The Bean Bag Boys, the self-appointed nickname for the trio of best friends in Universal’s “Good Boys,” are conquering much more than sixth grade. They are also leading the domestic box office, exceeding expectations and collecting $21 million on opening weekend.
“Good Boys,” which screened at 3,204 North American theaters, is a much-needed win for original comedies, a genre that’s been struggling at the box office as of late. The Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg-produced movie is the first R-rated funny film to open in first place in three years (since 2016’s “The Boss”), as well as the biggest opening for an original comedy this year.
“The bottom line is the film is absolutely hysterical,” said Jim Orr, Universal’s president of domestic distribution. “Gene Stupnitsky and Lee Eisenberg knocked it out of the park. And [Rogen and Goldberg] are a brand and really own this space with a very difficult genre.”
“Good Boys” saw a strong showing among its core demographic. Men accounted for 52% of ticket buyers, while 60% were over the age of 25. The movie, starring Jacob Tremblay, Keith L. Williams and Brady Noon, also pulled out diverse crowds. Almost 50% of audiences were Caucasian, while 25% were Hispanic, 14% were African American, and 8% were Asian.
“One of the reasons that made for a terrific weekend is our audience was very ethnically diverse. That lent itself to the overperformance,” Orr added.
“Good Boys,” carrying a $20 million price tag, also debuted overseas with $2.1 million for a global start of $23.1 million.
Universal also took second place with “Hobbs & Shaw.” The “Fast & Furious” spinoff earned $14.1 million during its third outing, boosting domestic ticket sales to $133 million. The Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham-led movie has grossed $437 million worldwide. It launches in China next weekend.
This weekend’s four other new releases struggled to varying degrees.
Sony’s “The Angry Birds Movie 2,” which got a head start on the weekend by opening Tuesday, finished with $16.2 million over the six-day frame. The animated sequel landed in forth place on box office charts, collecting $10 million during the traditional weekend. That haul is a steep drop from the first film, based on the once-popular phone app and video game, which scored $38 million in its inaugural weekend. However, the follow-up has the benefit of better reviews and a smaller production budget compared to the original.
Sony still has a major milestone to celebrate this weekend as “Spider Man: Far From Home” hits $1.109 billion globally and passes 2012’s “Skyfall” ($1.108 billion) to become the studio’s highest-grossing film of all time.
Like “Angry Birds 2,” Entertainment Studio’s shark thriller “47 Meters Down: Uncaged” also lacked the same bite as its predecessor. The movie opened at No. 6, earning $9 million from 2,853 locations. The original movie started small with $11 million but had a long run in theaters, ultimately ending with $44 million in North America.
Meanwhile, Warner Bros. and New Line’s “Blinded by the Light” and Annapurna’s “Where’d You Go, Bernadette” both bombed, landing in 10th and 11th place.
Despite positive reviews, “Blinded by the Light” couldn’t hit the right tune with audiences and debuted with a dismal $4.5 million from 2,307 screens. Directed by “Bend It Like Beckham” filmmaker Gurinder Chadha, the coming-of age story follows a British Pakistani teenager whose life is changed when he discovers Bruce Springsteen music. The few moviegoers who did see the film this weekend seemed to enjoy it, awarding it with an A- CinemaScore.
“Blinded by the Light” is ending summer on a rocky note for Warner Bros., which missed with last weekend’s mob thriller “The Kitchen” and May’s “Godzilla: King of the Monsters.
“You’re seeing pretty clearly that movies coming out of the festivals are really being challenged,” Warner Bros. president of domestic distribution Jeff Goldstein said. The studio’s New Line division bought “Blinded by the Light” for $15 million at Sundance.
Goldstein adds, “Unfortunately audiences are spending money on the bigger spectacle films. The smaller niche movies are having a harder time finding their way when competition from content providers is making it harder to break through with an audience.”
“Where’d You Go, Bernadette,” directed by Richard Linklater and based on Maria Semple’s novel, launched below expectations with a disastrous $3.45 million. Cate Blanchett stars as the titular Bernadette, who curiously disappears just before her family is set to go on a big trip. The cast also includes Billy Crudup and Kristen Wiig.
Despite a handful of newcomers, Disney’s “The Lion King” placed third on box office charts with $11.9 million. After five weekends in theaters, Jon Favreau’s remake of the animated classic is just shy of the $500 million mark in North America with $496 million in ticket sales. Overseas, “The Lion King” pocketed another $33.8 million and will end the weekend with $1.4 billion globally.
Rounding out the top five is Lionsgate’s “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark.” The thriller picked up $10 million in its sophomore frame for a domestic tally of $40 million.