Friday Box Office: ‘Onward’ Plunges 73% As ‘Invisible Man’ Weathers Coronavirus


Chris Pratt, Octavia Spencer, and Tom Holland in ‘Onward’


While the three new releases didn’t seem to be that affected by the coronavirus pandemic, the holdover movies all sank like a stone on Friday. This isn’t surprising. If you recall the Aurora theater shooting in July of 2012, when 12 people were killed during a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises, we saw something similar. Chris Nolan’s Batman sequel still opened with $160 million, just above the $157 million launch of The Dark Knight three years earlier and still the biggest 2-D opening weekend on record. Folks who were looking forward to the comic book adventure showed up, but the holdovers ( Amazing Spider-Man, Ice Age: Continental Drift, Ted, etc.) took sharp dives.

Still, those older films recovered the next weekend as concerns subsided. Alas, concerns about this outbreak won’t be subsiding anytime soon.

Pixar’s Onward earned $3.225 million (-73%) on Friday for a likely $12.51 million (-68%) second-weekend gross. Yes, that’s a huge drop for a Pixar movie (although Good Dinosaur dropped 78% on its second Friday), and yes, its $62 million ten-day cume is essentially tied with Good Dinosaur‘s $63 million 12-day cume. Whether intended as a distraction or an accommodation, Disney will be dropping Frozen II onto Disney+ tomorrow morning, months ahead of schedule while allowing folks to digitally purchase Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker as of last night days before the planned March 17 “electronic sell-through” release date. As noted yesterday, Disney is uniquely suited to weather the storm, both because they had a ridiculously huge year in 2019 and because Disney+ is going to look enticing for families on lockdown.

Elisabeth Moss as Cecilia Kass in “The Invisible Man,” written and directed by Leigh Whannell.

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Universal and Blumhouse’s The Invisible Man had the smallest drop in the top 20, earning $1.83 million (-58%) for a likely $6.36 million (-58%) third-weekend gross. That’ll give Leigh Whannell and Elisabeth Moss’ $7 million, R-rated horror movie a still-robust $64.8 million 17-day cume. This new normal puts a damper on long-term prospects, but it’s already a hit. Considering the extent that folks showed up to be scared, A Quiet Place part II might have okay had it opened next weekend as planned. Sonic the Hedgehog earned $730,000 (-59%) on Friday for a likely $2.91 million (-62%) fifth-weekend gross and a $146.1 million domestic cume. That puts it above Pokémon: Detective Pikachu ($144 million in 2019)as the biggest video game movie ever in unadjusted domestic earnings. Paramount’s $85 million release has passed $300 million worldwide.

Ben Affleck’s The Way Back earned $720,000 (-72%) on Friday for a $2.48 million (-70%) second weekend and $13.5 million ten-day gross. All due respect, one cannot blame the pandemic for this one. Disney’s Call of the Wild earned $680,000 (-63%) on Friday for a $2.39 million (-65%) weekend and $62.26 million 24-day domestic cume. Emma crashed on weekend two, with a $580,000 (-70%) Friday and likely $1.39 million (-71%) Fri-Sun frame, but that’s more about the status quo than any audience indifference to the movie itself. Bad Boys For Life will earn $1.13 million (-63%) in weekend nine for a $204.3 million domestic cume, passing (sans inflation obviously) the $204 million gross of Terminator 2: Judgment Day. Alas, Birds of Prey will earn $620,000 (-71%) in weekend six for a poor $84.13 million domestic cume.