BO Report: ‘Spider-Man’ reboot can’t catch ‘The Grinch’

17 December, 2018 by Don Groves

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (Photo: Sony Pictures Animation).

Sony Animation’s Spider-Man reboot swung into Australian cinemas last weekend but trailed Universal/Illumination’s powerhouse The Grinch, which ruled again in its third frame.


Andre Rieu fans turned out for his concert filmed at Sydney Town Hall while Fox’s M-rated Once Upon a Deadpool had a middling start, in line with its US debut.

Meanwhile Peter Jackson, Universal Pictures and co-financiers Media Rights Capital and Perfect World Pictures are facing a write-off of $100 million or more on Mortal Engines, which bombed in the US.

Bruce Beresford’s Ladies in Black is winding down after 13 weeks, having generated $11.9 million for Sony.

Alfonso Cuarón’s ROMA, which chronicles a turbulent year in the lives of a middle-class family in 1970s Mexico City, is having a brief run in a handful of cinemas including the Ritz, Hayden Orpheum Picture Palace Cremorne and Palace Cinema Coma and Norton Street.

Netflix, which started streaming the film on December 14, asked exhibitors and B.O. tracking services not to report the results after major chains in the US and elsewhere refused to book it due to the short window.

Wallis Cinemas programming manager Sasha Close tells IF: “We were not approached to screen ROMA, nor did we seek it out. New film releases on Netflix and in theatres remains an interesting and perhaps vexed issue for the whole industry.”

It wasn’t offered either to Cinema Nova, whose general manager Kristian Connelly observes: “With the film debuting on Netflix this past weekend, the short window would have caused us pause in the event we were offered it.”

The top 20 titles mustered $13.1 million, up just 3 per cent on the previous weekend according to Numero. Co-directed by Scott Mosier and Yarrow Cheney, The Grinch flew to $11.3 million after banking $2.7 million on 383 screens, up 9 per cent on the previous weekend.

The animated comedy featuring a voice cast led by Benedict Cumberbatch, Rashida Jones, Angela Lansbury, Kenan Thompson and Pharrell Williams has hauled in $239.3 million in the US and $372.7 million worldwide.

Based on the Marvel Comic, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse drew $2.6 million on 421 screens and $3.2 million including advance screenings. That’s roughly in line with the US’s $35.4 million, which ranks as a December record for an animated title.

The Rotten Tomatoes approval rating of 97 per cent augurs well for the superhero adventure produced by The Lego Movie mavens Phil Lord and Christopher Miller and directed by Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey and Rodney Rothman.

There’s no stopping Fox’s Bohemian Rhapsody, which earned $1.5 million in its seventh outing, off just 13 per cent, lifting the total to $37.4 million. The Freddie Mercury biopic has amassed $635.9 million globally, of which international markets have generated $455.5 million.

Warner Bros/MGM’s Creed 11 punched up $1 million in its third frame, down 36 per cent, to reach $7.2 million, eclipsing the original’s lifetime total of $6.8 million. The Rocky spin-off directed by Steven Caple Jr and co-written by Sylvester Stallone has scored $104.8 million in the US and will soon overtake the first film’s $109.7 million.

Distributed by Piece of Magic Entertainment, André Rieu’s Sydney Town Hall Concert – An Australian Celebration, rang up $727,000 on 119 locations as cinemagoers evidently were not deterred by the $40 ticket price.

Directed by Jackson’s Oscar-winning VFX protege Christian Rivers, Mortal Engines opened with a miserable $7.5 million on 3,100 screens in the US. In Oz the sci-fi fantasy clearly is getting bad word of mouth, plunging by 48 per cent to $698,000 in its second weekend, tallying $2.6 million. The rest of the world won’t offset the domestic disaster, with $25.1 million from 43 territories thus far.

In the US social media monitor RelishMix got to the crux of the problem, reporting: “Moviegoers are unimpressed with Mortal Engines, particularly those who have seen the film already. They claim that the movie ‘borrows’ some plot lines, outright steals others, and has very little originality when it comes to plot and character development. Everyone is willing to admit that the visuals and effects are spectacular but the overall question is, ‘What do effects matter if we don’t care about the characters or story?’”

Warner Bros’ Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald advanced to $22.1 million after bagging $682,000 in its fifth. The David Yates-directed adventure fantasy scripted by J.K. Rowling has mustered $151.6 million in the US and $444.2 million in the rest of the world for a global total of $595.8 million.

Roadshow’s Second Act, which stars Jennifer Lopez as an assistant retail manager who takes on a corporate career after creating a fake resume, collected $543,000 in its second outing. The comedy directed by Peter Segal, which has earned a fair $2.6 million here, opens in the US this Friday.

WB’s A Star is Born climbed to $31.7 million after making $451,000 in its ninth. Bradley Cooper’s musical drama co-starring Lady Gaga has drummed up $376.2 million worldwide, more than 10 times the $36 million production budget.

The re-imagined Once Upon a Deadpool grossed $394,000 on 107 screens, compared with $3.6 million in five days in the US, and is positioned to cash in on the school holidays.

Peppermint, Pierre Morel’s action thriller starring Jennifer Garner as a young woman who turns into an urban guerrilla after her husband and daughter are brutally killed, launched with a mediocre $333,000. Distributor Roadshow may have hoped for more as the film opened with $13.4 million in the US in September and finished up with $35.4 million.

Scripted by Alan Bennett and staged at the Nottingham Playhouse, NT Live: The Madness of George III pocketed a disappointing $43,000 from limited sessions on 31 screens as an alternate content release for Sharmill Films.

Summing up the weekend, Close says: “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse opened solidly and the weekend event screenings for Andre Rieu again proved his popularity in Australia. Peppermint performed in line with expectations and US results. However I expected more from Once Upon a Deadpool.”

Cinema Nova’s Connelly is bullish about the upcoming line-up, noting: “We hold high hopes with award-winning foreign language titles Cold War and Wild Pear Tree appealing strongly to Nova’s audience, while The Favourite from The Lobster’s Yorgos Lanthimos is expected to repeat the director’s enormous prior success.

“Political satire Vice is likely to perform strongly as positive reviews and awards continue to bolster its appeal, as are contemporary art documentary Kusama Infinity and coming-of-age drama Eighth Grade.”