Disney’s Aladdin got all of its wishes and soared off to a $114.3 million start over Memorial Day weekend in the US. With that figure, it earned the fifth highest opening ever for the beginning of the summer holiday and marked star Will Smith’s second-highest opening weekend to date after Suicide Squad’s $133.6 million debut in 2016. Its three-day earnings of $86.1 million were also the fourth highest ever for a live-action Disney remake, after Beauty and the Beast ($174.7 million) Alice in Wonderland ($116.1 million) and The Jungle Book ($103.2 million.) The studio will also be relieved that Aladdin has already surpassed the $112.9 total earnings of last month’s disappointment Dumbo. Aladdin comes twenty-seven years after the studio’s animated retelling of the classic Arabian folktale opened in 1992. The only major players to return from the first film are composer Alan Menken and voice actor Frank Welker, who again played Aladdin’s monkey Abu as well as the princess’s tiger Rajah and the talking Cave of Wonders. This time Guy Ritchie is at the helm, and Egyptian-Canadian actor Mena Massoud has the title role. Will Smith took over the late Robin Williams’ role as the Genie, garnering some criticism from fans for his interpretation and the character’s strange animation style, while Naomi Scott plays Princess Jasmine. Critics reviewed fairly low on average, but audiences were unconcerned and gave the film an A Cinemascore. Aladdin will have to deal with Godzilla: King of Monsters opening this Friday, but it’ll have another open week in the family market after that before The Secret Life of Pets 2 opens on June 7.
Overseas, Disney’s summer season opener landed with $212.4 million from 54 territories. China was, of course, its biggest foreign stop at $18.7 million, followed by Mexico at $9.2 million, the UK on $8.4 million, and a very strong Italy opening of $6.6 million. Adding North America’s four-day numbers, Aladdin’s global opening weekend was worth $234.7 million.
Also opening in the US, Sony’s anti-comic book hero movie Brightburn failed to shine with a $9.5 million debut in fifth place. This James Gunn- produced film is about an alien who lands on earth as a baby and instead of using his powers for good decides to conquer the planet. Brightburn has made another $15.3 million overseas so far. Its budget is in the $7 million range before advertising costs, so this isn’t a real loss. In sixth, fellow newcomer Booksmart, a quirky teen comedy from United Artists and Annapurna also didn’t manage to take off very well and made a disappointing $8.6 million. This directorial debut from Olivia Wilde created a good buzz at SXSW and features Lady Bird sidekick Beanie Feldstein in a starring role, with Will Ferrell and Adam McKay producing, as well as a score by renowned hip-hop producer Dan the Automator. So far though what looked like a good recipe for an indie hit isn’t really working as hoped.
Meanwhile, John Wick 3 stayed in second place on the combined charts: Lionsgate’s hard-hitting Keanu Reeves vehicle has now made $182 million worldwide after a $55.3 million global frame. That’s more than John Wick 2‘s $171.5 million lifetime run earned in ten days, and nearly double the original’s $88.7 million total earnings. It came in second both at home and abroad.
Avengers: End Game for its part made $37.6 million this frame, dropping to third on the global chart. It now sits at a lifetime gross of $2.68 billion and change. Endgame is still short of Avatar’s coveted $2.71 billion record.
Next weekend Godzilla: King of Monsters drops in the US, together with Elton John’s biopic Rocketman and horror entry Ma.