Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Weekend Box Office: The coronavirus and social distancing result in the worst totals in 20 years

Illustration for article titled Weekend Box Office: The coronavirus and social distancing result in the worst totals in 20 years
Photo: Bloodshot (Sony)

There’s no way around it: This is probably going to be the weirdest look at the weekend’s box office numbers in a long time. In the days since we wrote about Pixar’s Onward easily trouncing second-place finisher The Way Back, people have actually started taking the threat of spreading the coronavirus much more seriously, leading to some major impacts on the entertainment industry—including movie release dates being pushed back and theater chains limiting how many tickets they’ll sell. Today, Universal even announced that it’s putting some recent movies, including The Invisible Man and Trolls World Tour on on-demand services early. Basically, this means that there aren’t going to be any big movies coming out for nearly a month (at least) and if theaters continue to stay open at all, they’ll be selling significantly fewer tickets (both because they’ll literally sell fewer tickets and, hopefully, people will be staying home to reduce the chances of spreading the virus).

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So, what we have here is the last box office weekend before any of that really took effect but after we all started to accept that this is a serious issue, which made this the worst weekend for the overall box office in 20 years… but that’s a good thing, because people should be staying home anyway (and also businesses should be doing whatever they can to help people stay home, and the government should be doing whatever it can to help people and businesses, and medical care should be free). AND YET, Onward still made $10.5 million this weekend. Religious guitar movie I Still Believe still made $9.5 million. Vin Diesel’s comic book adaptation Bloodshot still made $9.3 million. The Invisible Man hung on and made $6 million. The Hunt, which probably would’ve been better off if it stuck to its original release date from September, made a little over $5 million. None of those totals are very high (Onward dropped 73 percent from last week), but it’s still kind of a lot considering, you know, the fucking virus.

Seriously, some of the movies that made money this weekend are already available on-demand. Some are already on DVD. Please stay home if you’re able to. The sooner we curb the spread of this thing, the sooner we can back to normal.

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For a more in-depth analysis of this weekend’s box office with less commentary about social distancing, head over to Box Office Mojo.

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