Ben Mendelsohn and Tim Minchin, Robin Hood fetched $1.3 million including previews on 253 screens for Studiocanal.

Pro-rata, that is roughly in line with the US debut of $14.2 million over five days. Lionsgate reportedly recouped around 70 per cent of the $100 million budget from international sales, which slightly softens the blow for the US studio.

The reviews were dire, reflected by the 11 per cent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, Egerton has not proven himself as a lead and some moviegoers may have wondered whether it was a modern telling of the legend or an action-comedy.

Warner Bros’ A Star is Born ascended to $28.7 million after making $1.25 million in its sixth frame. Bradley Cooper’s musical drama co-starring Lady Gaga has rung up $191 million in the US and $350 million worldwide, a handsome return for a film which cost $36 million.

Director Steve McQueen’s Widows generated $1.1 million including previews for Fox, a decent debut for the gritty thriller starring Viola Davis, Michelle Rodriguez, Elizabeth Debicki, Cynthia Erivo and Jacki Weaver. It resonated best in upmarket venues such as Cinema Nova, which was the No. 2 location nationally for The Children Act and No. 1 for Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda’s drama Shoplifters and Boy Erased.

No one expected the film inspired by Lynda La Plante’s miniseries, which speaks to the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements, to match McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave. But the US tally of $25.5 million in 11 days and the UK’s $6.8 million after three weekends suggest it isn’t hitting the heights that Fox and See-Saw Films would have hoped for. Wallis Cinemas consultant Bob Parr observes: “Widows did what I expected. The screen average was OK. It is a critics’ film but polarises the public.”

The Nutcracker and the Four Realms drew $995,000 on 312 screens including previews. With $49.1 million in the till after four weekends in the US and $73 million from the rest of the world, the fantasy adventure is Disney’s fourth bomb this year after Solo: A Star Wars Story, A Wrinkle in Time and Christopher Robin. It wasn’t a good sign when the studio ordered re-shoots after Joe Johnston replaced the original director Lasse Hallström.

Directed by Richard Eyre and based on an Ian McEwan novel, The Children Act stars Emma Thompson as a judge who has to decide whether a cancer-stricken teenage Jehovah’s Witness should have a life-saving blood transfusion against his wishes and those of his parents. It’s a well-made drama with strong performances from Thompson, Fionn Whitehead and Stanley Tucci but the Roadshow release took just $254,000 on 128 screens and $417,000 including festivals and advance screenings.

An alternate content release, The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo drummed up a rousing $141,000 for Cinema Live.

Writer-director David Lowery’s The Old Man & the Gun reached $560,000 after earning $142,000 in its second weekend for eOne.

Joel Edgerton’s Boy Erased collected $104,000 in its third, making a respectable $1.07 million for Universal, while Bruce Beresford’s Ladies in Black topped $11.8 million in its 10th for Sony Pictures.