‘Dumbo’ vs. Doppelgängers: Can Peele’s ‘Us’ win box office again?
A famous flying elephant is looking to unseat Jordan Peele’s “Us” from the top of the box office this weekend.
“Dumbo,” Disney’s live-action remake of its 1941 animated classic, brought in $2.6 million on its opening night Thursday. According to analysts, the film is expected to debut at $50 million at the box office, which should be enough to make it the No. 1 movie this weekend.
“Us” is projected to bring in around $35 million this weekend — roughly a 50% drop from its opening total.
A drop of that size is somewhat in line with how other horror hits have performed after their openings. 2017’s “It” and 2018’s “Halloween” dropped 51% and 59% respectively in their second weeks, according to Comscore.
“Us” shattered expectations last weekend with a $71 million opening. Analysts predicted that it would make $45 million. It cost $20 million to make.
Jeff Bock, senior box office analyst at Exhibitor Relations, believes “Dumbo” will win this weekend, but “Us” has the potential to surprise Hollywood.
“The conversation around ‘Us’ since its opening has been deafening,” Bock said. “Word of mouth is one of the best ways to sell a film even after its opening.”
There is also a chance that both “Dumbo” and “Us” will be successful since it’s unlikely that the films will attract the same audience. “Dumbo” is a PG-rated family film while “Us” is an R-rated horror film.
The movie industry could use a boost this weekend since the domestic box office is down 17% from the same point last year.
Disney’s strategy of adapting its animated classics for contemporary audiences has been a success for the House of Mouse. Reboots of “Beauty and the Beast” in 2017 and “Alice in Wonderland” in 2010 both made more than $1 billion worldwide while 2016’s redo of “The Jungle Book” made $967 million globally.
“Dumbo” could have a bit of a rougher take off since its reviews have been mixed. The film holds a 53% score on review site, Rotten Tomatoes.
Disney will release two more remakes of its animated classics this summer with “Aladdin” starring Will Smith and “The Lion King,” which includes voice work by Donald Glover and Beyonce.
“The Lion King” could end up being one of the biggest blockbusters of the year, Bock said.
“‘The Lion King’ is one of Disney’s crown jewels,” he said. “It shouldn’t just compete for the biggest blockbuster this summer, it should compete for the biggest blockbuster this year.”