It was the worst Easter box office in 25 years. Out of 16 weekends so far in the current year, this was also the 13th time in which results were below those of 2018. As Hollywood is back in its gloomy mood, Avengers: Endgame, out in a few days, couldn’t come soon enough. Except if you are at Warner Brothers, where things don’t look so bad after all. In its third weekend, Shazam! managed to gross an extra $17 million at the domestic box office, for a total of $121 million. Globally, the family-friendly superhero now sits on $322 million. But what made Warner really ecstatic was the unexpected success of The Curse of La Llorona, a story deeply rooted in Mexican and Latin American folklore about a ghost that has been striking terror for generations. Budgeted at $9 million, La Llorona (The Weeping Woman) directed by first-timer Michael Chaves and stars Linda Cardellini, Patricia Velasquez, Madeleine McGraw, and Sean Patrick Thomas. While Hispanics made up 45% of U.S. ticket buyers, La Llorona was also a success in Mexico where the horror film made $5.3 million. Colombia grossed $2.4 million, followed by France ($2.1 million), Spain ($1.7 million) and Korea ($1.3 million). The film played in 71 markets, generating a total of $30 million. Add the U.S., and the worldwide opening total is now over $57 million, with major markets Japan and the UK still to join.
Number three on the domestic market, with $11.1 million, was the faith-based film Breakthrough, the inspirational true story of a teenager who fell in the freezing waters of a Missouri lake and of his mother’s belief that hers and everyone else’s prayers were going to help him to regain consciousness. Co-produced by Devon Franklin (Miracles from Heaven) and by NBA star Stephen Curry, with a cast that includes Chrissy Metz, Dennis Haysbert, Josh Lucas, and Topher Grace, Breakthrough generated $2.8 million out of 20 international territories.
With worldwide markets sort of frozen as everyone braces for the arrival of Avengers: Endgame (even China, where pre-sales of the new Disney and Marvel’s saga have already reached $60 million, was very slow this last week) Disney had some good days anyway. On its 7th week of release, Captain Marvel held to 4th place domestically and reached the $400 million mark. The global gross stands at $1.09 billion, the eighth-best showing of all time (not adjusted for inflation).
Moviegoers, especially families, keep flocking to see Dumbo, that added close to $7 million on the domestic front, where it crossed the $100 million mark. 55 international markets grossed an extra $14 million, for a worldwide cumulative of $308 million. The biggest fans of Tim Burton’s cute flying pachyderm are in the UK ($28 million), China ($22 million) and Mexico ($20 million). Ahead of Avengers, Disney had a much smaller entry, the Earth Day nature documentary Penguins. The story of a penguin named Steve who just wants to find the right partner and start a family, it earned $3.3 million, one of the lowest debuts for a Disneynature title.