Don’t count original animated titles out at the box office Yeti.
DreamWorks Animation’s Abominable scaled the box office charts this weekend for an estimated $20.9 million debut to score a snowy weekend victory. Alongside Us and Good Boys, it’s the only original title to debut at number one at the box office in 2019. It’s also the first original animated title to lay claim to that spot this year.
Female-driven holdovers round out the top three slots. Focus Features’ Downton Abbey continues to exceed expectations, taking in an estimated $14.5 million in its second weekend and falling to second place. The big screen adaptation of the beloved television series is proving to be everyone’s cup of tea around the world. It now boasts a global total of $107.1 million.
Hustlers continues to score with audiences, bouncing back up to third place in its third weekend of release after falling to fifth place last weekend. The Jennifer Lopez-led drama danced its way to an estimated $11.5 million on the lucite heels of a great week for Lopez (it was announced she will co-headline the 2020 Super Bowl alongside Shakira earlier this week).
Abominable is a yeti-sized win for original animation, proving families are still hungry for new storytelling in the animated sphere. It’s also the first animated Hollywood studio film with a female director at the helm — Jill Culton, alongside Todd Wilderman. The family-friendly flick follows a teenager (Chloe Bennet) and her two friends (Tenzing Norgay Trainor, Albert Tsai) who trek 3,000 miles across China and into the Himalayas to return a young Yeti, fondly named Everest, with his family. Eddie Izzard and Sarah Paulson also lend voice talent as a wealthy man and eager zoologist hell-bent on capturing the creature for research.
It could be poised for a blizzard of strong returns going forward, given its sterling A CinemaScore and positive reviews. Abominable is the seventh Universal title to debut at number one this year (eight if you include Downton Abbey), giving them the most number one titles of any studio this year. It was co-produced by Universal’s DreamWorks Animation and Pearl Studios.
The weekend’s other new release, Judy Garland biopic Judy, went over the rainbow with its opening numbers in limited release. Opening on only 461 screens, Judy cracked the top ten for a seventh place finish and an estimated $3.1 million in ticket sales. It marks the top opening for a film in platform release this year, according to Roadside Attractions.
Renee Zellweger is already earning heaps of Oscar buzz for her portrayal of legendary entertainer Judy Garland in the last concert engagements of her life. Audiences responded strongly to her performance, giving the film an A- CinemaScore. Additionally, Roadside Attractions reports Judy’s grosses jumped 35 percent from Friday to Saturday, suggesting terrific word-of-mouth. Judy expands nationwide next weekend where that momentum could continue.
We’re fully into fall movie season now as a horror sequel and original awards bait round out the top five. It: Chapter Two stays strong in its fourth week of release, scaring up an estimated $10.4 million in ticket sales. The horror sequel now boasts a $193.9 million domestic total and has crossed the $400 million mark worldwide with a cumulative gross of $417.4 million. Last weekend’s new Brad Pitt in space vehicle, Ad Astra, falls to fifth place with an estimated $10.1 million in ticket sales.
Overall box office is down 5.1 percent to date, according to Comscore, a steadily improving number. Check out the Sept. 27-29 numbers below.
1. Abominable— $20.9 million
2. Downton Abbey— $14.5 million
3. Hustlers— $11.5 million
4. It: Chapter Two— $10.4 million
5. Ad Astra— $10.1 million
6. Rambo: Last Blood— $8.6 million
7. Judy— $3.1 million
8. Good Boys— $2 million
9. The Lion King– $1.6 million
10. Angel Has Fallen — $1.5 million