Warner Bros./New Line’s “The Curse of La Llorona” has beaten box office expectations this weekend with a $26.5 million opening against a $9 million budget. But while the horror film will find profit for New Line, the anticipation for “Avengers: Endgame” has depressed overall grosses for the Easter box office, leading to the lowest total for the holiday weekend in 14 years.
Overall, the domestic box office grossed an estimated $103 million this weekend, down 22% from last year’s Easter weekend. With “Avengers” expected to dominate the global box office next weekend, most studios have steered clear of releasing a movie this weekend to avoid getting ignored by audiences who can’t wait to see how the Marvel superheroes take down Thanos. The last time an Easter weekend was this low was in 2005, when the Sony comedy “Guess Who” opened to $20 million and the overall box office only reached $99 million.
Aside from WB, the only other major releases this weekend came from Marvel’s distributor, Disney, with one of those films coming from their merger with Fox. The faith-based film “Breakthrough” performed well with Christian audiences, grossing $11 million over the weekend for a 5-day opening of $14.5 million from 2,764 screens and against a $14 million budget. “Breakthrough” came in third this weekend behind “La Llorona” and fellow WB release “Shazam!” which made $17 million in its third weekend to push its domestic total to $121 million and its global total to over $300 million.
The other new release from Disney is “Penguins,” the latest Earth Day documentary from their Disneynature label. Released on Wednesday on 1,815 screens, the film has made $2.4 million this weekend and a 5-day opening of $3.3 million, one of the lowest openings for a Disneynature film and down from the $4.7 million 3-day opening for the studio’s last Earth Day release, 2017’s “Born In China.”
Among holdovers, “Captain Marvel,” which was pushed out of the top five last weekend, has returned to the No. 4 spot with $9.1 million in its seventh weekend. That’s a 6% increase over its $8.6 million total last weekend and pushes its domestic total past the $400 million mark. Completing the top five is Universal/Will Packer’s “Little,” which made $8.3 million in its second weekend for a 10-day total of $29 million. Farther down the charts, Lionsgate/Millennium’s “Hellboy” is flaming out fast with $3.8 million in its second weekend. That’s a steep 68% drop from the film’s anemic $12 million opening for a 10-day total of $19.6 million.