Good Boys laughs up a win for comedies with box office crown
Foul-mouthed kids might be a problem at home, but they’re a solid win for the box office.
Universal’s Good Boys slid into an unexpected first place box office victory with a solid estimated $21 million debut across 3,204 locations. The film exceeded expectations (experts projected its total to hover more in the $12-15 million range) and beat out Hobbs & Shaw for the top spot in a surprise weekend win. Instead, the Fast & Furious spinoff lands in second place with an estimated $14.1 in ticket sales across 3,757 locations. Third place goes to Disney behemoth The Lion King, raking in an additional estimated $11.9 million.
Produced by Seth Rogen and collaborator Evan Goldberg, Good Boys follows three sixth grade boys (Jacob Tremblay, Brady Noon, and Keith L. Williams) as they ditch school in an attempt to gain entry to a kissing party. Molly Gordon, Will Forte, LilRel Howery, and Midori Francis also star, while Gene Stupnitsky makes his directorial debut. The film earned a middling B+ CinemaScore and a pack of solid reviews.
Good Boys marks several milestones at the box office. It’s the first R-rated comedy to land the box office crown since 2016’s The Boss, and is the biggest 2019 opening for an original comedy. The film is a win for comedies in general, landing the second best opening for the genre in 2019 behind Tyler Perry’s final Madea film, Madea’s Family Funeral, which opened to $27.1 million. It’s also a victory for Universal; the studio is tied with Disney for having six films hit number one at the box office this year. Universal is also the only studio to see an original title open in first place this year (Good Boys is their second title to do so after this spring’s Us).
Holdovers dominated second and third place with Hobbs & Shaw passing the $400 million mark worldwide. Domestically, it’s now the fourth highest earner in the Fast & Furious franchise, not accounting for inflation. With its third place slot coming in its seventh weekend of release, The Lion King continues to roar up major box office returns. It now boasts a global haul of $1.4 billion and has become the number nine highest global release of all time, surpassing Avengers: Age of Ultron. It’s the second biggest release of 2019 behind Avengers: Endgame.
Other new releases did not fare was well as Good Boys. Animated sequel The Angry Birds Movie 2 earned a flightless $10.5 million across 3,869 theaters for fourth place. Co-directed by Thurop Van Orman and John Rice, the Sony sequel finds the franchise’s flightless birds and green pigs taking their feud to the next level. Jason Sudeikis, Josh Gad, Leslie Jones, Sterling K. Brown, and Rachel Bloom are among the star-studded voice cast.
The box office total marks a steep decline from the first Angry Birds film, which opened to a much rosier $38.2 million in 2016. The Angry Birds Movie 2 cawed up mostly positive reviews and a decent B+ CinemaScore, so perhaps it will fly higher in coming weeks.
Audiences also weren’t biting when it came to indie shark sequel 47 Meters Down: Uncaged. The follow-up to 2017’s 47 Meters Down lands in sixth place with an estimated $9 million opening, falling off from the original’s $11.2 million debut. The sequel follows four teen girls diving in a ruined underwater city who come to discover they’ve entered the territory of one of the deadliest shark species. Sophie Nélisse, Corinne Foxx, and Brianne Tju star, while Johannes Roberts directs. The film failed to resonate with critics or audiences, drawing paltry reviews and a terrible C+ CinemaScore.
The weekend also marks the debut of two adult-skewing wide-release titles, Blinded by the Light and Where’d You Go Bernadette? Neither film managed to make much noise at the box office.
Directed by Gurinder Chadha (Bend It Like Beckham), Blinded by the Light follows Javed (Viveik Kalra), a teenager in 1987 Britain who finds his life changed through the music of Bruce Springsteen. The film landed in ninth place in its debut with a lackluster opening of $4.5 million across 2,307 locations. Kulvinder Ghir, Meera Ganatra, Aaron Phagura, and Nell Williams also star.
It’s a disappointing opening for the Springsteen loving title, considering it’s been a critics’ darling since its debut at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year. New Line picked it up there for $15 million, following standing ovations from audiences. It continues to resonate critically and with audiences, earning the highest Rotten Tomatoes score of any new release this weekend at 90% fresh. Blinded by the Light also boasts a strong A- CinemaScore.
Where’d You Go Bernadette posted even more dismal numbers, failing to even crack the top 10. It’s the latest in a string of disappointments for Megan Ellison’s Annapurna. Despite the star power of Cate Blanchett, the film landed in 11th place with a $3.5 million opening across 2,404 theaters. Blanchett stars as the titular Bernadette, a mother who suddenly becomes compelled to reconnect to her creative passions after years of sacrificing for her family.
The film is based on the 2012 novel of the same name. Judy Greer, Kristen Wiig, and Billy Crudup also star and critical darling Richard Linklater directs. It failed to resonate with critics or audiences, drawing negative reviews and a middling B CinemaScore.
Horror film Scary Stories To Tell in the Dark rounds out the top five, taking fifth place with an estimate $10.1 million in its second weekend in theaters. Produced by Guillermo del Toro, the film focuses on a group of kids who have to face their fears to save their town.
Overall box office is down 6.4 percent to date, according to Comscore. Check out the August 16-18 numbers below.
1. Good Boys— $21 million
2. Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw— $14.1 million
3. The Lion King— $11.9 million
4. The Angry Birds Movie 2— $10.5 million
5. Scary Stories To Tell in the Dark— $10.1 million
6. 47 Meters Down: Uncaged— $9 million
7. Dora and the Lost City of Gold— $8.5 million
8. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood — $7.6 million
9. Blinded by the Light — $4.5 million
10. The Art of Racing in the Rain— $4.4 million