×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Box Office Scares or Prayers? ‘Curse of La Llorona’ Battles ‘Breakthrough’ on Easter Weekend

With Disney and Marvel’s “Avengers: Endgame” gearing up to obliterate box office records, the rest of Hollywood is laying low on the film front.

“Endgame,” a culmination of sorts for the comic-book empire’s film saga, is expected to suck all the oxygen out of other movie theater auditoriums when it launches on April 26. For the most part, studios shied away from major releases even before Avengers in fear that rival movies could struggle to recoup ticket sales beyond opening weekend.

However, there was at least one studio brave enough to take on Disney, and that is, well, Disney. The Magic Kingdom is launching two movies this weekend, most notably, “Breakthrough,” the studio’s first Fox title since completing its $71 billion acquisition of 21st Century Fox. Disney also has “Penguins,” a documentary from the Buena Vista company’s Disneynature label. Both titles are getting a head start on the weekend by opening on Wednesday.

“Breakthrough,” a faith-based film about a parent’s unwavering love for their children, is debuting ahead of Easter. The drama is expected to earn between $13 million to $20 million from 2,700 theaters during its first five days of release. “Breakthrough” stars “This Is Us” actress Chrissy Metz as a mother who refuses to give up hope after her adopted son suffers a near-fatal fall through an icy lake. Roxann Dawson directed the movie, which was produced by DeVon Franklin (“Miracles from Heaven,” “Heaven Is for Real,”) and executive produced by NBA star Stephen Curry. The cast also includes Topher Grace and Josh Lucas. Ticketing service Fandango reports that “Breakthrough” is outpacing pre-sales for other Easter weekend hits like “Heaven Is for Real” and “Paul, Apostle of Christ.”

This weekend could also be big on the scares. On Friday, Warner Bros. and New Line’s supernatural thriller “The Curse of La Llorona” joins the box office race. “The Curse of La Llorona,” a standalone film set in the “Conjuring” universe, is expected to earn between $15 million and $20 million when it opens in 3,400 venues. The film is based on the Mexican folklore about the Weeping Woman, a figure who lost her children and causes misfortune to those nearby. James Wan, known for his work on “Aquaman,” “The Conjuring,” and “Saw,” served as a producer.

“La Llorona” didn’t receive much critical love (it holds a bleak 35% on Rotten Tomatoes). However, fans of things that go bump in the night aren’t a bunch that are influenced by critics. The latest installment in the “Conjuring” universe was “The Nun,” which carried a 26% on Rotten Tomatoes. It debuted with $53 million and went on to earn $365 million worldwide, making it the highest-grossing entry in the series.  “La Llorona” isn’t as well known as the characters in “The Nun,” and thus isn’t expected to make the same splash on opening weekend.

Penguins,” a documentary narrated by Ed Helms, anticipates a single-digit start around $5 million to $7 million from 1,800 screens in its first five days of release. The film, which comes out in time for Earth Day, is a coming-of-age story about a penguin named Steve who journeys to the Antarctic spring to find a suitable home and partner to start a family. Disneynature’s most recent venture was the John Krasinski-narrated “Born In China.” It debuted with $4.7 million and ended its box office run with $25 million in ticket sales worldwide.

“The Curse of La Llorona” will likely face off against another Warner Bros. and New Line movie for the top spot on North American charts. Reigning box office champ “Shazam!” could add another $10 million to $12 million during its third weekend in theaters. The superhero blockbuster is just shy of the $100 million mark in North America, with domestic ticket sales currently hovering around $96 million.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Keeley Hawes to Star in Untitled

    Keeley Hawes to Play Patricia Neal in Film About the Star and Roald Dahl (EXCLUSIVE)

    Keeley Hawes will star opposite Hugh Bonneville in a film about the Oscar-winner Patricia Neal and her husband, author Roald Dahl. Formerly known as “An Unquiet Life,” and based on Stephen Michael Shearer’s book of the same name, the family drama starts filming this week in Surrey, southern England. John Hay directs. He co-wrote the [...]

  • Eddie Murphy Antonio Bandares Variety Actors

    Eddie Murphy and Antonio Banderas Share More in Common Than 'Shrek'

    Antonio Banderas (“Pain and Glory”) and Eddie Murphy (“Dolemite Is My Name”) sat down for a chat for “Variety Studio: Actors on Actors.” For more, click here.  Antonio Banderas takes on the role of his career as the director who discovered him in Pedro Almodóvar’s “Pain and Glory,” playing a fictionalized take on Almodóvar sorting [...]

  • Jennifer Lopez Robert Pattinson Actors on

    Robert Pattinson and Jennifer Lopez on Batman, 'Hustlers' and 'The Lighthouse'

    Jennifer Lopez (“Hustlers”) and Robert Pattinson (“The Lighthouse”) sat down for a chat for “Variety Studio: Actors on Actors.” For more, click here.  In “Hustlers,” Jennifer Lopez plays Ramona, the ringleader of a gang formed in a New York strip club. She’s equal parts private dancer and hardened criminal, a combination that Oscar voters might [...]

  • Napa Valley Film Festival Placeholder

    Napa Valley Film Festival Uncorks New Leadership, Rising Stars

    Nestled in the rolling vineyards and Instagram-worthy towns, the Napa Valley Film Festival kicks off its ninth edition with a new leader, and a renewed mandate to build on its success. NVFF runs Nov. 13-17 in Napa, Yountville, St. Helena and Calistoga. Entertainment industry veteran Tom Tardio took over as CEO in July, and reports [...]

  • Gaston Pavlovich

    'The Irishman' Producer Gaston Pavlovich Inks Deal With Endemol (EXCLUSIVE)

    “The Irishman” producer Gaston Pavlovich and his Mexico City-based production company Fabrica de Cine have inked an overall development and production deal with Endemol Shine Boomdog, the Mexican outpost of Endemol Shine North America. The deal comes as “The Irishman” opens the Los Cabos International Film Festival on Wednesday. The screening marks the Latin American [...]

  • Charlize Theron'The Addams Family' film premiere,

    Charlize Theron to Be Honored by Costume Designers Guild (EXCLUSIVE)

    The Costume Designers Guild announced Wednesday that Academy Award-winner Charlize Theron will be honored with the spotlight award. The Spotlight Award honors an actor whose talent and career personify an enduring commitment to excellence, including a special awareness of the role and importance of costume design. “Charlize Theron is a costume designer’s dream, bringing integrity [...]

  • Ford v Ferrari

    'Ford v Ferrari' Soundtrack Revealed (EXCLUSIVE)

    The full tracklist for the forthcoming 20th Century Fox film “Ford v Ferrari,” starring Academy Award-winners Matt Damon and Christian Bale, has been revealed below. The film is based on the true story of American car designer Carroll Shelby (Damon) and the British-born driver Ken Miles (Bale), who together battled corporate interference, the laws of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content