Box Office: 'The Invisible Man' Screams Loudly With $29M U.S. Start, $49M Globally

The Invisible Man Still 2 -Universal Pictures Publicity_h 2019
Courtesy of Universal Pictures

Overseas, the horror pic took in $20.2 million from its first 47 markets.

In a major boost for the horror genre, Universal and Blumhouse's The Invisible Man scared up a stellar $29 million in its North American box office debut and $20.2 million overseas for a $49.2 million global start over the weekend.

Fueled by a 92 percent Rotten Tomatoes score, The Invisible Man had the best domestic opening for a horror pic since last September's It: Chapter Two, and one of the best ever for Jason Blum's prolific production company. The film, which cost just $7 million to produce before marketing, is also a win for Universal's retooled monster universe.

The latest adaptation of the classic H.G. Wells novel — written and directed by Leigh Whanell — stars Elisabeth Moss as Cecilia Kass, a woman who escapes an abusive relationship with a wealthy and brilliant scientist (Oliver Jackson-Cohen). When her ex commits suicide, Cecilia begins to suspect his death was a hoax and believes he has found a way to become invisible after a series of eerie coincidences and encounters that turn lethal. Aldis Hodge, Storm Reid and Harriet Dyer also star.

While horror movies traditionally skew female, the audience for The Invisible Man was 53 percent male. The film is playing in 3,620 cinemas in North America.

Many horror pics have struggled domestically over the past several years, but The Invisible Man bucks that trend. The movie has already earned more domestically than Blumhouse and Sony's Fantasy Island, which finished its third weekend with $24.2 million. STXfilms' Brahms: The Boy II has also struggled, earning a total of $9.8 million in its first 10 days.

The genre also faces different challenges internationally in that horror films often fail to scare up significant business. Whannell's Invisible Man turned in a solid start in its first set of markets, including the U.K. ($2.9 million), France ($2.2 million) and Mexico ($1.8 million). In Asia, it placed No. 1 in South Korea with $1.1 million despite a significant downturn at the box office there because of the coronavirus.

Elsewhere, Paramount's Sonic the Hedgehog fell to No. 2 in North America with a pleasing $16 million in its third weekend for a domestic total of $128.2 million. Overseas, the family pic won the weekend with another $26.8 million for a foreign tally of $137.2 million and a $265.4 million global cume.

20th Century and Disney's The Call of the Wild tumbled 47 percent in its second weekend, taking in $13.2 million for a domestic cume of $45.9 million and $11 million internationally from 50 markets for a foreign total of $33.4 million and $79.3 million globally. Because of its hefty $150 million budget, the pic appears destined to land in the red.

While Invisible Man was the weekend's sole new release from a Hollywood studio, it wasn't the only fresh offering. The anime pic My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising, based on the popular Japanese manga franchise, entered at No. 4 with $6.3 million from 1,260 theaters for a five-day debut of $9.6 million.

Sony's breakout hit Bad Boys for Life achieved a major milestone as it cleared the $400 million mark globally. In North America, the pic rounded out the top five with $4.3 million for a domestic cume of $197.4 million and $405.4 million worldwide.

Elsewhere, Impractical Jokers: The Movie, a big-screen adaptation of the reality TV show, continued to impress in its second weekend with $3.5 million for a cume of $6.6 million. It came in No. 7.

At the specialty box office, Parasite continued to feast on its Oscar wins, earning $1.5 million for a domestic total of $51.6 million. Only three other non-English-language films have crossed the $50 million mark in U.S. ticket sales.

Among new specialty pics, Searchlight's Wendy — a different spin on Peter Pan — faltered with a location average of $7,500 from four theaters in New York and Los Angeles. Sony Pictures Classics' Greed also struggled with a location average of $7,124 from four cinemas in N.Y. and L.A.