Aladdin Brightburn
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Credit: Disney/Sony Pictures

Memorial Day box office: Aladdin wishes for No. 1 spot with $105M; Brightburn crashes to Earth with $9M

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May 26, 2019

Guy Ritchie's live-action remake of 1992's Aladdin for Disney will have no problem becoming sultan of this year's domestic Memorial Day box office during its opening weekend, with a wishful $105 million after the long, four-day holiday is up. That's a lot higher than the initial projections of $75-$85 million. It's also the sixth-highest Memorial Day opening of all time.

In terms of the normal three-day weekend, the family-friendly musical/adventure will pull in $87 million. In foreign markets, it's opened up a whole new world with $121 million. With that in mind, it looks as if the film won't outperform the original animated feature, which nearly broke $200 million (not adjusted for inflation) during its debut weekend in November of 1992. That movie went on to rake in just over $504 million worldwide by the end of its theatrical run. Nevertheless, the reimagining may have no trouble topping the original's total domestic run, which only brought in $217.3 million. Overseas, the animated version took a magic carpet ride to $286.7 million.

Starring Mena Massoud (Amazon's Jack Ryan) in the titular role, Aladdin 2019 (co-written by Ritchie and John August) also features the likes of Naomi Scott (Princess Jasmine), Marwan Kenzari (Jafar), Navid Negahban (the Sultan), Nasim Pedrad (Dalia), Billy Magnussen (Prince Anders), and Alan Tudyk (Iago).

Will Smith (Men in Black), of course, steps into the part of the Genie, the blue-skinned character made iconic and nigh-untouchable by the late great Robin Williams. That being said, the whole hullabaloo over the actor's CGI turn as the wish-granting entity proved to be wholly unfounded when critics finally got to feast their eyes on the finished movie, which they found highly enjoyable, but not entirely perfect.

Elsewhere in the multiverse, Sony's Brightburn will carve out a meager $9 million during its debut over the long weekend with its deadly laser eye vision. While not great, the picture only cost around $6 million to make, so it doesn't have much to recoup.

Directed by David Yarovesky (The Hive) and produced by James Gunn (Guardians of the Galaxy), the horror film is, at its simplest, a very dark twist on the origin of DC's Superman. The screenplay was penned by Gunn's brother, Brian, and their cousin, Mark.

Elizabeth Banks Brightburn

Credit: Sony Pictures

The story focuses on Tori and Kyle Breyer (Elizabeth Banks and David Denman), a couple living on a farm in the quaint little town of Brightburn, Kansas. After trying and failing to conceive a child, one literally crashes in their backyard, a baby from beyond the stars. Seeing this as a blessing from above, the Breyers adopt the kid and raise it as their own, but as he grows into adolescence, things take a turn for the worse. Instead of becoming a symbol of hope for all humankind, this young boy (played by Endgame's Jackson A. Dunn) uses his alien abilities for murder, terror, and coercion.

Beyond the fun subversion of the superhero genre, the film doesn't quite take its premise far enough (it holds a 59% on Rotten Tomatoes), although the gory violence should appeal to die-hard horror fans who want to see an R-rated Man of Steel murder rampage.

Now in its second weekend, John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum will add an extra $30.5 million to last week's domestic debut of $57 million. By the end of the extended Memorial Day weekend, the threequel will have around $107 million in the domestic bank. When it comes to international gross, the movie has already earned $181.5 million.

Other holdovers include Avengers: Endgame and Pokémon Detective Pikachu.

The fourth Avengers film (currently the second-highest-grossing picture of all time) is on course to take in another $22 million, bringing its domestic total to $803 million. With $2.6 billion from international ticket sales already under the belt, Endgame doesn't have far to go to overtake 2009's Avatar ($2.78 billion) as the biggest box-office juggernaut of all time. If it wants to overtake The Force Awakens in terms of domestic sales ($936 million), it still has $123 million to go.

When it comes to Detective Pikachu, another $17 million will be trapped with a Poké Ball by the movie, which marks the first-ever live-action project in the video game film franchise. Now in its third weekend, the feature's domestic total stands at $120 million. Globally, the film's ticket sales have surpassed $352 million.

Next weekend, Godzilla: King of the Monsters and Ma will be added into the mix.

(via Variety & Box Office Mojo)


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