Pokémon Detective Pikachu gave Avengers: Endgame a run for its money this weekend at the box office, but the superheroes managed to hold onto the throne once again.
The Walt Disney Co. said Sunday that the Marvel blockbuster earned an estimated 63.1 million dollars from its third weekend in North American theaters, bringing its domestic grosses to 723.5 million dollars, surpassing the totals for Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War.
Internationally, it added 102.3 million dollars, bringing its global total to just shy of 2.5 billion dollars where it remains the second biggest worldwide release of all time behind Avatar (2.8 billion dollars.)
But three weeks into Avengers dominance, the market finally had some room for another film to make a substantial impact. Warner Bros. managed to draw a significant audience to its live-action Pokémon Detective Pikachu, which opened on 4,202 screens and earned an estimated 58 million dollars from ticket sales.
“What a terrific result,” said Jeff Goldstein, Warner Bros. head of domestic distribution. “It’s so much fun to watch Detective Pikachu have this kind of opening.”
And there’s no bad blood that Endgame powered past Pikachu in the end.
“It was fun to win Friday night, but as they say in golf, you play your own game and I’m thrilled with our result,” Goldstein added.
It even beat Endgame internationally by a very slight margin with 103 million dollars.
Ryan Reynolds voices the popular Pokémon character in the film, which notched a record of its own: Biggest video game adaption opening. The previous record-holder was the Angelina Jolie Tomb Raider from 2001, which opened with 47 million dollars, not adjusted for inflation.
“Typically movies based on video games haven’t been all that successful,” Goldstein said.
It was a mixed bag for other newcomers looking for a piece of the market, including two women-led comedies strategically launching on Mother’s Day: The Hustle and Poms, which both attracted an overwhelmingly female audience.
The Hustle, a gender-flipped spin on Dirty Rotten Scoundrels with Anne Hathaway and Rebel Wilson, landed in third place with 13.6 million dollars despite lackluster reviews.
Less lucky was the Diane Keaton cheerleading comedy Poms, which grossed only 5.1 million dollars in its debut against similarly negative reviews from critics. Poms placed sixth behind the thriller The Intruder (6.6 million dollars) and the Seth Rogen and Charlize Theron rom-com Long Shot (6.1 million dollars), which are both in their second weekends.
In smaller releases, Tolkien, a biopic about the Lord of the Rings author starring Nicholas Hoult opened in ninth place on 1,495 screens with 2.2 million dollars, while the documentary The Biggest Little Farm debuted in five locations and earned 101,012 dollars.
And while not every film was a hit this weekend, the diversity of content is important to the marketplace, noted Paul Dergarabedian, the senior media analyst for Comscore. Overall, the industry-wide box office continues to get stronger as the year goes on. The weekend is up around 23%, and the year is down around 9%. Three weeks ago, pre-Endgame, that year-to-date deficit was at 17%.
“It should never be about just one type of movie,” said Dergarabedian. “That used to be the thing about summer, it was about drawing in the 18-24 year olds with superhero movies and action movies. In today’s world, summer offers a much more eclectic and diverse mix and that’s paying dividends for Hollywood.”
And May has more big movies to come, including Aladdin, Rocketman, John Wick 3: Parabellum and Godzilla: King of the Monsters.
“May could be a monster at the box office,” Dergarabedian said.
Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Comscore. Where available, the latest international numbers for Friday through Sunday are also included. Final domestic figures will be released Monday.
- Avengers: Endgame, 63.1 million dollars (102.3 million dollars international).
- Pokémon Detective Pikachu, 58 million dollars (103 million dollars international).
- The Hustle, 13.6 million dollars(13.7 million dollars international).
- The Intruder, 6.6 million dollars.
- Long Shot, 6.1 million dollars (1.6 million dollars international).
- Poms, 5.1 million dollars (736,000 dollars international).
- Uglydolls, 3.9 million dollars (522,000 dollars international).
- Breakthrough, 2.5 million dollars.
- Tolkien, 2.2 million dollars (200,283 dollars international).
- Captain Marvel, 1.8 million dollars.
Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at international theaters (excluding the U.S. and Canada), according to Comscore:
- Pokémon Detective Pikachu, 103 million dollars.
- Avengers: Endgame, 102.3 million dollars.
- The Hustle, 13.7 million dollars.
- Capernaum, 8.3 million dollars.
- Mom, 5.6 million dollars.
- We’ll End Up Together, 5.1 million dollars.
- Miss & Mrs. Cops, 4.2 million dollars.
- The Curse of La Llorona, 3.5 million dollars.
- Pet Semetary, 2.4 million dollars.
- Sweet Family, 2.2 million dollars.