Elsewhere, Japanese anime pic ‘Dragon Ball Super: Broly’ surprises, while ‘The Upside’ continues to laugh loudly.
M. Night Shyamalan’s Glass is easily winning the long Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend at the box office with an estimated $47.1 million, including $40.6 million for the three days.
The superhero thriller is enjoying one of the top showings ever for the MLK frame, as well as for the month of January, despite coming in somewhat behind expectations after middling audience scores and poor reviews. Financially, the movie is already in good standing after costing a reported $23 million to produce.
The film’s grosses could shift Monday when updated numbers are released. As it stands now, Glass ranks No. 3 among MLK openings behind Clint Eastwood’s 2015 film American Sniper ($107.2 million) and buddy-cop comedy Ride Along ($48.6 million), not adjusted for inflation.
Overseas, Glass opened to $48.5 million from 55 markets for a three-day global launch of $89.1 million and $95.6 million for the four days.
Starring Samuel L. Jackson, Bruce Willis and James McAvoy, Glass is the final title in Shyamalan’s trilogy that began 19 years ago with Disney’s Unbreakable, which starred Willis and Jackson, and was followed by Universal’s Split, a surprise 2017 box office hit starring McAvoy and whose final scene linked it to the 2000 film.
Split started off with a three-day debut of $40 million on its way to earning $138 million domestically and $278.5 million worldwide, unadjusted.
Shyamalan financed Glass himself. Universal is handling the movie domestically, while Disney has international distribution duties.
Leading Hollywood tracking services had shown Glass launching domestically to $60 million or more. Universal was more conservative in suggesting $50 million.
“It think it opened within reasonable expectations,” says Universal domestic distribution chief Jim Orr. “And I believe the debate over the film will make it a water-cooler topic and contribute to a long run.”
The exec also noted that winter storms in the East may have impacted moviegoing.
The Upside, starring Kevin Hart and Bryan Cranston, enjoyed an outstanding hold in its second outing. The STXfilms/Lantern Entertainment dramedy placed No. 2 with a projected $19.5 million for the four days. That includes a three-day gross of $15.7 million, a dip of just 23 percent. Through Monday, The Upside‘s domestic total will be nearly $50 million.
Aquaman follows at No. 3 with an estimated gross of $12.1 million, including $10.3 million for the weekend proper. On Sunday, the Warner Bros.’ superhero tentpole swam past the $300 million mark domestically. Overseas, the pic took in another $14.3 million for a global haul of $1.06 billion.
In addition to Aquaman, three other year-end releases celebrated milestones over the weekend. Paramount’s Bumblebee finished Sunday with a global total of $400 million, while Disney’s Mary Poppins Returns is reporting a worldwide tally of $306 million. In the U.S., the Mary Poppins sequel has surpassed La La Land ($151 million) to become the No. 5 musical of all time with domestic ticket sales of $158.7 million. And Bohemian Rhapsody is about to top the $800 million mark globally, as the Queen biopic has now earned $202 million domestically and $596 million overseas. Internationally, it is the fifth-biggest Fox release of all time.
MLK weekend usually boasts several new Hollywood offerings on the North American marquee. This year, rival studios stayed away because of Glass.
The one exception is the Japanese anime Dragon Ball Super: Broly, a fantasy martial arts pic whose performance in the U.S. caught Hollywood by surprise. After opening on Wednesday to a stunning $7 million, the pic is projected to gross $10 million to $12 million for the four-day holiday, including $8.7 million for the three days. That puts its six-day debut north of $20 million, already one of the best showings of all time for the Dragon Ball series of films (Broly is the 20th installment).
Special-events distributor Funimation is handling Dragon Ball Super: Broly in the U.S.; overseas, 20th Century Fox International is a partner with Japan’s Toei on the film, which has earned north of $50 million internationally, including nearly $32 million in Japan.
A pair of Sony pics follow at No. 5 and No. 6. A Dog’s Way Home rounds out the top five with an estimated four-day tally of $9.5 million for an 11-day domestic cume of $23.7 million, while in its sixth weekend, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is on course to earn $9.2 million for the four days, pushing its domestic total to $160.2 million and global cume to $324.8 million.
At Saturday’s Producers Guild of America Awards ceremony, Spider-Verse was named best animated feature.
On the live-action side, Green Book won top honors for outstanding motion picture. The Participant Media/DreamWorks/Universal film has grossed $42.5 million domestically to date and is planning a major expansion next weekend following Tuesday’s Oscar nominations.