Aladdin stays one jump ahead of box office competition to win Memorial Day weekend
Disney’s Aladdin is riding that magic carpet to the top of the box office.
The live-action remake of the 1991 animated film exceeds expectations to take the box office crown over Memorial Day weekend, the unofficial start of summer. Aladdin was expected to gross around $80 million for the entire weekend, but now projections have it at an estimated $86.1 million haul across 4,476 theaters for the three-day weekend and exceeding $100 million with approximately $105 million for all four-days of the long weekend. Two holdovers, last weekend’s John Wick 3 and Avengers: Endgame, round out the top three for the holiday weekend with an estimated $30.5 million and $21.9 million respectively across the four-day weekend.
Directed by Guy Ritchie, Aladdin gives the beloved animated film the live-action treatment, following in the footsteps of Disney’s other updates like Beauty and the Beast and Cinderella. Will Smith leads the cast as the Genie, stepping into the massive shoes left by Robin Williams, who voiced the original iconic blue guy. Mena Massoud and Naomi Scott also star as Aladdin and Jasmine. The film has also done well overseas, taking in an estimated $121 million over three days, making for a global opening through Sunday (excluding Monday) of $207.1 million.
Aladdin marks another hit for Disney in this whole new world, which sees them owning a large chunk of the creative pie. This box office winner comes on the heels of a spring that has seen their Avengers: Endgame break box office records and Captain Marvel change the game for female superheroes at the multiplex. Despite middling reviews, the film earned an excellent A CinemaScore from moviegoers, suggesting strong staying power in the weeks to come. According to Comscore, 39% of fans cited the franchise as their reason for attending, pointing to the strength of Aladdin as a brand.
With its expectation-busting success, Aladdin also marks director Guy Ritchie’s strongest box office opening ever. It comes in ahead of 2009’s Sherlock Holmes, which opened to $62.3 million and starred Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law. Remarkably, it’s also box office superstar Will Smith’s second best box office debut of all time (not adjusted for inflation) — coming in behind 2016’s ensemble superhero film Suicide Squad.
The Keanu Reeves led John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum shows no signs of slowing down after exceeding expectations to topple Avengers: Endgame from box office domination last week. In second place, it earned $24.4 million across 3,850 theaters for the 3-day weekend, with an expected $30.5 million to complete the holiday weekend. Reeves is a major box office draw in this franchise, with each title exceeding the previous ones. The trend continues here — in only 10 days of release, John Wick: Chapter 3 has grossed an estimated $181.5 million globally to surpass the entire worldwide gross of John Wick: Chapter 2, which ended its run with $171.5 million.
The superheroes of the Avengers are still holding strong as well, taking in an estimated $16.8 million across 3,810 theaters in three days with an expected $21.9 million haul across the entire holiday weekend. This puts the film solidly in third place in its fifth weekend at the box office. Its Memorial Day totals will make Avengers: Endgame only the second film in history to cross $800 million domestically.
The holiday weekend also saw two other titles make their debut, horror flick Brightburn and Olivia Wilde’s directorial debut Booksmart. Produced by Guardians of the Galaxy’s James Gunn, Brightburn fared slightly better than Booksmart to claim the fifth place slot. It earns an estimated $7.5 million across 2,607 theaters and is expected to finish the weekend with $9 million.
The horror sci-fi film turns the Superman myth on its head, imagining a child crash-landing on Earth from another world — but instead of growing up into a hero, he becomes something infinitely more evil. Elizabeth Banks, Jackson A. Dunn, David Denman, Gregory Alan Williams, Matt Jones, and Meredith Hagner star in the David Yarovesky directed flick. Brightburn hasn’t hit the mark with critics, and audiences similarly gave it a dismal C+ CinemaScore.
Critical darling Booksmart takes sixth place in its first weekend in theaters, earning an estimated $6.5 million in three days across 2,505 theaters. It is expected to take in $8 million total for the four-day holiday weekend. Olivia Wilde makes her directorial debut with this female coming-of-age comedy that scored universal praise following its debut at SXSW.
Beanie Feldstein and Kaitlyn Dever star as best friends and academic superstars. The “booksmart” duo realizes they should have had more fun in high school and set out to do just that on the eve of graduation. Lisa Kudrow, Will Forte, Jason Sudeikis, Jessica Williams, Skyler Gisondo, Billie Lourd, Molly Gordon, Eduardo Franco & Diana Silvers also star. Critics adored the film, launching it to its current 97 percent standing on Rotten Tomatoes, while audiences were slightly cooler on the project with a solid B+ CinemaScore.
While only taking sixth place, Booksmart still marks a victory for female-driven indie projects at the box office and a strong start for Wilde as a director. Beanie Feldstein’s breakout project, 2017’s Lady Bird, another female teen coming-of-age story and Greta Gerwig’s directorial debut, only took in $4.1 million in its wide opening weekend. It went on to gross $50 million domestically and nab several Oscar nominations.
Another franchise-focused holdover rounds out the top five for the holiday weekend. Pokemon Detective Pikachu takes the fourth place spot with an estimated $13.3 million in three days across 3,824 theaters. Its expect to finish the holiday weekend with $17.2 million total.
Overall box office is down 9.1 percent to date, according to Comscore, holding steady from last week. Check out the May 24-26 numbers below.
1. Aladdin— $86.1 million
2. John Wick: Chapter Three–Parabellum— $24.4 million
3. Avengers: Endgame— $16.8 million
4. Pokemon Detective Pikachu— $13.3 million
5. Brightburn— $7.5 million
6. Booksmart— $6.5 million
7. A Dog’s Journey — $4.1 million
8. The Hustle— $3.8 million
9. The Intruder— $2.3 million
10. Long Shot— $1.7 million