Disney’s Aladdin, starring Will Smith, took a magic carpet ride to number one with a toe-curling, four-day opening take of $112.7 million box office for the Memorial Day weekend. Meanwhile, franchise films, John Wick, Avengers, and Pikachu gobbled up most of the rest of the top five as Brightburn turned in a disappointing showing but still earned last place among the top five.
Aladdin dropped in as Disney’s second-best Memorial Day weekend debut, losing the top slot to Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, which pulled in $27 million more during its 2007 debut. But Aladdin does mark director Guy Ritchie’s best opening ever and Will Smith’s second best behind 2016’s Suicide Squad, Deadline reported.
The live-action adaptation of Disney’s hit 1992 animated film opened wide across the world appearing on the same weekend in every major market except Japan (where it won’t debut until June 7).
In second place, Lionsgate’s John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum continued its strong draw earning another $24.5 million for the weekend, bringing its total two-week take to over $100 million. The wild box office earning puts the Keanu Reeves-starring Wick 3 as the franchise’s highest earning film. So, it isn’t surprising that the studio is already eyeing 2021 for John Wick 4, according to Box Office Mojo.
Racking up even more records, but now in third place, is Disney and Marvel’s Avengers: Endgame. The superhero extravaganza earned an additional $17 million and will now join Star Wars: The Force Awakens as the only two films in history to earn an $800 million opening at the domestic box office. The superhero flick has one more monster record to gobble up: If it can earn another $111 million during this first run, it will beat Avatar for the all-time world grossing film. Few doubt this record will land in Ironman’s glove.
In fourth place, for its third weekend in theaters, Warner Bros. and Legendary’s Pokemon Detective Pikachu brought in another $13.3 million, bringing its total gross to over $116 million and marking the film as one of the all-time highest earning films based on a video game.
Landing in fifth place was Screen Gems/H Collective’s Brightburn, but the fright fest brought in a disappointing $9 million despite a big effort by the studio to push the film. The James Gunn-produced anti-superhero film where the “super” is actually evil was reported as having cost $6 million to produce, but according to Deadline, the total costs are more like $12 million or more. That means the R-rated shocker may not earn back its production costs during its first run.
Another debut that landed just outside the top five also disappointed the studios. UA/Annapurna’s comedy buddy pic, Booksmart, earned only $7.8 million despite being the best reviewed film of the weekend. The all-girl, coming of age comedy won rave reviews and earned solid exit polling from audiences but struggled despite the positive word of mouth.
Next weekend will see Warner’s big summer release of Godzilla: King of the Monsters, which will hit a wide 4,100 theaters on Friday.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.