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The bad news: The R-rated pic couldn’t rescue the domestic box office from the worst Easter in 14 years as Hollywood studios held back releasing their bigger event pics because of Disney and Marvel’s Avengers: Endgame, which is set to hit theaters Friday. Revenue came in at an estimated $110 million to $112 million, the lowest since 2005 ($99 million).
La Llorona also topped a slow weekend overseas, taking in $30 million from 71 markets for a global bow of $56.4 million.
Made by New Line for a modest $9 million and produced by Conjuring mastermind James Wan, The Curse of La Llorona is based on a spooky Latin-American supernatural tale about a vengeful ghost who tries to steal kids. Linda Cardellini, Raymond Cruz and Patricia Velasquez star in the pic, which was helmed by Michael Chaves in his feature directorial debut.
New Line says La Llorona isn’t an official installment in the Conjuring universe, despite the film’s 1970s setting and the appearance of the character Father Perez (Tony Amendola), who was also in Annabelle.
Hispanics comprised 45 percent of ticket buyers, while females made up 56 percent. And nearly 80 percent of those turning out for a collective scare were 35 and younger. Poor reviews didn’t appear to ding La Llorona, nor a B- CinemaScore.
It was a good weekend for New Line and parent company Warner Bros., which also claimed the No. 2 with holdover Shazam! The kid-friendly superhero pic saw a nice bump over the holiday weekend, falling less than 30 percent in its third outing to $17.3 million for a domestic total of $121.3 million.
Overseas, Shazam! earned another $22 million as it topped the $200 million mark internationally and $300 million globally for a worldwide tally of $322.8 million.
The faith-based film Breakthrough, the first Fox title released by new owner Disney, came in third with $11.1 million for a five-day debut of $14.6 million after opening on Wednesday. The movie’s early foreign total is $5.9 million — including $3.8 million from Brazil — for a global tally of $20.5 million.
From Fox 2000 and costing $14 million to produce, Breakthrough did its biggest business in America’s heartland (six of the top 10 grossing theaters were in Missouri and Tennessee).
Based on the book of the same name, Breakthrough recounts the inspirational true story of a mother’s faith and love when her 14-year-old son falls through the ice into the freezing waters of a Missouri lake. As he lies lifeless in the hospital, her steadfast belief inspires those around her to continue to pray for her child’s recovery, even in the face of case history and scientific predictions.
Roxann Dawson directed the pic, with NBA star Stephen Curry executive producing alongside producer Devon Franklin (Miracles From Heaven). The cast includes Chrissy Metz, Josh Lucas, Topher Grace and Dennis Haysbert.
Disney and Marvel’s first female-led superhero pic Captain Marvel made news in its seventh frame as it became the 11th comic book adaptation to clear the $400 million mark domestically (seven are MCU titles). The tentpole placed fourth in North America with $9.1 million and $6.1 million abroad for a global cume of $1.09 billion, the eighth-best showing of all time for a live-action superhero pic, not adjusted for inflation.
Universal’s Little rounded out the top five in its sophomore outing with $8.5 million for a domestic total of $29.4 million and $34.2 million globally.
Elsewhere, Disney opened the nature documentary Penguins in celebration of Earth Day 2019 (April 22). The Ed Helms-narrated film waddled to an estimated $2.4 million for the weekend for a five-day launch of $3.3 million, one of the lower starts for a Disneynature title.
Penguins, coming in No. 12, nabbed an A CinemaScore, as did Breakthrough.
At the specialty box office, A24’s Under the Silver Lake posted an opening location average of $20,079 from two theaters in New York and Los Angeles, while Magnolia’s Hail Satan? debuted in three theaters for a location average of $8,567.
Among specialty holdovers, Bleecker Street expanded Teen Spirit nationwide into 696 theaters. The film grossed $250,536 for a 10-day total of $305,536.
Neon’s Aretha Franklin documentary Amazing Grace upped its location count to 188 cinemas in its third weekend, earning $591,642 for a cume of $1.3 million.
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