With millions of Americans picking football over the movies, Super Bowl weekend is typically a weak period for the box office. But that combined with this year’s lack of fresh, popular offerings, and movie theaters are seeing the slowest Super Bowl weekend in 19 years.
Industry estimates show that this weekend’s combined gross will only reach $67.6 million. That is the lowest for a Super Bowl weekend since the weekend of Jan. 30, 2000, when one of this year’s Super Bowl participants, the Rams, won their first championship and only $65.9 million was grossed at theaters. It’s also the lowest combined total for any weekend since the last weekend of August 2017 with a total of $69.3 million.
With little competition running against it, Universal’s “Glass” and STX’s “The Upside” respectively took the top two spots on the charts for the third straight weekend. “Glass” added $9.5 million to push its total to $88.6 million, while “Upside” added $8.4 million to bring its total to $75 million after four weekends.
In third was this weekend’s sole new release, Sony’s “Miss Bala.” The Catherine Hardwicke-directed thriller opened on the low end of analyst projections, grossing $6.5 million from 2,203 screens. The film was made on a $15 million budget and has a Rotten Tomatoes score of 27 percent.
Several holiday holdovers sit below the top 3, as Warner Bros.’ “Aquaman,” Sony’s “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” and Universal’s “Green Book” all grossed between $4-5 million.
“Aquaman” has now grossed over $1.1 billion worldwide and $323 million domestically after adding $4.75 million in its seventh weekend. “Spider-Verse,” which is now the heavy favorite to win Best Animated Feature at the Oscars after sweeping at the Annie Awards this weekend, grossed $4.4 million to bring its domestic total to $175 million. Finally, “Green Book” continues to be the moneymaker among major Oscar contenders with $4.3 million grossed and a $55.8 million total.
Numbers are expected to rebound significantly starting next week, starting with the release of “The Lego Movie 2,” which is expected to open to $44-52 million. Later February releases like Universal’s “Happy Death Day 2U” and “How to Train Your Dragon 3” will also raise numbers.
However, expect year-to-date numbers to still be dramatically low compared to 2018, as there is no film this month remotely close to the box office power of the $700 million “Black Panther.”