Box Office: 'Glass' Tackles 'Miss Bala' on Worst Super Bowl Weekend in Two Decades

Courtesy of Sony Pictures Entertainment
'Miss Bala'

'Miss Bala' — the only new wide release daring to open opposite the big game — came in third behind 'Glass' and 'The Upside' with $6.7 million.

The Super Bowl is always a challenge for the U.S. box office, but this year was a complete blowout.

Overall, domestic ticket sales for the frame plummeted to an estimated $68 million-$70 million — the worst showing for Super Bowl weekend in 19 years, and among the top 20 slowest weekends for any time of the year since 1997. It's also the rare instance where no movie made more than $10 million (dismal weather in California didn't help).

Universal/Disney's Glass and STXfilms/Lantern's The Upside stayed atop the chart in their third and fourth outings with $9.5 million and $8 million, respectively, after facing little competition from Miss Bala, the only new nationwide offering which debuted to a muted $6.7 million.

Glass' domestic cume is $88.7 million. Overseas, M. Night Shyamalan's superhero thriller took in another $12.2 million to finish the weekend with $199 million worldwide.

Universal took the top spot on the foreign weekend chart with How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World. The animated threequel, which is set to open Feb. 22 in the U.S., earned $40.2 million from 42 markets for an early foreign total of $84.4 million. In the U.S., Universal and Fandango held Saturday sneaks of the family pic in roughly 1,000 theaters, resulting in a promising $2.5 million.

The Upside, starring Kevin Hart and Bryan Cranston, has turned into a sleeper hit with a domestic cume of $75.6 million and $83.2 million worldwide to date. It's already the No. 2 title of all time for STX. The pic is also a victory for Lantern — the new owner of the former Weinstein Co. — which partnered with STX to market and distribute the dramedy while retaining its full equity stake.

Coming in third, Sony's Miss Bala fumbled after getting assassinated by critics. The Sony film cost at least $15 million to produce, and may only take in $15 million in North America by the end of its run.

Directed by Catherine Hardwicke, Miss Bala centers on a young woman (Gina Rodriguez) who seeks revenge on the drug cartel that kidnapped her friend. Ismael Cruz Cordova and Anthony Mackie co-star. The pic is an English-language remake of the acclaimed 2011 Mexican film of the same name.

Rodriguez and Sony say they assembled a cast and crew that was 95 percent Latinx. The Tijuana-set film performed best in the West and Midwest. Among ticket buyers, 38 percent were Hispanic, followed by Caucasian (36 percent), African-American (12 percent) and Asian/other (14 percent). The pic skewed slightly female (55 percent).  

In 2008, Disney changed the way studios thought about the Super Bowl when the concert film Hannah Montana and Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert debuted to a rousing $31.2 million. A year later, Fox proved that a male-fueled pic could work as well when Taken tackled $24.7 million. Along with Dear John (2010), the three movies remain the record-holders for Super Bowl weekend.

Since that time, there have usually been two or three new offerings suiting up for the big game. Last year, like this year, there was only one new wide release, Winchester, which debuted to $9.3 million. Overall revenue nevertheless came in at $95 million, thanks to a stronger crop of holdovers (Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle led the chart with more than $10 million).

Elsewhere on the top five chart, Warner Bros.' Aquaman placed  No. 4 in its seventh weekend with an estimated $4.8 million for a domestic total of $323.5 million and $1.1 billion globally.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse — which swept the Annie Awards on Saturday night, including best animated feature — rounded out the top 5 with $4.4 million in its twelfth weekend after crossing $170 million domestically last week to become the top-grossing animated title released by Sony. Through Sunday, its North American cume is $175.3 million for $347.3 million globally.

Best picture Oscar contender Green Book continued to see a needed boost from awards attention, coming in No. 6 with $4.3 million for a domestic total of $55.8 million. Overseas, it earned another $11.9 million for an foreign tally of $25.5 million and $81.3 million worldwide.

Elsewhere, Warner Bros. booked Peter Jackson's World War I documentary They Shall Not Grow Old in 753 theaters in the U.S. following a special screening of the film hosted by Fathom in December, which generated $3.4 million, shattering Fathom records for a doc.

This weekend, They Shall Not Grow Old earned $2.4 million for a domestic total of $10.7 million.

Black Panther, also a best picture Oscar nominee, returned to theaters for a special one-week run in 250 AMC Theaters. The AMC and Disney-hosted event, celebrating Black History Month, is free. AMC reports that more than half of tickets available for the week have been claimed.

The specialty box office was also quiet. New offerings included Bleecker Street's survival drama Arctic. The Icelandic film, opening in four cinemas, posted a solid location average of $14,116.

Feb. 3, 11:30 a.m. Updated with additional foreign numbers.