LOS ANGELES -- Compounded by the historically slow Super Bowl weekend, the box office continued its sluggish start on the year and now trails 2018 by 15.4 percent, according to figures from measurement firm Comscore. The sole newcomer, Miss Bala, premiered at No. 3.
Columbia released Miss Bala on 2,203 screens in the United States and Canada and came up with an estimated $6.7 million in ticket sales, according to Comscore. That total was not a disaster -- Miss Bala cost $15 million to make -- but it's never good when the only new wide-release film in theaters can't overtake movies that have been playing for weeks.
The action thriller stars Jane the Virgin actress Gina Rodriguez as an unwitting participant in a cross-border drug conflict who is used as a pawn by the Drug Enforcement Administration and a Mexican drug cartel. Based on the 2011 Mexican crime drama of the same name, the film directed by Catherine Hardwicke (Twilight) earned a 27 percent rotten rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
If nothing else, Miss Bala, adapted from a 2011 Spanish-language film of the same name, represents progress in Hollywood's effort to be inclusive: In addition to having a female director and Hispanic star, the film had a mostly Hispanic crew.
The Super Bowl does not automatically spell doom for Hollywood. Taken, starring Liam Neeson as a retired CIA agent on a mission to save his kidnapped daughter, made its debut against the big game in 2009 and collected $25 million, leading to a three-film series.
Combined, the top 12 films grossed just $55.4 million, the worst result since the first weekend of September 2017 and the worst Super Bowl box office since 2000 when Eye of the Beholder topped the charts.
"The box office in 2019 hasn't gotten its groove back yet," said Comscore senior media analyst Paul Dergarabedian. "Januarys by and large are not known as blockbuster months and that certainly has held true this year with the month being down [about] 16 percent."
Universal's Glass maintained its hold at the top of the chart for the third consecutive weekend.
The film, a sequel with James McAvoy, Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson, brought in $9.5 million from North American theaters, Comscore Inc. said. Analysts were predicting that number. The film had taken in $168.5 million worldwide going into the weekend -- solid for a movie that cost just $20 million, for a cumulative $88.7 million in North American theaters.
STX Entertainment's The Upside held on to second place, adding $8.9 million in its fourth weekend. One of the few bright spots in 2019, it has grossed $75.6 million in North America.
At No. 4, Warner Bros.' Aquaman added $4.8 million in its seventh weekend in theaters for a cumulative $323.5 million.
Rounding out the top five, Columbia's Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse added $4.4 million in its eighth weekend for a cumulative $175.3 million.
Universal's Green Book, now in its 12th weekend of release, landed at No. 6, the sole Oscar contender to remain among the top 10. The film brought in an additional $4.3 million over the weekend for a cumulative $55.8 million.
Among the other best-picture contenders, 20th Century Fox's Bohemian Rhapsody earned an additional $1.8 million for a cumulative $208.5 million, Fox Searchlight's The Favourite added $1.5 million for a domestic total of $28.6 million, Annapurna Pictures' Vice added $1.2 million for a cumulative $44 million and Warner Bros.' A Star Is Born added $922,000 for a cumulative $207.8 million.
After two nights of Fathom Events screenings in December and one in January, Warner Bros.' They Shall Not Grow Old landed at No. 10 and earned $2.4 million for a cumulative $10.7 million. The World War I documentary was directed by Peter Jackson and earned a 98 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
"We've had certain movies hit it big on Super Bowl weekend," said Dergarabedian. "But it's all about momentum and we don't have it right now.
"It's an undeniable cooling off period from the record 2018 year at the box office," but Dergarabedian said that, "The cavalry is on the way."
February doesn't look much better, even though the schedule holds promise with potentially big family movies like The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part opening today and a sequel to How to Train Your Dragon opening Feb. 22. That's because Black Panther fueled a huge February 2018, meaning theaters are looking at two down months to start the year.
Also this week, Paramount premieres the Taraji P. Henson distaff remake What Men Want, Orion Pictures reveals the horror flick The Prodigy, and Lionsgate drops the action drama Cold Pursuit.
MovieStyle on 02/08/2019
Print Headline: Miss Bala debuts at No. 3 with top 2 unscathed